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Standard Hot Water Tank

Given I live alone and have very low hot water usage, some HVAC people recommend I get a well insulated standard electric tank over gas, given that standby loss is more important than cost of the source.

Does any of the following make any real difference?

- 9 year warranty with 2 ½ inch foam insulation and 1 anode rod. Or 12 year warranty with 3 inch foam insulation and 2 anode rods.

- Anode rod aluminum versus magnesium.

- Overheat protection in GE literature, not in the other brand's lit (Kenmore).

I can’t tell if Kenmore (A.O. Smith or State I heard) is a good deal or not. But GE (Rheme) at Home Depot seems no better in internet reviews. Brands like Bradford White are not available to the public.

I'm favoring Sears on its 9-year tank that offers a full 9 year warranty - parts, labor, replacement install if needed, but then I see a plastic valve at the photo bottom, not brass, so wonder if it is cheaply made.


  • ZmanZman Member Posts: 3,175
    What type?

    What do you have for a heater now?
    "If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough"
    Albert Einstein
  • Larry WeingartenLarry Weingarten Member Posts: 1,101

    Hello:  Questions that come to mind:

    1. Do you take tub baths?  If so, you'll want a bigger tank.

    2.  Would the tank live in conditioned space?  If so, thicker insulation may not be much benefit.

    3.  Do you have space cooling?  Thicker insulation on tank is then good!

    4.  More anode in tank means you need to service it less often. T&P should still be checked yearly.  Does that servicing frequency matter to you?

    Other things:  I prefer magnesium anodes over aluminum, mostly for health reasons.  All tanks have overheating protection, called a high limit.  Shop brand based on how well it's represented nearby.  Good warranty service or access to parts is important when the tank goes cold Friday afternoon.  Plastic drains are common and easily replaceable.

    Yours,  Larry
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