Can you ‘kill’ a standard water heater with a storage tank? The simple answer is: “Absolutely!” There are at least 5 ways that you can decrease the effective life of your water heater; in some cases, warranties can be declared null and void! Being aware of the most common problems can help extend the life of your water heater:
Most suppliers have a nifty little ‘calculator’ (algorithm that computes according to parameters entered) that can help determine exactly what size storage tank water heater will suit your needs. Usually, the algorithm will ask you how many occupants, bathrooms, and hot water appliances will be operating from the water heater. From the parameters entered, the correct BTU (British Thermal Units) and gallonage is determined. Alternatively, Burnaby Water Heater Suppliers can do the math for you.
An improperly sized storage tank water heater — especially on that is too small — will experience expansion and contraction from constant use. This can weaken the heater’s storage tank, eventually breaking the tank. Even with regular maintenance the tank cannot maintain the demands placed on it on a continual basis.
The sacrificial anode, at the top of most storage tank water heaters, is designed to draw rust-causing minerals from the water. By drawing the minerals to the anode, the tank walls are protected from rust — until the sacrificial anode is completely sacrificed. Sacrificial anodes are usually a steel rod wrapped in either magnesium or aluminum; charged, or powered anodes are also available. Charged or powered anodes do not wear like standard anodes.
Generally, a 6-year warranty indicates that your water heater storage tank has 1-anode and a 12-year warranted tank has 2-anodes. If you are heating softened water, the anodes will wear more quickly, and should be checked at least as often as you service the tank.
Scale, or sediment built up in the bottom of your water heater storage tank can void the warranty of your tank. When the scale builds unreasonably, it will insulate the bottom of the tank causing a 2-fold problem:
- Heat build up that can melt the protective glass lining
- Insulate the bottom of the tank from the sacrificial anode — allowing rust to develop after glass has melted
A very simple solution to scale build up is to drain a portion of the water out of the tank at least twice a year. It is advised to drain about 1/3 of the volume of water in the storage tank by attaching a garden hose to the bib at the bottom of the tank. Run the hose to a sink or drain and verify that water is running clear (free of sediment).
High Water Pressure
The pressure on the outlet of a hot water storage tank should range between 60 psi – 80 psi. Pressures in excess of 80 psi can damage piping and appliances in addition to placing undue stress on the storage tank. There are 2 potential solutions:
- Pressure reducing valve at the outlet of the tank
- Expansion tank at the outlet of the tank
The better solution is an expansion tank, as pressure reducing valves can fail. Additionally, the expansion tank guards against thermal expansion, which occurs when the water heater operates to maintain set point temperature without demand.
Should there be any corrosive chemicals (bleach, ammonia, acids, etc.) stored in close proximity to your water heater, the fumes from these corrosive products can be drawn in during combustion. If the air used to complete the combustion is corrosive, the flame will be corrosive. Solution: Never store corrosive chemicals close to any combustibles!