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The Anatomy of Your Home’s Water Heater

The Anatomy of Your Home’s Water Heater

The water heater hiding in your utility closet may be out of sight and often out of mind. However, this hidden gem is one of the most important parts of your household. Without it, you wouldn’t be able to take a warm bath, hot shower, or properly rinse your dishes after dinner. For this reason, it can be helpful to have a basic understanding of how your water heater works. Not only can this foundational knowledge help extend the lifespan of your appliance, but it can also help you quickly identify when a water heater repair may be necessary. The experienced plumbers at Rooter Hero Plumbing of Phoenix, AZ, are always ready to help local residential and commercial clients with their pipes, fixtures, and plumbing-related appliances. Here is a quick water heater anatomy lesson for those homeowners who want to know more about how their system functions.

Common Components of Water Heaters

  • Tank - holds and stores hot water between uses, available in many different sizes.
  • Thermostat - regulates the temperature of the water and activates the heating element or burner in order to warm water that has cooled.
  • Hot Water Outlet - the area where the hot water leaves your tank; allows the water to be distributed throughout the plumbing system.
  • Internal Anode Rod - usually found at the top of a water heater tank, acts as a magnet that attracts corrosive metals in the water supply to protect the walls of the tank from corrosion.
  • Dip Tube - a pipe that supplies fresh cold water to the tank when the warm water has left the tank.
  • TPR Valve - temperature release valve that helps to release excessive pressure or heat that might build up inside the tank.

The Difference Between an Electric and Gas Water Heater

While electric and gas water heaters share many of the same components, there are key differences between the ways the two systems heat the water within the tank. Electrical systems use something called a heating element, which looks like a metal loop. This piece of metal conducts electricity and is heated according to the thermostat settings. As the metal warms up, the heat is distributed throughout the water inside the tank. Gas water heaters use a burner, which sits at the bottom of a gas heater. When the temperature inside the tank falls below a predetermined level, the pilot light will trigger a flame, which heats the water. Gas water heaters will also have a thermocouple, which is a rod that sits underneath the burner to sense whether the pilot light has come on. There is also a vent flue, which acts as a chimney that vents any exhausts safely away from the unit.

The Anatomy of Your Home’s Water Heater

Do You Need a Water Heater Repair or Replacement Service? Give Us a Call

Are you looking for reliable local plumbers who can perform your next water heater repair or maintenance service? Then let the specialists at Rooter Hero Plumbing of Phoenix take care of your plumbing problems. Contact our office for more information about our wide range of residential and commercial plumbing services or to schedule a time for an upcoming plumbing inspection, water heater repair, or water heater replacement in Phoenix, Arizona, or a surrounding metro area community.

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