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Conventional Water Heaters

Water heaters are the largest class of gas appliances. Their popularity is due to low operating cost, cleanliness and convenience.
There are two basic types of direct-fired gas water heaters commonly use on the market. Under-fired Storage Tank water heater, Instantaneous (Tankless ) water heater.

The storage tank water heaters are also separated in the three groups.  Conventional ( Natural Draft, Atmospheric Draft ) water heater, Power Vent water heater. Sealed Combustion (High Efficiency) water heater.

The supply water pipe transfer cold water to the bottom of the tank through the dip tube and the hot-water transfer pipe takes water from the top. When the temperature at the bottom of the tank drops below the level set on the water heaters thermostat the pilot flame ignites the main burner so the water is kept constantly hot. The job of the storage tank type heater is not only to heat the water, but to store it until it’s ready to use. For that reason equipped with insulation to help keep the water warm between heating cycles.

Yes right it is a much easy and simple operation. Storage tank type water heaters are practically very simple! But, actually it is very important, and need to take care of.

Some times very simple things can affect your life. You can have low level carbon monoxide poisoning and you can lose your health, even as death.
If you have “Conventional(Natural Draft) water heater you need to pay attention more than others. Because you have more chances of getting carbon monoxide poisoning, if you don’t pay attention. Please check “Back Draft” page for more information.

Your water heater can operate for years and provide you with reliable hot water for your convenience. Of course it can happen under one condition. “Regular Maintenance”. This magic word will let you use your water heater for a long time without any problem.

In fact, corrosion is the primary reason that tanks fail. Most tanks are made of steel and some models has glass-lined on the inside to help prevent corrosion. All water heater tanks also have an anode rod to control corrosion. The anode rod is designed to divert corrosive action away from the tank walls to the anode rod.
Replacing your anode rod at regular intervals prevent corrosion and may increase the life of your water heater. It will cost you less to replace the anode rod than your water heater.

Hard water is the another enemy for water heaters and effect their life importantly. Hard water contain sediments more than others. When sediments build-up, it can cause various problems. This can shorten the life of the tank and even lead to the failure of the unit. Sediments thickness would cause heat loss and reduce the amount of hot water a your water heater can make. You will have more energy cost for same amount hot water, some times even not enough hot water and more pollution for the environment.

It doesn’t matter what kind of ”storage tank water heater” you have, all have a T&P Valve (Temperature and Pressure Valve ). This safety valve (T&P) is design to prevent a water heater from exploding. T&p valve need to check every year (good to check very six month) and need to replace every 2 year.
If the water temperature and pressure exceeds safe limits, T&P valve opening and release steam and reduce the pressure. When you see water dripping from T&P valve , turn off the water heater gas valve and open hot water tap until water gets cold. This will reduce the temperature and pressure inside the tank. If you have electric water heater or power vent gas water heater also unplug cord until technician checked it.

Here are the some important youtube videos. It will help you visualize the importance of T&P valve. This test videos perform without safety switches and T&P valve for show to power of temperature and pressure. This videos give idea to us, what can happen if safety parts doesn’t work.

( NOTE : These are a dangerous experiment videos, please never do not try to experiment yourself at home.)

“Mythbusters” Water Heater Explosion Videos (“Mythbusters” is a Discovery Channel TV program name)

First Video
Second Video
Third Video

FOX TV news about water heater explosion in U.S.

Basement explosion caught on camera in U.S.

When you do not have hot water or not enough hot water compare with earlier, every body turn up the temperature knob. But this is not the good idea and right solution. Call a licensed technician and find out the reason before using water heater again.

Please pay attention to regular maintenance. Safety first!

If you have any problems with your water heater, for example:

  • No hot water
  • Not enough hot water
  • Water dripping from T&P valve
  • Hot water smells like a rotten eggs
  • No pilot light
  • Not enough hot water pressure
  • Not enough hot water quantity
  • Water leaking from bottom
  • etc…


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