Tank water heaters heat and store hot water for domestic usage. Once all the hot water has been used up, it takes some time for the unit to heat the tank's full capacity. The rate at which the system heats water after depletion is known as the recovery rate, and it is calculated in litres per hour. During high-demand hours, the recovery time can determine how fast you access hot water again. Thus, when buying a tank water heater, observe these tips to increase the recovery rate and improve reliability.
Buy the right size water heater
The size of conventional tank water heaters affects their recovery rates. Larger water heaters have a high capacity, meaning they take longer to recover, while smaller units recover faster. When buying a water heater, find the right size to meet your household's demand.
Assess your hot water demand during peak hours. If everyone in your home takes a shower in the morning, you need a tank that won't run out of hot water quickly. However, don't choose an oversized tank, as it will continuously heat more water than you require, leading to increased energy consumption.
Invest in a high-recovery water heater
Instead of buying a conventional water heater whose recovery rate depends on its capacity, you can invest in a high-recovery hot water system. High-recovery water heaters are larger units that heat water faster than conventional units. They have labels showing the first-hour rating (FHR), which measures how fast the system heats the water. The higher the rating, the faster the unit recovers.
High-recovery water heaters also have more British Thermal Units (BTU's) than conventional systems, which translates into more heating power. Consequently, the heater takes fewer minutes to heat water than a conventional tank unit. Therefore, buy a hot water tank with more heating power for faster heating and improved convenience.
Insulate your water pipes
During cold weather, the water in the pipes loses heat to the cold surroundings. As the water enters the water heater, it forces the unit to work harder and longer to raise the water temperature to the pre-set temperature. For example, if water is delivered to the tank at eight degrees Celsius, it will take longer to heat than if it was at 15 degrees Celsius.
During winter, your system's recovery rate may suffer because of the low temperatures. You can mitigate this issue by insulating your cold water pipes. Insulation prevents heat loss to the outdoors and ensures that the water delivered to the water heater isn't too cold. Consequently, the system recovers quickly, leading to better efficiency.
Consider these factors to improve the recovery rate of your tank water heater. For professional input, consult a plumbing contractor.