Stay Warm: Get to Know the Ins and Outs of your Water Heater
I think we can all agree that water heaters are a crucial appliance in our lives. However, the average homeowner knows very little about them. Water heaters store hot water utilized in the shower and sinks throughout the home. This article will highlight the ins and outs of how a water heater works and provide a few troubleshooting tips for the next time you find your hot water is scarce.
The Anatomy of a Water Heater
The first step to maximizing your hot water is to understand how your water heater works. Most water heaters have a cylinder tank that fills with water, a heating element, and then tubing or piping that allows water to flow in and out. Cold water comes into the water heater from the home’s water lines. From there, the tank heats the water to the desired temperature. As the temperature of the water rises, the water itself rises to the top of the heater. The heat-out pipe, located at the top of the tank, then transfers the hottest water to your home’s appliances.
Adjusting the Water Heater
Water heaters come equipped with thermostats to gauge the heating process. The thermostat also allows homeowners to adjust the desired water temperature. You can set most thermometers between 120 and 180 degrees Fahrenheit. Most water heaters recommend setting the temperature between 120-140 degrees to avoid burns from scalding water. It is crucial to leave the setting closer to 120 degrees if you have children.
Choosing the Right Size Water Heater
Choosing the correct size water heater is important to make sure your heater can supply hot water to meet your household’s demands. One of the most common causes of underproduced hot water is that the water heater tank is too small. As a result, it cannot heat enough water for the household, especially for large families. The general rule of thumb is that a water heater should have 75% of its capacity dedicated to hot water.
Troubleshooting Heating Issues
A lack of hot water when taking a shower or doing dishes is a common, yet annoying problem. Knowing a couple of DIY troubleshooting tasks can help save you money in the long run and get you a hot shower in no time. If you can only get cold water from your appliances, check for a tripped circuit breaker in your home or check the water heater circuit for a blown fuse. If neither of those is the problem, you may want to have a technician look at the heating element. This step will help to ensure it is working properly.