Fuel Type: Traditional tank water heaters can be electric, natural gas or propane (L.P.)
Capacity: The amount of hot water a traditional tank water heater produces and the amount of time it takes to recharge will depend on the make, model and size of the water heater. Tank water heater sizes range from 30 to 120 gallons.
When replacing a traditional tank water heater consumers should consider the following:
- First Hour Rating – This is how much hot water the heater will deliver in 60 minutes.
- Usable Storage – This is the percent of hot water that can be drawn from the tank before the temperature drops to a point that it is no longer considered hot.
- Recovery Capacity This is the measure of how quickly the heater can produce more hot water once the stored water has been used. It is measured in gallons per hour raised 100 degrees F at a given thermal efficiency and BTU per hour input.
Efficiency/Operating Costs: Traditional gas tank water heaters carry an Energy Factor rating, also known as an EF rating, of 0.58 to 0.62 and will use up to 14% of your home’s total energy costs. Electric tank water heaters are somewhat more efficient than gas or propane water heaters, but take longer to heat the water. Their EF rating is usually between 0.85 and 0.94. Maintenance and repair costs over time will increase the operating costs of traditional tank water heaters.
Installation Cost: Installation of a traditional tank water heater can be much more cost effective than that of a hybrid or tankless water heater. In many applications the installation of multiple safety features are required to meet state and local plumbing code. Cost of code upgrades, can in some circumstances, add significantly to the installation of cost of a traditional tank water heater.
Safety: State and local plumbing codes have been put into place to ensure consumer’s safety and prevent premature product failure. Our plumbing experts at Michael’s Plumbing Service abide by all state and local building codes. All water heater installations require the installation of a thermal expansion device. All gas water heater installations require a gas flex line, gas valve and drip leg. Each city or county may have additional code requirements. The experts at Michael’s Plumbing Service will install your new water heater correctly and efficiency, ensuring it meets all state and local plumbing and gas codes.
Life Span/Warranty: Over the last 20 years or so, water heater manufactures have had to cut production cost and use alternate materials in the manufacturing of their products. Water heaters used to last 15 to 20 years, but According to the Department of Energy, the average life expectancy of traditional steel tank water heaters are less than 10 years. This means that most water heaters made today will not last much longer than their warranty.
Most steel tank water heaters we see have only lasted 6-8 years, 9-12 if they were “a good one”. Regular maintenance and proper installation of all safety devices are a must to get the most out of your investment.
Environmental Benefits: Traditional tank water heaters are not the most environmentally friendly product available. Due to their lower energy factor ratings, most traditional tank water heaters do not qualify for the same energy saving rebates that tankless and hybrid water heaters offer.
Michael’s Plumbing Service (770) 704-1915