What I'm Seeing Now

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This Expansion Tank Is Probably Too Heavy For The Plumbing

This expansion tank is probably too heavy for the plumbing.

This brand new house is fitted with the plastic CPVC plumbing.

It's fine material, when installed right, and has been used around here in residential construction for about 20 years.

But, it is plastic.  It does not have the same strength as does copper.

Being plastic it does not like to have air in the pipes which can create a hammer effect.

But also, when it gets hot and expands too much pressure can be put on the system.

So an expansion tank is installed to help with those two possibilities.

The expansion tank in the photo obviously has a lot of water in it as it is bending down the plumbing it is resting on.

Over time that will not bode well for the plumbing.  There are three joints within inches of where it attaches to the horizontal tubing below and any of those could crack and spring a leak in short order.

My recommendation:  that tank needs to be lifted a bit and supported to prevent its pushing downward onto the plumbing below, which right now is holding the entirety of the weight.   We'll see what happens.  Better to handle this now than a flood in the future!  A break in plumbing that size would fill the basement quickly!   The old motto:  better proactive than reactive works very well here.

 

 

Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC  

Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia.

Office (703) 330-6388   Cell (703) 585-7560

www.jaymarinspect.com


Comment balloon 10 commentsJay Markanich • April 11 2017 10:26AM

Comments

I dont see the whole thing but shouldn't it have metal straps holding it up?

Posted by Paul Antonelli, Broker Owner; Antonelli Realty (Antonelli Realty) over 1 year ago

Yes, proactive rather than reactive can be a much smarter move. And cheaper also!

Posted by Kat Palmiotti, The House Kat (Grand Lux Realty, Monroe NY, 914-419-0270, kat@thehousekat.com) over 1 year ago

Paul - I was featuring the sag in the tubing for the buyer so he could focus on it.

Kat - the best policy, for sure!  On inspections I try to anticipate things, and seeing the downward bend led me to anticipate!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 1 year ago

Good mornig Jay. Did you chuckle at first glance? Maybe a quick thought about not being able to fix stupidity rang in your head about the installer? Enjoy your day!

Posted by Wayne Martin, Real Estate Broker - Retired (Wayne M Martin) over 1 year ago

I have never seen an expansion tank connected to CPVC or even PVC. Is it close to the water heater, I don't see one in the pic...

Posted by Fred Hernden, CMI, Albuquerque area Master Inspector (Superior Home Inspections - Greater Albuquerque Area) over 1 year ago

Wayne - gravity and time have a way of working on things.  And this is no exception.  I am trying to think ahead.

Fred - there were two tankless WHs directly over the expansion tank.  Typically I see the expansion tank installed vertically over the water heater.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 1 year ago

That tank looks like it is ready to blow at any second.  It amazes me the shoddy workmanship you discover on a regular basis.

Posted by Stephen Weakley (Nationwide Mortgage Services) over 1 year ago

To me this is just plain no think, Stephen.  One has to look ahead.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 1 year ago

Jay Markanich We rarely see CPVC distribution piping here. Funny how regional some of these things are.

Posted by Donald Hester, NCW Home Inspections, LLC (NCW Home Inspections, LLC) over 1 year ago

And I rarely see PEX out here, Don!  And when I do see PEX I say the installer may have come here from the west.  Only to find out later that I was correct!

CPVC is used almost everywhere these days, here anyway.  And this house sold for $3M, so the plastic plumbing wasn't to cheap out during construction.

What they use is FlowGuard Gold, and have for about 20 years.  It is nothing like the polybuteylene that flamed out in the 90s.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 1 year ago

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