The Basics of Water Heaters: Types, Parts, and How They Work

You probably have a water heater in your home, but do you know how it works? Often we have systems in our home that we trust to work without having a full understanding of them. Norfolk Plumbing wants to help you understand how your water heater works so that you can recognize problems should they arise. 

Types of Water Heaters 

There are several different types of water heaters, in this blog, we’ll briefly describe each of the 5 types. 

  • Conventional storage water heaters: these offer a tank of heated water ready to use 
  • Tankless water heaters: these heat the water directly so there is no storage involved 
  • Heat pump water heaters: these move heat from one place to the next without actually directly heating the water
  • Solar water heaters: these use the sun to heat the water 
  • Tankless coil water heaters: these use your home’s space heating system to heat water

If you’re interested in learning more about the type of water heater you have in your home and if it’s right for your needs contact Norfolk Plumbing. Our team of experts would be happy to help you identify the best water heater for your home. 

The Parts of a Water Heater

For this section, we’ve included a diagram of a typical water heater to help you better understand how it works. Again, should you have any questions or concerns Norfolk Plumbing is happy to help. 

How Water Heaters Work (Their Purpose) 

Electric and gas water heaters function pretty similarly, the only difference is what exactly heats the water. The water is pulled in through the dip tube where it’s heated in the tank. The heated water is then ready for you to use whenever you need it. Check out these two videos from owner Jeff Hux to get a better understanding of how to troubleshoot issues with both a gas and electric water heater. 

Regardless of the water heater that you choose, Norfolk Plumbing is here to help you. Our expert plumbers are dedicated to providing you with top service. Give us a call if you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment. Our team would be happy to help you upgrade or check your home’s water heater. (757) 466-0644

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