How to buy the best water tank heater for your home? Explore the advantages, disadvantages and find the most popular sizes and manufacturers of the hot water tanks.
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.
he storage tank of the heater is the place where hot water is stored and where the cold water enters for heating. 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 it is 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 unit, made
the metal, has the anode
rod, thermostat, dip tube, TPR valve
Gas powered storage tank heaters
have also the gas valve,
assembly, gas combustion chamber and the flue baffle (vent). The FVIR
system is found on all today's water heaters, and it 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
(power vent units).
Most of the gas water heaters are using the pilot light for
the main burner, while other more advanced are using the hot surface,
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 backup heating.
Buy the energy efficient water heater or Energy Star approved. The EF (energy factor) has to be 0.67 or higher. EF is what indicates how efficiently the heat is transferred to the water. Condensing units 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 and 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 a 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 standby heat loss.
Gas heaters are a good buy as they have higher First Hour Rating than the electrical ones so you might need a 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 the whole household, convenience, comfort, and savings. This is what you should consider:
How big is your family?
How many applications (shower, dishwasher...) will be using hot water?
The usage pattern of your family members: frequent short or high-flow and high volume draws.
Calculate the peak demand or the busiest one-hour usage period based on the numbers from below:
Average gallons for the shower is 20, for shaving 2 gallons,
hands and 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
The tank type has lower upfront cost - unit and installation costs are lower
Smaller burner and heating elements
Cheaper venting system
No electricity required
The tank-type heater has to deal with the standby heat loss as the water is heated when not in use and as it is losing the energy through the outer surface.
A gas tank-type heater provides hot water even during the power outages.
They are free-standing, therefore, occupying a valuable floor space. The dedicated room is needed.
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