The water heater is one of the most essential appliances in the modern home and something most people take for granted. The development of water heaters accelerated rapidly during the Industrial Revolution. The use of fire to heat water started to disappear from this period of history. Advances in technology have brought us to the domestic and industrial systems in use today.
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In pre-industrial times, water had to be heated with some kind of external and ready source of heat. Traditionally, this had been done with metal vessels placed over fires. With the advent of the stove, water heating became a little bit more sophisticated, but not much. Families wishing to bathe had to use a large metal tub and boil individual pots of hot water to fill it up. This was of course time-consuming and inconvenient and opportunities for comfortable bathing were extremely limited.
From Gas to Immersion Heaters
In 1868, an Englishman Benjamin Waddy filed a patent for a water heater which ran on gas. However, with no method of ventilation, Waddy’s heater was too dangerous to use in the home as it was liable to leak carbon monoxide. The next innovator in water heating was the Norwegian Mechanical Engineer Edwin Ruud. In 1889 he patented the first water heater to become popular for domestic use. His water heater included a flue to vent any excess gas emitted during heating. Despite his innovations, Ruud’s heater still experienced complications that weren’t improved on until the early 1900s. One significant improvement was the tankless water heater. Invented in 1929, the coil immersion heater patented by Stiebel-Eltron could heat water instantaneously without requiring the use of a tank to hold a reservoir of heated water. Both of these types of systems have seen developments and are still in use today, and if your hot water system has issues, a firm dealing in hot water repair in Sydney can deal with them.
The storage-type heater is the most common type of water heater in use nowadays. Storage heaters have been developed to fulfil a variety of functions both domestically and commercially. However, storage heaters still have the problem that they do not provide a constant flow of hot water. So, tank-based water heating systems are less practical in buildings with a high demand for continuous hot water. For circumstances where storage-type heaters prove inefficient, tankless solutions, or mass-heating dispersal, are now popular. For larger apartment buildings with intermittent hot water demand, utilizing multiple point-of-use (POU) water heaters can offer a better solution. The main advantage of using tankless heaters at points-of-use is that it provides a plentiful continuous flow of hot water on demand while also providing some energy saving.
Something that has become more common with the development of modern water heaters is the shower. The efficiency of constantly flowing clean hot water has made the shower just about universal which clearly wasn’t always the case. Although traditional public bathing facilities still exist, the modern shower is by far the most common form of bathing nowadays.