I am needing to move the hot water heater into a space that is shorter than where it currently resides. It will have about six inches of clearance above the tank. So, due to this, I need to move the expansion tank. Can the tank be moved to be on the side of the hot water heater?

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Followup Questions:

Does the expansion tank have to be above the top of the hot water heater?

Also, the copper pipe connecting the expansion tank to the heater, is welded together. I'm not comfortable with my copper welding skills. Are there other options for making this connection?

Unfortunately, after looking it over, I am not going to have any room for the expansion tape to go on top of the hot water heater. Checkout the diagram I've posted below. The black lines is the wall. This is how, in my mind, I will set it up. Question, how should I secure the lines going up to the water heater and the expansion tank? Anything else I should think about?

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Do the vertical water lines need to be secured to anything? I could nail in a 2x4 to clip them to. For the expansion chamber, If I mount it horizontally on the side, do I just use some type of strap to take the weight off of it? Can it be strapped down directly to the floor joist?


Yes, but keep the can in the same orientation as it was (or research your particular model to confirm if it can be oriented differently).

Make sure the valves in the system are configured the same (e.g. the check valve).

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  • I agree , as long as it is on the inlet side it can be located any place from the tank to the incoming main with the check valves in the correct place as Jimmie states.+ – Ed Beal Apr 12 at 16:30
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    Is it just me or am I seeing galvanized nipples into the tank? I thought dis-similar metals were a no-no. I've always used brass nipples to connect to copper or brass. Maybe it's a dielectric fitting. Thoughts? – George Anderson Apr 12 at 16:37
  • Good catch @GeorgeAnderson, but I think I see labels on those nipples, indicating (perhaps) that they are the type that was once supplied with some heaters and are both dielectric and may have "energy saving" heat-trapping ball-checks in them (actually more trouble than they're worth except for their dielectric properties...) – Jimmy Fix-it Apr 12 at 18:18

thermal expansion tanks for water heaters can be placed in any orientation, as there is a flexible barrier between the water and pressurized air in the tank

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    Hi and welcome to Home Improvement. If you expand on your answer just a bit it will be better received, even if it is accurate – Ack Apr 15 at 19:14

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