The essential role of the tank of a water heater is to be a water storage tank, and in this sense, to be constantly filled. The materials of manufacture of the tank are in particular steel, copper, plastic and composite.
Containing water, the tank is often protected from corrosion by enamel, baked, or by a mineral coating. Also, the weight of a container filled with water is not negligible; its installation requires special care, especially in wall or wall mounted tripod.
Which Tank To Choose?
The tank itself can be made from copper, which is particularly resistant to corrosion but is a thermal conductor, steel, stainless steel, or plastic. The steel tanks are usually covered with enamel (slip) mainly composed of silica. Besides the paint, the container can be covered with zinc and food resin, or thermoplastic materials.
Tanks of small capacity can be made of plastic. The tanks made of plastic resistant to pressure, they are indeed reserved for water heaters of low volumes.
The composite tank consists of synthetic materials reinforced with glass fibers. It is resistant to temperature and corrosion as effectively as the steel tank but has the advantage of being particularly light.
The tank is generally cylindrical or curvilinear with two flanks curved on both sides in the form of a cap. One of these funds (lower in the case of a vertical tank), has a base on which is the resistance and the thermostat. Two pipes pierce the shell, one short which allows the arrival of cold water, the long one which enables the departure to of hot water and whose point of drawing is always in the upper part of the tank.
The tank contains hot water but is always placed in a more relaxed environment. In this way, the tank continually loses calories in the atmosphere, which represents a loss of energy and a considerable financial loss. To limit this heat transfer, the tank is equipped with heat insulation, usually polyurethane foam highly insulating, which is injected between the tank and the jacket of the water heater.
A tank can be installed vertically, horizontally or on the ground. Attention, a water heater must be expressly installed in the position for which it was planned. Some water heaters can be installed vertically or horizontally, but they have been designed for. A tank with a capacity of less than 100L requires only one hanging bracket on the wall, while larger containers (up to 200L) require two. Water heaters above 200L cannot be installed in a wall position. This variety of sizes and installations makes it easy to adopt an electric water heater to environmental or space constraints.
A Vertical Or Horizontal Water Heater?
Even if both models exist, in case of hesitation, if the location allows it, always favor the installation of a vertical tank.
Indeed, a horizontal electric water heater, by its geometry, is much less efficient than a vertical model: the phenomenon of stratification of hot water, that is to say, formation of two layers distinct depending on the temperature of the water, is much less critical/ higher and on more extensive exchange surfaces (elongated). Mixtures are more essential with water entry turbulence, resulting in less hot water during racking compared to a vertical model.
For this reason, it is necessary to choose a horizontal tank only under the condition of facing constraints of space and installation, making it impossible to install a vertical tank.
Whether the gas water heater is instantaneous or storage, whether it uses natural gas or butane/propane, that it evacuates fumes by suction or chimney, the gas water heater is more economical than its electronic equivalent. Explanation of the production of hot water thanks to gas!
Gas heater: instantaneous hot water or accumulation
As its name suggests, the gas water heater produces hot water by burning gas, usually town gas (or natural gas) supplied by your municipality’s network. Although its price keeps increasing in recent years, its use remains competitive. The gas can also be butane or propane, more expensive, available in bottles or tanks. By default, gas water heaters are most often proposed in town gas version, but the use of another gas causes only a few changes.
Two types of gas water heaters are distinguished, the instantaneous water heater and the storage water heater.
Instantaneous water heater
The instantaneous water heater produces hot water directly; there is no storage (no balloon).
Accumulation water heater
The storage water heater is based on a storage tank, the equivalent of the electric water heater with a burner instead of the electric heater.
Some gas boilers use a mini-flask of 2 to 3 liters maintained at high temperature. It allows us to have hot water more quickly and to ensure better temperature homogeneity.
These boilers with hot water micro storage are a good compromise between the production of instant hot water and storage in a balloon.
The advantages of an instantaneous gas water heater
Operation of an instant water heater
The principle of the instantaneous water heater is simple. The opening of a tap causes the production of hot water. Cold water travels a coil heated by a burner whose ignition is controlled by a thermostat.
Advantage of an instantaneous water heater
The main advantage is that the production of hot water is unlimited in time. Another advantage is that, due to the lack of storage, the water heater occupies very little space and can be fixed, for example, in a closet. But the homogeneity of the water temperature is difficult to obtain, especially if several points are drawing hot water at the same time.
The flow rate of an instantaneous water heater
The flow rates announced by manufacturers range from a few liters of hot water per minute to 30 liters. Pay close attention to the conditions of obtaining. These values generally concern water having gained 25 calories (K) so having reached a temperature close to 40 ° C, which is the temperature at the outlet of the tap. For a temperature increase of 50 K (hot water at 60/65 ° C), divide the flows by two. For example, it is estimated that a family of 5 must have a water heater with a flow rate of fifteen liters per minute. If you are a fan of hot baths, turn to the hot-tubs whose flows are particularly important (> 10 l / min).
If you have a huge family and your hot water needs are large (several bathrooms ), choose a water heater with a minimum of 150 liters of water.
If your home only has 2 to 3 people and your needs are limited (1 bathroom), consider micro-accumulation.
And so that there is no water in the gas, do not neglect the regular maintenance!