Water Heaters 101: Learning the Basics

Water Heater Basics

Water heaters are an appliance that provides homeowners with hot water to wash their dishes and clothes and take a shower. This appliance is essential to the functionality of modern homes nationwide.

In the past, water was heated through kettles and pots and then distributed to tubs where clothes would be washed, or people would bathe. The modern-day water heater was designed in 1889 by Edwin Rudd, and since then, people have been able to enjoy the benefits of having hot water straight from the faucet.

Many homeowners may not realize just how many components are involved in water heaters. In this article, experts will discuss some of those components, the types of water heaters, and their maintenance.

Water Heater Types

different water heaters There are several types of water heaters available today. The main types on the market include conventional water heaters such as gas water heaters and electric water heaters, tankless water heaters, solar water heaters, condensing water heaters, and heat pumps.

Conventional Storage Tank Water Heater

The conventional storage-tank water heater is the most common type of water heater found in households. Much like the name implies, this water heater consists of a tank where water is stored and heated.

With this type of water heater, homeowners can expect to have a capacity of how much hot water is available at one time. Insulation on the inside of the tank allows it to keep the warm and hot water ready until it’s needed. They can be powered by gas or electricity.

Tankless Water Heater

Tankless water heaters are a type of water heater with no large tank involved in the water heating process, hence the name tankless water heater. Coils are used in place of the tank. These coils are kept extremely heated and fill and heat water only as needed.

Since it only heats water as needed, tankless water heaters are more energy efficient and save homeowners money on their utility bills. They can also be powered by either gas or electricity.

Heat Pump Water Heater

Also known as a hybrid water heater, the heat pump water heater helps homeowners save on energy consumption which means a lower electric bill at the end of the month. This is because instead of using electricity to heat the water, it uses heat in the air and the ground. The only time electricity is used is to move the heat from the ground or air into the water.

Solar Powered Water Heater

Another great option for homeowners looking to cut their electricity bill down is a solar-powered water heater. These units draw energy from the sun to provide hot water to the home. However, this type of water heater does require roof-mounted solar panels to keep it energized.

Condensing Water Heater

Finally, a condensing water heater relies on the unused gas of a home to heat the water. This is a great option for homeowners who already use natural gas to energize their homes.

Water Heater Maintenance

professional maintenance The tasks involved in maintaining a water heater will vary greatly depending on the type of water heater involved. For the sake of time, this article will focus on the most common type of water heater: the conventional storage-tank water heater.

Homeowners should hire a professional for routine maintenance to keep their water heater working efficiently and effectively. Some steps a pro will take for maintenance include:

  • Testing the TPR valve
  • Checking the anode rod and replacing it if it’s worn out
  • Drain or flush the water heater tank to clear out sediment
  • Adjusting the temperature
  • Insulating the pipes and heater

These tasks should be done routinely, once or twice a year, to ensure that the water heater is working as it should be.

Signs of a Bad Water Heater

Homeowners need to be aware of the signs of a faulty water heater so they can contact their local plumbing company as soon as possible. By getting a plumber immediately, homeowners can prevent further damage to their water heaters.

Common symptoms of a faulty water heater include:

  • Leaks
  • Loud noises
  • Discolored water
  • Irregular water temperatures
  • Not enough hot water being produced
  • Frequent repairs

Additionally, water heaters older than ten years old will likely need to be replaced soon. Homeowners that notice any of the symptoms mentioned above should contact a professional plumber for a water heater repair or replacement.

About Paramount Plumbing, Heating & Air

Paramount Plumbing, Heating & Air is a locally owned and operated company serving residents of Los Angeles County for 15 years. They provide same-day service, emergency services, and the latest technology. Call them today for water heater services in Paramount, CA.