Advancements in technology have ensured that the way you live your life changes with every passing day. Whether it’s your Smartphone or water heater parts, today almost everything is digitally formatted. From cars that warn you in case of accidents to refrigerators that are pre-programmed to cool according to different situations to water heaters that can turn themselves on and off as per the fed program, really technology has advanced in more ways than one could have ever imagined.

Today, most US homes have water heaters. Of course, depending on the size of the family and requirement of hot water, these range from instant or tankless to storage water heaters. In regions where electricity is a problem, gas water heaters work best. A gas water heater is available in natural gas or liquid propane gas fuel variants. You get electric water heaters with or without water heater parts such as tanks. Those without tanks are called tankless or point of supply water heaters and those with storage tanks are called tank water heaters.

Since a water heater is made is a combination of various parts that function in synchronization to supply hot water, it could be well worth your time to find out what the main water heater parts are. This information can help you with troubleshooting, repair, as well as maintenance. It is also important to understand that there are many notable differences the way an electric water heater works as compared with a gas water heater. However, they share several parts and below are the 7 main water heater parts and the difference between an electric heater and a gas water heater.

7 Main Water Heater Parts Explained

1)   Tank: This is one of the main parts of both types of storage water heaters. Made from heavy gauge stainless steel, the tank comes in different capacities such as 40 gallons, 50 gallons, 60 gallons, and 8- gallons. All water heater tanks are made in such a way that they can handle water pressure at 300 psi, though the actual pressure remains much lower at 100psi. Since water is always present inside the tank, chances of corrosion and rust are high, because of which these SS tanks are lined with bonded glass that also acts as insulation to maintain the water temperature inside it and improve energy efficiency.

Electric water heaters have tanks that are smaller when compared with gas water heaters.

2)    Dip Tube: It’s through the dip tube that cold water fills into the storage tank. The dip tube is a common feature in both types of storage water heaters. Just above the dip tube is the shut off valve that cuts the flow of the water from the tube into the tank. The dip tube is very long and reaches till the bottom of the storage tank so that cold water can be deposited at a low point for better and quicker heating.

3)    Outflow Pipe: As the name suggests, hot water flows out of the tank through the outflow pipe. The outflow pipe is shorter in length when compared with the dip tube, since hot water is lighter than cold water.

4)    Thermostat/Burner Control: A gas water heater has a burner control, which is the equivalent of a thermostat in an electric water heater. Both these water heater parts are used for controlling the temperature of the water inside the water heater tank.

5)   Heating Elements/Burner: A heating element is one of the main water heater parts and is responsible for heating the water inside the tank. They are placed at the side of an electric water heater. Resembling the heating elements of an electric oven, these thick rods are wired for supply of electricity.

Gas water heaters have burners that conduct heat to warm up the water and the burner is placed at the bottom of the tank.

6)   Drain Valve: Both, gas and electric water heaters have, what is called, a drain valve at the bottom. This is a functionality, which is especially useful when flushing out water from the tank during routine maintenance procedures or removal of appliance, needs to be opened to let out accumulated water.

7)   Pressure Relief Valve: PRV is one of the water heater parts created as a safety measure. PVR releases pressure in case of excessive pressure build up to avoid explosion.

Another important part is the anode rode, situated in the middle of the water tank to prevent water corrosion.

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