Site Map for The Basics and Commercial Installations

The Basics: Longevity and Preventive Maintenance — If you want to know how your water water heater is made and what factors affect its longevity, start here. Topics:

The Inside Story — How a tank is made, why it breaks.

What Kills Water Heaters — Usually it’s rust that kills water heaters, but neglect claims its share, as can hidden pressure problems.

Anodes — The hidden ingredient — that you can control — that determines how long a water heater lasts.

Anode Buying Guide — We tell you what anode your water heater has and what anode you need for longevity or odor.

Passivation — Anodes “go to sleep” occasionally, but nobody is certain why

Powered Anodes, Softeners and Smelly Water — A different kind of anode does a superior job of protecting water heaters in softened water while solving smelly water situations.

Sediment — It dissolves out of hard water, settling into the bottom of the heater, where it makes scary noises, harms the tank bottom and burns out electric elements and recirculation pumps.

Water Pressure Issues — Too-high line pressure or thermal expansion spikes are hidden killers of water heaters that most people aren’t aware of. How to test for the problem and resolve it.

Safety — Your water heater may not be as meek and mild as you think.

Emergency Preparedness and Water Heaters — How to ensure that you can get to the water stored in your heater if disaster strikes.

Tankless Water Heaters — Instantaneous water heaters sound like a big improvement over tank-type heaters. But are they?

Plumbing Connectors — There are several ways to connect a water heater to its plumbing. Some are better than others.

Temperature/Pressure Relief Valves — Every water heater has one, but most people ignore them. To their peril.

Drain Valves — Every heater has one of these, too, but most never get used. If they ARE used, often they are troublesome.

Choosing a Water Heater — — We can guide you, and parts of this section are meant to do just that, but there are good reasons why there is no simple answer.

Preventive Maintenance — What you need to do, through the years, to keep your tank functioning efficiently and safely.

Know-How — Hands-on guide to inspecting your heater to see if retrofitting for longevity is feasible, and step by step description of how to do it.

Insulation and Energy Efficiency — Comparing water heaters has gotten more complicated, but it can still be done, and should be done.

Water Heating According to Larry — Water-heater maintenance pioneer wLarry Weingarten uses answers in The Tank to enunciate his philosophy about water heating and plumbing.

Save Water, Save Energy — Three mechanical systems and two design systems aimed at cutting your wait for hot water, keeping too much cold water from being wasted while waiting for hot water to arrive at a fixture, and saving energy.

Life-Cycle Cost Analysis — A simple tool for comparing the overall cost of different water heaters you might be considering buying.

Tools for Maintenance — We tell you to use certain tools to do certain maintenance on water heaters. Here is a description of what those are and what they do.

What 2015 Changes Meant for Water Heaters — The Department of Energy issued new rules in April 2015 that meant a sea change for residential water heaters.


Water Heaters in Commercial Settings— Commercial applications, such as apartment complexes and restaurants.

Optimal Installation of Commercial Water Heaters

Optimal Installation of Residential Water Heaters in Commercial Settings



Recirculation Pump Valving

Water Heater Rescue

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