Unfortunately, the work of public utilities in our country leaves much to be desired. Frequent interruptions with hot, and sometimes hardly warm, water and even a lack of any. Deciding to buy a water heater and wondering which one to choose? If you are thinking about buying a water heater, perhaps this article is useful to you, in which I tried to put together all that I could find out.
How to choose a water heater: flow or storage
First of all, it is necessary to determine whether the water heater provide hot water instantly or from a storage tank.
The peculiarity of a flowing water heater is that it heats the water in the time interval for which it passes through a narrow tube of the heat exchanger – that is, the heating element works online.
I will say right away that almost no one chooses running water heaters. They are problematic in installation and have many shortcomings. The flow heater is capable of heating up to 140 ° and producing 2 gallons per minute at 20 kilowatts, which makes requires a great amount of effort from you’re wiring. In a normal apartment, the wiring simply can not withstand the load of 20 kW, and, most likely, there will be a need for an additional power cable. Significant disadvantages can also come from the high instantaneous power consumption: 16-24 kW and the fact that the voltage of a single-phase 230V protector is in contrast to the standard 220V. The drawbacks are also the stringent requirements for water pressure.
In general, the performance of the “protractors” is not very high. The heater with a capacity of 20 kW is aimed at heating the incoming water by 77-86 ° at a rate of 2.5 gallons per minute. For example, if the water temperature in winter is 36 °, the unit will heat 2.5 gallons per minute to a temperature of maximum 86 °. You can achieve a higher temperature by limiting the flow.
The maximum possible temperature of water heating is only 140 °.
It is generally accepted that the flow heater is economical due to the lack of a constantly heated water reserve. However, one should take into account the high power consumption of power. While high-quality storage water heaters, according to the manufacturer’s TD, in the absence of selection, consume about 1-1.5 kW / day to maintain the temperature. In addition, their high cost (depending on the type of management: hydraulics – from $ 180, electronics – from $ 325) levels all arguments – a storage water heater is much cheaper and more reliable.
How to choose a water heater: gas or electric?
The gas water heater has an impressive advantage in power, and in the water heating rate: 4-6 kW against 1.5-3 kW electric. Consider this for the example of heaters with a capacity of 10.5 gallons. The power of the gas cylinder burners on average 7 kW, and the heating elements of the electric water heater are 1.8-3 kW. Thus, the gas engine will heat up 40 gallons of water in a little more than an hour, while the electric system will take, on average, 3-4 hours.
However, the installation of gas water heater has its own specificity. It is necessary to build a chimney, the complexity of installation depends on the design of the combustion chamber: closed or open. Installation of a heater with a closed combustion chamber will be cheaper, but such models are more expensive by almost one and a half times.
Despite the fact that the cost of a gas water heater and its installation is several times higher, water heaters working on gas are considered more economical in operation.
Determine the required volume of the tank
Next, determine the volume of the storage tank. If you can afford higher utility bills, and the space of the apartment allows – choose a powerful capacious heater of 53-80 gallons and do not complicate your life.
If you need to optimize costs and choose the optimal tank size without complicated calculations, you can start from how many people will use hot water at the same time.
The optimum volume of a separate water heater in the kitchen is from 4 to 8 gallons in economy and comfort modes, respectively. Approximately the same figures can be given for an apartment in which one person. For two people (two points of water intake) a volume of 20 to 25 gallons is suitable. A family with children is preferable to choose a larger tank volume – from 25 to 32 gallons. In private homes, depending on the area and the number of residents, install water gaps with storage tanks with a volume of 80-160 gallons.