Understanding Parts Of Your Traditional Water Heater

It is in the best interest of homeowners to gain a better understanding of the plumbing aspects in their homes. This way, when troubles arise, it is easy to diagnose them to help water heater repair technicians know what they’re coming to fix. Or if it is something you can do yourself, you will be able to get specific instructions to repair them properly.

Tank Type Water Heaters

According to a water heater service, the most common type of water heater you will find in homes are gas types. These are tank type water heaters, meaning they have a storage tank that holds hot water until it is ready to be used. These come in different sizes. Some of the parts that you may need to know include the following:

  • Flue Pipe- Every gas fired water heaters have a burner where combustion takes place. The flue pipe is used to evacuate the deadly gasses which contain carbon monoxide that is created upon combustion.
  • Cold Water Shut Off Valve- A valve that shuts the cold water supply down when a heater needs to be drained or replaced.
  • Draft Diverter- A fitting on the end of the end of the flue pipe that gathers gasses to be safely evacuated into the flue and then to the outside.
  • Temperature And Pressure Relief Valve- A valve that allows excess heat, or pressure to be released from a hot water tank so it does not explode (T&P).
  • Overflow Pipe- A pipe that is attached to the T&P valve that releases excess heat or steam. The pipe allows the eater to drain safely away from the heater. Some may be piped to the floor to be drained into a floor drain.
  • Hot Water Outlet- Pipe that drops down into the heater that allows the hot water to exit the heater, and enter into the portable water supply in a home.
  • Anticorrosion Anode Rod- Is installed at the top of the water heater, and is usually made of magnesium, or aluminum, with a steel core that underwent sand casting. If your water starts to smell like eggs, the anode rod may need to be replaced by a residential plumber.
  • Insulation- All tank type water heaters have insulation that wraps the metal tank to keep the heat in the tank.
  • Drain Valve- A valve that is installed at the bottom of the tank that allows the tank to be drained down.
  • Thermostat/ Control Valve- A mechanism that controls how hot the water gets in the water heater.
  • Burner- Ignites natural gas or propane and heats the tank which transfers heat to the water inside.
  • Thermocouple- A device that monitors the flame of a pilot on a water heater. If the pilot flame is blown out, the thermocouple causes the gas valve to shut off the flow of gas.
  • gas Supply Valve- Is used to shut off the gas to the water heater.
Diagram of all parts involved in a water heater. (Tank Type)

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