What You Need to Know About the Workings of a Gas Water Heater | Insight from Your Trusted Richmond, VA Water Heater Repair Experts

What You Need to Know About the Workings of a Gas Water Heater | Insight from Your Trusted Richmond, VA Water Heater Repair Experts

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Water heaters are either run by gas, propane, or electricity. Tankless water heaters are also available that use electricity to heat the water and are more energy-efficient. Gas water heaters are the most common, as they were traditionally the most energy-efficient. In recent years many homeowners are switching to new tankless systems.

This article will look at the different parts that commonly make up a gas, propane, or electric water heater. We’ll look at the function of each component. If you’re searching for water heater repair in Richmond, VA, don’t hesitate to contact bluefrog Plumbing + Drain. They are available for all types of plumbing work, including leak detection, drain cleaning, water heater repair, and installation.

Flue Pipe

Gas water heaters have a burner in which the combustion happens. There will be a flue pipe that removes dangerous carbon monoxide emissions.

Shut Off Valve

The shut-off valve closes off the cold-water supply and is used when carrying out water heater repair. Shutting off the valve allows a plumber to drain the water heater when maintenance is needed or to replace the system. 

Draft Diverter

The draft diverter is attached to the flue pipe and collects the emissions to move them safely into the flue where they are then transported outside.

T&P Valve

The T&P valve controls the water heaters’ temperature and pressure and dispels excess heat or pressure. Without this valve, the water heater would likely explode. 

Overflow Pipe

The overflow pipe is joined to the T&P valve and allows water to be drained from the heater if there is excess heat in the pipes. The overflow pipe will run into a floor drain. If you need to replace your overflow pipe, it’s crucial to contact a professional for water heater repair rather than do it yourself. It’s not a good idea to purchase a readymade overflow pipe as these are manufactured using PVC plastic, which can melt and are illegal in some states as they are dangerous. 

Hot Water Outlet

Your water heater has a pipe known as a hot water outlet that allows hot water to exit the system. This pipe allows water to travel from the heater to the water supply in your property or business premises. 


The burner is a significant component of gas water heaters as it ignites the gas or propane, which will then heat the tank and water. 

Gas Supply Valve

The gas supply valve shuts off the gas in the event of an emergency. This valve should always be closed when carrying out any type of water heater repair or maintenance.


The thermocouple is the component that monitors the pilot flame in the water heater. If this flame goes out, either because of a draft or a fault, there will be no hot water. The job of the thermocouple is to stop the flow of gas to the flame and main burner.


All storage tanks have insulation wrapped around them. Storage tanks are made from metal and need installation to reduce heat loss. 


The thermostat, sometimes known as the control valve controls how hot the water gets. Water heaters are generally set to 120 degrees. This stops bacteria from forming in the water.

Sacrificial Anode

The sacrificial anode is also known as an anti corrosion anode rod and is a critical water heater component. This rod is situated at the top of the storage tank and is made from aluminum and has a steel core. 

Due to electrolysis, the sacrificial rod will corrode before erosion starts to happen in the storage tank. If your sacrificial rod has become corroded, you should call on a professional plumbing service. Once the rod has rusted, your storage tank will also start to erode, and in the long run, this will cause your water heater to fail ultimately. You may notice that your water heater smells like rotten eggs; this is a sign that you need water heater repair. Don’t remove the sacrificial rod, as this can make your warranty void. 

Dip Tube

The dip tube connects to the inlet that brings cold water into the tank and almost reaches the tank’s bottom. This is because the hot water rises and sits on the surface of the tank. Therefore, the cold water is pumped into the bottom section of the storage tank. It’s then heated, which causes it to rise to the top. 

Drain Valve

Your water heater will also have a drain valve that is installed at the bottom of the storage tank. This allows the tank to be drained if any water heater repair needs to be carried out. It’s also a good idea to have your storage tank drained once a year to remove sediment that has formed in the tank. If you live in an area where the water is hard, this is particularly important. Some plumbing services even recommend having your tank drained every six months if you have hard water, as this will reduce the build-up of limescale and other sediments. 

bluefrog Plumbing + Drain of Richmond, VA

If you have any issues with your water heater and are looking for water heater repair, servicing, or installation in the Richmond, VA area, contact bluefrog Plumbing + Drain. The company supplies professional plumbers who are experienced in carrying out water heater repair. They are available for all types of plumbing work, including leak detection, drain cleaning, and water heater repair and installation.

bluefrog Plumbing + Drain is a BBB accredited business that has received an A+ rating; they are also top-rated by Home Advisor. They offer great value for money and friendly customer service. bluefrog’s experienced team can help solve all types of plumbing and drain issues.

bluefrog Plumbing + Drain of Richmond, VA can be contacted on 804-930-8762 for more information about water heater installation or maintenance.

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