How Your Water Heater Does Its Job

How Your Water Heater Does Its Job

Water heaters can be gas, electric, hybrid or solar. Tanks can range from 2.5 gallons to 70 gallons or even have no tank as in the case of an on demand water heater. The most commonly used types of water heaters are a tank type that is either gas or electric. These large metal cylinders are usually relegated to the basement or a closet. But how do they turn cold water into that steamy shower?

The parts of your water heater that do the work to get your water from cold to hot are the:

Tank– The part inside that holds the water. It is often insulated.
Drip Tube– The line coming into the tank that takes cold water to near the bottom of the tank.
Heat-out Pipe– The water line that allows water to flow out into your faucets. The open end is located near the top of the tank to take advantage of the fact that hot water rises above the cold water entering near the bottom of the tank.
Thermostat– The temperature control unit that keeps your water at the preset temperature that you decide.
Heating Mechanism– Electric water heaters have one or two elements. A burner and chimney system is what heats the water in a gas unit.

Water heaters also have a shut-off valve located separately above the tank to stop water from entering the tank, a pressure relief valve, a drain valve and a magnesium or aluminum rod with a steel core called a sacrificial anode rod that helps prevent corrosion.

Cold water comes in the top of the water heater through the drip tube and is released at the bottom of the tank. The thermostat turns on the heating mechanism to heat the water when it is below the preset temperature you want. When you turn on a faucet, water flows out the heat-out pipe and gives you that steamy shower.

For more information about your water heater or other home comfort needs in the Monmouth County area, please contact us at Aggressive Mechanical Contractors, Inc. today.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Monmouth County, New Jersey and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about water heaters and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.

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