Understanding How Your Hot Water Heater Works

Have you ever thought about what your daily life would be like without access to hot water at home? If you’ve ever had a non-working hot water heater then you know the havoc it can cause: cold showers and scrubbing dishes by hand under a cold tap, to name a couple inconveniences. You know why this plumbing appliance is important, but do you know how it works to bring you hot water when you need it? Luckily, the top Phoenix plumbers at Chas Roberts Air Conditioning & Plumbing are here to explain.

The Mechanics of the Hot Water Heater

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 to your 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.

Now let’s work at how all of these parts work together to heat water. 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.

Time for Water Heater Replacement?

If your hot water heater has seen better days, consider replacing it with a new one installed by a professional Arizona plumber. According to energystar.gov, water heating can account for 14–25 % of home energy costs, so replacement could save you money on your monthly energy bills.

The expert Phoenix plumbers at Chas Roberts have you covered. To schedule an appointment for water heater repair or other Arizona plumbing services, visit ChasRobertsPlumbing.com or call (602) 943-3426.