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Can a water heater thermal expansion tank be installed sideways/horizontally?
Tuesday, June 22, 2021
Most expansion tanks are designed to be installed vertically (stem up or stem down). You can install one sideways, but it will shorten the lifespan unless it is designed and specified by the manufacturer for horizontal installation. The tank shown above was not designed for horizontal installation and is connected to the hot water side of the piping, although installation to the cold water side is recommended.
Also, a horizontal tank will need to be supported by more than the connecting pipe to avoid putting stress on the stem. Here the water heater itself provides support—an unusual solution.
Also see our blog posts Are water heater expansion tanks required by code? and What is the little tank on top of the water heater for?
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