Water Heater 101: Types, Parts and How They Work

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Water heaters provide a steady supply of hot water for various domestic needs. Whether it’s for a refreshing shower or washing a load of laundry, understanding the basics of water heaters, along with routine water heater maintenance, are essential for optimal performance and longevity of the appliance.

Types of Water Heaters

1. Tank-Based Water Heaters

Tank water heaters store and heat a specific amount of water in a tank. These are the most common option for many households. The hot water supply will last as long as there is water in the tank.

2. Tankless Water Heaters

Embracing a more modern approach, a tankless water heater heats water on demand, providing endless hot water without the need for a storage tank. They are energy-efficient and space-saving, making them a popular choice for many homeowners.

Basic Parts of Water Heaters

Understanding the key components of your water heater is crucial for proper maintenance and water heater repair in Mansfield, TX. The primary parts include:

Thermostat – Regulates the water temperature

Heating Element or Burner – Heats the water inside the tank

Dip Tube – Directs cold water to the bottom of the tank

Anode Rod – Protects tank-based water heaters from corrosion. Must be replaced every 4 to 5 years after initial water heater installation, sooner if water heater usage is heavier

Pressure Relief Valve – Releases excess pressure to prevent tank damage or explosion

A Simplified Overview of How Water Heaters Work

1. Standard Water Heaters

– Cold water enters the tank through the dip tube

– The thermostat activates the heating element or burner

– Hot water rises to the top, ready for use

2. Tankless Water Heaters

– Cold water flows through the unit

– A heat exchanger rapidly heats the water

– Hot water is delivered to the faucet or appliance

– The process stops when the hot water tap is turned off

Water Heater Maintenance

Regular maintenance is key to extending the lifespan of your water heater. This includes flushing the tank to remove sediment, checking and replacing the anode rod, and inspecting for leaks or signs of corrosion. Regular maintenance keeps issues at bay and can delay the need for water heater replacement.

Contact Rockwater Plumbing to learn more about water heater options and solutions.

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