anytime plumbing

Understanding Hot Water Systems

There is nothing better after a long day at work than either taking a long, hot shower or soaking in a tub filled with hot water and tantalizing bath scents. Most people only think about their hot water system when they go to take a shower or bath and realize they have ice cold water flowing out but all the hot water is gone.

As a homeowner, it’s a good idea to know about the hot water system in your home. You will most likely never have to work on it yourself, but having a general idea of how it works can help you keep it maintained and working well for many years to come. Here in the United States, you have a couple varieties for hot water in your home or business and they fall under storage hot water tanks and tankless hot water systems.

Storage Water Heater

A storage water heater is what most people have in their homes or is the type of hot water heater they have always known about. These hot water systems store water inside a tank that holds anywhere from 20 to 80 gallons of heated water. Each time someone in the home uses hot water for a bath, to wash dishes or do laundry, cold water pours back into the unit to make sure it stays filled all the time.

These hot water systems are available in electric or gas fueled and they work non-stop to keep the water heated for use. With this type of system, the most common system found in most residential homes, a great deal of energy is used due to the constant heating. Gas or fuel heated tanks can lose energy through the way a tank is ventilated.

A storage water heater has numerous parts that must all work together to provide hot water to the home. These parts include:

  • Tank – The tank holds anywhere from 20 to 80 gallons of water.
  • Shut-Off Valve – The shut off valve prevents water from flowing into the heater and is located on the outside of the unit near the top.
  • Dip tube – The dip tube is the area the water enters at the top of the tank before heading to the bottom of the tank.
  • Thermostat – The thermostat is a thermometer that also controls the temperature of the water.
  • Heating mechanism – In an electric water heater there is an element to heat the water. In a gas water heater, there is a burner to heat the water.
  • Drain – Situated at the bottom of the water heater, the drain allows the tank to empty so a plumber can replace the heating elements and other parts or to remove sediment or dirt from the water heater.
  • Pressure relief valve – This valve keeps the pressure at a safe zone so the water heater will not explode.

Tankless Water Heater

Unlike a storage water heater, a tankless water heater does not keep a full tank of water that is continuously heated. With a tankless water heater, the water is heated per use. It works like this:

  • A water faucet is turned on in the home
  • The water flows into the water heater
  • A sensor in the heater detects the water presence
  • The computer system in the heater turns the burner on
  • Water goes through the burner and heats up
  • The water is dispensed at the proper heated temperature
  • The water is dispensed at the proper heated temperature

Tankless water heaters have gained popularity in recent years due to rising home energy costs. These units are available in electric or gas fueled and they can save a homeowner on their energy bill. These units need to be the appropriate size for the size of the home and the number of people who live in the home to ensure they are large enough to supply the necessary amount of hot water that will be needed.

Keeping the temperature set to a lower temperature can help save energy and reduce your electric or fuel bill.

If you are ready to have a new water heater installed or you need a repair on your old one, you can get a great estimate for service and have a licensed, bonded and insured plumber start the work fast by contacting a plumbing specialist at Anytime Plumbing by calling 831-431-6593.



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Amer Zaghlouleh is the owner of Anytime Plumbing Inc., a trusted plumbing company serving Santa Cruz County. With a focus on delivering quality work and reliable service, Amer has established himself as a respected professional in the industry. He believes in providing honest and trustworthy plumbing solutions to every customer, ensuring their satisfaction and peace of mind. With years of experience and a commitment to staying updated with the latest technical advances, Amer and his team at Anytime Plumbing Inc. are fully equipped to handle any plumbing job with precision and efficiency. Trust in Amer's expertise and dedication for all your plumbing needs.