Centralized hot water supply does not exist in all settlements of our country. Installing a water heater is an excellent way out of this situation, but the variety of models and their functionality confuses the consumer. What water heaters are there, which is better, how much water is needed to meet the needs of the family? To answer these questions, you need to know all the pros and cons of each type.
Selecting the type of water heater
Water heaters fall into three broad categories:
Gas water heater.
Water heaters of this type are divided into instantaneous and storage. In an instantaneous water heater, water is heated by passing through a heat exchanger. This version of the water heater is suitable for operation with low water consumption (washing dishes, shower). For those who like to take a bath and for families with high water consumption, we recommend a storage water heater. The accumulative boiler gradually heats up a large volume of water, and then automatically maintains the required temperature.
The type of ignition plays an important role in the functionality of a gas water heater. Semi-automatic ignition is carried out by pressing the button on the panel, the pilot wick lights up and, after water supply, the burner automatically lights up. In automatic ignition, the gas burner turns on immediately after the water is supplied and turns off after the tap is closed.
Due to the cost of gas, a gas water heater is more economical than its electric counterpart, it is not inferior in functionality, but special requirements for the installation of gas equipment have led to the fact that gas boilers have not received proper distribution.
Electric water heater.
The difference between an electric water heater and a gas water heater is that the water is heated by a heating element — a heating element. This type of water heaters, in turn, is divided into:
- and cumulative.
Immediately we need to decide what type we want to use to heat water.
Flowing electric water heaters. They are not in great demand, because of the high power and, as a result, excessive consumption of electricity. The instantaneous water heater brings the water temperature to a maximum of 60 degrees, while the power consumption for heating 7 liters of water is 20 kW. Apartment wiring is unlikely to withstand such a load, it will be necessary to bring a separate line.
Storage water heater (boiler). The principle of operation of the boiler: cold water enters under pressure into a hermetically sealed steel tank and is heated there by a heating element. When hot water is used, cold water takes its place and heats up to the set temperature. Water heating in the boiler (maximum 80-85 degrees) is regulated manually or from the control panel.
If the boiler is not turned on for heating, then the water gradually cools down. The cooling rate depends on the design of the boiler, on its thermal insulation. I recommend that you leave the boiler in standby mode, because it will take time (up to two hours) and increased electricity consumption to heat the cooled water to the desired temperature.
Video about choosing a water heater
The main parameters of water heaters
Consider the main selection criteria and parameters of an electric boiler, as the most common water heater:
- tank material;
- manufacturer’s choice.
tank material. Constant contact with water requires special protection of the boiler tank. Inexpensive models have an enameled metal tank. Enamel does not tolerate sudden changes in temperature, but if you use the boiler seasonally, then the enamelled tank will last for quite a long time. Recently, some manufacturers cover the inner surface of the tank with titanium enamel. The service life of titanium enamel is up to seven years, unlike ordinary enamel, the guarantee for which is 2.5-3 years.
A stainless steel tank is not susceptible to oxidation and corrosion, it is guaranteed to serve you for many years, but you will have to pay for the quality and guarantee — the price of such a tank is several times higher than that of other analogues.
The volume of the water heater. Choosing a powerful water heater with a volume of 200-300 liters will be allowed by those who are not going to save on paying utility bills. We will not carry out complex calculations, but dwell on the following numbers:
- for the kitchen — 15-30 liters;
- for one user in the apartment — 20-30 liters, without filling the bath, only a shower;
- for two residents — 80-100 liters, with two water intake points;
- for a full-fledged family with children, 100-120 liters of hot water will be required;
Remember that hot water is mixed with cold water at the outlet and the resulting volume with the required temperature is greater than the volume of the boiler tank.
Heating element. The heating element in any boiler is a heating element (tubular electric heater). Boilers are equipped with two types of heating elements: wet and dry. The wet heating element works directly in water and needs to be descaled regularly. The dry heating element is protected by a glass flask and does not require frequent cleaning. A dry cell boiler is more expensive but less hassle (see also how to clean a boiler).
Control. A special thermostat turns the heater on and off, so the boiler is controlled. Mechanical control of the rotary knob has become widespread in inexpensive economy-class devices, due to its simplicity and reliability. The only negative is the inability to set the exact heating temperature.
«Advanced» models have an electronic mode control system in their design. Now it is possible to set the program for individual modes: turning off at night or heating water in the morning.
Manufacturer and model selection
Many manufacturers of water heaters are well established in the home appliance market. For example, Thermex, Ariston (ABS and Ti), Electrolux, Baxi and Termal brands have a very good reputation. Combined Czech water heater «Drazice» is very reliable in operation, but the high price does not justify even such a high quality.
We present to your attention several popular models of electric water heaters.
Boiler BOSCH Tronic 1000
Household appliances manufacturer BOSCH has established itself in the market with quality workmanship and reliable design. The tank volume of this model is 50 liters, which will suit a small family. A small power of 1.5 kW does not make the cost of the device prohibitive. From the entire selection of BOSCH water heaters, we suggest stopping at units assembled in Bulgaria.
- Size: 80x35x40 cm;
- Body insulation: 32 mm high density polyurethane foam;
- Cylindrical shape;
- Inner tank: glass ceramic;
- Heating regulator: mechanical;
- Vertical wall mounting.
Ariston ABS VLS — a demanded model of a boiler with a volume of 80 liters
There are two tanks in the body, each contains a heating element — this significantly speeds up the time for heating water. The power of the unit is 2.5 kW. Sometimes there are problems with the electronics, but within the warranty.
- Size: 110x50x26 cm;
- Body insulation: 32 mm high density polyurethane foam;
- Electronic control;
- Tubular heating element;
- Inner tank: stainless steel;
- Frost protection, protection against overheating and switching on without water;
- Rectangular shape.
Water heater GORENJE GBF — good value for money
Two «dry» heating elements of 1 kW each ensure a long service life. Such a boiler keeps the temperature of heated water (80 liters) for two days. Shower for 4 people will not be a problem.
- Size: 80x45x45 cm;
- Water heater power 2 kW;
- Mechanical control;
- Tank: enamelled steel;
- 18 mm insulation;
- Vertical installation.
Separately, I would like to note the products of those companies that we do not recommend buying. Such unreliable equipment includes boilers manufactured by Teplo and Nova Tec manufactured by Ukraine and Polaris, Termex is also of Ukrainian production.
To summarize, which water heater to choose:
- First of all, decide what functions the boiler will perform in your home: as a constant source of hot water, temporary heating functions, or just a boiler for the kitchen. Make a purchase after identifying needs.
- Seriously choose the type of boiler. A gas boiler is cheaper to operate, but more demanding to install.
- Calculate the amount of water you are going to use. I want to note that boilers with a large tank volume have a longer service life.
- Decide on the place where the boiler will be installed. Manufacturers produce devices of various sizes and installation methods (floor, horizontal and vertical).
- If possible, buy a boiler from trusted manufacturers with a good reputation and a great guarantee.
- Get a professional to install your water heater.
I hope that you have sorted out a fairly large selection of water heaters, figured out for yourself what to look for in the first place, and now you can decide on the purchase of the water heater you need.