What's The Best 30 Gallon Tank?

The Tank What's The Best 30 Gallon Tank?

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    Hey Everyone,

    I have a 10 year old electric water heater that’s probably about to puke. I’m quite sure the bottom element doesn’t work, since I just fully drained the tank and 1/3 to 1/2 of the water was very cold. I plan on disconnecting the whole tank, washing it out completely, and checking the anode early next month.

    I doubt it will last much longer though. I’ve been looking for a high quality 30 gallon tank to replace my 50 gallon, since I’ve been getting by with apparently a half of my current one working.

    But I can’t seem to find a 30 gallon (electric or propane) water heater anywhere with 3″ insulation and a 10 year warranty. I’ve seen 2″ ones with 6 year warranties, but I really want a better one.

    So my question is, does any manufacturer make a 30 gallon tank (either electric or propane) with 3″ of insulation and a 10 year warranty? 😕

    Randy Schuyler

    Think about a six-year with max insulation and adding an anode yourself. That is about the only difference we’ve ever been able to discover between a six-year and 12-year — an extra anode rod. Not better made, just another anode. So do it yourself.

    And I seem to remember seeing somebody who had three inches, but I can’t remember who. Maybe American. But I don’t know if that is offered in 30-gallon. In fact, I’d comparison shop between 30-gallon and 40-gallon because underuse notwithstanding, it might be a lot cheaper to get the latter. The 40-gallon is the ubiquitous size everybody sells and uses and thus, the margins on it tend to be razor-thin. A 30-gallon, while smaller, could actually cost a lot more than a 40.

    Randy Schuyler


    Thanks for the reply, Randy. Would you say that American generally makes high quality water heaters? What I’m really concerned about is energy efficiency.

    Speaking of which, my father read a Sears advertisement that claimed 50 gallon water heaters actually use less energy than 40 gallon ones. That sounds like a lot of baloney to me, because a smaller tank heats less water and there’s less to keep hot. I’m sure that’s a ploy to get people to buy a more expensive 50 gallon, but what’s your take on it?

    Larry Weingarten

    Hello: The energy factor number (EF) is what you’re looking for. The higher the number, the more efficiently the tank puts heat into the piping system. Smaller tanks usually have higher numbers as they have less surface area to lose hear from. It’s a balance between EF and the heater’s cost. Look into insulating any hot piping as well to make sure the heat that is put into the pipes gets to the fixtures.

    Yours, Larry

    ps. The claim about a bigger heater being more efficient sounds just like a claim 😛


    Check http://www.marathonheaters.com. Marathon makes a 30 with a lifetime warranty (residential) but I don’t know if it has 3″ insulation. EF 0.94

    Don’t know your location, but in Asheville, NC we order Marathons from http://www.chec.coop. They don’t normally stock the 30s but may be able to order one.


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