Longevity of short v. tall gas water heater tanks?

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BS Physics, BSEE, ...
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Ann Arbor, MI 48103

In considering a new gas, tank water heater, I have been mulling over the tall v. short tank option.

Q: What have you professionals seen in terms of longevity of short tanks v. tall tanks?

In looking over "what kills a tank," it seems that the most salient thing is that, once the inner coating is breached, you are simply playing a waiting game until the tank fails via rusting through somewhere. It was said elsewhere in this forum, I think, that tank life goes DOWN if either USE and/or TEMPERATURE go UP.

This makes me think that the underlying issue that you have a coating which is of a different material, so that the coefficients of thermal expansion of the coating and tank are different, and THAT is the source of the eventual failure of the coating...is this right?

If so, are short tanks more long-lived because they have a lesser degree of curvature, so that there is a lesser effect of the differential expansion & contraction of the coating v. the tank??

Any real experience you might have in this area would be great to hear about, because you certainly have more than do I! Thanks in advance!


In the Trades
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The life of your water heater would be affected more by the water that runs through it than its shape (short or tall).

Basically, you get a replacement WH that is similar to what you have. If you have tall one, get a tall one. This makes hookup easier and quicker.
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