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Of the different types of water heaters that are on the market, most homeowners are most familiar with conventional storage water heaters. One of the reasons this type of water heater is so popular is because it’s been around since 1889. Homeowners have come to depend on this type of water heater, and for good reason.

As with any household product, however, storage water heaters come with both advantages and disadvantages.

Advantages of Conventional Storage Tank Water Heaters

Many people still prefer conventional heaters because of their versatility. For example, storage tank water heaters are fueled by a variety of sources, including propane, natural gas, and electricity, and some fuels may be more beneficial for some people. For homeowners who choose gas-powered water tank heaters, they will still have hot water in case of a power outage.

Besides versatility, here are a few more advantages of storage tank water heaters.

They Come in a Variety of Sizes

Storage water heaters hold anywhere from 30 to 80 gallons of hot water. When it comes to getting a storage tank water heater for the home, it’s easy to choose one that is the right size for a homeowner’s entire household.

Typically, a household that has one to two people can get by with a 30 to 40-gallon water heater. A family of six should opt for one that holds at least 60 gallons of hot water. Knowing the peak hour demand and the first hour rating (FHR) of the water heater also determines the best size for a household.

The Installation is Relatively Inexpensive

Professional plumbers have been working with storage tank water heaters for years, which means they have gotten good at installing them. Because they are simple to install and can be installed quickly, it costs less to install them than other types of water heaters.

According to calculations made by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), a storage tank water heater that holds 50 gallons of water costs about $865 to install. Compare this to a tankless water heater, which costs over $2,000 for the installation alone.

Disadvantages of Conventional Storage Tank Water Heaters

Unfortunately, storage tank water heaters are not as energy efficient as the newer types of water heaters, such as the tankless ones. In certain cases, tankless water heaters can be up to 34% more energy-efficient than conventional types.

Besides not being as energy-efficient as newer types of water heaters, here are a few more disadvantages of storage tank water heaters.

They Have a Shorter Lifespan

When a homeowner pays for an appliance, they want to get their money’s worth, which means it should last a long time. Unfortunately for storage tank water heaters, this might not always be the case.

On average, this type of water heater usually lasts between 8 to 12 years. Compare this with a tankless water heater, which can sometimes last for over 20 years.

They Can Be More Dangerous

Storage water heaters have also been known to explode. This can happen for a few different reasons, including:

  • Hard water begins to build up inside the tank
  • A faulty anode rod causes the tank to rust
  • Too much pressure builds up in the tank

Another hazard of storage tank water heaters is that a defective one can cause erratic water temperatures, which can increase the risk of burning the skin. When the skin gets exposed to water temperatures of 150 degrees for just two seconds, it can result in a third-degree burn.

As you can see, there are both advantages and disadvantages of conventional storage tank water heaters. If you need help deciding whether or not a storage tank water heater will meet the hot-water needs of your household, contact the professionals at Billy Bell Plumbing Inc.