How Your Arizona Water Heater Works

Each morning, you jump into your shower, greeted by nice, hot water. At night, after dinner, you wash your dishes in the hot water coming from the kitchen sink. But have you ever stopped to wonder how one of your home’s biggest appliances – your Phoenix water heater – does its job to bring you hot water when you need it?

The Parts that Heat Water

Generally, hot water heaters work well without a lot of problems. But it’s important to understand how this important appliance works, in case a problem arises.

There are numerous parts in your Arizona water heater:

Tank: This large metal tank contains a water protective liner that holds up to 60 gallons of hot water.

Dip tube: This tube is at the top of the tank and is where water enters the water heater; it then travels to the bottom of the tank where the heating occurs.

Shut-off valve: This valve is actually located outside the heater and is responsible for stopping water flow into the heater.

Heat-out pipe: Inside the tank, at the top, this pipe allows the water – after being heated – to exit the water heater, back into your home.

Thermostat: This controls the temperature of the water in the tank and is usually located in an easy-to-spot location, for ease of adjusting the temperature.

Heating mechanism: Located inside the tank, this is what actually heats the water in an electric water heater.

Drain valve: When it comes time to clean or move the tank, this valve is important. Located on the bottom and outside, this valve allows you to empty the water in the tank.

Pressure relief valve: An important safety element, it regulates the pressure inside the water heater.

Sacrificial anode rod: This rod is inside the tank and helps prevent corrosion.

The Heating Process

Now that you understand all of the important working parts, the work your Phoenix water heater does to actually heat the water is pretty simple.

First, water from your home’s water lines enters the bottom of the tank through the dip tube. The heating mechanism turns on to begin heating the water, and then stays on until the water is at the temperature that was set on the thermostat. As the water heats, it rises to the top of the tank to the heat-out pipe. It then moves from the heat-out pipe back into your home’s pipes and ends up coming out of your shower and faucets.

Benefits of Water Heater Replacement

The benefits of a properly working hot water heater are clear. Without one, we would have to resort to what generations before us did – boiling water on a stove, or, taking cold showers.

If your hot water heater has seen better days, consider replacing it with a new one. According to, federal tax credits are available in 2013 for replacing your hot water heater with one that has an Energy Factor ≥ 0.82 or a thermal efficiency of at least 90 percent. And estimates that water heating can account for 14–25 percent of home energy costs, so replacement could save you money on your monthly energy bills too.

Chas Roberts Air Conditioning & Plumbing is your expert when it comes to Phoenix water heaters. To inquire about water heater replacement options, visit or call (602) 943-3426 in Phoenix.