There are many considerations in buying or renting a hot water tank. Over the years substantial savings can be made if your unit is energy efficient. All hot water tanks have an energy rating that is regulated by the Canadian Gas Association (CGA). The type of tank you choose may also depend on what resources you have available in your area, such as gas, electricity or oil. Other factors in your decision include the expenses involved, to buy or rent, installation, maintenance, repairs and the cost of operating each type of tank.

Gas Hot Water Tanks…Your local gas company will provide a new home with the first 100 ft. of outside gas line free, after this, it’s $32.00/m or if you do your own trenching, $5.00/m. Indoor gas lines and standard installation is free for a rental tank, if purchased, then a charge by the contractor applies. The contractor is also responsible for any installation of hot and cold water pipes. In addition to the gas line you will need a gas meter. The gas line is free up to 6 ft. from the front corner of your home. If you require the meter to be placed farther back than this, the same fee applies as the gas line. The service department, at no charge, will arrange for an inspection of your installation. When the temperature of the water in the tank drops, the thermostat sensor ignites the burner and heats the water. The pressure then moves the water to where it is needed.

Electric Hot Water Tanks…Electrical service is usually already established in a home unless it is new construction. When your installation is inspected, your electric hot water tank will run off your current hydro meter and will not require separate billing. The operation of a electrical hot water tank is similar to gas, where if the temperature drops, the elements are activated to heat the water and deliver it to the appropriate hot water tap.

Oil Hot Water Tanks… An oil fuel contractor can install an oil hot water system at a quoted price with minimum piping at no charge. A fuel storage tank must be installed that contains the oil that is used. Typically, a 35 gal. tank is used and can be placed inside or outside the home. Quite often, people who have oil furnaces, rent or buy oil hot water tanks and use the same oil storage tank. Heating with oil is the process of converting the oil to a vapor through combustion. The oil/air mix is ignited at the burner beneath the hot water tank, heated water is then produced and transferred by pipes as required. There are flame retention burners in some oil hot water tanks that mix oil and air more completely, therefore less fuel is needed.

Typical Hot Water Tank Components

Power Vented– used on high efficiency hot water tanks. Does not require a chimney, vented through the wall & powered by a motor (fresh air in & expelled gas).

Conventional Vent-interior metal duct connected to a metal or masonry chimney, venting (fresh air in & expelled gas).

Release Valve-Valve and drain to discharge water to prevent pressure damage (above 210 degrees) to hot water tank.

Burner-a mechanical device to burn fuel to convert to heat. Magnesium Anode Rod-collects sulfur & calcium deposits from water for corrosion protection. Located inside all hot water tanks& usually lasts the life of the tank (avg.12 yrs)

Btu (British Thermal Unit) – The amount of heat that will raise one pound of water one degree Fahrenheit.

Hot water expands, rises and stays at the top of the tank under pressure. As hot water is drawn off the top of the tank (by the use of a hot water tap) the cold water inlet allows water in at the bottom of the tank. The thermostat sensor then detects a lower temperature in the water and ignites the burner to heat the water. This cycle continues as water is needed or the water temperature drops.

Hot Water Heating Tip

Lower the thermostat on your water heater. Factory settings may be set higher than your needs, especially if there are only 2 people in the home. Items like dishwashers and washing machines use a lot of hot water, therefore the presetting of 140 degrees may not be needed. If these appliances are not in your home you can turn the temperature down to 115-120 degrees and notice the savings.