hot water heater recomendation.


Hi we are looking to replace our hot water heater and were wondering what kind we should get. It needs to be a 40 gallon short model (up to around 32"). I noticed that some specs say steel glass lined tank and some list no information about the tank. Is there anything specifically that we should look for?
Thank you very much for any recommendations. Mihaela
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If longevity is a concern for you, consider doing some things that will prolong the life of any water heater such as:
1) Turning the thermostat down until the temperature is hot only enough to take a shower with no cold water input. Yes, your kitchen faucet will not be delivering scalding hot water, but how many of us mistakenly believe that is a necessity? The upside? A much longer lived water heater!
2) Remove the Aluminum sacrificial rod before installation, and wrap the connection threads with teflon tape. It typically looks like a pipe plug on the top of the unit and usually requires a 1 & 1/16" socket. Reattach with much less muscle than the factory used in the installation process so you'll be able to remove the thing about every three years to check the integrity of the rod without breaking the copper water lines that are attached to the unit. This is the magic bullet for water heater life: negative ions in the water will attack the aluminum/magnesium rod and corrode it, rather than the steel tank because those metals give themselves up more freely than iron. Clean the rod about every three years with a rotary wire brush, and when it becomes too decomposed to consider keeping, replace the rod. (MUCH cheaper than a water heater!)
3) Drain a few gallons from the tank through its water bib every few months to remove sediment that collects in the bottom of the tank, and your tank (especially a gas fired one) will last longer because water will not be heated through an insulating layer of crud, requiring more heat, higher fuel costs, and shorter tank life.
Follow the preceding steps and your heater will last much longer! Ignore them, and pay the price for your laziness/forgetfulness. Putting a white sticker on the tank for recording your maintenance steps, and you'll remember what you've done, and what you'll need to do.
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However, as a shower is around the 40C, this is a recipe for Legionnaires' Disease. You should keep any water storage vessel above 55C to kill off bacteria. This is reasonable for scale prevention. If you want 40C at the taps for safety reasons, then fit a thermostatic mixing valve at the outlet itself.
Quoting:
http://www.ewgli.org/public_info/publicinfo_legionella_control_guidelines_hoteliers.asp
| The bacteria, which also live naturally in the environment can live | and multiply in water at temperatures of 20C to 45C and high numbers | occur in inadequately maintained man-made water systems.
Christian.
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http://www.ewgli.org/public_info/publicinfo_legionella_control_guidelines_hoteliers.asp
Good points. I've done work in hospitals where the domestic hot water heaters are set at 46C. On a schedule, they are manually driven to 70C to kill off any living thing that might be liking the 46C. Scout
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Thank you very much for the answers. They are very useful. Will do :-).
Mihaela

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at
I don't think that would be allowed in the UK. The entire system must run at high temperature at all times, with, if necessary, thermostatic mixing valves providing 40C at the taps to avoid scalding, as there were a number of cases of elderly patients being killed by overly hot baths.
Christian.
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Yes, there is the rationale. The code states the max temp limit at the patient room; how that happens is up to the engineers. The systems I've mentioned are 1950's era. The danger in keeping water at this temp did not become apparent until the mid 1970's. The solution of scheduled temp rises came in response to the infamous Philadelphia tragedy. Many hospital systems produce a mass of very hot water and then temper it with a mixer, as you've suggested. This is much more convenient in some respects, as the storage tanks may be reduced considerably in size. Scout
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By the way, I saw a hospital in Philadelphia shut down because the mixing valve on a high temp system failed too many times. The inconsistent temps (spiked frequently) was of such concern to the JCAHO, that they gave the order to move the patients to another hospital. Scout
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