How Does a Gas Heater Work?

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A gas heater works by a gas valve allowing a certain amount of gas to fuel a flame, and the amount of gas will determine how hot the flame will be. Learn about the efficiency of gas water heaters with help from a plumber and HVAC tech in this free video on gas water heaters.

Part of the Video Series: Plumbing & HVAC Maintenance
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Video Transcript

Right here I am standing next to your average gas powered hot water heater. Now the way these actually work is we have got a gas feed coming into this hot water heater and it is going through your gas valve right here. This gas valve actually tells you how much gas is going to go to your hot water heater to allow how much flame is going to be to heat your hot water. Now these burners on these hot water heaters are on the bottom of your hot water heater which when your gas runs through it makes a fire and it heats from the bottom up. These hot water heaters are very efficient and a lot better than electric in my opinion as far as recovery times. Now as your hot water heater, as your gas valve runs and heats your hot water there is going to be a fume that comes off your flame. That's when we come to the flu pipe. All your vapors coming off that flame has to exhaust somewhere. Now this hot water heater comes up through this B vent into your chimney and of course up and out your roof. One other option for these hot water heaters is a power vent method. Power vent method is more efficient by 10 to 15% and it comes with a fan built on the top of your hot water heater. That fan kicks on as your burner starts and sucks your fumes up and then you can run it through a CPVC or regular PVC pipe which vents out to the side of your house, they are very low. It is very easy to install, not too bad whatsoever where if you are going from electric hot water heater to a gas and you have no chimney the power vent would be your best way to go.

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