comfort & safety for your home



Frequently Asked Questions About
Water Heaters

  •  How does a water heater work?

    • When a hot water tap is opened, normal water pressure allows water movement. Cold water is pushed into the water heater via the cold water inlet, through the dip tube to the bottom of the water heater tank. This water movement pushes hot water out the hot water output, through the hot water pipes, to the open tap. The cold water that was introduced into the bottom of the tank cools the water. This temperature change causes the thermostat to initiate heating of the water in the bottom of the tank. As the water is heated, it rises to the top of the tank so that the hottest water is pushed out to the hot water pipes first.

  •  Why does a water heater have a dip tube?

    • The dip tube directs the coldest water directly to the bottom of the water heater tank. This way, the hottest water (at the top of the tank) is pushed out first.

  •  What is an anode rod and what is it for?

    • Water heaters have a metal rod installed that sacrifices itself to cathodically protect the tank from corrosion. It is made with light metals such as aluminum or magnesium so that it deteriorates more easily than the steel that makes up the tank. Without this protection, the tank would deteriorate very quickly. Water heaters with longer warrantees will generally have larger anode rods.

  •  My water smells like rotten eggs. Is there anything I can do?

    • Water that contains high sulfate or mineral concentrations combined with micro-organisms interacts with the anode rod to produce hydrogen sulfide. Hydrogen sulfide is the source of the odor. High sulfate concentrations are often caused by the presence of an otherwise benign bacterium. Chlorination will destroy these bacteria, and will minimize the problem. Follow this link for step-by-step chlorination instructions.

  •  What fuels are used for heating water?

    • While most any fuel that creates heat will heat water, three fuels are preferred for both commercial and residential water heating: Natural gas, LP gas (Propane) or electricity are preferred because of their availability & efficiency. 

  •  What is the Temperature & Pressure Relief Valve?

    • The Temperature & Pressure Relief Valve (commonly known as the T&P Valve) is a safety device used on tank-type water heaters. If the pressure inside the tank ever exceeds 150psi, the T&P Valve relieves the pressure by allowing some water to be forced out of the tank. The T&P Valve should be plumbed to a gravity drain or drain pan.



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