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Thread: Did I Need An Expansion Tank?

  1. #16
    In the Trades Gary Swart's Avatar
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    Air is added or released from the expansion tank with a Schraider valve just like on you car tires. Check the air pressure with a regular tire pressure gauge. The volume of air in the tank is quite small, so if adding air, it is recommended that you use a hand pump to avoid accidently applying too much pressure and blowing out the tank bladder. I plumbed a gauge into my water supply line between the PRV and expansion tank which really made it simple to adjust the PRV and I can monitor the pressure although it never changes.

  2. #17
    DIY Member BDP's Avatar
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    The expansion tank model is a PH 5 and says 40 PSI on the label...But the way it's connected there's no open nozzle I can hook into to read pressure off it at all without disconnecting the whole tank from the look of it.

  3. #18
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    Those tanks come from the factory precharged to 40#. To measure and adjust it, you need to turn the water off, then open a faucet or valve somewhere to relieve the stored pressure. Then, you can measure the pressure in the tank's bladder. The valve is on the end opposite where it is screwed into the pipe and will (or should) have a cap on it just like a tire. It may be painted the same color as the tank, but it will come off. To minimize wear on the bladder and make it most effective, it should be pressurized to your normal water pressure. At that point, it will accept the maximum amount of water.

    If you don't shut the water off, the pressure you read on the tank will be the same as your water pressure and not that of the uncompressed bladder.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  4. #19
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    High pressure by itself has nothing to do with the expansion tank requirement, but it could indicate the need for a pressure reducing valve, and then an expansion tank would be warranted. FEW homes have check valves in the water supply pipe, especially those of your age. And if you did have one, its effects would have been obvious when it was installed, and would have diminished over time as the valve deteriorated. I think you were sold a "bill of goods" given what you have told us so far, and that is all we have to go on. The place you test the tank's air pressure is the Schrader valve on the end of it, BUT it is pointless to check it unless the system is turned off and all the water pressure is relieved, because until then the air pressure will be whatever the system's water pressure is. Unless the air pressure precharge was raised above the system's operating pressure.
    Last edited by hj; 02-19-2010 at 06:35 AM.

  5. #20
    DIY Member BDP's Avatar
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    Yeah probably right on the bill of goods. I figured I would have the option to JUST replace the valve. He gave me no such option. Lowest option was valve and expansion tank. He DID recommend that he also put on the PRV at the main line as well to go with the tank but I didn't want to spend more than I was already spending since the bill was already so high. What I am thinking is that he could have just done the valve and left the rest (with the fair warning it could happen again without a PRV and expansion tank) but for whatever reason he insisted on that tank. Ah well. The weird thing is the water got hotter after he did his work too, I gotta pop the plate off the front and see if he jacked the temperature up on my water heater for some reason (I liked it where it was set previously, where it's at now the hot water can get scalding almost). Overall I'm not super pleased with the guy they sent, more I see it, it sounds like he was trying to jack up the bill right off the bat (he already had quotes for whole new systems written down, when he knew I just called him out to replace the valve on the tank).

  6. #21
    DIY Member BDP's Avatar
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    So basically I was lied to and he could have just fixed the leaking valve and been done with it. Sure my water heater is 10 years old, but I knew that going in -- I was making the service call to fix the valve, not have the entire system replaced. I guess I have no recourse though. That really bums me out.

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