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Thread: Anyone use a Watts 80 ballcock thermal expansion valve?

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    DIY Junior Member imac567's Avatar
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    Default Anyone use a Watts 80 ballcock thermal expansion valve?

    As an alternative to an expansion tank the Watts 80 is recommended for pressure relief when connected to a closed system (county or city water). Anyone use one? Do they work and how reliable are they? Thank you.

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    DIY Senior Member zl700's Avatar
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    They waste water and fail, wasting even more water.
    Best choice to control thermal expansion is a potable water expansion tank pre charged properly at the water heater inlet.
    If Payback is so important to you, why are you not driving a Toyota Corolla?

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    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    FWIW, a properly operating expansion tank does not waste water, a pressure relief valve will. An ET helps to maintain a more even pressure, an relief valve only puts a top limit on it, not hold it to a more proper level. A relief valve may be a good backup, but they can fail as can an ET, then you have nothing to prevent overpressure and potential leaks. Personally, I would not use one as my primary closed system solution.
    Jim DeBruycker
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    In the Trades Gary Swart's Avatar
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    There a very old, shop worn saying, "If is ain't broke, don't fix it". I think that applies very well to this question. A thermal expansion tank works very well, does not waste water, is easily replaces when it fails, and is inexpensive. Why go look for an alternative?

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    DIY Junior Member imac567's Avatar
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    I see your points, all of them... I'm looking at an Amtrol ST-5 2 gallon, looks good because I really wanted a lined tank, for corrosion reasons. If anyone knows of a better one, Please let me know. Thank you. By the way is there a certain distance it has to be installed from the hot water heater? I'd like it to be in my outside pump room just after the pressure regulator.

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    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    It can be installed anywhere on the cold supply side after the PRV. But, there should be no shutoff valve between the WH and the new expansion tank. This is to ensure it can do its thing when the WH starts to run. They don't last forever, but do last a number of years. Adjust the precharge to your static water pressure before installation.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

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    DIY Junior Member imac567's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jadnashua View Post
    It can be installed anywhere on the cold supply side after the PRV.
    PRV? Pressure Regulating Valve?

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    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by imac567 View Post
    PRV? Pressure Regulating Valve?
    Pressure reduction valve or whatever is causing your system to be a closed system (could be a check valve).
    There should be no valve between the ET and the WH.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

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