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How Expansion Tanks Work

If you have a hot water boiling system or a chilled water system, your equipment uses a closed loop piping system. It runs to convectors, radiators, or coils to help generate the heat required to provide hot water. It is absolutely essential that these closed loops maintain the correct pressure, and expansion tanks are designed to assist with that.

Inside that piping, water expands and contracts when heated and cooled, and since most of the materials within a water heater system can’t handle those constant changes without incurring some measure of damage, it is important to receive regular maintenance, regardless of the type of expansion tank. We will check for pressure, rust, and corrosion, while also ensuring that the tank is not overfilled, since that also can affect the pressure in the loop.

These are maintenance measures that only professionals should undertake, and we are happy to help with them.

Types of Expansion Tanks

Should the need arise for an expansion tank, there are a few different types that a home or business may consider. These include:

Compression Expansion Tanks

Compression tanks are perhaps the oldest type of expansion tank still in use, and they operate by absorbing the expansion forces brought about by the heated water. These typically are best for instances when the air is controlled and kept inside the tank, and they operate with an air fill valve, a drain valve, and the empty tank itself.

Bladder Expansion Tanks

Common today are bladder and diaphragm expansion tanks. Bladder tanks are more common in Hydronic heating and cooling systems to absorb the expansion force that comes from the fluctuating temperatures of the water. Inside the tank is a small bladder filled with air, and the size of that bladder can change to displace the water as needed.

Diaphragm Expansion Tanks

Diaphragm tanks work in much the same way as bladder expansion tanks, with a diaphragm within the tank serving as the cushion between the air and the water inside the tank. It effectively keeps the air between the tank wall and the outside of the bladder inside the tank, with the system water kept inside the bladder. These are a nice low-cost option for those looking for a budget-conscious expansion tank.

If you have any questions about expansion tanks or would like to schedule an appointment for any sort of plumbing repair or installation, contact GPS Plumbing and we will take care of your expansion tank needs as quickly and professionally as possible.

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26016 132nd St SE
Monroe, WA 98272

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