Water heater expansion tank in winter.

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Tipster1

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The water company plans to install water meters in area of my summer cottage sometimes this winter. I assume that they will add anti-backflow device, so I will need an expansion tank this spring. The electric water heater is 50 gal so I expect to use a small tank. All plumbing is ½” copper and I am comfortable installing tank myself but the water heater is in attic so overhead space is limited. I imagine mounting tank vertically alongside of heater using a ½” T on cold supply to elbow to ¾” FIP adapter.

All pipes are drained each winter. If I mount with air valve up will tank drain to prevent freezing damage over winter?

Is ½” copper strong enough to support or should I add additional bracket?

Does it matter if valve is upstream or downstream of tank?
 

John Gayewski

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My town is implementing meters with no backflow device.

They make a specific bracket for mounting expansion tanks to the wall. It's just a metal bracket that screws to the stud/wall with a large hose clamp or two for the tank.

As long as the expansion tank is working and the air charge is more than the water pressure there should be no water in the tank. So if you let the pressure off of the water it'll flow out of the expansion tank. But it needs to be charged.
 

Tipster1

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My town is implementing meters with no backflow device.

They make a specific bracket for mounting expansion tanks to the wall. It's just a metal bracket that screws to the stud/wall with a large hose clamp or two for the tank.

As long as the expansion tank is working and the air charge is more than the water pressure there should be no water in the tank. So if you let the pressure off of the water it'll flow out of the expansion tank. But it needs to be charged.
Thanks for advice. That's just what I wanted to understand as far as how expansion tank works.
If there is no nearby wall, do you have any other suggestions?
(I assume you meant that your town will have an anti backflow device.)
 

Terry

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You can place an expansion tank anywhere in the system. Mine is in the front of my garage. If it leaks, it's a few feet to the garage doors and the outside.

I'm on city water, the meters now have check valves on them where I'm at.
Adding the 2.2 gallon expansion tank was sure noticeable when using the shower as far as making the pressure more stable.
 
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John Gayewski

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Thanks for advice. That's just what I wanted to understand as far as how expansion tank works.
If there is no nearby wall, do you have any other suggestions?
(I assume you meant that your town will have an anti backflow device.)
No we have no backflow devices. You don't need them solely because they are adding a meter. Only if municipality is requiring a backflow device, which mine does not.
 

Jeff H Young

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I would not assume a new meter means you'll be changing to a closed system might not hurt to ask the water supplier to confirm
 

Tipster1

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No we have no backflow devices. You don't need them solely because they are adding a meter. Only if municipality is requiring a backflow device, which mine does not.
Thanks again - I'll check. Somewhere I had read that most municipal systems are closed, once they add a meter. You may have saved me the aggravation.
 

Fitter30

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Jeff H Young

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Thanks again - I'll check. Somewhere I had read that most municipal systems are closed, once they add a meter. You may have saved me the aggravation.
I wouldn't accept most to mean all or that yours will be a closed system
 
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