Hot water faucets are becoming common in the private sector. Thanks to a wide selection of water heaters, the cherished dream of a hot shower can be realized in absolutely any home. Various mechanisms for generating heat and design features of such devices make it possible to find a solution even in the absence of gas, chimney and powerful electrical wiring – you just need to choose the most suitable option.
Meet instantaneous and storage water heaters
Household water heaters are storage and flow-through. A distinctive feature of all devices of the first type is their large dimensions, since this method of operation implies the presence of a rather large tank. In fact, this is an ordinary boiler that constantly maintains a given water temperature.
The disadvantages of such devices, in addition to their large weight and size, can be attributed to their low efficiency: the storage heater works even when there is no special need for this, for example, at night. It is not very convenient to turn off the device periodically, since it will take 1.5–2 hours for a new heating. In addition, at the most inopportune moment, hot water may simply run out. However, such devices have one indisputable advantage – it is a solid reserve of hot water..
In flow heaters, instead of a tank, there is a radiator that gives off heat to the water flow passing through it. This happens very effectively: powerful devices are able to heat even the coldest water almost to a boil in less than a minute. Of course, there can be no talk of any stock, due to the small volume of the radiator and the lack of thermal insulation.
Flow-through heaters are compact, weigh relatively little, which greatly facilitates their transportation and installation. The main advantages of such devices are the short waiting time for hot water and its unlimited amount: by opening the tap, after 20-30 seconds you can get under the shower and enjoy it as long as you like. In addition, flow heaters start automatically, as soon as the water is turned on. This allows you to connect several points to them on different floors, for example, a tap on the first and a shower on the second. Gas instantaneous water heaters (columns) have a modulated burner, the flame height of which changes depending on the flow rate. Thus, the water temperature remains stable, regardless of the position of the valve on the mixer..
Alas, all human creations are inherent in flaws. The water temperature at the outlet of the flow heater depends on the power of the device, the flow rate and the temperature of the incoming water. This complicates tuning and requires periodic adjustment. In the cold season, low-power devices may simply not cope with the task. An increase in temperature allows a decrease in the flow, but only up to a certain limit: as soon as the water flow rate falls below the minimum value for a particular model, the flow heater will turn off. When giving preference to devices of this type, special attention should be paid to their power and performance. For a relatively comfortable washing at any time of the year, these indicators should be at least 15 kW and 8 l / min. (at t = 40 ° C). These values apply to both electric flow heaters and gas water heaters.
Gas, electricity or something else
Let’s move on to the most important thing: the mechanism for generating heat. Most often, modern water heaters use gas and electricity for this purpose. If for some reason these options are not suitable, you can install an indirect heating device or ordinary titanium. Now let’s consider all devices in more detail.
The simplest and fastest solution to the issue of hot water in a private house is the installation of an electric storage-type water heater. This does not require ordering an expensive project and resorting to the services of welders. If you have the appropriate skills, installation and connection can be done on your own. The heater belongs to powerful electrical appliances, so you will need to lay a separate wiring line from the shield.
The second simplest option is a flow-through electric water heater. Such devices are much more powerful than storage devices, so the matter will not be limited to laying a separate power line: most likely, you will have to replace the introductory machines with more powerful ones, or even better with an RCD.
When choosing a model, you should focus on the indicators given above. In winter, when frosts reach -20 °, the temperature of tap water drops to 5–10 °. No matter what the shop assistants say, in such conditions 5 kW will be enough only for washing dishes. If your home is not in sunny California, then it will be possible to take a warm shower in winter only with a flow heater of at least 15 kW. And in order to use really hot water all year round, and even from several points, it will take from 19 to 24 kW. Naturally, the energy consumption is colossal.
The disadvantages of electric water heaters are obvious: in addition to the heavy load on the network, their operation will significantly hit the family budget. It is much cheaper to use gas powered devices. If the purchase of liquefied gas is not a problem, or there is a connection to the mainline, this option will be preferable. True, it is more expensive to implement it than to install an electric heater: you will have to order a project, pay for the work on connecting to the gas pipe, as well as check the chimneys and ventilation (without a fire inspection act, the gorgaz will not start work). It may be necessary to install additional ventilation and chimneys or replace existing ones if their diameter does not meet the standards. The whole undertaking can cost several tens of thousands of rubles and drag on for months. However, the substantial costs will pay off quickly: the operation of gas water heaters is many times cheaper than electric ones, so it is definitely worth spending money on..
The choice between a gas water heater and a storage type device depends on personal preferences: given the low cost of the coolant in this case, even a 24-hour boiler will not lead to bankruptcy. The main thing to pay attention to when buying a gas water heater is the diameter of the smoke hole. If it turns out to be larger than the diameter of the chimney, then, as mentioned above, you will have to change the pipe. It is better to choose a device suitable for this parameter, in order to avoid unnecessary expenses.
But what if there is no free pipe at all? You can do without a traditional chimney: for this, there are geysers with a closed combustion chamber. Air injection and removal of combustion products in these devices are compulsory, which makes the design more expensive than conventional models. Such columns work with a coaxial chimney, which is led out through a small hole in the wall..
In addition to devices operating directly from an energy carrier, there are indirect heating devices that are built into the heating system and use its heat. For this, there is a coil in the heater tank through which the coolant circulates. The big disadvantage of this option is the fact that the temperature of the hot water produced will be, by definition, less than the temperature of the heat carrier..
Solid fuel water heaters, they are titans, have been known since Soviet times. Since then, their design has not undergone major changes, but the efficiency has become higher. The level of comfort when using such units is extremely low, so it is better to leave such a solution to the DHW issue as a last resort..
Two in one
Double-circuit boilers are becoming a popular alternative to water heaters. They are produced in floor and wall versions for various types of fuel. Such a boiler serves two systems at once: heating and hot water supply. As in a gas water heater, the burner of the hot water circuit is modulated by the flow and ignites automatically, but with this option, an additional chimney is not needed.
However, here it was not without a fly in the ointment: simultaneous operation of two burners is impossible. As soon as the hot water tap opens, the entire resource of the device is consumed only for the DHW circuit, and the heating of the heating system stops until the tap is closed. Another drawback is typical for all devices of the “two-in-one” type: in the event of a malfunction, there is a high probability of being left without both benefits of civilization at once.