How to Use a Portable Expansion Tank

What You'll Need
Portable Expansion tank

A portable expansion tank can provide a little bit of relief to your hot water systems without you having to install an entire tank. If the tank is portable, you can add it and take it away as you require, making it much more practical for use within a regular domestic situation. If you have friends staying, or need to use an expansion tank during the winter months, a portable version means that you will be able to get the best from your hot water system without having the cost of an additional tank during times when it is not needed. Using a portable expansion tank is not very difficult, and can be done by anyone with a few basic home improvement skills.

Step 1 - Assessing the Fitting

If you have had a portable extension tank before, then you will probably still have the fittings installed from the last time you used it. If not, then you will have to make some holes in your tank. Most expansion tanks are designed to be added to the tank using a saddle fitting. This fitting means that you will not need to solder the tank into position - perfect when your tank is portable, and you would want to remove it at the end of the period. If you have a series of straps and connectors with your tank, then this can be added to your hot water tank using a saddle fitting.

Step 2 - Making the Hole

Before you proceed any further, you will need to turn off your water at the mains, and then run a hot water tap until all the water is emptied out of your main tank. Then, drill a small hole in your hot water inlet (although some modern expansion tanks can also be fitted to the cold inlet pipe). Drill a small hole in the pipe, and attach a pipe into this hole. Apply a clamp so that the hole and pipe attachment is in the same position as the tank inlet pipe.

Step 3 - Attaching the Tank

Screw the pipe tightly into the hole using your wrench, and then add a pipe which will connect to the extension tank's inlet pipe. Attach clamps, or bolts, to these pipes to ensure that water doesn't leak out. Take your pipe, and place it at the inlet pipe's entrance. With a portable extension tank you will probably find a small bolt at the top which can be used to hold your connector pipe in position. Attach firmly and then use some duct tape to cover over each of the joins. Turn the water back on, and check the system for leaks.

Step 4 - Using the Tank

Once your tank is attached, you can proceed to use your tank as an extension to the normal hot water system. Using the tank will add a little bit more coolant to the hot water system, but you should not be concerned, as it is a trifling amount. The extension tank will only operate when the main body tank is overwhelmed, or if it is under pressure.