How do tank water heaters work?
The process begins with cold water flowing through a "dip tube" into the tank. Multiple temperature sensors continually measure the average temperature of the water in the tank. The heating mechanism is triggered if the temperature drops too far below the set point. The mechanism then turns off when the water's temperature reaches the desired set point. In natural gas or liquid propane water heaters, a flame under the tank and a hot air flue running up through the center of the tank heats your water. In standard electric water heaters, resistive wire heating elements are immersed in the tank to heat the water. Yet another way to heat your water comes in a hybrid electric heat pump water heater. This style uses electricity to efficiently transfer heat from the ambient air into the water through a compressor and a condenser. Hot water exits the tank through a hot water outlet and is distributed wherever it's needed.