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How Do Storage Tank Water Heaters Work?

As water flows from the water main to your home through a series of pipes, it’s usually much cooler than what you’d expect from a hot shower. The water heater, then, is an important asset to your home which is vital for many everyday activities around the home. And while there are a few different types of units available today, the storage tank water heater remains the most common type of unit used in homes. Yet many homeowners are unsure of how these systems heat water. Why is the tank so large? How does hot water enter the faucet? To answer these questions, we’ve put together this short guide to hot water heaters.

There are two types of systems that use different heating elements to heat the water: gas and electric. While these systems may look large and complex, they actually rely on a natural process of heat exchange in order to keep water heated. First, cold water enters the tank through a large pipe that leads all the way to the bottom. Here there may be a burner located underneath the tank, or an electric heating element may be located toward the bottom. Here’s where science takes over; hot water naturally rises above the cooler denser water. Another small pipe is located towards the top of the tank. This pipe picks up the heated water and carries it to the faucet. Water continues to re-enter the tank in order to keep a large supply of hot water on hand.

A few more key elements of hot water heaters help keep everything in working order. For example, a thermostat helps monitor the temperature while a pressure valve keeps the water pressure at a safe level. One problem you’ll want to avoid at all costs is rust, but the anode rod can prevent rust from damaging your system, increasing its lifespan. When rust damages the storage tank of your unit, you’ll likely need to replace your water heater. The anode rod attracts corrosive elements that may cause your unit to rust through, so it’s important to replace this rod when it becomes too worn down.

If you’re not sure whether you want a gas or electric water heater, or if you want to talk to an expert about hot water heaters in Lansdale, call the experts at Carney Plumbing Heating & Cooling today!

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