Does water heater height make a difference?

mrpandyOctober 21, 2008

Is there any correlation between the height of a water heater and its efficiency?

I'm considering buying a GE 50 gallon, 12 year water heater from the Big Orange Box. They have two models - tall and medium height. I'm going to hook up the new heater in a different location than the old one, so there's no need to buy the same size. Is one recommended over the other? If there's no difference, I'll get the tall one to preserve floor space. Thanks.

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Look at the efficiency ratings.

In theory, minimizing surface area should increase efficiency. If my high school geometry is getting recalled okay, a cylinder of a given volume will have a smaller surface area if it is shorter and wider. However, that doesn't account for, for example, heat rising (meaning a bigger top surface is worse), or individual design characteristics.

    Bookmark   October 21, 2008 at 4:21PM
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It is also a fact that short water heaters will deliver more hot water on first draw due to wider vessel allowing for more draw from top before the cold water incomming stratifies the entire tank.

In addition larger diameter tank bottom increases surface area for burner contact, shorter flue up center decreases chimmney effect cooling tank when burner is off.

    Bookmark   October 21, 2008 at 5:07PM
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