Opinion on expansion tank installation. Picture included.

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John Vega

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expansion.jpg

I am not an experienced plumber, however I am a little paranoid that the expansion tank that was recently installed in our home may eventually cause the pvc piping to fail due to the weight, stress being applied by the tank/fittings.

Attached is an image of the install. Should I be worried?
 

hj

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you should be worried about that, but maybe more so that the CPVC plastic is attached directly to the tank. There should be AT LEAST 18" of copper between the tank and the plastic, with the expansion tank attached to the copper and PROPERLY supported with hangers or anchors.
 

John Vega

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you should be worried about that, but maybe more so that the CPVC plastic is attached directly to the tank. There should be AT LEAST 18" of copper between the tank and the plastic, with the expansion tank attached to the copper and PROPERLY supported with hangers or anchors.

Thanks for the quick reply!
 

Ballvalve

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Curious if you had a licensed plumber install that joke bit, or was it a mentally challenged handyman?

Dont be worried. Be ANGRY.
 

John Vega

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Curious if you had a licensed plumber install that joke bit, or was it a mentally challenged handyman?

Dont be worried. Be ANGRY.

The company replied to my email:
" It is mounted correctly, however, if you would like it removed we can send someone out to do that for you.

In reguard to the 18" of copper pipe: That is a requirement for gas water heaters. It is not required for your electric water heater."

I am talking with them now via email to come up with a solution to the install issues.
 
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SteveW

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When that tank eventually fails, it will fill with water. (Right now, it is partially filled with water, partially with pressurized air, and they are separated by a rubber diaphragm.)

When it is all filled with water, it will be very heavy, and will tip to one side, and will twist the pipe it is attached to, most likely breaking it.

It needs to be properly supported, in such a way that it will be stable when it is filled with water.
 

Redwood

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In Florida the 18" is not a code requirement on electric water heaters.
The primary concern there is heat damage from the hot flue, not 120 degree water in the tank.

However they do need to adequately support the expansion tank or it will break off the CPVC if it ever becomes waterlogged.

CPVC, IMHO is a junk material.
 
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John Vega

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Thanks for all of your feedback!

I have done some searching to try and find what the installation "should" look like. I have come up empty handed.
Do any of you have a diagram or picture of an installation which is done properly?
 
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Gary Swart

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The box that Watts tanks come in has suggested methods for installations. What you have is not one of these methods. If I was a professional plumber, which I am not, I would be ashamed of this installation. Not only for how the tank is installed, but the rest of the installation as well. Others have already chimed in on the problems, so no need to restate them.
 

John Vega

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The box that Watts tanks come in has suggested methods for installations. What you have is not one of these methods. If I was a professional plumber, which I am not, I would be ashamed of this installation. Not only for how the tank is installed, but the rest of the installation as well. Others have already chimed in on the problems, so no need to restate them.

Wow, thats great to hear
 
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Redwood

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Wow, thats great to hear lol...
Crazy thing is HUNDREDS of Lennar homes are plumbed exactly like mine except they don't come with an expansion tank by default.
I guess if it passes minimum code, you are good to go!

The Plumbing Code is a minimum standard.
 

jadnashua

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If the heating elements ever failed to be controlled properly, the temperature could (I think, anyway) exceed the safe operating temperature of the cpvc before the safety circuits shut it off or the T&P valve opened. Personally, I would not have cpvc connected directly to the WH, regardless of the type.
 

Redwood

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I believe the ECO trips at 200 and CPVC Flowguard gold is rated at 100 psi @ 200 degrees...

It's still junk and when I work in it I transition to PEX with a sharkbite and thats all folks...

But Florida Code does allow the direct connection to the water heater...
 
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Ballvalve

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I found the BIBLE on water heater installs from Watts. Its fun arguing, but if this was made into a sticky, we would all benefit. Great graphics and advice with calcs for tanks and valves.... have a look

http://www.blueridgecompany.com/documents/Watts-ThermExpansion.pdf

Take a good look at the 'inline expansion tanks' - interesting, made like hydraulic acculumulators that last forever.
 
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Master Plumber Mark

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not too good

you need to get them to at least strap the expansion tank to the wall with
metal strapping to hold the weight.... possibly a 2x4 stilt under the cpve for support
on the pipe too......eventually it will get water logged and weigh about 35 lbs....




I feel that the better thing to do is simply take it out and put a plug in that fitting
expansion tanks are pretty much a joke and cause more troubles than they remedy
no one ever installs them properly with support and never inspects them years from now.


here is a real beauty I had to cut out and re-do one evening in February.. stupid DIY installation with shark plastic shark bite couplings to the heater that finally snapped and flooded the basement.. the expansion tank probably weighed 50 lbs and dropped like a lead weight to the floor,
 
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