So you are looking at that big cylinder and wondering to yourself, 'How does this thing heat my water?' Well even though your water heater might look to be a big complicated piece of machinery, it is actually a very simple piece of equipment. Lets take a quick look at the basics of how a water heater works.
First of all, near the bottom of that big tank, there is a pipe that lets cold water flow into it. Inside the unit there is a heater, which depending on the type of water heater you have, will be either an electric element or, if you have a gas heater will be a burner under a metal plate. As the water fills the tank, the heater makes the water hot. There is a thermostat which is always visible that allows you to decide what temperature you want the water in the tank to be. It is recommended that you keep the thermostat between 120 and 140 degrees because any hotter than that and you will probably get burned when you are in the shower!
As you use the hot water throughout your day, the tank is constantly being refilled by that flow of cold water in that pipe at the bottom. The tank is designed to have constant water pressure flowing into it, so you don't have to worry about the tank running dry. But what happens if there is too much pressure? Well don't worry, the water heater designers thought of everything! There is a pressure relief valve that will pop open and let the pressure lower instead of allowing the tank and everything around it explode.
It is true that everything mechanical sometimes needs repair, so to make that easy, there is also a drain valve located on the bottom of the unit that allows you to drain all the water out of the unit before opening and making any needed repairs.
So next time you're enjoying that hot shower, smile! That complicated looking yet simply designed water heater out there is doing its job!
Shamrock Plumbing is your Orlando water heater repair, maintenance, and installation specialist! Give us a call today at 407-292-8881!