The fixture that provides heated water to the hot-water system of a house or building. Water heaters are usually heated by gas, oil or electricity. Gas and oil heaters tend to be cheaper, but need ventilation. Water heaters are usually separate from the boiler system that heats some buildings, although some buildings do use the boiler as a source for hot water. The water heater typically consists of a tank that receives cold water, heats it and stores it until it needs to be delivered through the hot-water system. Most single-family homes require a 40- to 60-gallon tank.
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