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Storage Tanks: Water Heaters

Water heaters are a household appliance that serves as a major convenience. Water heaters store up to 30-50 gallons of water, which is heated to a previously set temperature, then stored until you need to use it. Water in the tank is normally heated using natural gas or electricity. Water heater storage tanks can hold anywhere from 15-30 gallons of water and can last from 5-10 years depending on usage and installation type.

Water heater storage tanks come in all different shapes and sizes, but most have two basic types:

1) Slightly sloped bottom – The slightly sloped bottom allows the user access for draining purposes if needed. Water heater storage tanks with this style do not have an overflow pan under their burners so that water that has not been heated does not leak out.

2) Water heater storage tanks with bottom drain pans – Water heaters with bottom drain pans are meant to be drained if they’re low on water or have lost heating ability due to sediment buildup. Water tank storage tanks which have this style of pan allow the water to flow into the pan, at which point it can be drained by pulling a drain plug on the tank.

How Long Do Water Heater Storage Tanks Last?

Water heater storage tanks last for an average of 5-10 years depending on usage and installation type. Installation type includes how long your home’s piping system is, if you use natural gas or electricity, or if you use an electric model instead of gas. Usage depends on how large your household is and how many people use the water heater. Water heater usage also increases throughout the seasons as more showers and baths are needed in summer and winter is the season for home heating, meaning that increased usage leads to increased sediment buildup on your water tank storage tanks’ elements or burners. Water heaters should be drained every year before the heating season begins and flushed at least once per heating season (if you’re using natural gas) or every 3-4 months (if you will be using an electric model).

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