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Hot Water Tank Requirements After April 2015

Beginning April 16th 2015 there are new requirements for hot water tanks. This revision is due to the National Appliance Energy Conservation Act (NAECA) and will impact the design of hot water heaters manufactured after April 16th. This was an energy standard that was enacted in 2010. So what does this change mean? For hot water tanks under 55 gallons, because of the insulation requirements, the units will be at least two inches taller and wider. Requirements for units over 55 gallons include the following:

  • They will also be larger due to insulation requirements
  • Residential electric models must be Hybrid Electric Heat Pump type
  • Residential Gas models must be the higher efficient condensing direct induced fan type units

Any hot water tanks in inventory will be able to be sold until they are gone. What should home inspectors look for and how will this impact our clients:  MORE…

  • Smaller hot water tank capacity to fit in the same space as the older smaller tank.
  • Direct vent pipes may not be properly sized or pitched
  • Improper installation of condensing units by unqualified installers or uninformed homeowners
  • Proper venting (many units will no longer be chimney vented, and taller replacement units may be improperly “down drafted”)
  • They may have a condensate discharge pipe that must be properly installed
  • Electrical supply will have to be inspected including a properly sized dedicated circuit breaker
  • A condensing or heat pump unit may be much noisier than a conventional tank
  • The cost of the tank and installation will increase significantly. Many units are more than $1000.00.
  • More tankless models will probably be installed due to cost comparison

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