Need to Replace a Hot Water Heater? Four Terms You'll Run Across

Need to Replace a Hot Water Heater? Four Terms You'll Run Across

18 October 2018
 Categories: , Blog

Do you need a water heater replacement for the first time? If so, there will likely be some water heater terminology that is completely foreign to you. Get to know the following terms so you can understand more about your home's hot water heater.

Anode Rod

Did you ever wonder why your old hot water heater went so long without having rust on it? That is because the tank contains an anode rod, which is a sacrificial element that is designed to corrode first before the rest of the metal tank is affected. If your old tank rusted through the outer shell, it's likely due to the anode rod failing.


The strength of a hot water heater is measured in Britsh thermal units (BTUs). A higher number of BTUs means that the water heater is capable of producing more energy to heat the water in the tank. You may want a tank with more BTUs than the last one if you felt like it would take a long time for the water to get hot after a significant amount of it was used. Keep in mind that 1 therm is the equivalent of 100,000 BTUs, and it's possible that you may see the two terms interchanged.

Direct Ventilation

Water heaters are ventilated in one of two ways: direct ventilation or power ventilation. If you have a water heater that has a long tube coming out of it with a gradual slant upward, then it used direct ventilation to get rid of the harmful gases that it generates. Direct ventilation does not require an electrical source near the tank to power a motor to push harmful gases out of your home.

Flow Rating

You'll likely notice that hot water heaters have a flow rating, which is measured in gallons per minute. This is how much hot water the water heater can produce at one time. You'll want to pay attention to this if you have multiple full bathrooms in your home or plan on running several appliances at once that use water. This term is sometimes interchangeable with the term "recovery," or gallons per hour of hot water that the tank can generate.

Still confused about all these terms? Then you may need some professional help with selecting your next hot water heater. Reach out to a local plumber that can assist with the selection and installation of a brand new hot water tank in your home.

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Could your bathroom benefit from a little updating? A few years ago, I grew tired of my outdated bathroom. I decided to tackle my own remodel, which consisted of re-painting my vanity cabinets, updating the lighting fixtures and hardware, and giving my bathroom a fresh coat of paint in a modern grey color. I spent very little, but my bathroom now looks modernized, and is a space I can actually enjoy spending time in! I put together this blog to help like-minded homeowners update their own bathroom spaces in a budget-friendly way. I hope you find some great ideas here to try out for yourself!