Tips for choosing hot water storage tanks

It is common for many to take our hot water storage tanks for granted, but realistically, they are one of the most important appliances in our homes. No matter if we’re doing the laundry, dishes, bathing, cleaning or cooking, we use ample amounts of hot water each day and, therefore, it gets all the more important for us to ensure that our hot water storage tanks are dependable, efficient and are operating at peak performance at all times.

Water heater technology has gained momentum and has traveled a fair distance over the last decade. It can be seen that they are getting more heavy-duty and efficient over the years. On average, our hot water storage tanks stand at about 20-40 per cent of the energy utilised in our homes, and so – buying the latest variant of hot water storage tanks is, by far, one of the most considerable energy-saving tips that can come handy in cost cutting on your monthly utility bills.

In general, water heaters come with warranties varying anything between 3 and 12 years, since that’s the mean lifespan of a typical hot water storage tank. However, heavy application or hard water can play a big factor in its longevity, and your water heater might get worn out sooner than later. So in case, your water heater is ageing out, it may be high time you consider an upgrade. With a wide range of water heaters available in different styles and categories in the market today, finding the right variant to keep pace with your budget and lifestyle has never been easier. 

In this post we’ll have a sneak peek at some of the most commonly used and widely sold water heater models to figure out what works for your specific needs.

Stainless steel hot water storage tanks

Stainless steel hot water storage tanks are manufactured from Duplex, 316 or 304 stainless steel, and the material is generally used for application where high corrosion resistance is required, such as in the marine industry. Duplex  stainless steel offers the best natural shield against corrosion and is almost maintenance free.

Due to its high resistance to corrosion and long durability, the 316 stainless steel or the similar model, 304, is used widely in home appliances such as fridges, dishwashers and kitchen sinks.

The material showcases a high degree of strength and fatigue resistance from stresses induced by pressure and temperature variation during service. These characteristics make 316 steel highly tough and durable.  The best quality stainless steel is Duplex and is becoming the first choice in Australia for a long term storage tank solution.

Vitreous enamel hot storage tanks

As carbon steels tend to corrode in constant contact with water or air, the surface of hot water storage tanks can have added protection by adding a layer of vitreous enamel to the carbon steel.

However, it is common for manufacturers to be unable to prepare the enamel layer properly. The enamel lining and steel tend to contract and expand at varying rates as the temperature in the water tank rises and falls during service. It can often result in the enamel becoming unstuck from the steel, which exposes the material to water and, therefore, corrosion. It is a common issue when the temperature of hot water is set too high.

The material that can be exposed to coating defects can be protected by using a “sacrificial anode” which helps extend the life of your hot water storage tank. These anodes, generally made with magnesium alloy, need frequent checkups and replacement after approximately every 5 to 7 years depending on the water quality.

With water having certain specific qualities, such as being very pure or very soft, is not ideal for use in this system since these properties of water generally render the anode ineffective.

Solar hot water tank

Solar-powered hot water storage tanks are also a preferred choice for most homes. Available in the standard sizes of 200, 300, 400 and 500 litre, solar hot water tanks can come with an electric backup with single or double heat exchangers.

When buying a hot water storage tank for your home, ask the manufacturer for applicable warranties. Most manufacturers of stainless steel storage tanks or solar hot water storage tanks provide long-term warranties since these appliances are generally robust and good to serve for years of hassle-free service without much maintenance or replaceable parts.