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How Tank Water Heaters Work

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If you’re looking for a new water heater for your home, it’s best to consider all the advantages of both tank water heaters and tankless water heaters. There are costs and benefits associated with each that you’ll want to consider before purchasing a new water heater.

Tank water heaters are the most common water heater option in the US. Below we have included a guide on how to tank water heaters function and what the advantages are to using them:

How Tank Water Heaters Work

Hot water tanks work by heating up water and then storing it in its tank. The tank will store the hot water until it needs to be used. When a water tap or appliance that requires hot water is turned on, the tank supplies the stored water. Tank water heaters heat water using either gas power or an electrical system.

Tank Water Heater Safety & Maintenance

One thing to consider is that tank water heaters require safety features including valves that open when the water pressure or temperature inside the tank is too high. Tank water heaters, if overpressurized or overheated, can pose dangers such as a tank rupture. On the other hand, tankless water heaters do not require these safety features as there is no tank, posing less danger overall.

Regular maintenance is also required on a tank water heater in order to ensure it stays functional for as long as possible. It’s recommended that the thermostat be kept at a safe temperature and that sediment is flushed out from the tank annually. The pressure relief valve should be tested regularly too.

Usage Capacity of Tank Water Heaters

If you decide to invest in a new tank water heater, you’ll need to consider its capacity in relation to your usage needs. If you’re living by yourself, your hot water usage needs, and therefore your capacity requirements will be less than for a family of four, for example.

Medium- to large-sized water heaters usually have a capacity of up to 80 gallons and are suitable for families of four people or more. For households with fewer than four people, small tank water heaters are usually adequate and have a capacity of 30-60 gallons.

One capacity benefit to tank heaters over tankless ones is that tankless heaters often have greater limits when it comes to simultaneous usage. Running a hot bath and the dishwasher at the time would push a tankless heater to its capacity, while a medium- or large-sized tank heater would likely be able to easily produce enough hot water for a few simultaneous uses.

Choosing a Tank Water Heater

The type of heater that is right for you will depend on your specific needs and priorities. For some people, it’ll be much easier and more cost-effective to choose a tank water heater based on a professional recommendation rather than shopping for one on their own. Before you make a water heater purchase, be sure to find out as much as possible about what the water heater offers, it's capacity and lifespan, and how it might function in your home.

Here's why you may wish to consider a tank water heater:

  • Affordable upfront cost. One of the things people like most about tank water heaters is their limited upfront costs. Compared to other options such as tankless water heaters, tank water heaters are very affordable to set up and have installed in your home. While tankless water heaters do save more money in the long run based on energy efficiency, tank water heaters are a very common, well-functioning option for families and are often the best choice for those who would prefer lower upfront costs.

  • Easy installation. It’s relatively quick and easy to get a new tank water heater installed. You just need to make sure that you hire a qualified and trustworthy professional to install it. You should always ask what the cost of the installation will be before the service is performed.

  • Capacity. Tank water heaters have been a reliable option for many households for several years. Tankless water heaters are more energy-efficient, but tank water heaters can offer greater capacity for hot water during simultaneous uses. If you want a water heater that has a cheaper installation price, predictable functionality, and a greater flow rate, a tank water heater is a good choice.

If you’re interested in learning more about whether a tank water heater is a right option for your home, contact The Water Heater Company today.

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