The standard "tank type" water heater is found in most homes and with just a little maintenance, provides years of trouble free operation. Unlike tankless water heaters which have no storage stank, the tank type water heater heats cold water and stores the hot water until it is needed. This tutorial will give you a clear understanding of the components which make up the tank type gas water heater.
The gas water heater works by a law of physics called convection which loosely paraphrased, states that heat rises. Now please don't run off just because I said "physics". Heat rising and convection is a simple rule that you live with everyday and a hot water tank is no exception. Cold water is supplied to the tank and injected at the bottom of the tank through a dip tube. The denser cold water stays there and is heated by the gas burner. As the water heats up, it naturally rises (physics again...) and is drawn off by the hot water discharge pipe. You'll notice in the diagram above that the hot water pipe is much shorter than the cold water pipe. This ensures that only the hottest water is being used from the tank. The hot water heater has simple parts and some safety features.
Let's take a look at each major component of the hot water tank.