Basically, a water heater is a kind of appliance that will convert energy to heat and then transfer that heat to warm water. Generally, the water heater is connected to a certain cold-water supply pipe, and then it has an outgoing water pipe through which it will supply hot water to your faucets and various appliances.
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Let us try to understand in this article, how the storage water heater generally works so that you can get a hot water supply in your home.
Generally, the following are the two main sources of heating water in the storage tank.
Natural gas is usually much less expensive as compared to electric power used for heating a tank. A gas-fuelled water storage heater will heat the water with the help of a burner, which is placed under the tank.
Natural gas will be fed through a pipe and valve system. There is usually a thermostat available within the tank, which will be meant for detecting the temperature of the water. Based on the temperature of the water, the fuel delivery will be controlled so that burner can be heated.
There will be a vent that will collect all the toxic emissions that are coming out from the pipe and the burner, which will be discharged through a pipe. Few high-efficiency water heating systems may also have fans in the vents so that toxic air will be piped out.
In case of an electric water heater, the electric power will be fed to the heating element through an electric cable. Here there will be no need for any vent as the electric heater will not create any toxic gases. Similar thermostat control will also be available here too, which will control the electric supply. The supply will be on and off based on the water temperature.
Also, there are instantaneous heaters are also available, where water will be heated as per demand and will not be stored. These types of heaters are a little less common.
Such instantaneous water heaters are designed for delivering a steady hot water stream for a bath, sink, or shower. Every time your tap is turned on, the water will be heated instantly by electric power and then the water will flow to the outlet.
Typically, for an instantaneous electric water heater, there may be a requirement of high-power inputs, especially if more than a single unit is running at once. In few cases 3 phase power may also be needed however for most of the cases, single-phase power will be adequate.
For solar water heaters as well as heat pump water heaters, there are electric resistive elements that are the key components for “boosting” when the temperature of the water gets low. By using solar radiation or ambient air temperature you will get the primary energy source for heating the water.