Hot running water is a great convenience for your household. From bathing to doing laundry and washing dishes, a water heater allows you to comfortably perform a slew of household chores. Despite all these benefits, it’s easy to forget about this unobtrusive appliance until the day it stops working. Without a water heater, you’d get forced to enjoy cold showers and do laundry in cold water. Now that you understand how useful water heaters are, let’s look at how different types work.
Conventional Storage-Tank Water Heater
The conventional storage tank is the most popular unit, comprising an insulated tank that accommodates anywhere between 30 and 100 gallons of water. This unit can be powered by gas, electricity, fuel oil, and propane, making it suitable for any home.
Tankless Water Heater
A tankless water heater uses heating coils to generate hot water when needed. Its ability to provide hot water only when it’s needed helps you save some dollars on your energy bills. Besides, tankless models have a longer service life than storage tank models. Gas heaters are the ideal choice because electrical models might necessitate an extensive upgrade of your property’s electrical capacity.
Heat Pump (Hybrid Water Heater)
If you’re looking to combine the storage capacity of traditional water heaters with the energy efficiency of tankless models, then a hybrid water heater is a perfect choice. Heat pumps use electricity to transmit heat from one point to another as opposed to producing heat directly.
Parts of a Water Heater
Here are the main water heater components and their functions:
- Flue pipe – allows dangerous gases to escape
- Cold water shut valve – cuts the cold water supply when your appliance needs to be replaced or drained
- T&P valve – allows excessive water pressure to escape from the tank
- Hot water outlet – allows heated water to exit the heater.
- Sacrificial anode rod – prevents corrosion and reduces the risk of tank failure.
- Dip tube – allows hot or cold water inside the tank to circulate.
How a Water Heater Works
Electric water heaters have a thermostat that reads water temperature inside the tank. When the temperatures drop, the heater gets into action bringing the water temperature up to a pre-determined level. In cases where water becomes extremely hot and pressure accumulates inside the tank, the pressure gets released via a pressure release valve positioned inside the tank. When the water attains the desired temperature, the thermostat prevents power from reaching the heating element.
Gas heaters also have a thermostat, but its functionality differs. The thermostat in a gas heater has a thermocouple and mercury sensor. The mercury sensor controls internal water temperature while the thermocouple controls the pilot light. When the temperature dips, the thermostat signals the gas control valve, which regulates gas flow to the tank. It also shuts off gas flow when required.
PJ's Plumbing & Heating is the go-to plumber for all your plumbing needs. From new water heater installation to scheduled maintenance and repairs, we got you covered. Call PJ's Plumbing & Heating now for more information.