What is an Electric Water Heater?


An electric water heater is a type of water heater that utilizes electricity to operate. These water heaters have a low initial cost, but cost a bit of money to operate and maintain.

How do electric water heaters work?

Electric water heaters have a selection of parts that work together to effectively heat water. The heating functionality is similar to gas water heaters, although there is a difference in the powering mechanism. These parts are:

  • Cold water inlet pipe – Provides the water to the water heater to be heated.
  • Cold water inlet valve – Controls the flow of cold water going into the water heater.
  • Hot water outlet pipe – This pipe delivers the hot water to faucets once it is heated.
  • Insulation – Used in tank water heaters to ensure the water in the tanks stays warm.
  • Drain Valve – Valve located at the bottom of the water heater to drain the tank.
  • Anode rod – Found in tank water heaters, these rods prevent corrosion from occurring.
  • Pressure relief valve – A valve that allows you to adjust the temperature and pressure from your water so that it doesn’t go too high.
  • Power cable – Provides the water heater with electrical power.
  • Thermostat – Able to adjust the temperature of the water in the tank.
  • Dip Tube – Ensures cold water flowing into the tank flows to the bottom.

Are electric water heaters efficient?

Compared to gas heaters, electric water heaters are a bit more efficient in power consumption. That being said, a standard electric water heater with a tank will be less efficient than a tankless water heater due to the continuous heating a tank water heater has to do.

Are electric water heaters 120V or 240V?

Electric water heaters can be either 120V or 240V, depending on the type of water heater you get. Be sure to read the nameplate for your water heater to identify the correct voltage.

Are electric water heaters safe?

Electric water heaters are safe when they are used and maintained within the proper guidelines. If electric water heaters are not looked after, there is a potential for pressurized steam to cause the water heater to explode.

Do electric water heaters have anode rods?

If the electric water heater has a tank, then it will have an anode rod. On the other hand, tankless electric water heaters will not have an anode rod since it heats up water on demand instead of the water sitting in a tank.

Can electric water heaters sit on the floor?

Yes, electric water heaters can sit on the floor with little to no issue. However, you may want to elevate the water heater to avoid issues with flooding.

When should you replace your electric water heater?

You should look to replace your water heater every 8-10 years. To maximize the lifespan of your electrical water heater, ensure it gets inspected by a professional every few years.

Where is the electric water heater thermostat?

There are usually two thermostats on an electrical water heater that are located on the side of the heater. The two thermostats are a lower heating thermostat and and upper heating thermostat. These thermostats are typically covered by a removable metal cover that will need to be removed for you to access them.

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