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What Is a Water Heater Flue Baffle?

What Is a Water Heater Flue Baffle?

A malfunctioning hot water heater is the last problem you want to encounter when you are getting ready for work in the morning. To restore the distribution of hot water in your house, it’s important to respond quickly to a broken water heater. To help you diagnose issues with your system, we have created an outline that discusses the purpose of a water heater flue baffle and ways to locate it.

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Understanding Water Heater Flue Baffles

What Is a Flue Baffle?

Water heaters burn natural gas to heat the water you use at home for cooking, showering, and washing clothes. The combustion of this natural gas produces exhaust fumes called flue gas. A flue baffle is a piece of metal in your water tank that safely pushes the flue gas out of the water heater through the burner assembly.

The helix shape of the flue baffle causes the gases to exit in a swirl motion. The swirling motion enhances the energy efficiency of the water heater, which helps the water tank maintain a proper temperature. This process protects the water heater from overheating and prevents a buildup of carbon monoxide in your home.

How Do I Know If I Have a Flue Baffle?

Not every water heater has a flue baffle. Most gas-powered water heaters are equipped with a flue baffle. On the other hand, electric water heaters do not have a baffle because they don’t burn gases or produce exhaust. If your water heater is a Standard Atmospheric, Power Vents, or Damper model, it likely has a flue baffle. This is because they are all gas-powered water heaters that release exhaust.

Where Is My Flue Baffle Located?

You will typically find the flue baffle inside the water heater under either the vent hood or the blower and fan assembly component. Since the component is situated in the middle of the water tank, it’s not visible from the outside.

Common Issues With Flue Baffles

The primary issue homeowners run into with water heater flue baffles is that they sometimes make a rattling sound. The component produces this noise when it is improperly installed, breaks, or becomes loose over time.

What Is a Water Heater Flue Baffle?

The Different Components of a Water Heater


Every water heater has a durable metal tank that stores all the water needed for household water heating purposes. Most tanks can hold between 40 and 60 gallons of water at a time and are surrounded by foam insulation to maintain water temperature and prevent leaks.

Dip Tube

Located at the top of the unit, the dip tube is the component through which water enters the tank.

Shut-Off Valve

Situated on the outside of the unit at the top for easy access, the shut-off valve stops water from flowing into the tank once it’s full.

Heat-Out Pipe

The hot water your tank produces flows through the heat-out pipe. This component is located inside the water tank at the top.


The thermostat controls the temperature of the water at any given time.

Tips and Insights: Where Can I Install Recessed Ceiling Lights in My Home?

Heating Mechanism

Gas water heaters use a burner and a chimney to heat water while electric units use internal heating elements to achieve the same purpose.

Drain Valve

Located on the outside of the tank at the bottom, the drain valve enables users to empty the water tank. Emptying the tank may be necessary when sediment builds up over time at the bottom.

Pressure Relief Valve

If the pressure inside the water tank gets too high, the pressure relief valve brings it back down to a safe level.

Sacrificial Anode Rod

This magnesium or aluminum rod with a steel core prevents corrosion from occurring inside the tank.

Water Heater Repair

Water Heater Repair & Replacement Services

If your water heater has been malfunctioning recently, it could be the result of a faulty flue baffle. Our team of emergency plumbers in Wilmington DE and other areas offer comprehensive hot water heater repair and water heater installation services for homes.The best way to find out the source of the issue with your water heater is to have a professional inspect your unit.

Once your team detects the issue with your hot water heater, we will replace the damaged component to restore hot water in your house. In addition, our technicians provide other types of plumbing services such as sewer line repair, drain cleaning, water line replacement, and sump pump installation. Give our team a call at 1-800-642-4419 to receive assistance with a damaged water heater or other plumbing issues in your house.


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