Plumbing @

Water Heater Information

The typical water heater is usually a round tank with a heat source that heats water from the incoming water supply and also maintains and stores the heated water until it is needed. Most water heaters have a 40 to 50 gallon glass-lined steel tank. The heating source can be either natural gas, propane, oil or electricity. The life expectancy of the average water heater is 8 to 12 years. Other types of hot water systems are: tank-less (coil) systems that uses a boiler to heat the water on demand; high efficiency gas systems; and combination systems that are tied into a gas furnaces or boilers to take advantage of the additional heat source.

waterheater (12K) Basic Components
All water heaters share the following basic components:
Cold Water Inlet Pipe
Cold Water Control Valve
Cold Water Dip Tube
Hot Water Outlet Pipe
Anti-Corrosion or Sacrificial Anode
Drain Valve
Temperature/Pressure Relief Valve
Discharge Tube

Water Heater Safety

The following are general safety and installation requirements for a standard water heater.
In some locations, water heaters must be mechanically secured (i.e. earthquake straps) to prevent the system from being dislodged.
Gas or oil-fired water heaters should not be located in sleeping areas.
Heaters are generally set to 120 F to help prevent accidental scalding.
Require properly installed temperature and pressure relief valve and discharge tube.

Recovery Rate
Recovery rate is a measure of the number of gallons water that can be heated (from approximately 50 F) to 100 F in one hour. The faster the recovery rate, the more water can be used without running out of hot water. Generally, gas-fired systems create the most heat and have the fastest recovery rate followed by electric systems. Since fuel-fired heaters have a higher recovery rate, a large tank may not always be needed. Conversely, larger tanks that hold more usable hot water, do not require a faster recovery rate and can be sufficient for intermittent use. Either way, when choosing a water heater, select one with an appropriate capacity and recovery rate to match the daily hot water demands of the home.

Newer heaters do not require and actually have warnings posted not to add an insulation blanket.

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