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How Does a Water Heater Heat Water So Quickly?

| Wednesday December 14, 2022

When outfitting your house with new appliances and technologies, you would be more inclined to invest in products of higher quality which are able to ensure reliability and efficiency. This is only natural as everyone wants to make the most of their investments. So, when you’re looking for a new water heater, you would also want to purchase one that is more efficient, reliable and durable, especially since it is not a small investment for your household. 

Finding the perfect water heating appliance that suits your budget and your household’s needs is important, and one way to better choose the perfect water heater for your household is by better understanding how a water heater functions and how to better prevent issues with your water heating appliance. 

There are three main types of residential water heating appliances: Electric Storage Water Heaters, Electric Instant Water Heaters and Solar Water Heaters. The most common type of water heaters are those with storage tanks, however, the popularity of tankless instant water heaters has increased rapidly in Malaysia.

A basic storage water heater has a storage tank and uses gas or electricity to heat the volume of water storage in the water tank. Additionally, most storage water heaters are equipped with a pressure release valve to ensure that the heating process does not result in extremely high water pressure and a thermostat to track the temperature. 

A basic instant water heater does not store any water in their unit. Instead, the heating element in the water heating appliance instantly heats the temperature of the incoming water to the desired temperature set on the appliance. 

Now, let’s take a closer look at the parts of your water heater that gives you a pleasant showering experience. 

What’s inside your storage water heater?

Storage tank:

The material used in water heater storage tanks is typically either steel or glass-lined steel. Steel is a good conductor of heat, which allows it to effectively store heat generated by the heating element. Glass-lined steel offers an additional layer of insulation, which helps to keep the heat stored in the tank for a longer period of time. Glass-lined steel also helps to reduce corrosion and extends the life of the tank.

Dip tube:

The dip tube is made of plastic and is used to direct water through the bottom of the tank where hot water is generated.

Shut-off valve:

The shut-off valve prevents water from entering the water heater. It stands apart from the heater that is placed beneath and outside of the unit.

Heat-out pipe:

The heat-out pipe allows the hot water to diffuse from the water heater and is positioned towards the top of the interior of the tank.


A thermometer and temperature-control device. Some electric water heaters contain a thermostat for each element.

Heating mechanism: 

The elements are typically made from metals such as copper, nickel, or stainless steel. As such, the established Incoloy heating element is designed to provide efficient and reliable performance in all water heaters. It is made from a high-grade stainless-steel alloy, which is highly corrosion-resistant and has excellent heat transfer capabilities. The heating element is designed to withstand high temperatures and is designed to last for many years.

Drain valve:

The drain valve allows you to easily empty the tank to change the elements, remove sediment, or move the tank.

Pressure relief valve:

This safety component maintains a safe level of pressure within the water heater.

Anode rod:

The rod is made of magnesium or aluminum positioned in the water heater tank to prevent corrosion.

How does your storage water heater produce hot water?

The temperature of the water within the water heater tank is regulated by its thermostat. Typically, you have a range of 120 to 180 degrees Fahrenheit to choose from when setting the temperature. Most experts suggest setting the water temperature between 120 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit to prevent overheating which may cause water leakage and faulty components.

Next, the dip tube transports cold water from the water pipes in your house to the bottom of the tank, where it begins to warm up to produce a sufficient volume of hot water flow. Until the water reaches temperature, the heating device (which might be a burner or an element) is kept on.

The design of a water heater is based on the notion of separating cold and hot water in the tank.  Therefore, the heat-out pipe located at the tank’s top does the job to ensure that the water rising to the top of the tank warms up accordingly. The recovery period of a hot water heater should be taken note of. For every gallon drained, cold water is returned to the tank, which must be reheated.

How does your instant water heater produce hot water?

Instant water heaters use a series of internal components to rapidly heat and deliver hot water on demand. They typically contain a heating element, a thermostat, a pressure relief valve, and a temperature and flow rate control. When the faucet is opened, cold water is drawn in and passes over the heating element, which is powered by electricity. The thermostat senses the temperature of the water and sends a signal to the element to heat the water until the desired temperature is reached. Once the desired temperature is achieved, the flow rate control prevents further heating, and the pressure relief valve prevents the water heater from exceeding a safe operating pressure.


The water heater lasts for at least 10-15 years if properly maintained annually. If you want to upgrade to a tankless water heater or get a brand new one, consider Rheem water heater choices. Visit our official website to browse a collection of instant water heaters and storage water heaters today!



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