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How Does A Gas Water Heater Work?

Only after our water heater breaks down or stops working do we start to realize how important a role it has to play in our everyday lives.

These appliances ensure that we have access to warm water for relaxing showers in cold mornings and cleaning dishes.

There are many different kinds of water heaters available in the market, such as tanked, tankless, gas or electricity-powered, etc.

These water heaters have differences in how they function, but the primary goal is always the same; to provide hot water.

A traditional tanked gas water heater has a simple yet effective design. In essence, it is nothing but a large tank that has a gas burner to heat the water inside.

It does, however, have many different parts and is a bit more complex than that.

In this post, we will dive deeper and try to understand how exactly gas water heaters function.

The Insides Of Tanked Gas Water Heaters 

Although the design concept of water heaters is relatively simple, it still involves several crucial parts to function. Some of the most vital features inside tanked gas water heaters are:

The Thermostat: It is the primary device that allows you to control the temperature inside the water tank.

The Heat Source: This is the principal source of heat that warms the water. For gas water heaters, this is a simple gas burner system.

Tank: It is the central storage unit for water, built to withstand the high pressures, lined by an insulating material to keep the water at the right temperature. Tank sizes can range from small 40 gallon tanks to large 70+ gallons. 

The Dip Tube: The tube that is responsible for water entry into the heater. It brings cold water from the houselines to within inches to the bottom of the tank to the heat source.

Shut Off Valves: As the name implies, it “shuts off” or blocks water entry into the heater’s tank.

Heat Out Pipe: The name itself is a giveaway to the function of this pipe. It forms the route of exit of heated water from the tank to the household’s piping system.

Temperature/Pressure Relief Valve (TPR): This device is mainly present for safety. It helps keep a safe temperature and pressure inside the water tanks at all times.

The Drain Valve: This valve is to empty the contents of the water tank. The tank is usually made empty using this valve for repair work or maintenance and removing sediment buildup.

The Process That Takes Place Inside Gas Water Heaters To Heat Water

Now that you know the names of the most critical parts involved, explaining the whole heating process should be a lot easier.

Firstly, the dip tube brings in cold water into the gas water heater tank. The gas burner as a heat source makes the water hot.

The burner releases a hot gas that rises, heats the water inside the tank, and exits through a chimney.

As the water inside rises to higher temperatures, it becomes less dense and floats towards the top of the tank. This allows the heated water to move into the heat-out pipe located near the top and into the piping system.

Whenever you open the tap for hot water, cold water enters the water heater tank through the dip tube. This also helps push the less-dense hot water up and into the heat-out pipe. 

The thermostat’s primary use is to control the temperature of the water inside the tank. It contains the temperature in gas water heaters by changing the amount of gas it brings to the burner.

Gas Vs. Electric Water Heaters

Before diving into the inner workings of the more traditional tank water heaters, one thing to note before diving into the more conventional tank water heaters is the difference between electric and gas-powered heaters.

Strictly speaking, there isn’t much significant difference between these two types of heaters other than their heating source.

As their name suggests, gas water heaters heat up water using gas burners as heat sources. In contrast, electric heaters make use of heating elements to do the same job.

There are a few pros and cons of using gas water heaters as compared to their electric-powered counterparts.

Gas heaters generally have lower bill costs, heat up water faster, and work during electricity outages. Some cons of gas heaters are that comparatively, they are more expensive, require more maintenance, and have more safety concerns.

Need A New Gas Water Heater Installed Or Replaced?

Do you have a broken-down water heater and want to install a new one in its place? Installation and fitting of water heaters is complex and requires good plumbing experience, and should always be left to professionals.

If you’re looking for an experienced team of professionals that will ensure proper installation or replacement of water heaters, One Shot Water Heaters is an excellent choice.

Simply visit their website and book for installation online anytime!

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