Vital water heater appliances are essential to ensure a continuous hot water supply. Should you be pondering over the question, “what is an atmospheric water heater?” you must know that this storage-tank device operates on cheap natural gas energy. The water heating appliance you install could inflate or curtail your monthly energy outgoings. 

In atmospheric venting, the gases exit your home through the metal draft pipe atop your tank. Along with the rising hot air, gases lift and are transferred outdoors. In the process, atmospheric air is naturally drawn indoors through the vent, which explains how the heater gets its name.  

Understanding Atmospheric Vent Water Heaters

Residential gas water heaters are often the standard atmospheric type. Atmospheric venting is based on the hot air rising principle, which is why the vent is upward sloping. 

So, what is an atmospheric water heater? It’s a heater that is designed on the basis of the atmospheric venting principle – hot exhaust rising through the venting and exiting your home. 

When installing your heater, a professional contractor rules out any blockages in your home’s venting and optimizes your device’s functionality. Atmospheric heaters do not consume electricity nor require moving parts. Should your locality experience frequent power outages, your access to hot water continues.

These visible identification signs are synonymous with gas atmospheric water heaters.

  • Black or yellow gas line with a shutoff valve to operate the burner.
  • Metal pipe atop the tank for exhaust ventilation.
  • Gap provision between the tank and vent pipe to pull in the atmospheric air.

Parts of the Heater Appliance

Atmospheric gas water heaters typically consist of the listed parts:

Main Tank

Cold water enters your tank, whose inner walls are insulated. Because of the dip tube provision, the hot water present in your tank does not cool as cold water touches it. As water heats, it rises to the tank’s surface, exits via the hot water pipe, and is distributed to the connected outlets. 

Heating Provision

The burner fuelled by gas is responsible for heating the water in your tank. A shutoff valve controls the flow of gas, and using the thermostat, you can adjust your water temperature. 

Expansion Tank  

This small tank is connected to your heater’s upper section and is more of a safety provision. As the water heats, it expands and creates more pressure. Thanks to this expansion tank, you can regulate the pressure in the heater and water pipes and prevent a significant explosion.  

Pressure Relief and Drainage Valve

Pressure Relief and Drainage Valve

Storage water heater tanks demand a valve that automatically opens to stabilize the tank by safely regulating hot air and pressure that develops within it. The drainage valve on the tank’s side is helpful for its periodic maintenance routine as it helps to drain out the water completely.


Atmospheric Water Heater

The exhaust pipe located on the top outer section of your tank safely eliminates all toxic gases, including carbon monoxide, from your indoor space.

Installing an atmospheric gas water heater at your residence is beneficial as it reduces your monthly outgoings. Also, with proper maintenance, gas water heaters have a longer life spanning 10 to 14 years. Contact a trustworthy and trained plumber with considerable experience to assist you with your water heater installation.


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