Need a new water heater?
Water heaters are a standard from mobile homes to modern log cabins. A traditional tank system is very simply a big cylinder. The major types available in Alabama are electric or natural gas. Tanks on average hold 50- 60 gallons of water. Most have a layer of insulation built in under the outer shell but it is recommended to place an extra blanket on the outside if the tank is in a drafty basement. An electric water heater uses one or two heating elements similar to ovens. They are placed at middle and top.
This ensures only the hot water is released when the exit tube is opened. With a natural gas heater inside the bottom of the outer shell is a pilot light burning to keep the water hot. A chimney through the center of the tank allows fumes to escape safely. There is a burner control for natural gas and a thermostat for electric models.
The dip tube releases water into the bottom to be heated at a constant rate. The thermometer determines how hot you want your water. Metal corrodes so there is a floating disk of aluminum or sometimes magnesium to slow corrosion. Safety devices like pressure relief valves keep water from exploding under heat and pressure. Finally, there is a drain valve near the bottom to drain the tank for cleaning or replace heating elements as needed. It is recommended to clean your tank often to prevent sediment build up especially if living in hard water areas like northern Alabama.
Tankless water systems are different in that they only heat water as needed instead of heating it and keeping it hot for future use. Tankless systems heat using heat exchange with other devices in your home like air conditioners or electric clothes dryers. Point-of-use heaters can efficiently furnish hot water to a certain bathroom or the kitchen with electricity. Whole house systems can use natural gas or propane which is much cheaper to fuel. You will need to decide which model based on how much water you consume and how quickly you need it heated.
If you have any questions about water heaters, or need a water heater installed in the Birmingham area, then give us a call at (205) 631-6445 and make an appointment today!