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How a Water Heater Works

Hot water is something many of us take for granted and don’t ever think about, but when it comes down to the details, you need to have a hot water heater that works well. It is a good idea to know the basics of how it works, as this can help when you need to call for repairs. Let’s answer the question, “How does a water heater work?”

How Does a Water Heater Work?

Your hot water heater will likely be located in a closet in your home or in your basement. It will either be electric or fired by fuel which could be gas or oil. The main water tank has two purposes, to heat water and to store that heated water so that it can stay warm between the heating cycles.

Your water heater will have pipes on top of the tank; this is where the water that enters your tank comes from. There is also a pressure relief valve which will open if the pressure or temperature inside your water heater exceeds the safe level. If you ever need to open this pressure relief valve, you will want to have a bucket handy as you may find water gushing out of the connected pipe and out onto your floors.

Most water heater tanks are made of steel and have a glass lining on the inside. The reason for this is to stop corrosion. Corrosion and rust can cause a water heater tank to fail and if this happens, the tank will need to be replaced.

How the Water in the Tank Is Heated

  • Electric Water Heater – If you have an electric unit, your water will be heated by an electrical current that passes through one to two heating elements. These elements can be found at the top and bottom of the tank. Your tank will also have thermostat, and this is how your water heater knows when the water needs to be heated.

 

  • Fuel Fired Water Heater – A fuel fired water heater has a burner and uses a control valve and thermostat switch which are fed gas. Instead of heating the water, a fuel based system will heat the actual tank and your water will be warmed from there.

If you would like more information on how a water heater works or you have a water heater that is in need of repair or replacement, contact the team at Arctic Air Conditioning!

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