The Basics About Water Heaters

People usually don’t think a lot about their water heaters, and that’s not a bad thing. As long as your water heater is working fine and doesn’t need a plumber to fix it, there is not much to think about. However, it’s best to have at least a basic know-how about what is going on inside your water heater.

You will most likely come across three types of water heaters. The tank type, tankless, and a hybrid heater. The most popular amongst these is the tank type. However, the fame of tankless water heaters is growing exponentially with every passing year. Hybrid models are the most energy-efficient type. Here is a brief explanation of how they work

Tank-Type Heaters

As it is implied in the name, this type comes with a storage tank pre-installed. Tank-type heaters function by allowing water from your water line to fill their tank. A burner or an electric element heats the water in the tank, and this heated water is pumped into the hot water lines in your home. A thermostat is usually attached near the bottom to maintain and regulate the temperature. Pressure relief valves placed at the top prevent excess pressure build-up in the tank. Tank-type heaters are either gas or electric-powered. The gas-powered models are comparatively expensive. However, the electric models are more efficient.

There are two downsides of tank-type heaters. Primarily, they hold a limited amount of water in their tank and may struggle to fulfill the required supply in high-demand periods. Secondly, they constantly burn energy regardless of the water being used or not.

Hybrid Heaters

The only difference between a tank-type and a hybrid water heater is an additional electric heat pump in hybrid heaters. This pump captures heat from the surroundings and transfers it to the incoming water. The electric pump in a hybrid heater makes it 60% more energy efficient. Due to this hybrid heaters are almost double in price when compared with tank-type heaters.

Tankless Heaters

A tankless heater almost instantaneously heats the water. It sits idle until hot water is needed. Once a hot water tap opens, the electric heating element is activated which warms the internal heat exchanger. Water passing over the heat exchanger is warmed before running out of your faucet.

The combusted gasses produced during heating are exhausted outside your house through a sealed vent pipe. The heating element turns off once the tap closes. Since no storage tank is attached with a tank-less heater, water is only heated when it’s called for. This results in 34% less energy consumption than a standard tank-type heater. Fortunately for large families, this heater type provides an unlimited hot water supply. However, the downside of tankless heaters is a much greater purchase, installation, and maintenance cost.

Regardless of their type, water heaters aren’t too complexed to understand once you know these basic principles. If you live in Montgomery County, Howard County, Fredrick County, or Prince George’s County, and are having any water heater or plumbing-related problem, feel free to contact YOUR1PLUMBER. We provide reliable plumbing solutions at a fair and honest price. Contact us now.

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