Storage Water Heater

It is really hard to take cold showers in the morning or at night, especially if it is winter. That is why water heaters are a primary staple in any household. But what exactly is a storage tank water heater, how does it work, is it the right type of water heater for my home?

Let’s all find out the answer together!

Storage tank water heaters are the most popular and conventional type of water heater. It comes in various sizes, capacity, and can be operated by gas, electricity, and solar. 

Usually, a storage water tank can hold from 20 to 80 gallons of hot water at a given time. When you need a hot and steamy shower, your hot water is always ready to go.

Pros and Cons

There are various advantages and disadvantages of storage tank water heaters, here are a few:

Pros

  • \Low upfront and installation costs
Depending on the capacity and type of storage tank water heaters you choose, the initial buying cost might range from $300 to $600 or more if you want larger capacity. The installation for this type of heater is fairly easy, so you won’t need to pay a lot. Just make sure to go to professional installers.

For a household with a tight budget, storage tank water heaters are something you should definitely look into.

  • \Affordable maintenance, repair, and replacement
This type of water heater features a pretty straightforward and simple mechanism to produce hot water. It has a heating element which heats up the water inside the tank and other parts. Maintenance, water heater repair, and replacement is way easier and cheaper compared to tankless water heaters.
  • \Easy to operate
Storage tank water heaters are very easy to use and operate.
  • \Choose from various power sources
You can have the option of choosing from propane gas, natural gas, electricity, or solar when it comes to the power source of your storage tank water heaters.

In choosing, it is best to ask a professional. He or she will ask and check the structure — electric circuitry and gas line — in your home and give proper advice on which one is the cheapest and more beneficial for your household and your home.

  • \Enough hot water supply
There is a lot of water tank capacity and size when it comes to your tank water heater. You can choose from 20 to 80 gallons capacity. With this much hot water storage, it can accommodate at least 5 members in 1 household even if you shower at the same time.

However, keep in mind that it takes a few minutes to heat all the water inside the tank.

  • \Hot water on demand (even when there is power outage)
The storage tank in your basement is filled with hot water. It is just waiting to be used. When you turn your showers on, hot water will run through your pipes into your shower head. This is really beneficial especially during power outages.

However, you need to turn off your water supply. Why? Because cold water will automatically enter your storage tank water heater when the water level is reduced. Cold water will be mixed into your hot water, resulting in a lukewarm or worst cold water.

  • \Energy Star Certified

Study shows, the average hot water used in any Canadian household is 75 liters on a daily basis. And using water heaters, whatever type they might be, will cost a few bucks. But don’t worry, a lot of new storage tank water heaters are Energy Star certified. So, it is possible for you to save energy and money while using your storage tank water heaters.

Cons

  • \Higher utility bills
Tank-style water heaters usually consume electricity and gas even on standby. The water inside the tank is heater then reheated multiple times until you turn on your faucets and showers.

Maybe you noticed the increase in your electricity or gas bills during winter. The cold temperature cools down the water inside the tank faster, needing reheating more often compared to summer.

  • \Inflexible installation
You will need a large space, depending on the size, for hot water tank installation. In addition to the space the tank needs, it can’t also be installed away or outside the house. Usually, this type of water heater is installed in the basement area.
  • \Takes a lot of space
Storage tank water heaters usually are big and bulky in size. It will take a lot of space in your basement or laundry area.
  • \Short lifespan
The usual lifespan of a tank-style water heater ranges from 10 to 15 years. Just like any appliance or equipment, the life expectancy depends on how well you maintain it, that includes your water heaters.
  • \Limited supply of how water
When choosing the storage tank water heater, it is best to take into consideration the number of people in your household. Call your trusted professionals and ask them how much capacity of tank you need in order to supply your whole household with hot water. If your water tank capacity is less than the advised amount, it won’t be able to keep up with the demand.

Keep in mind, the amount of hot water is limited to the capacity of your tank. If your tank’s capacity is less than the advised capacity for your whole household, there will be chances when your family members will be shocked with cold water while showering.

  • \Energy wastage
Storage tank water heaters have this heating cycle. No matter how energy-efficient your water heaters are, they still consume a lot of energy. The unit will continuously heat and reheat the water inside the tank to achieve the preset temperature. Yes, even though they are not being used.

How does a Storage Tank water heater work?

Whatever your power source for your storage tank water heater is, the main process is still the same. Here is what happens inside the tank to help you visualize what is happening inside:

  • \Cold water enters the tank through the water pipes leading to the bottom part of the tank.
  • \Cold water is heated at the bottom where a burner (for gas powered heaters) or a heating element (for electric powered heaters) is located.
  • \The next step is pure science, hot water rises. (Try putting hot water on a bucket with cold water in it. Don’t mix the water. Put your hands all the way inside the bucket. Notice the changes in temperature. You can feel the hot water at the top part and the cold water at the bottom. That is what happens inside the storage tank water heater.)
  • \A smaller pipe is located at the top part of the tank where hot water is carried to the pipes leading to the faucet and shower.
  • \Water keeps entering to maintain a certain level of water inside the tank.
  • \The water inside the tank keeps on being reheated to achieve a certain preset temperature until the hot water is used.

Electric Tank Water Heater

As the name suggests, this type of storage tank water heater is powered by electricity. When it comes to installation, electric tank water heaters are more flexible and easy to install because they don’t require any venting. That being said, a lot of house owners still go for the traditional gas powered options because of the running cost. Electric units consume a lot of electricity, depending on the utility cost in your area, this type might be inconvenient.

Power-vented Gas Tank Water Heater

The main selling point of the power-vented gas tank water heater is its flexibility. Inside the tank, there is a motorized blower which pushes the exhaust gases through the exhaust pipes. This pipe can be located almost anywhere, if you install a horizontal pipe, in the house making it more flexible and convenient compared to conventional storage tank water heaters. 

Additionally, this type of storage tank water heater decreases the potential of any backdraft from happening. This is because of the built-in exhaust system which pushes the exhaust gas out of your water heater.

Conventional Gas Tank Water Heater

This type of storage tank water heater is more inflexible compared to your power-vented. It requires a very specific vertical venting through the house roof or chimney. This vent is located at the top part of the tank where exhaust gases pass through, naturally. 

When installing the conventional gas tank water heater, it needs to be close to the vertical vents limiting the location of your storage tank.

FortisBC Rebates

FortisBC is offering $200 worth of rebates if you choose to replace your current water heater with a more efficient Energy Star natural gas water heater. However, there are requirements you need to apply for eligibility. Here are the following requirements:

  • \You must be a FortisBC natural gas customer with a valid FortisBC natural gas account and/or a residential FortisBC account holder or a Grand Forks, Nelson Hydro, Penticton, or Summerland municipality electricity account holder.
  • \Your home must have electricity, oil, natural gas, or propane as its primary fuel source. If you are using wood or any other solid fossil fuel to heat your home, you are not qualified.
  • \Water heater should be installed by a professional and licensed contractor like MidCity Plumbers.
  • \Your home must be a year-round primary residence for at least 12 months.

If you met all the needed requirements, you can now proceed with submitting your application. Make sure to send the application within 6 months after the paid invoice.

Here are the rebates you can enjoy if you replace your water heaters with Energy Star natural gas water heater:

Water heaters

ENERGY STAR® Storage Tank Water Heaters

Rebates

$200

Efficiency

Good

Lifespan

10 to 13 years