Alexander Petrovich: What protective technologies are used in water heaters?
Water heaters during operation are constantly exposed to hot water, which has an increased electrochemical activity. To protect the walls of tanks from rust and corrosion, a variety of coatings are used. One of the most reliable are stainless steel and titanium enamel. However, water heaters with such a coating are quite expensive.
To reduce the level of electrochemical corrosion in water heaters, a magnesium anode is installed. The mechanism of its operation is very simple: it releases ions from its surface to prevent the loss of ions from the walls of the tank. Such anodes require constant replacement, as their volume decreases with time. All storage heaters have an overpressure protection sensor. When it works, the heating is turned off.
When connecting instantaneous water heaters, be sure to lay a separate wire from the electrical panel and install an additional fuse. Gas water heaters must be equipped with special protection against network failures. When the gas or water pressure drops, they should turn off. When installing gas water heaters, a chimney is required.
Alexander Petrovich: How is the water heater controlled? Will a simple consumer be able to understand it?
The water heater has a fairly easy control and does not require any specific knowledge. Regardless of the model, all heaters are equipped with a thermostat and a mechanical thermometer. You can set the desired water temperature using the thermostat. The thermostat in expensive models has double protection against overheating. Management of modern high-end models is carried out from an electronic panel, which is equipped with various sensors and timers. It is also possible to program them to turn on at a specified time. For example, you can set a heating timer for the night hours when you need to raise the board about the need to replace the anode or clean the tank.
Alex: Water heaters have different capacities and I can’t decide which one to choose.
One of the parameters that should be considered in advance before buying a water heater is performance. Performance refers to the amount of hot or warm water that you will be able to receive per minute. In a storage heater, this value depends on the volume of its tank, and in a flow heater, on the power of its heating elements.
When choosing a water heater, you can start from the approximate water consumption rates. According to average statistics, one needs about 30 liters of water per person per day for a shower, about 100 liters for a bathroom, and 5 to 10 liters for washing dishes, vegetables, fruits and other products.
However, you should understand the specifics of the operation of storage water heaters. To get warm water, hot water in the storage water heater is diluted almost twice with cold water. Accordingly, the amount of water you receive increases. If we take the water consumption in the total amount for the whole family, then it will be slightly less than the total. If the family has a small child, then the amount of warm and hot water consumed will certainly increase. Most modern models of water heaters allow you to increase their power if necessary.
Alesya: I can’t understand the difference between storage and instantaneous water heaters. Which one to choose?
Storage water heaters have a low power of heating elements, so they can be installed in any room. They make it possible to use heated water at several water intake points. However, storage water heaters require frequent maintenance. It is necessary to periodically replace the magnesium anode, rinse the tank inside from scale. Another disadvantage is the “portioning” of the heated water used, and the time to heat the next one is very noticeable.
Instantaneous water heaters can supply an unlimited amount of water to the water intake point. They do not require constant maintenance. However, they cannot provide several points with hot water at the same time. Their installation is a rather laborious process.
As we can see, each type has its own advantages and disadvantages. Before buying, you need to decide what tasks the water heater should perform. If you want it to serve several water intake points at the same time, of course, it is better to buy a storage one. However, if you are not going to use hot water at two points at the same time, then the best choice would be to choose an instantaneous water heater.
Vlad: Which is better to choose a water heater — gas or electric? What is the difference between them?
If the apartment previously had a gas water heater and there is access to gas water supply, then it would be more profitable to install a gas water heater. They are more economical as gas bills are slightly cheaper than electricity bills. However, most new homes do not use gas stoves, so there is no access to gas. And the installation of a gas water heater itself, if a gas water heater has not been previously installed in the apartment, is a very laborious process.
Most often, electric water heaters are installed in apartments. To connect them, you only need access to water supply and electricity. Depending on the amount of water they heat, a different type of connection to the electrical network is used. Installing low-power water heaters is very simple, since they usually operate from a 220 V socket. For heaters with a power above 5 kW, a separate electrical connection from the shield is already required. In operation, electric water heaters are much simpler than gas ones.
We are planning to buy a storage water heater. What tank size would be optimal for a family of three?
Take, for example, a standard wall-mounted storage water heater with a relatively modest tank capacity of 10 to 100 liters. water. Considering that the average person spends about 30 liters of water on taking a shower, a boiler of these volumes for a family of 3 will not be enough (90 liters only for hygiene procedures). After all, one should not forget about such daily household needs as washing, washing dishes and floors, etc. All these actions also consume significant amounts of hot water.
In your case, it is best to buy a water heater installed on the floor. Such a floor water heater can hold significant volumes (up to 1000 liters) and will fully provide even a very large family with hot water.
What is the automatic start system for electric water heaters?
Many models of modern electric water heaters boast the presence of such a wonderful feature as automatic switching on. As soon as you start washing your hands or step into the shower, the smart device will automatically turn on the water heating. Buying a water heater with an automatic start system is worth at least in order to once again save time on turning on the equipment. Such models have been specially created to provide maximum comfort to the consumer.
Do I need to take care of installing a hood when buying a gas water heater?
Necessarily. Indeed, for all its reliability, efficiency and economy, a gas water heater has one drawback: the release of combustion products during gas combustion. Undoubtedly, the inhalation of air saturated with them causes great harm to our health. Therefore, modern manufacturers offer to buy a water heater of this type complete with an exhaust hood. Needless to say, the installation of the device and the installation of the hood must be carried out by experienced professionals.
What is the difference between an instantaneous water heater and a storage water heater?
In flow type devices, water is heated using heating elements. Note that water heating is carried out immediately after the appliance is turned on. This property of instantaneous water heaters is practically indispensable for organizing the supply of hot water to offices where there are interruptions in the central water supply, as well as for heating water for domestic needs of residents of ordinary apartments. It is worth buying a water heater for those who are going to become the owner of a country house.
However, it is worth noting a number of disadvantages of a flowing water heater. First of all, this is the periodic formation of scale on the heating elements. In addition, a fairly large amount of electricity is spent on the operation of such devices.
In storage water heaters, water is heated and then stored in special thermal insulating tanks. The larger the container, the longer it will take for the water to heat up in it (depending on the model of the device — from 30 minutes to several hours). The operation of storage water heaters stops immediately after the water is heated to the desired temperature. Thus, these devices are more economical in terms of electrical energy costs.
But such a water heater has a relatively low water heating rate, as well as the possibility of bacteria breeding in the cooled water (otherwise, some models of disinfection boilers are able to heat the water as it cools).