Diagnosing Hot Water Storage Tank Problems

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Your home?s hot water storage tank is necessary for sufficient hot water usage. The hot water storage tanks are what provide you with hot water for things like washing dishes, cooking, and taking a hot shower after a long day. However, problems with your hot water tank can lead to a lack of hot water. If you have ever run out of hot water during a quick shower, you probably identified that there was a problem of some sort with the water heater tank. Although many different problems can occur, it is important to understand the basics of the heat transfer for proper diagnosis.

Size of hot water storage tanks

Sometimes, running out of hot water is not actually a problem with your water tank, but it is simply not large enough for your water needs. Hot water storage tanks come in all sizes. If you have many people in the home, especially ones who take longer showers, it is very possible to run out of hot water. It takes a sufficient amount of time to properly heat one tank of water. Once that specific tank is used, more water must be heated. If you find that you are constantly running out of hot water during showers or washing cycles, you may need a larger water tank.

Types of hot water tanks

In addition to size, there are also different types of heat sources. Some hot water storage tanks, for example, take advantage of long heat transfer coils for heating purposes. Others rely on process fluids for heating. The very close proximity of process fluids within a diffusion bonded heat exchanger core creates an exceptionally high heat transfer rate with correspondingly high efficiencies (up to 98%) and allows close temperature approaches of up to 2oC. However, it is also possible to have problems with this type of more efficient heat transfer approach.

For the heat transfer to occur two fluids must be at different temperatures and they must come into thermal contact. Heat exchange involves convection in each fluid and conduction through the separating wall. Heat can flow only from hotter to cooler fluids, as per the second law of thermodynamics. When there is a problem with the heating transfer, it usually requires the services of a professional water tank handyman.

Water tank temperature settings

Many homeowners are also not aware that they do have some control over the specific settings of their hot water storage tanks. It is possible to have water get too hot, that you run the risk of burns. If your water is uncomfortable hot when turning on the hot water faucet, the setting may be too high. If your hot water, on the other hand, does not get hot enough for your preferences, it may be set too low. Fortunately, adjusting the hot water storage tank?s temperature settings is simple and can be completed without contacting a professional contractor.

It can be tricky, however, to find the perfect temperature. Many times, the manufacturer of your specific hot water storage tank will recommend an average temperature. It is best to use this as a starting point. Set the water tank to this degree and then adjust accordingly. Be sure to try out minimal differences to prevent burning or freezing the water. Even cooling the water too much can cause problems with the storage tank.

As technology continues to improve, so will heating property methods. In 2013 alone, the revenue of boiler and heat exchanger manufacturing in the U.S. ranged at about 7 billion U.S. dollars. Currently, the best way to store hot water for household purposes is with hot water storage tanks. Although problems do occasionally occur with these storage tanks, they are consistently being improved upon.

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