Yes, you can install an expansion tank with PEX. PEX, or cross-linked polyethylene, is a favorite among plumbing professionals because of its flexibility, ease of installation and adaptability to both hot and cold water systems.
Expansion tanks are installed within a closed-loop system and, when connected to PEX piping, provide a reliable way to protect the system from an excessive build-up of pressure from hot water. Installing an expansion tank with PEX is fairly straightforward and can be done by connecting the tank to PEX lines and securing it in place with specialized bracketing.
As an added benefit, PEX piping is easier and less expensive to install, so homeowners can save money on the installation costs.
Can I use SharkBite on expansion tank?
Yes, you can use SharkBite on an expansion tank. The SharkBite system is a full line of plumbing fittings that are designed for use with copper, PEX, CPVC, PE-RT or HDPE pipe, as well as lead pipe. The fittings come in a variety of sizes and configurations, including straight, elbow, tee, and adapter.
Using SharkBite can make installation a breeze, as the fittings are designed to lock into place with a simple click, and they don’t require glue, clamps, or soldering. As long as the pipe is compatible with the SharkBite fittings, you should have no difficulty using them to install your expansion tank.
What water line does an expansion tank go on?
An expansion tank should be installed on the cold water line between the water heater and the main shutoff valve. The expansion tank is used to prevent pressure buildup in the closed water system caused by thermal expansion.
The tank helps maintain optimum pressure in the water system and reduces stress on the system components. It also helps reduce water damage from over-pressurized water lines. Expansion tanks are typically installed after the pressure regulator in the water line.
Positioning the tank at this point ensures that it is always filled with water, minimizing air pockets, and ensures the pressure in the water system is even and regulated by the regulator.
Can you run PEX directly to a hot water heater?
No, it is not recommended to run PEX directly to a hot water heater. PEX, or cross-linked polyethylene, is an extremely durable and flexible pipe material that is commonly used for home plumbing applications such as hot and cold water lines.
However, PEX is not the ideal material for connecting water heaters due to its natural flexibility, which could cause instability and increased risk of failure. Additionally, hot temperatures and high pressure have the potential to degrade the quality of the PEX plastic over time.
Instead, copper piping is recommended for connecting water heaters due to the material’s more rigid properties, which enable long-term use under the hot and high-pressure conditions of water heaters.
Copper pipes are also less vulnerable to corrosion, and withstand extreme temperatures better than PEX.
Does it matter which way an expansion tank is installed?
Yes, it does matter which way an expansion tank is installed. The pressure in the system controls the area that the water from the tank can go. If the expansion tank is installed the wrong way, it can cause the pressure to build up, leading to possible system damage, such as a burst pipe.
The tank should be installed with the inlet pipe at a higher pressure than the outlet pipe, as this will allow the water to flow correctly. Additionally, the outlet port must be installed at an elevation lower than the inlet port to avoid pressurizing the system.
Furthermore, the tank should be located close to the water heater so that it’s the first point of thermal expansion and the pressure in the system will remain balanced. Finally, the tank should be securely supported to help reduce the risk of any water leaking from the tank.
When installing an expansion tank, it’s important to always consult with a qualified technician or a licensed plumber to ensure the correct installation.
How far can a expansion tank be from a water heater?
When installing an expansion tank, it is important to take into consideration the distance between the tank and the water heater. The expansion tank should be installed as close as possible to the water heater, typically no more than 6 to 10 feet, depending on local plumbing codes.
For example, expansion tanks in California must be no farther than 6 feet from the water heater, while in New Jersey, expansion tanks should be no more than 10 feet away from the water heater. An expansion tank that is too far from the water heater will not be able to properly absorb excess pressure from the water heater, which can lead to increased water pressure and other safety issues.
In addition, having the expansion tank located closer to the water heater will help decrease the amount of piping that is needed for installation and will reduce the possibility of clogs and other issues that could develop with increased piping.
It is important to consult your local plumbing codes and a certified plumber when installing an expansion tank to ensure it is installed in the appropriate manner and at a safe distance from the water heater.
Can an expansion tank be too big?
Yes, an expansion tank can be too big. If the expansion tank is too big, it won’t heat up properly and it can interfere with the pumps and water circulating system, leading to a drop in water pressure.
A tank that is too large will be more prone to temperature fluctuations and can limit the efficiency of the system, increases the running costs and can cause increased wear and tear on the heating system components.
In addition, an excessively large tank can create higher back pressures that can cause air locks or even flooding in the circulation piping. Therefore, it is important to correctly size an expansion tank to ensure that it meets the needed requirements without going overboard.
At what temperature will PEX burst?
The temperature at which PEX tubing will burst depends on its formulation and rate of heat transport. Generally speaking, PEX has a burst pressure rating at 80 psi at 140°F, which is well above the maximum temperature rating of most hot water systems.
PEX can also withstand temperatures below freezing, so long as the temperature does not reach its glass transition temperature, or the point at which it becomes brittle and easily broken. When exposed to temperatures below -40°F, PEX can become deformed or split, making it vulnerable to breakage.
In order to maintain maximum durability, most PEX tubing manufacturers recommend operating the tubing at temperatures no higher than 180°F, and to keep constantly running hot water below 140°F.
Where should you not use PEX?
PEX is not suitable in cases that involve extreme cold or heat. The extreme temperatures can cause the pipe to expand or contract excessively, leading to possible failure or leaks. In addition, PEX should not be used when it could come into direct contact with strong chemicals (e.
g. solvents, acids, etc. ). These chemicals can cause the plastic to decompose and break down, making the pipe unsafe to use. Lastly, PEX should not be used in areas where there is significant exposure to UV light, since it can reduce the life of the plastic material.
PEX is best installed indoors and away from direct exposure to the sun.
Which way up should an expansion vessel be fitted?
An expansion vessel should always be fitted with the pressure connection at the top and the water inlet and outlet positioned at the bottom. The pressure connection should be fitted to the highest point of the hot water system, with the air valve positioned facing upwards.
In order to ensure that the pressure connection is correctly set up, the expansion vessel should be mounted on brackets or hung from the wall. This will help to ensure that it is at the correct angle and able to work correctly.
The air valve should then be securely tightened and pressure checked before use.
Does an expansion tank go on supply or return side?
An expansion tank should be installed on the cold water supply line near to the water heater. That is, the tank should be between the cold water supply and the heater inlet. Having it installed after the heater would make it difficult to prevent over-pressurization of the system.
The purpose of an expansion tank is to protect the system from the damage due to heated water expanding into the cold-water supply lines. By installing it on the supply side the expansion tank can capture the heated pressurized water and allow it to expand into the tank in a controlled manner, protecting the system from over-pressurization.
Additionally, if the tank is installed on the supply side, the tank would be less likely to experience backflow from pressure surges or water-heater supply surges.
What are the two types of expansion tanks?
There are two primary types of expansion tanks used in the plumbing and HVAC industries: air and diaphragm expansion tanks. Air expansion tanks are typically installed in closed plumbing systems that have backflow preventers, while diaphragm expansion tanks are typically used in open systems, meaning systems without backflow preventers.
Air expansion tanks are much simpler in their construction, as they are typically just an open vented tank with a pre-determined air pressure (typically between 10-40 psi). The pressurized air pushes against the incoming water and regulates the backflow pressure of the system.
Diaphragm expansion tanks are more complex in their construction, as they are typically made of two separate chambers—one for air and one for water. The air chamber is where the air pressure can be adjusted, and the diaphragm in between the two chambers is what regulates the system pressure as the water volume inside the tank increases and decreases.
Both types of expansion tanks have the same purpose, which is to absorb the additional volume of water created by thermal expansion without allowing it to distribute back into the system, while also maintaining a set pressure level.
Expansion tanks are an essential component in maintaining a healthy plumbing and HVAC system.
What PSI should my expansion tank be?
The optimal pressure to fill your expansion tank should be between 10-15 PSI. This range helps ensure that the tank can accommodate thermal expansion of water volume within a closed system and also provide adequate pressure for water supply to your fixtures.
The tank’s built-in pre-charge usually comes in two different options: 5 PSI for heating systems and 12-14 PSI for potable water systems. When selecting a tank, it is important to know the operating pressure of the system, the operating temperature range, and the expected changes in pressure and temperature throughout the system’s operation.
Additionally, some expansion tanks will require a fill adapter for filling and must also include a gauge or valve to check the pressure of the system.
Is an expansion tank really necessary?
Yes, an expansion tank is necessary in certain situations. Expansion tanks are used in closed loop hot water systems to help maintain water pressure in the system by preventing excessive pressure buildup.
Expansion tanks work by providing a space for the air in the system to expand as the water is heated. If there is no expansion tank, water pressure can build up to dangerous levels which can cause damage to pipes and fittings.
In addition, expansion tanks also reduce the workload of the water heater by providing a space for the hot water to collect until it is needed, keeping the water heater from having to constantly heat the same water over and over again.
Furthermore, expansion tanks can help prolong the life of the water heater, as they will prevent the system from operating at maximum capacity and overheating the heater’s elements. Therefore, an expansion tank is necessary in certain situations, as it can help prevent pressure buildup and system damage, reduce the workload of the water heater, and prolong the life of the water heater.
Can I use SharkBite on water heater relief valve?
Yes, you can use SharkBite fittings on water heater relief valves. SharkBite fittings are a type of push-fit plumbing connection that can be used for hot and cold water supply lines, drain waste, and vent lines.
They are especially great for water heater relief valves since they require no soldering, clamps, or glue. When installing, you simply push the SharkBite fitting onto the pipe until it reaches the depth mark and ensure that it is fully seated.
Make sure you adhere to local codes and regulations when working with these types of fittings. Additionally, pressure test the lines after installing the fittings to ensure there are no leaks.