Types of Hot Water Heaters: How They Work
If your water heater is close to the end of the warranty you may notice that is doesn’t perform as well as it should. You may notice not enough hot water, a bad odor, a water leak or it could be making strange noises. These are all signs that your heater could need replacing. There are several types of hot water heaters available on the market today. Learning about them and how they operate is important before you call a plumber in Overland Park KS to install a new one for you.
Storage Tank Hot Water Heater
This is the oldest and most common type of hot water heater. It has an insulated tank where the water is heated and stored until you turn on the hot water in your home. Then the water leaves the tank at the top of the water heater through a pipe to enter your plumbing lines. There is a temperature and pressure relief valve on the tank, which will open automatically if either of these items is over a preset level to protect the tank. This type of heater is available in both electric and natural gas styles. Natural gas versions use less energy and are less expensive to operate, whereas the electric versions cost about twice as much to operate as the gas models. The gas models are more expensive to purchase than the electric models.
Tankless (On-Demand) Hot Water Heater
Tankless water heaters enlist heating coils to heat the water as you need it. They don’t store the water in a tank as the above type of water heater. This type is more energy efficient, but they only provide a small amount of hot water per minutes of about 3.5 gallons. This type of system works well in a household where only one water source is using hot water at a time. There most probably would not be enough hot water at a time for a person to take a shower while the dishwasher is running. These models are best for homes with natural gas as a water heating source. Electric models are available, but depending on your home, you may need an upgrade in the electrical capacity of your home.
Heat Pump (Hybrid) Hot Water Heater
These types of water heaters capture heat from the air and then transfer it to the water to heat it. These hybrid models work well in areas where the temperature remains at 40 to 90 degrees, as they use 60 percent less energy than electric units. You also need to have room to install one of these water heaters. The heat pump is on top of the tank and it requires about 7 feet clearance space from the floor to the ceiling. You would also need up to 1,000 cubic feet of space that is not cooled to enable this system to capture enough heat from the air and a drain nearby for the condensate.
Condensing Hot Water Heater
This type of hot water heater is for homes that heat the water with gas and homes with a high capacity of water usage of over 55 gallons. Condensing models have a storage tank like the conventional type of heater, but they capture exhaust gases that would go out the flue on a conventional gas heater. The gases are captured and then blown through a coil that lies in the base of the unit. This is where the cold water can absorb most of the heat.
Contact a plumber in Overland Park KS to install a new, more efficient hot water heater.