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Thread: Opinion on expansion tank installation. Picture included.

  1. #46
    DIY Senior Member SteveW's Avatar
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    We have gotten too...something -- not sure what the right word it -

    ...lazy?

    ...reliant on automatic systems to keep us safe?

    ...complacent?


    We don't check our car tire pressures any more so now we have federally mandated automatic pressure checking systems. Last time I had a flat fixed, they charged me double because the tire in question had one of those radio transmitters to tell the computer what my tire's PSI was.

    I for one (and I know I'm pretty rare in this) check my TPR valves about once a month, and I bang on both ends of my thermal expansion tank about once a month to make sure it's not waterlogged. I check the pressure about once a year.

    Now some smart plumber/entrepreneur needs to apply the car tire pressure monitoring system to checking expansion tank pressure! Make a million bucks.

  2. #47
    DIYer, not in the trades LLigetfa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SteveW View Post
    ...I check the pressure about once a year.

    Now some smart plumber/entrepreneur needs to apply the car tire pressure monitoring system to checking expansion tank pressure! Make a million bucks.
    Checking the pressure without depressurizing the water line is a waste of time as the air pressure should be the same as the water pressure. Every time you check the air pressure you let a small amount of air escape and will eventually have to add more air. An automatic system would have to be quite sophisticated to be able to discern how much air by volume, not PSI is in the tank.

  3. #48
    General Engineering Contractor ballvalve's Avatar
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    The visible sign of failure for a thermal expansion tank is the T&P valve leaking a small amount of water. There is no visible sign of failure on a relief valve until you receive an enormous water bill for dumping water down the drain.
    The flaw here is that the TP valve leaks only at 150 psi, way beyond where your system pressure should EVER go. Second flaw is that without a lower value valve or tank, you will likely see pressure top off around 80 or 100 or 120, depending on how much pipe is in the house and how flexible it is. Or how often someone uses water and what temperature its set at. So one likely never sees that pressure flucuation.

    I have a closed sys at a rental without a ex tank, and I notice pressure tops at 80 when it sits for along time. Its electric with maybe 130' water.
    Which likely explains how the world survived so long without them.

    As to exploding toilet valves, send it to myth busters for a try. Or hook one up to your nitrogen tank.

    When one builds a airlliner like a water heater or a submarine, without riveted aluminum sheets, then we wont end up with convertible 737's.

    And when one teaches the Airbus pilots a bit of common sense that a kid learns with a battery airplane, they will put the nose down to gain speed, not up to guarantee disaster. Their altitude indicator worked, so WTF was with these clowns? The french factor? Airbus is VERY sad that the boxes were found!

    Finally, interesting how plumbers sit by and allow Stalin to make them ruin the cost of housing and kill building by forcing sprinklers on us. [More pipe=more money$$$$] And those idiotic backflow valves. And politically foist expansion tanks on us even in systems that dont need them.

    If our legislators had any sense, and plumbers had a lobby, sprinklers would be in the kitchen and utility room only. And a water heater would have a 100 psi back up relief valve.

    Now there would be more houses to build and we would all make more money.

    The codes are making a lot of "criminals" around here - cannot afford a permit- build without it - or rather buy a OSB mobile box and let it rot out in 20 years - the American way.
    Last edited by ballvalve; 05-30-2011 at 10:50 AM.

  4. #49
    DIYer, not in the trades LLigetfa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hj View Post
    quote; in theory, as long as they still work. When I took out my 10 year old tank, I tried releasing the TPR to break the vacuum and it was seized shut

    And I suppose you had NOT tested it during those 10 years. THAT is the reason it is recommended that WE test the T&P valves on our customer's water heaters whenever we are in the building. They may not like it when it proves defective by either NOT opening, or not closing when the lever is released, but it will prevent a situation such as a "10 year old heater with a frozen T&P valve".
    I don't test it because I don't have a replacement standing by should it fail to reclose. Yes, a tech should test it and a tech should have a spare in his/her truck. Since I have a rental, I would not incur the cost to replace a unit that failed while testing.

  5. #50
    Master Plumber Redwood's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ballvalve View Post
    The flaw here is that the TP valve leaks only at 150 psi, way beyond where your system pressure should EVER go. Second flaw is that without a lower value valve or tank, you will likely see pressure top off around 80 or 100 or 120, depending on how much pipe is in the house and how flexible it is. Or how often someone uses water and what temperature its set at. So one likely never sees that pressure flucuation.
    The only flaw here BallValve is your Logic! Badly Flawed!

    How many times would a T&P discharge before it is noticed?
    VS.
    The thousands of pressure cycles to the relief valve set point that would provide no indication to the homeowner.

    One has a visible indicator and the other has none! Don't you get it?

    Quote Originally Posted by ballvalve View Post
    As to exploding toilet valves, send it to myth busters for a try. Or hook one up to your nitrogen tank.
    Well here is one instance where the Toilet Valve didn't explode under pressure.
    Something else did though....



    Quote Originally Posted by ballvalve View Post
    When one builds a airlliner like a water heater or a submarine, without riveted aluminum sheets, then we wont end up with convertible 737's.
    Yes, of course welds are exempt from metal fatigue...
    Say is that a crack pipe hanging offa your lip?



    A Submarine hull will never fail! They are welded of course...



    The Mud Wrestling goes on....


  6. #51
    Master Plumber master plumber mark's Avatar
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    Cool good luck with it

    Quote Originally Posted by hj View Post
    quote; in theory, as long as they still work. When I took out my 10 year old tank, I tried releasing the TPR to break the vacuum and it was seized shut

    And I suppose you had NOT tested it during those 10 years. THAT is the reason it is recommended that WE test the T&P valves on our customer's water heaters whenever we are in the building. They may not like it when it proves defective by either NOT opening, or not closing when the lever is released, but it will prevent a situation such as a "10 year old heater with a frozen T&P valve".

    I know better than to open the t+p valve.. in a customers home without asking first....

    becasue 99% of the time It will always leak and someone is going to have to change that valve to keep if from pissing all over the place ....

    That is pretty close to sabatoge and the customer is never pleased to shell out $$ for something that was working just fine before you touched it with your boney fingers.......

    if they give you permission to check it and want it inspected for safety then that is one thing....

    I dont think that anyone would pay for a maintaince contract to have
    the t+p valve and thermal tank inspected every year..., perhaps I am wrong...

    .


    Look that this limed up valve, if you touch that one
    I guarantee you will be changeing it out... I would give them a replacement
    price before I ever laid hands on it...
    .

  7. #52
    The Cave Man Neanderthal Man's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ballvalve View Post
    The flaw here is that I don't have a clue how indoor plumbing works.
    Come on Bro simmer down.
    You know we weren't raised around indoor plumbing.
    Lets just figure out how we can get that mound of crap in the toilet to go away and not raise a ruckus.
    Ever since that damn Geico commercial made us all that money we've had so much trouble figuring out how all this stuff works.
    We should have just stayed in the cave.
    At least then we could just crap in the woods.
    I know there has to be an easy way to empty the toilet out.
    Everything else turned out to be easy once we learned how.
    I'm here to learn all about indoor plumbing.

  8. #53
    Master Plumber Redwood's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neanderthal Man View Post
    Come on Bro simmer down.
    You know we weren't raised around indoor plumbing.
    Lets just figure out how we can get that mound of crap in the toilet to go away and not raise a ruckus.
    Ever since that damn Geico commercial made us all that money we've had so much trouble figuring out how all this stuff works.
    We should have just stayed in the cave.
    At least then we could just crap in the woods.
    I know there has to be an easy way to empty the toilet out.
    Everything else turned out to be easy once we learned how.
    Try pushing the chrome lever on the upper left side of the toilet tank.....
    Depending on how much stuff is in the bowl it may overflow.
    Be careful and you might need a plumber.

  9. #54
    In the Trades Jerome2877's Avatar
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    If our legislators had any sense, and plumbers had a lobby, sprinklers would be in the kitchen and utility room only.
    Electrical fires can happen anywhere in the home, people smoke and light candles in other rooms as well. Now your really showing your ignorance! Besides if you go to the trouble of installing sprinklers in your home why wouldn't you protect the entire home, the cost savings would be pretty irelovent when a family member died because you wanted to save a few bucks!

  10. #55
    Master Plumber Redwood's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ballvalve View Post
    Finally, interesting how plumbers sit by and allow Stalin to make them ruin the cost of housing and kill building by forcing sprinklers on us. [More pipe=more money$$$$] And those idiotic backflow valves. And politically foist expansion tanks on us even in systems that dont need them.

    If our legislators had any sense, and plumbers had a lobby, sprinklers would be in the kitchen and utility room only. And a water heater would have a 100 psi back up relief valve.

    Now there would be more houses to build and we would all make more money.

    The codes are making a lot of "criminals" around here - cannot afford a permit- build without it - or rather buy a OSB mobile box and let it rot out in 20 years - the American way.
    Sounds like you were just born in the wrong country BallValve....



    Most of us just don't want to live in your vision....

  11. #56
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    quote; A Submarine hull will never fail!

    I assume that picture was of the Thresher, a victim of "freezing water". If you have a fire in your bedroom, because you were smoking in bed, you will be VERY happy that you were required to have sprinklers in the house. Getting the "stuff" out of the toilet bowl is so easy, "Even a caveman can do it". You sound like you want to go out in the woods and join up with the Survivalists.
    Last edited by hj; 05-31-2011 at 05:33 PM.

  12. #57
    Master Plumber master plumber mark's Avatar
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    Cool everything will fail eventually.....

    wether it be a submarine, water heater, or thermal expansion tank
    ... some day it will fail....

    the problem here is the astronomical odds and stats ....

    its nice to have everyone all safe and cosey... but when you look at the odds of something bad happenning....

    the odds of a water heater blowing up is probably once every two or three years...in a country of over 210 million poeple

    YES it does happen, but your odds are better for you to
    hit the power-ball lottery than to have one ever blow up on you

    the odds that I have two of them in my front window that blew up is astronomical

    basically what I am saying is the things are pretty damn safe.
    and they have been safe for decades.....
    without the thermal tanks on them.

    as far as making fire sprinklers a law for all homes, to save a few lives
    that aint ever gonna happen.....



  13. #58
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    Nobody ever said an expansion tank would prevent a WH from blowing up! That isn't its purpose. It is to prevent stress fractures and (primarily) maintain constant pressure in the water system.

    There are some places where sprinklers are required on new construction. Expect to see it spread. What you spend on installation will normally be saved on the insurance for the house. As with most codes, existing homes are grandfathered.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  14. #59
    Master Plumber Redwood's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hj View Post
    quote; A Submarine hull will never fail!

    I assume that picture was of the Thresher, a victim of "freezing water". If you have a fire in your bedroom, because you were smoking in bed, you will be VERY happy that you were required to have sprinklers in the house. Getting the "stuff" out of the toilet bowl is so easy, "Even a caveman can do it". You sound like you want to go out in the woods and join up with the Survivalists.
    It was either the USS Thresher SSN-593 or, the USS Scorpion SSN-589 I'm not sure...

    Maybe our esteemed General Engineering Contractor can tell us what went wrong on the USS Scorpion....
    He seems to know a whole lot of nothing about everything else.....

  15. #60
    Master Plumber Redwood's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jadnashua View Post
    Nobody ever said an expansion tank would prevent a WH from blowing up! That isn't its purpose. It is to prevent stress fractures and (primarily) maintain constant pressure in the water system.

    There are some places where sprinklers are required on new construction. Expect to see it spread. What you spend on installation will normally be saved on the insurance for the house. As with most codes, existing homes are grandfathered.
    Master Mark is missing the boat on the Metal Fatigue and Stress Cracking...
    He's not understanding the comment to Ballvalve about the water heater exploding before the ballcock did...

    It's too bad he doesn't know the Residential Fire Sprinklers are already in the 2009 IPC so next code update he'll be a dinosaur.....
    Even Water Conditioner Installations have to be considered as part of the Residential Sprinkler Code....

    That will never Happen.... Or did it already?

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