What exactly is an electric water heater?

How Does an Electric Water Heater Work?An electric water heater requires little or no ventilation because it does not burn fuel as it operates, so it can be installed in almost any enclosed space in a home but it will need to be plugged into an electric power source. There are many parts inside of an electric water heater that make it function properly so proper and regular maintenance is essential. The inner shell is made of a heavy metal material (usually stainless steel) and is capable of holding from 40 to 60 gallons of water at one time. A glass liner located inside helps to keep rust from accumulating and an anode rod keeps corrosion from forming on the tank itself. The exterior is typically covered with insulation such as polyurethane foam and is then covered with a decorative outer shell. A water heater is able to separate the incoming cold water from the outgoing hot water based upon the principle that heat rises, and hot water naturally rises above the colder, denser water.

When you turn on your hot water faucet, the hot water immediately exits the tank through a pipe at the top of the tank called the heat-out pipe. Fresh, cold water then replaces it by entering the tank through a dip tube where it is then heated by one or two heating elements. The temperature of the water is regulated by a thermostat; each heating element inside the water tank usually has its own thermostat, depending on the make and model of your hot water tank. Drain valves are installed near the bottom of the tank’s exterior housing to allow the tank to be drained when either the heating elements need to be replaced, sediment may have accumulated and needs to be removed, or to replace or relocate the hot water tank. In addition, a pressure release valve is installed as a safety feature and keeps the hot water tank from exploding under high pressure.

Interested in replacing your old water heater with a new electric model? Call The Water Heater Medic, your water heater specialists at (860) 896-3342 to schedule an appointment with our friendly, knowledgeable staff .