How to buy the best water tank heater for your home. Explore the advantages, disadvantages and find the most popular sizes and manufacturers.
Tank water heaters are also known as storage tank type or cylinders. Gas water heaters with the storage tank are the most popular type for water heating in North America where 50-gallon capacity is the most used size.
With the available capacities from 20 gallons to over 100 gallons, water heater tanks are designed as the whole-house systems so they can supply more than one fixture at a time. Water storage tank heater is recommended for homes with the steady demands.
Tank of the heater is the place where hot water is stored and where the cold water enters. Incoming cold water is coming from the home plumbing through the inlet tube or dip tube to the lower part of the tank.
is heated either by the heating
elements or gas
burner and as becoming
hot, it rises up from where it is going to the hot water tap (once it
is open). Every gallon of hot water that exits the water tank heater is being
replaced by the cold water through the dip tube. The thermostat is what
signals the tank heater to start heating.
Tank water heaters are using gas, electricity and solar energy for heating. As opposed to the tankless
heaters, storage-tank type is built
very simple where the tank occupies most of the unit. Every WH, made of
the metal has the anode
rod, thermostat, dip tube, TPR valve
Gas powered storage tank heaters
have also the gas valve, burner
assembly, gas combustion chamber and the flue baffle (vent). FVIR
system is found on all today's water heaters, which protects from the
accidental fire of the flammable vapors. From the gas burner,
the tank and water stored inside, there is a flue tube that extracts
the gases out, either naturally (atmospheric vent units) or forced
Most of the gas water heaters are using the pilot light for
the main burner, while other more advance are using hot surface, for
Electric heaters are the simplest units, that utilize the upper and lower heating element for heating the water.
Solar heaters are tanks that store heated water (from solar panels) with the addition of the heating elements for the back-up heating.
Oil powered WH
In North America there are three the most popular and biggest
manufacturers of tank-type heaters:
Other manufacturers and brands such as:
are owned or build by Rheem, AO Smith or BW.
Buy the energy efficient water heater or Energy Star approved. The EF (energy efficient) has to be 0.67 or higher. EF is what indicates how efficiently the heat is transferred to the water. Condensing WHs have the highest EF which can be more than 0.9. High efficiency water heaters are usually equipped with the heat traps and have thicker insulation or R value. For the heaters with the lower efficiency, it is recommended to use insulation blanket.
Buy a heater with the larger or more than one anode rods as such units have better warranty and are protected from corrosion longer.
For the family of four to five, 50-gallon tank size is sufficient. Use the following instructions for sizing a water heater.
If it is needed, look for the high First Hour Delivery and recovery rate, and low stand-by heat loss.
Gas heaters are a good buy as they have higher First Hour Rating than the electrical ones so you might need smaller unit for your water heating needs than the electric.
Look for the tank-type heater with the self cleaning system as it automatically fights the sediment build-up problem; also green or low NOx burner, high recovery, high performance or high efficient models.
The First Hour Delivery and other info can be found on the Energy-Guide label.
Selecting the right water heater means enough hot water for
members, convenience and savings. This is what you should consider:
How big is your family?
How many applications (shower, dishwasher...) will be using
The usage pattern of your family members: frequent short or
and high volume draws.
Calculate the peak demand or the busiest one-hour usage period based on the numbers from below:
An average gallons for shower is 20, for shaving 2 gallons,
face washing 4 gallons, food preparation 5 gallons, automatic
dishwasher 14 and so on. So, if you have calculated that you need 50
gallons of hot water you would buy a 70-gallon water heater (70% is the
Tank type has lower upfront cost - unit and installation costs are lower.
Smaller burner and heating elements.
Cheaper venting system.
No electricity required.
Tank-type heater has to deal with the stand-by heat loss as the water is heated when not in use and as it is losing the energy through the outer surface.
Gas tank-type heater provide hot water even during the power outages.
They are free standing therefore occupying a valuable floor space. Dedicated room is needed.
How to fix or reduce water heater condensation. Condensation is usually considered as the leak... find out the reasons and symptoms...
How to flush hot water heater. Step by step instructions.
Step by step guide how to drain the heater.
Hot WH maintenance and care for the efficient water heating. Find out which elements have to be maintain and how often.How to remove the old WH; step by step guide. No need to call a plumber! Removing the old unit is DIY home project and is not hard.