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Broken water heaters can be a crippling component in any indoor plumbing system. With your water heater, problems arise when there is no hot water or not enough hot water; sometimes the water is too hot!
The water heater is essentially a large tank (they vary in size) that intakes water and then heats it. It does this in a number of ways depending on what kind of heater you have. In this case, an electric heater heats the water through the heat generated by two thick heating elements similar to the coils found in the back of the oven. A thermostat on the outside of the unit controls these.
From there, the heater uses the principle that heat rises in order to get the hot water to come out instead of the cold. In the event of an emergency, the water heater has a series of valves that allow the pressure to be released or to drain the water in order to replace the elements.
Natural gas water heaters are generally the more efficient systems available. If you currently have an electric water heater and natural gas is available in your area, a switch might save you a lot of money. Before you rule out an electric model entirely, check with your utility company. It may offer special off-peak rates or options for purchasing renewable power that may make electricity a more cost-effective option for you.
Propane water heaters are another method of heating water in a residential property. They are more expensive to install than water heaters, but utility bills thereafter are usually cheaper. However, the energy efficiency of propane water heaters is about 15% lower than similarly sized electric models, and propane heaters require a flue to be installed, in order to vent the carbon monoxide gas that the heater produces as a byproduct.
Tankless water heaters, which use high-powered burners to quickly heat water as it runs through a heat exchanger, were 22 percent more energy efficient on average than the average gas-fired storage-tank models. However, initial costs are high and water temperature may be inconsistent, depending on your home’s electricity or gas supply.
When an electric water heater stops working, it may be because one or both of the elements have burned out or some of the circuitry may be faulty. When water heaters get especially old, it is safe practice to replace them, even if there are not any visible problems.
Typically, because your home’s water pressure is low. As a result of this, when a toilet is flushed while a shower is running, cold water is diverted from the shower to fill the toilet, and subsequently the remaining water pressure in the shower line’s mixer is hot in temperature. Some ways to remedy this are to compensate with a pressure balancing valve or a thermostatic valve, both of which can be bought from Moen, Kohler, and Delta.