AO Smith 38 Gallon Lowboy Water Heater: Fits In Tight Places

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Need to replace an old 40 gallon water heater? Want instant hot water for the master bath addition? Well, then seriously consider the AO Smith 38 gallon lowboy water heater.

You might get just as much hot water (or more) from the A.O. Smith 38 gallon water heater than your current 40 gallon heater. That’s possible due to advanced technology. I’ll explain – keep reading.

A.O. Smith 38 Gallon Lowboy Water Heater

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The A.O. Smith 38 gallon water heater is a great choice as a replacement as well as providing hot water for a new house addition or an accessory dwelling unit.

AO Smith 38 Gallon Lowboy Water Heater Review

Size is important when it needs to fit in that tight spot where the old heater is. The typical 40 gallon water heater actually holds 38 gallons or less. The A.O Smith lowboy is no different.

Which is evident from its model number – ENLB-40. Which would indicate that its nominal tank size is 40 gallons, but that is not the case. Its nominal size is 38 gallons and its actual size is 35 gallons.

Today’s water heaters have better insulation materials. Which may make them a bit smaller, or the same size as your older heater. So, check the Product Specifications table below to compare sizes.

The proline electric blanketed water heater has been designed specifically to use as little space as possible. This makes it an ideal choice for scenarios where the space for installation is limited, such as for example in crawl spaces and under counters.

It should however be noted that when installed under a counter, it would be a tight fit, with only about three inches available for plumbing connections. It can be done, but you should consider arranging professional installation.

The model ENLB-40 38 gallon water heater delivers 4,500 watts, has a Uniform Energy Factor of 0.93 and delivers a 51 gallon first hour rating.

This under counter water heater comes equipped with a Coregard sacrificial anode which helps to protect the tank from water’s corrosive effects, and is guaranteed with a limited tank warranty of 6 years.

Product Options and Features

Diffuser Dip Tube Prevents Limescale Sediment

This lowboy water heater has a DynaClean diffuser dip tube that prevents the buildup of sediment and lime, and this in turn leads to maximized hot water output. The dip tube is manufactured from PEX cross-linked polymer, making it extremely long lasting.

Heating Elements: Incoloy Stainless Steel Lasts and Lasts

To enable reliable operation and the fastest recovery time possible, the 40 gallon lowboy electric water heater comes with two 4500 watt elements. As these are manufactured from Incoloy stainless steel, they will last a lot longer than standard elements manufactured from copper.

Anode Rod Prevents Corrosion and Leaks

The CoreGard anode rod fitted to the ENLB-40 has a stainless steel core. This will extend the anode rod’s life, resulting in them lasting much longer than standard anode rods and providing tank protection that is superior.

High Uniform Energy Factors

The AO Smith 38 Gallon Lowboy Water Heater is wrapped in non-CFC foam insulation that is eco-friendly, and uses a specially designed combustion chamber and heat traps. All of this combines to allow the unit to operate at a high Uniform Energy Factor, resulting in maximum operating costs savings.

Operation: Maximum Hot Water

Cold water is forced to the bottom of the tank by entering the water heater through an internal “dip tube.” This water will then push the hot water that is already in the tank out through the outlet at the top of the tank. This configuration ensures that any given tank size provides the most hot water possible.

The AO Smith 38 gallon water heater contains two thermostats with the one at the bottom controlling the bottom heating element. While the top heating element is controlled by the top thermostat. Only one heating element is normally switched on at a time.

As the bottom thermostat will sense the cold water first, most of the work is done by the bottom heating element. The top heating element is only switched on when all the water in the tank is cold.

Water has a corrosive effect on steel tanks. The inside of the under counter water heater’s tank is therefore lined with glass to prevent this corrosion. Corrosion is also reduced by an anode rod installed in the tank.

For added safety, an internal pressure and temperature relief valve will automatically open if something malfunctions and either the internal pressure or temperature in the tank rises above the safety limits.

The 40 gallon lowboy electric water heater should only be used in applications where it is big enough to provide a sufficient volume of hot water while the household’s demand is greatest. Even when outside temperatures are cold, because the incoming water temperature will be lower during winter months.

Product Specifications: AO Smith 38 Gallon Lowboy Water Heater

Rated Storage Volume35 gallons
Nominal Capacity38 gallons
Max BTU40,000
First Hour Rating:51 gallons
Power SourceElectric
Lower Element Wattage:4500
Upper Element Wattage:4500
Maximum Wattage:6000
Minimum Voltage Needed:240
Limited Parts Warranty:6 Years
Limited Tank Warranty:6 Years
Temperature and Pressure Relief Valve:Yes
Anode:Coregard™ Sacrificial Anode
Self Cleaning:Yes
Water Connection Size:3/4″
Water Connection Location:Top
Diameter x Width x Depth23 x 23 x 23 inches
Weight118 lbs.

Customer Reviews Of The AO Smith 38 Gallon Lowboy Water Heater

This model gets a rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars from 54 reviews, and has 1.3K likes.

This water heater has not received any 1 or 2 star ratings, and the lowest is 3 stars of which there are very few.

The only complaints from customers relate to the initial temperature of the water heater being set too high or too low, but this was easily rectified by adjusting the thermostats.

There were also 2 complaints that the hot water took a long time to reach the tap or shower. However, this is a function of how far the water heater is installed away from the appliances and is not something that can be blamed on the water heater.

Many customers mention that they have used AO Smith water heaters before and as they were happy with those, they decided to stick to the brand. Ease of installation and compact size were also mentioned as advantages in several reviews.

A.O. Smith 38 Gallon Lowboy Water Heater

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There is an alternative to the old tank: A tankless water heater – check this out.

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