Storage Tank Water Heaters and its Advantages

Storage Tank Water Heaters and its Advantages
November 22, 2012 Lorelie
storage tank water heaters

Storage tank water heaters are the most popular types of water heaters

The reason is because not only are they more affordable than other types of water heaters, but they are also very easy to install.  This means that you won’t have to spend much on labor cost when hiring professional service to install the unit for you.

Storage tank water heaters have the reputation of consuming a lot of energy, whether they are electric models or gas-fired models.  This poses the question on whether the initial savings you get from purchasing a tank-type model is all worth since you will be paying more on its operating cost.  The truth is this depends mostly on the model you are purchasing because there are model that are very efficient when it comes to using the energy they consume and not suffering from any unnecessary standby heat loss.  According to reviews made by ConsumerReports.org, they calculated that in a 20-year span that tankless units will not break-even the initial cost when compared to the savings that you can get in acquiring a storage tank unit.

Thanks to the internet, these days, you can find a lot of reviews on storage tank water heater brands.  According to surveys, the water heater brands that offer the most customer satisfaction are A.O. Smith, Bradford White, G.E., Maytag, Rheem, and Whirlpool.  Their units not only come in a variety of sizes and prices, but they also come with long warranty periods.  Experts mostly recommend getting units with 12 years of warranty though as the materials used for these units are much better.

If you have an old storage tank water heater unit that you may want to replace, the most cost efficient way would be to get a similar type of water heating unit that uses the same energy source.  This means if your old unit uses electricity, then you should acquire one that also uses electricity.  This way, the reinstallation of your new unit will not only be easy, but it also avoids any additional cost.  Since newer water heaters are equipped with far more insulation than older units, it would be wise to measure the available space first before purchasing a new unit to ensure that the new unit fits properly in the space the old unit was installed.  Should you be building a home from the ground up, it would be wise to consider getting a gas-fired storage tank water heater, particularly the high efficiency ones.  Although they are more expensive than normal gas-fired storage tank units, they can save you money on utility bills in the long run.  In addition, the tax credit you can get from Energy Star certified units can further help reduce its initial cost.

Based on reviews, a 40 gallon tank is ideal for two people, while a 50 gallon tank is recommended for a household with three to four people. Should a bathroom be of considerable distance to other bathrooms or to the water heater tank itself, it is recommended to have two water heaters, particularly a point-of-use tankless water heater on the farthest hot water tap or shower.  This is because the heat loss made in the water lines due to the distance can be considerable.  This is true even when the lines are insulated.  The tankless water heater helps to reheat the water to a certain degree users feel comfortable using.

According to water heater experts, if you have a storage tank water heating unit at home and want to ensure that it lasts a long time, they say that it is necessary that you equip your unit with a thermal expansion tank.  Basically, this is a smaller tank that gives a place for the expanded hot water to go.  The installation of such a small but effective device helps to prevent the wearing down of the main tank as well as the entire plumbing system due to heat expansion.  In fact, some areas make it a prerequisite to install a thermal expansion tank whenever a new storage tank water heating unit is installed.  Well, if it is meant to prolong the life of your water heating unit, then it is a good idea to install one.

Another method of prolonging the life of your water heating unit will be to simply adjust the heat settings accordingly.  If you set the temperature level of the unit at maximum levels, you will be wearing it down quickly, setting a stage for a potential equipment failure in the near future.  Manufacturers and experts recommend that you set the thermostat of your unit at 140° F.  This is because, according to OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration), 140° F is the temperature where the legionella bacteria fails to breed.  The legionella bacteria are what causes the Legionnaire’s Disease and it is said to breed on stored water.  The Legionnaires’ disease is an infection of the lungs in the form of pneumonia and can be acquired by the inhalation of the water mist.  During low levels of contamination, the chances of acquiring the disease are very small.  However, this cannot be said when there is a high concentration of the bacteria in your water system.  To prevent this from happening, the water in the storage tank needs to be kept hot enough to stop this organism from multiplying.  This is also the reason why you should not turn off your water heating unit if you will just be leaving your home for a day or two because the water inside the tank needs to be maintained hot enough.

Some of the problems attributed to storage tank units are leaks and flooding.  Most storage tank units are lined with either glass or porcelain along with an anode rod to prevent rusting.  The anode rod is often called the sacrificial rod because it attracts the rust onto itself instead of rust growing in the steel body.  Another problem common with storage tank units is the buildup of lime and scaling which decreases the efficiency of the water heating unit.  To prevent such buildup, it is recommended to flush your storage tank annually.

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