5 Hot Water Tank Facts You Need To Know

5 Hot Water Tank Facts

Understanding your home’s mechanical room

Nobody really thinks about a hot water tank, that is… until it breaks. Your every day life is filled with things that just sort of work without you thinking about it – like your heart. They run behind the scenes until something is noticeably wrong. In the case of your hot water tank, you turn on a tap, you run a load of laundry, you have a bath, and you rarely acknowledge the convenience. But one day, when you hop in the shower, that shower will be cold and that is the day you remember to check the water heater. Here are a few hot water tank facts that may help you out when this happens.


How to find a water tank’s expiry date

Each water tank make and model has a different coding system. However, the one thing they have in common is that you can determine their age by the numbers and letters used in the serial number. Google “{company} water tank expiry code” and it should bring you to a description for your specific product. Here it will tell you what year each letter correlates with, as well as the month. With this information you should also be able to determine if the hot water tank is still under warranty.


For example, in the example below, the water tank shown was manufactured in August of 2007. If it has a 10 year warranty you are in luck.

Bradford White Water Heaters code their products as so:

find-model-and-serial-numberWater Heater Code

Note: The average water heater should last you about 10-13 years if maintained properly.


Rust and Sediment

Sediment builds up at the bottom of the tank

Because the water that comes through our city pipes is not distilled, there are large amounts of minerals and chemicals that come along with it. This water is pushed from the reservoir, through underground pipes, into your home, and ends in your hot water tank. Here it can sit for a long period of time and the minerals will eventually start to settle at the bottom. These sediment deposits do not largely effect the end user because hot water is taken from the top of the tank. However, if you begin to notice that your heater is taking longer than usual to produce hot water, or you do start to notice rust, it is a good time to call your service provider.




Maintenance involves draining your tank every 3 months

Not many home owners know this, but you are actually supposed to drain your hot water tank in its entirety every 3 months. This helps with energy efficiency and also drains the sediment deposits that were previous discussed. Proper maintenance can extent the life of your water heater by years and a full drain is the easiest and most effective way to do so. If you are not comfortable draining your hot water tank alone, hire a Calgary plumber to help you – at least the first time.  Who To Call has several quality plumbers available to help out.  Post Your Project to find them.




25% of your energy bill is heating water

Think about it. How much do you turn on your tap? How about the faucet for your bathtub or shower? And now think about the amount of water used for a load of laundry or a cycle of your dishwasher. It starts to become understandable that 25% of your energy bill goes towards hot water. This then highlights the importance of a high-efficiency water heater and choosing to wash your darks on the cold setting.




Tankless water heaters last longer

Tankless water heaters last 18-20 years. That is 5-10 years longer than their tank counterparts at 10-13 years. If you have ever tried to carry a hot water tank down a flight of stairs this 5-10 years will certainly seem worth it. However, one misconception about tankless water heaters is their heating speed. It is a myth that tankless heaters are able to instantly boil, and therefore hot water is not as instant as that which comes from a tank. If the life expectancy of a tankless heater excites you but waiting for your shower to get warm doesn’t seem worth it, talk to your plumber about a hot water circulation system. It could be the best of both worlds.




Alana Kitchen
Alana Kitchen
Alana Kitchen, founder of Who To Call Inc. Taking care of a house with three boys I always needed a good drywaller on speed dial. When I moved to Calgary I quickly discovered it was an Olympic sport to find home service businesses that provided the quality service and advice I was looking for. This experience inspired Who To Call – a website dedicated to helping Calgarians find quality home service repair companies. Sign up to post your project and find quality companies today!
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