Where Is My Hot Water Heater

Where’s your water heater located?

Were you concerned about where your hot water heater was positioned when you first moved in to your home? Or better yet, have you ever questioned why your hot water heater was placed where it was? Water heaters are commonly found in the garage, basement, crawlspace, or attic, and in some cases, they even have their own dedicated closet. The location of the water heater in the house has an impact on how quickly the water heats up in the kitchen or bathroom. The majority of the time, we don’t think about our water heaters until the water is no longer as hot as it used to be since they are hidden away in locations where we can’t see them.

The normal life expectancy of a water heater is roughly ten years, and we frequently forget to keep track of how old our water heater is.

Earlier this week, PHC received an emergency services call from a tenant whose hot water heater had broken on the third floor of her town house, resulting in water damage to all three levels of the building.

When it comes to water heaters, there isn’t a good place to put them since if one explodes, the water will have to flow someplace, but if they are on a lower floor, the amount of water lost is often smaller.

Find out what may be harmed if there is a leak or worse, what could be destroyed.

Whenever you have a problem with your hot water heater, give PHC Restoration a call at 919-834-6523.

Where is my hot water heater located?

The majority of water heaters are found in the garage, basement, or attic of a home. Water heaters (excluding tankless models) can take up a significant amount of space. These are typically the ideal places to keep your heater since they can best fit the size of the unit. It is necessary to have two water heaters in certain households. Most of the time, the water heater in your prefabricated house may be found next to the furnace in the building. Water heaters can occasionally be located in the closet of your master bedroom.

  • Also I’d want to know if a hot water heater may be placed in a bedroom.
  • Other types of water heaters that rely on fuel combustion are not authorized to be installed in bedrooms, bathrooms, or closets that have doors that open into these areas of the building.
  • Changing the temperature of the water heater For example, most current gas and electric water heaters are equipped with an insulated access panel that conceals the thermostat.
  • What is the reason for the elevation of hot water heaters?

A water heater lifted above the ground minimizes the accumulation of hazardous gases and vapors from spilt gasoline or any other combustible fluid on the garage’s concrete floor.

Troubleshooting Checklist for an Electric Water Heater

Electric water heaters have a similar appearance to their gas-fueled counterparts. In order to limit heat loss from the heated water, they both employ an insulated steel storage tank jacket, with insulation between the storage tank and the tank jacket. The primary difference between electric and gas water heaters is the source of heat used to heat the water. Electric upper and lower heating components that extend into the water tank heat the water in an electric water heater, which is powered by electricity.

When it comes to electric water heaters that provide little or no heat, the most common problem is a faulty heating element, which is a pretty affordable component that is quite simple to repair.

Watch Now: How to Repair an Electric Water Heater

Limited warranties are provided with both residential and commercial hot water heaters. Every tank is equipped with a rating plate that displays the tank’s model and serial number. These numbers specify the year in which the tank was manufactured, and they will decide if the tank is covered by a prorated warranty, which may include the provision of a new tank or replacement parts at no cost or at a discount. Take a picture or write down the information, then contact the manufacturer if the tank is leaking or the element is not working correctly.

The following is something that you can perform before you start diagnosing the issue.


Working with electric water heaters when the power is on is risky since they are high-voltage (240-volt) equipment that can cause electrocution. Turn off the electricity to the water heater’s circuit by turning off the relevant breaker in your home’s service panel before inspecting any electrical components of the water heater (breaker box). Also, use a non-contact voltage tester to check all of the wires in the water heater to ensure that the power is turned off before touching any of the wires.

How to Fix

The Spruce Tree

No Hot Water

A water heater that does not generate hot water might be due to a lack of electricity, a tripped limit switch, or one or more faulty heating components, to name a few possibilities. As a first step, make sure that the circuit breaker for your water heater is not tripped on your panel of electrical circuit breakers. Switch off the circuit breaker and then turn it back on if it has been tripped. If the heater’s breaker does not trip (i.e., if it is still turned on), attempt the following steps to reset the high-temperature limit:

  1. Turn off the circuit breaker for the water heater’s circuit at the service panel if necessary. Removing the access panel for the water heater’s upper heating element is a good idea. Carefully remove all of the insulation and the plastic safety shield, taking care not to come into contact with any of the wires or electrical connections
  2. To reset the high-temperature cutoff, press the red button above the higher thermostat, which is positioned above the upper thermostat. Reinstall the safety guard, the insulating material, and the access panel. Turn on the circuit breaker for the heater. Test each heating element and replace it if required if this does not resolve the problem

“The Spruce” is a song by Candace Madonna.

Inadequate Hot Water

If your water heater is producing hot water but not enough of it, it is possible that your unit is too small to satisfy the hot water demands of your home.

Take precautions to ensure that the water heater’s capacity does not exceed the demand.

How to Fix

The water heater should be able to provide hot water to a capacity of 75% of its total capacity. For example, a 40-gallon water heater is appropriately suited for a 30-gallon demand. If the demand exceeds the capacity of the heater, attempt to restrict the length of showers, install low-flow showerheads, and spread out dishwashing and laundry to different times of the day rather than doing them all at the same time to reduce the strain on the heater. The failure of one or both of your unit’s heating elements, even if your unit is not undersized, might indicate that one or both of its heating elements have failed.

When hot water runs out rapidly during a shower, it is an indication of a faulty bottom heating element in the shower.

Water Temperature Is Too Hot

When there is too much hot water, it may be almost as annoying as when there is not enough hot water. If you’re encountering this problem, it’s possible that one or both of the thermostats on your water heater are set too high.

How to Fix

To double-check the thermostat settings, do the following:

  1. In the service panel, turn off the electricity to the water heater to conserve energy. The access panel, insulation, and plastic safety shield from each heating element on the water heater should be removed before continuing. Do not come into contact with any wires or electrical terminals. Using a non-contact voltage tester, check the cables to ensure that the power has been turned off. Ensure that the heat is set correctly on both thermostats: Both of them should be at the same temperature as each other. 115 to 125 degrees Fahrenheit is the acceptable temperature range. Make use of a flathead screwdriver to adjust the temperature to the correct level
  2. And Set the other thermostat to the same temperature as the first
  3. For each element, replace the safety guard, insulation, and access panel as needed. Turn on the circuit breaker for the heater.

“The Spruce” is a song by Candace Madonna.

Water Leaks

Water leaks are often caused by leaking valves and plumbing connections, but they can also be caused by difficulties with the tank’s drainage system. Water leaks may cause substantial damage to a property, which is why it is critical to repair the leak as soon as it is discovered.

How to Fix

Leaks from water heater tanks can occur as a result of faulty heating components or corrosion in the tank. Inspect the elements for looseness and, if required, tighten them with an element wrench to prevent them from moving. A rusted tank is unable to be repaired and must be completely replaced instead. Turn off the water heater’s power and water supply, and then totally drain the tank to stop the leaks from occurring. “The Spruce” is a song by Candace Madonna.

Rust-Colored Water or Bad Odor

If your water has a brown, yellow, or red tinge to it as it comes out of the faucet, corrosion might be occuring within your water heater tank or in the pipes in your home. If your water comes out smelling like rotten eggs, it’s possible that bacteria has built up in the tank of your hot water heater. A professional plumber may be required to replace the anode rod in the tank, which is something that you should avoid doing unless absolutely necessary. courtesy of KariHoglund / Getty Images

Tank Making Noises

Is your water heater making noises? If so, what are they? Is there a low rumbling or popping sound when you turn it on? What if it’s a high-pitched whine instead? It’s possible that the sounds you’re hearing is the sound of boiling water. When there is a significant amount of sediment building in the bottom of a tank, it can cause the bottom of the tank to overheat, which can result in the water boiling.

How to Fix

In order to remove the silt from the tank, the first thing to attempt is to empty it.

The tank may need to be replaced if this does not alleviate the problem. “The Spruce” is a song by Candace Madonna.

The age old question: Is my Water Heater Gas or Electric?

It is common for every household to have a water heater. However, if you ask the majority of homeowners whether their furnace is powered by gas or electricity, the odds are good that they won’t know. Yes, I’ll confess it. To be honest, I wasn’t sure if my water heater was powered by gas or electricity at first. Personally, it didn’t worry me because I was only concerned with maintaining a constant supply of hot water in my home at all times. But when I really thought about it, I discovered that knowing the difference was critical when it came to budgeting for bills, minimizing my carbon footprint, and choosing whether or not to upgrade my air conditioning unit.

Additionally, investing in the most energy-efficient models and being careful of our running faucets may also contribute to water conservation.

Spotting the difference

Your water heater has been turned on, and you’re not sure if it’s an electric or gas kind. What do you do? Begin by looking for an access panel on the side of the water heater to get access to the tank. A pilot light is a blue flame that appears when you remove the cap. Only gas versions have this feature. Connected pipes are also an indication of a gas water heater, whereas an electric water heater will just have a wire that runs into the top or side of the device.

Comparing Gas vs. Electric Water Heaters

The distinctions between gas and electric water heaters go well beyond their physical appearances to include their performance. Natural gas and electricity may both be used to feed traditional storage and tankless demand water heaters, however the kind of fuel used has an impact on the pricing and running costs of the water heater. Electric water heaters are typically less expensive than gas water heaters, in part because of the ease with which they may be installed, as they do not require gas lines or venting systems.

  • House Logic, on the other hand, points out that gas models are typically less expensive to operate, depending on your local utility bills.
  • Meanwhile, high-efficiency electric water heaters are often more expensive upfront than gas versions, but you’ll likely recover the difference in long-term savings if you choose to invest in one.
  • When it comes to routine maintenance, both gas and electric water heaters require the same amount of love and care, with the primary difference being whether you turn off the gas pilot light or flip the electrical switch before commencing work.
  • Your water heater, whether it’s gas or electric, deserves to be protected by a dependable company.

Consider purchasing a home warranty plan in order to be prepared in the event of system failures or unit breakdowns. Being well-prepared for any type of home repair is always a wise move. See how HomeServe’s programs can assist you in covering the expenses of covered repairs.

Regulations on Placement of Hot Water Heaters

The position of a water heater is governed differently in each state. If you are installing a hot water heater, you must make sure that it is installed in accordance with your local rules and building requirements. These might vary from state to state and even from county to county, so make sure you check with your local government agencies to ensure that you are installing the heater in the proper location before proceeding. For further information, contact your state’s planning department, or seek the assistance of a skilled contractor who can provide guidance.

See also:  How To Install A Tankless Water Heater In An Rv

General Placement

The majority of requirements are straightforward, and they mandate that water heaters be installed against an exterior wall of the home. As a result, the majority of hot water heaters are located in garages or basements. You’ll want to locate your water heater near an exterior wall to allow for the flue to go through the unit. Choosing a location where the water heater is close to the taps that will be used for hot water is another important consideration. With each pumping cycle, heat is swiftly lost via the pipe.

To save energy, place your heater as close as possible to your kitchen and bathroom to maximize efficiency.

You should avoid installing the heater in a position where water may quickly seep into the foundation and subfloors or where gas can easily seep into the home.

Make sure that no combustible objects are near the heater, and attempt to position it such that maintenance and routine inspections are simple and that all panels are easily accessible.

Specific Placement Requirements

Installing water heaters on an uneven surface is not recommended. If the concrete floor is uneven, use shims under the water heater’s base to make it precisely level before installing the water heater. This is extremely crucial for the movement of water and gas. The heater should be placed near a floor drain in order for any water leaks to flow out and away from the house as quickly as possible. Due of the difficulty in accomplishing this, most rules allow you to utilize a drain pan instead. In addition to being at least two inches deep, the drain pan should be at least two inches longer and broader than the water heater’s overall dimensions.

It will also be necessary to connect the relief valve, which is often positioned at the top of the hot water tank, to an open drain.

The majority of manufacturers suggest that water heaters be located close to power sources in order to keep wiring as short as feasible. Make sure that your pipework and wires are properly insulated and protected so that damage from leaks does not cause your electrical system to fail.

No Hot Water in the House? (HERE’S WHAT TO DO)

Please keep in mind that this content may contain affiliate links. This means that, at no additional cost to you, we may gain a small profit on purchases made via our links. Once the cause of the problem has been located, a trip to a big hardware shop and the use of a few simple tools can help to get things back on the boil.

No Hot Water – Electric Water Heaters

An electric water heater may fail for a variety of causes, the most of which are listed below. Beginning with the following areas, troubleshooting can be more effective:

Faulty Heating Element

A heating element can fail, and it is actually one of the most prevalent (and eventually fatal) issues that can occur with an electric hot water heater. It would be essential to replace the water heater element, but thankfully, this is a very straightforward procedure.

Faulty Thermostat

The upperthermostat of an electric water heater is responsible for controlling both the upper and lower heating components of the water heater. When this happens, the dreaded “hot water is not functioning” scenario occurs. Because the lower thermostat only regulates the lower heating element, if it fails (but the higher thermostat does not), the effect is that the hot water does not get sufficiently hot. Replacement of the thermostat is the solution.

Tripped Circuit Breaker

It is necessary to check your circuit breaker box in order to determine whether or not the breaker for the water heater has tripped. A water heater, like other significant equipment, need the installation of a separate electrical circuit. If the water heater breaker trips, it should be straightforward to locate because it will not be in the same location as the other breakers in the box. You may reset it by simply switching the breaker from the off position to the on position. If it trips again, you will need to contact an electrician to determine the source of the problem.

Other Causes of Hot Water Not Working:

Keep an eye out for any foreign objects that may be shorting across electrical connections.

Tripped Reset Button

A reset button that keeps tripping might be the result of a faulty reset button. To begin, try resetting the water heater; if that doesn’t work, you will most likely need to replace the component in question.

Wire Short

A direct short might occur as a result of frayed or damaged wire. Replace all faulty wiring as soon as possible to avoid a potential fire occurrence.

Water Leak

In the event that you don’t have hot water, it will be rather clear if you have a water leak since it will not be the normal slow drip sort of leak. Connections that are leaking can occasionally be tightened, and if tightening does not work, they can be replaced. Many water heater leaks may be readily repaired, but a leaky tank indicates that the water heater has to be completely replaced.

Undersized Fuse or Breaker

Replace the malfunctioning device with one that can handle a higher current. This is not something that would happen out of nowhere, but if you have just replaced your water heater with a newer one, it is possible that this is the cause.

Weak Breaker

Circuit breakers can fail over time, which is especially true in older homes, and they will need to be changed at some point. Replace the breaker with a new one.

No Hot Water – Gas Water Heaters

Gas units have a distinct set of issues than electric devices, however both types of equipment are typically repairable. Taking extra care while working with natural gas is a must, and doing your own repairs should only be attempted if you are completely confident in your abilities. Otherwise, fill out the form above to at the very least receive a free quotation from a local plumbing professional. If you are experiencing a lack of hot water in your house, here are several typical issues to look into:

No Gas Supply

Something is interfering with the flow of gas to the pilot light and the burner. It’s possible that the gas supply was accidentally turned off. Make sure the gas is turned on and that the gas valve is not in the closed position by checking the following: If this is the case, open the valve and proceed as directed in the procedure for re-igniting the pilot light.

Pilot Light is Out

If the pilot light is not lit but there is gas flow, look for problems with the components listed below. Consider the following: 5 Reasons Why Your Water Heater Pilot Light Won’t Stay Lit


The tip of the thermocouple should be in the flame of the pilot light, and the thermocouple should be snugly attached to the gas line to function properly. If all of these items are in order, search for any obstructions in the thermocouple and replace it if required.

Air in Line

Ensure there is no air in the line by relighting the pilot light multiple times and checking the flow of gas.

Clogged Pilot Orifice

This component can be removed and cleaned in order to optimize the performance of the water heater.

Clogged, Bent or Defective Supply Line

Pinholes in the gas pipe might cause the heating to come on and off intermittently. Replace any damaged lines as soon as possible.

Defective Gas Control Valve

This component has the potential to restrict gas from reaching the pilot and/or combustion chamber. Gas valves are not repairable, however they are quite affordable to replace.

Dirty or Clogged Burner

Soot can accumulate on the main burner, inhibiting effective heating and, in certain cases, completely blocking burner ignition. Remove the component and thoroughly clean it.


External activities like as storms or rats might cause the flue to get clogged. It is not difficult to clean the chimney, although it does have a propensity to be dirty. Excessive or unexpected winds might cause the flue to collapse, resulting in the pilot being extinguished.

Water is Not Hot Enough

If the unit is still operational but only gives sporadic results, it is possible that one or more of the system’s components has begun to deteriorate. In the event that you are confident that the water heater is large enough for the intended purpose, one of the following components is most likely in need of repair:

Check Thermostats

Even if the temperature control is appropriately adjusted, it is possible that the thermostat itself will need to be changed. As previously stated, a malfunctioning thermostat is frequently to blame when something is too hot or too cold.

Inspect Burner

The accumulation of sediment on the burner of a gas water heater might prevent the water from heating properly.

Burner assemblies can fail over time, albeit this is an uncommon occurrence. DIY replacement is possible, however it is suggested that you leave it to the professionals.

Examine Dip Tube

While failure of this component is not widespread, it does occur from time to time in rare cases. You are unlikely to have one of the 20 million water heaters made between 1993 and 1996 that had fragile polypropylene tubes, but even those manufactured in the last few years do not come with a warranty against breakdown. The water heater dip tube must be replaced if it has failed due to a clogged drain.

Loose Wiring

An electric water heater’s connections might become loose, causing the appliance to operate in an unpredictable manner. Turn off the power to the device and inspect all of the connections to ensure they are secure and free of corrosion. Although this is a rare occurrence, it is nonetheless worth investigating.

Tank Leak

A leak in the water heater tank itself might prevent the water from reaching the correct water heater temperature temperature. The leaking of tanks can cause water damage, short circuits, and even a fire in some cases. The only way to solve this problem is to replace the water heater completely. Is it possible for you to receive a little more precise guidance? Check out the manuals for A.O. Smith water heaters.

The Best Places For a Water Heater in Your Home Interior Design –

Water heaters are devices that are used to both heat and store water in a storage tank. When you have a water heater in your home, it is used to heat water for your entire family. It regulates the temperature of your showers and baths, as well as the temperature of your bathroom and kitchen faucets, dishwasher, washer, and dryer, among other things. According to tankless water heater reviews, this equipment is available in a variety of configurations and sizes (tank, tankless, electric, gas, etc.).

Let’s get this party started.

Tanked OrTankless Water Heaters For Your Home

When purchasing a water heater, there are a variety of factors to consider, including the kind of water heater. Water heaters are generally classified into two categories: classic tanked water heaters and tankless water heaters. Because tankless water heaters are a newer competitor on the market, it is possible that you are more familiar with tanked water heaters. Tanked water heaters are responsible for both storing and distributing water, whereas tankless water heaters are just responsible for dispensing water.

Rather than storing water in a tank, tankless water heaters heat water directly from the source.

Here are some of the positives:


  • Energy efficiency
  • Financial savings of around $100 per year
  • Lower operational expenses
  • Smaller overall size
  • Longer life expectancy (20 years or more).


In addition to the benefits and drawbacks discussed above, you will want to examine how much of a water heater your home will require in terms of capacity.

You might be wondering, “How large of a water heater do I require?” The size of your household and the cost of utilities will be the deciding considerations. Use this straightforward approach to calculate the size of your water heater:

  • Family size 1-2: 30-gallon heater
  • Family size 2-3: 40-gallon heater
  • Family size 3-4: 40-50-gallon heater
  • Family size 5 or more: 50-80-gallon heater
  • Family size 6 or more: 100-gallon heater
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It is also crucial to consider the fuel supply, which might be either gas or electric.

Where to Locate Your Water Heater

The majority of water heaters are found in the garage, basement, or attic of a home. Water heaters (except tankless models) can take up a significant amount of floor area. These are often the finest places to keep your heater since they are the most appropriate for its size. Some households require two water heaters to meet their needs. In this case, each heater is normally installed (standalone) in a specific area of the house. For example, one heater in the basement and one heater in the garage would be plenty.

They are most commonly seen in the following locations:

  • Under sinks, in bathrooms, in closets, in pantries, and at the bottom of the stairs

Tankless water heaters are compact and may be installed almost anyplace. Some of them can even be mounted outside, albeit not all of them. When deciding where to place your unit, use caution and keep in mind that certain units do not advocate outside installation. Choosing the placement of your heater is important since it should not be located in regions that are susceptible to freezing, as well as in direct sunshine, rain, extreme humidity or moisture, and heavy dust. Here are some additional installation advice for tankless water heaters, including where to put them:

  • Location in close proximity to hot water sources (faucets, showers, etc.) a location that does not need extensive plumbing modifications
  • Location that is convenient to go to
  • The location is away from flammable components.

If you are replacing your hot water heater, it is generally safe to install your tankless water heater in the same place as your old water heater. If you are updating your hot water heater, it is generally safer to put your tankless heater in the same area as your previous water heater.

Tankless Water Heater is Better For Your Home Space

Despite the greater initial cost, tankless water heaters are preferred by the majority of users for a variety of reasons, including cost savings, energy efficiency, longer lifespan, and the reduced space required for installation and placement. When choosing a tankless water heater, take the following factors into consideration:

  • Cost, energy efficiency, fuel source, household size, and installation expenses are all factors to consider.

Final Thoughts

It is critical to make the right choice when it comes to the installation of your home’s water heater. There are several aspects to consider, with the position of the water heater being one of the most significant. Make use of the information provided above to assist you in your purchasing decision. Remember to take into account the following critical considerations:

  • Choosing between a tanked and a tankless water heater
  • The most appropriate water heater for the size of your family
  • Installing your heater in the most optimal area

Also keep in mind that many water heaters (whether tanked or tankless) come with user manuals that provide information on recommended installation points, household size, and proper usage of the unit.

How to Reset an Electric Hot Water Heater

After the water heater’s electricity has been turned off, remove the metal plate that covers the thermostat by removing the two screws that hold it in place. Keep the screws in a safe place. There will very certainly be some sort of insulating layer underneath the plate. You should be able to see the reset button when you have removed the insulation. It’s most likely in the color red, and it could even be labeled “reset button” or something like. Firmly press the button in to secure it. This should cause the electricity to the heating element to be re-established.

Replace the insulation and make certain that the metal plate is secured with the screws that were saved from the previous step. Next, depending on how you shut down the electricity, either reconnect the plug to the socket or reset the circuit breaker to the “ON” position.

Step 3. Check to See if the Issue is Solved.

Watch your hot water for approximately a half hour to see if this has resolved the problem for you. Assuming that your hot water heater is operational, you should have hot water in approximately half an hour—and you will have spared yourself the expense of a professional visit. Reset the button on the other panel as well if the problem persists and your hot water heater has two panels, one on the top and one on the bottom, as shown in the illustration. Simply continue the steps in Step 1 (making sure to turn off the power again) and Step 2 to complete the process.

  1. In the event that you still don’t have hot water after waiting half an hour, or if your water heater trips again shortly after, this may indicate the presence of a more serious problem.
  2. A variety of factors might be contributing to the problem, including a defective thermostat, a faulty heating element, or loose or faulty wiring that is generating a short.
  3. This is when you should contact a professional, such as Kay Plumbing Services, to help you diagnose and resolve the issue.
  4. This will help to avoid potentially harmful circumstances from developing and will also help to prevent any more damage.

How Does a Hot Water Heater Work? Let Us Explain!

The less you have to think about your hot water heater, as is the case with most other household utilities, the better. The only thing that is actually vital to know is that it is operating to provide your house with the hot water that it requires. Nonetheless, having a basic understanding of how your water heater operates is always important. If the machine is one that is utilized on a regular basis, this is especially true. Water heaters are responsible for ensuring that water is delivered via the pipes to its intended destination at the right temperature every time you shower, wash dishes, or do a load of laundry.

Hot Water Heater Components

First, we’ll take a look at the many components that work together to provide you with the hot water you require. With the exception of a few minor variations, these components are shared by both electric and gas water heaters. It is possible that this will provide an answer to your inquiry about “how does a hot water heater work?”


The vast majority of water heaters seen in houses throughout the United States have enormous, insulated tanks that hold hot water.

These water heater tanks are available in a variety of sizes, commonly ranging from 20 to 80 gallons in capacity. The size of the tank should be proportional to the number of people who will be using hot water in the home, and the normal household tank has a capacity of 40-60 gallons of water.

Dip Tube

The dip tube is the point at which cold water from your home’s municipal water supply, well, or other water source is introduced into the tank for storage. It is right before the water heater that your main water line separates. Water is pumped from the main valve to your cold water faucet through a cold water service line when you switch on the cold water faucet. The water that comes out of the hot water tap is channeled via the dip tube and into the hot water storage tank. This occurs prior to the water traveling through the hot water service line to the house.

The cold water enters via this opening and is subsequently heated by the water at the bottom of the tank.

Heating Element / Gas Burner

A heating element in the tank of an electric water heater heats the water within the tank to a desired temperature. When using a gas water heater, the heating mechanism is provided by a gas burner. Both of these items may be found near the bottom of the tank.

Anode Rod

Another safety step is the use of anode rods. It does this by electrolyzing the tank and preventing rust from forming. In this case, the metal-coated steel rod (which is often coated in aluminum, zinc, or magnesium) rusts instead of the steel lining that is used to line the tank’s internal walls.


Water heaters are equipped with a thermostat on the outside that allows you to monitor and change the temperature of the water being heated.

Heat-Out Pipe

The hot water service line is the pipe that transports hot water from the tank to the hot water service line. It may be found at the very top. The hottest water rises to the top of the tank due to the fact that hot water has less density than cold water (and heat rises by its own nature).


  • Valve for Drainage– The drain valve is positioned near the bottom of the tank, on the exterior of the tank. The drain valve, as its name implies, is responsible for draining off silt that has accumulated inside the tank. Shut-off Valve– A shut-off valve is located on the outside of the water heater. Essentially, this stops the flow of water into the tank. Pressure Relief Valve– The water inside the tank is extremely pressured, necessitating the use of a pressure relief valve. An emergency pressure relief valve is designed to prevent pressure from accumulating to a dangerous level.

How Does a Hot Water Heater Work?

So, how do all of these components interact with one another? What is the operation of a hot water heater? So, here’s a synopsis of the situation. The trip of your hot water begins with the main water pipe and continues to your shower, washing machine, sink, dishwasher, and other appliances. Water heaters that use gas or electricity are both tank-type water heaters. These are the most prevalent types of water heaters that may be used in residential settings. They both function substantially on the same premise, with the primary differences being in their different heat sources.

Here’s how a water heater works:

In order for water to enter your home, it must flow via the main water line. Just before the water heater, the line is divided into two different paths, each of which serves as the water intake system for your home. After that, you switch on the hot water faucet. Ice-cold water pours through the shut-off valve and into the water heater tank, where it will soon be heated to a comfortable temperature. The water is heated by the heating mechanism located at the bottom of the tank in accordance with the thermostat setting.

After that, you switched on the hot water faucet, and additional water poured into your hot water tank through the dip tube.

As additional cold water enters the tank, the hot water at the top of the tank is forced to the bottom of the tank under great pressure. This hot water rises via the heat-out pipe and is sent to the hot water faucet.

Tankless Water Heaters

A tankless water heater is another alternative that is becoming increasingly popular, albeit being less prevalent. Tankless water heaters do not store hot water in a tank that is constantly heated; instead, they heat water only when it is required. When you turn on a hot water faucet, a flow sensor in the tankless water heater unit is triggered to respond. Assuming the tankless unit is fueled by gas, this sensor switches on an internal fan to pull in air, opens the gas valve, and ignites the burner by activating a gas valve inside the tankless unit.

  • In either scenario, the heat exchanger inside the unit is warmed, and the water is heated to a certain temperature as a result of this heating.
  • As a result, there is no need to store hot water in a tank and there is no need to use the energy required to maintain a high temperature on a consistent basis.
  • With a tankless unit, you will never run out of hot water since there is no tank to run out of water.
  • These advantages, on the other hand, come at a larger cost up front than with a traditional hot water heater, which is why they are more expensive.

Hot Water, Whenever You Need It

When you grasp the fundamentals of how a hot water heater works, it isn’t too tough to comprehend. If you’re experiencing problems with your hot water heater, require basic maintenance, or wish to investigate replacement alternatives, you’ll need a dependable plumber you can rely on to get the job done right. South Jersey residents may turn toLaury Heating Cooling Plumbing for the best quality plumbing services available.

See also:  What Brand Of Tankless Water Heater Is Best

DIY Water Heater Testing and Repair

Occasionally, the heating elements on electric water heaters break long before the water heater itself fails, but changing them in a hot water heater is a simple Do It Yourself repair.

Tools Required

The majority of the time, replacing one or both of the heating elements will address the problem if your electric hot water heater is taking a long time to heat up, running out of hot water more quickly than it used to, or not delivering any hot water. Water heater repairs are simple, and replacement components are affordable ($8 to $20), and they are easily accessible at home centers, hardware shops, and appliance parts dealers across the country. How to test the heating elements, remove one if it’s defective, and replace it with a new one will be demonstrated.

If your heater is reaching its end of life, it may be more cost-effective to replace it than to repair it.

Other Causes of Water Not Getting Hot

Of course, there are a variety of additional factors that might contribute to a shortage of hot water. Before you begin testing the elements, double-check that the circuit breaker is not tripped and that it is in the on position. Press the reset button on the high-temperature cutoff, which is positioned slightly above the top thermostat, at the same time. Although resetting either the circuit breaker or the high-temperature cutoff may remedy the problem, the fact that they were tripped in the first place may suggest that there is an electrical fault with the system in the first place.

Assuming that the heating components are working properly, the thermostats or cutoff switch may be defective. Because they’re affordable (around $20 for both the thermostat and the cutoff switch), you could just replace them rather than go through the trouble of testing them.

Video: How to Test Your Water Heater Element

  • Power should be turned off at the circuit breaker. Remove the metal covers from the thermostats and heating components to reveal them.
  • Pro tip: Check that the power has been turned off by tapping the electrical connections with a noncontact voltage detector.

Test the Wires

  • Please keep in mind that if the wires are covered by metal conduit, the tester will not read the voltage. Take off the metal thermostat cover that is mounted on the side of the water heater, peel out all of the insulation, and place the tester in close proximity to the wires that go up to the top of the high-temperature cutoff switch.
  • Placing the tester against the metal water heater shell will get the following results:
  • Note: If the tester does not light up, it is okay to proceed with the testing of the components.

What’s Inside a Water Heater and How It Works

The vast majority of domestic electric water heaters feature two heating elements: one near the top of the tank and another towards the bottom of the tank. After entering the top, power travels to the high-temperature cutoff switch, and then to the thermostats and elements on each side of the unit. The temperature of the top and bottom components is regulated by two different thermostats. When the water at the top of the tank becomes too hot, the top element goes off and the bottom element takes over to heat the water.

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Test Continuity for a Burned-Out Element

  • Please keep in mind that you will need a continuity tester ($5 to $10) for this stage.
  • Disconnect the wires from the terminal screws using a wire cutter. Attach the alligator clamp to one of the element screws using a hex key. With the tester probe, make contact with the other screw.
  • Note: If the tester does not illuminate, the element should be replaced.

Test for a Short Circuit

  • The alligator clip should be attached to one of the element screws. Touch the tester probe to the mounting bracket for the element
  • Repeat the process on the other screw.
  • It is important to note that if the tester light illuminates either time, there is a short. Replace the element with a new one

The Secret of the Red Button

Occasionally, both elements will pass the test, but you will still be unable to receive hot water. Try pressing the “high-temperature cutoff” button, which is situated right above the upper thermostat, to see if that helps. It may temporarily cure the problem, but if the problem recurs, the heating components should be checked. Step number five.

Remove the Bad Element

  • Close the intake valve for cold water
  • Start by turning on the hot water tap in the kitchen. Pour water into the tank by connecting a garden hose to the drain valve and opening it
  • Note: A water heater element wrench (available for $5 at home centers and hardware stores) is required for thread-in–type elements such as those shown below.
  • Remove the old heating element by unscrewing it using a heating element wrench.
  • Pro tip: To spin the socket, you’ll need a long, robust Phillips screwdriver with a flat blade. To free the threads that have become stuck, use a cold chisel and a hammer to loosen the threads that have become stuck.

Install the New Element

  • Insert the replacement element into the water heater and tighten it down with the heating element wrench if necessary. Reconnect the wires, checking to see that the connections are secure. Remove the insulation and metal covers and replace them.

Buying Heating Elements

Replace your heating element with one that has the same wattage as your existing one. For information on wattage if your old element isn’t labeled, look at the nameplate on the water heater, your instruction manual, or search online using the model number found on the nameplate. Heating elements are secured to the water heater with either a big thread and nut, as illustrated below, or with four bolts and nuts, as indicated in the diagram below. Most home centers carry the type we’ve shown, but if you’re replacing the four-bolt version, you may purchase an adaptor kit.

Low-density parts that are more costly are typically folded back.

Replacement of your old element with a low-density element will result in more efficient functioning and a longer service life.

Water Heater Location in the Home Pros & Cons

What is the location of your water heater? Did you know that the location of your water heater has an impact on its efficiency, performance, and the likelihood of causing water damage if it leaks? Knowing where your water heater is positioned and understanding what this entails for the structure of your home, as well as performing basic preventative maintenance, are critical for any Texas homeowner.

Water HeatersOutsideOr In TheGarage

Tank style water heaters (both gas and electric) are not designed to be directly exposed to the weather and, if used outside, must be protected from the elements. They are frequently found in the garages of homes in the DFW Metroplex. Especially prevalent in areas like McKinney and Frisco, where new construction homes or those built within the previous 30 years are the norm, is this phenomenon. Because the garage is often not temperature regulated, any exposed piping leading to the water heater should be adequately insulated to prevent it from being frozen.

It is possible to get tankless water heaters that are designed to be put outside of the home.

It is necessary to insulate the plumbing lines for tankless units in the same way that they are for tank style water heaters, and the tankless unit itself includes built-in freeze protection as long as electricity is supplied to the house.

For residences in the north Dallas metroplex region, the garage is frequently the most convenient place for a water heater, whether it is a tank style or a tankless kind. Whenever a breakdown occurs and the unit begins to leak, the amount of damage to the residence is usually low or nonexistent.

Water HeatersInsideTheHouse

Prior to the 1970s, it was far more typical to see water heaters installed within the home, particularly in older properties. Older homes are more likely to have gas water heaters, which are usually positioned adjacent to a gas furnace in the laundry room or in a separate mechanical/utility closet. This is popular in Plano, Richardson, and Carrollton, where a large number of homes were built before the 1970s. However, although it has become less prevalent during the previous 50 years, it has not completely disappeared.

  1. One advantage of this system is that the water heater is frequently positioned in the center of the house, which means that it does not take long for hot water to reach the fixtures.
  2. Unfortunately, when tankless water heaters begin to leak, they represent a far greater danger of causing structural damage to the property.
  3. This is something we see much too frequently.
  4. Moving a water heater, on the other hand, may be a time-consuming and expensive project that entails rerouting gas lines, water lines, vent ducts, and other infrastructure.
  5. This virtually eliminates the possibility of injury in the vast majority of cases.

Water HeatersIn TheAttic

The attic area has become one of the most common sites for water heaters in homes constructed during the last 50 years. From the standpoint of a constructor, it is frequently the most cost-effective alternative because the venting and gas pipe only needs to be run a short distance in most cases. The water heater is likewise hidden away, and no useable square footage is taken up by the structure itself. Unfortunately, though, installing a gas or electric water heater in the attic is arguably the most dangerous option.

  • If they overrun the pan when they first begin to leak, they can bring the drywall ceilings crashing down, destroying the flooring and furniture below.
  • However, while tankless water heaters do not have the same anticipated failure timetable as tank-style water heaters, they are just as prone to leaking and causing damage when they do fail as their tank-style counterparts.
  • It is critical to inspect your water heater on a regular basis and to do correct maintenance, regardless of whether you have a tankless water heater in your attic or a tank style water heater.
  • When your water heater reaches the end of its normal life expectancy, make a proactive decision to replace it.
  • If you want to learn more about water heaters, you can read our in-depthFAQ blog piece on the subject.
  • If you are considering replacing your water heater, you may learn more about our water heaters and the work we undertake to install them on our service pages, which are linked above.
  • Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any more questions or would like to receive a quote for water heater replacement or repair.

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How Water Heaters Work

To understand how efficiently and effectively a water heater accomplishes its job, let’s take a closer look at what’s going on within the tank. The thermostat on a water heater is responsible for regulating the temperature of the water in the tank. Temperatures between 120 and 180 degrees Fahrenheit are usually OK in most cases (49 to 82 degrees Celsius). For the most part, manufacturers recommend that the water temperature be set between 120 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit (49 to 60 degrees Celsius).

If you have youngsters in your household, it’s best to keep closer to the lower end of the price range than the upper end.

Most of the time, the thermostat is hidden under a protective cover plate and is controlled by a knob or dial that you can turn to adjust the temperature.

The heating device, which can be either a burner or an element, continues to operate until the water reaches the desired temperature.

Close to the top of the tank is a pipe that removes the heat.

Using the theory of heat rising to accomplish the difficult task of separating cold, entering water from hot, departing water is the key to understanding how a water heater is designed for this purpose.

Published on April 1, 2000 in the original version.

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