Before the advent of modern plumbing, people lived much differently. There was really no designated place to use the facilities so people would use it anywhere outside and wait for the rain to wash it away. In cities, waste was simply dumped in the streets from chamber pots to be washed away. This often led to many outbreaks of cholera and other diseases caused by drinking water contaminated with wastes. Outhouses were thought up and were the norm immediately before indoor plumbing and underground sewer systems.

If you needed water, you hauled it. If you needed hot water, you heated it over a fire. No one is sure when this practice began, but it’s safe to say probably for millennia since humans need and use hot water for various purposes. With the invention of the store, hot water could be heated a little more conveniently. Luckily, this process was about to change where we could have hot water on demand when we needed it for all of our purposes.

The best plumber in Orlando is Choice Plumbing. We offer water heater installation and water heater repair services. If one day you turn on your faucet and you have no hot water, we can help. Below, we’ll dive into the history of the hot water heater and take a look at the types of water heaters and which is right for you. Contact us today for a water heater inspection!

ADVENT OF HOT WATER HEATERS

In 1868, the first water heater that used gas appeared right in the middle of the Industrial Revolution. Englishman Benjamin Waddy invented it; however, it had to be kept outside because he had no ventilation system installed that would whisk away dangerous fumes. As most stories of inventions go, Waddy’s water heater was improved upon by a Norwegian named Edwin Rudd in 1889. He devised a way to vent the dangerous fumes away, which made storing hot water a reality for many people.

What many people don’t know is that solar energy has been around for a long time, as evidenced by the invention of solar paneled heating for hot water in 1896.
However, the hot water heater remained impractical until the early 1900s where more improvements were made.

Your Orlando plumber, Choice Plumbing, notes that the tankless water heater has actually been around since 1929 where a coil immersion heater was able to heat water instantaneously without the need for a tank to hold it. However, it did not gain popularity until recently as people began to see the need to conserve energy and resources. Furthermore, the technology simply wasn’t there to make them effective enough to be a viable option for heating water in your home.

Why Do You Need Hot Water?

Besides being a luxury that many of us have come to rely upon, hot water is mainly used for two purposes: cooking food and sanitizing surfaces. You need hot water to cook many types of food in so you don’t get sick from undercooked food, and you need hot water to kill bacteria that may be lurking on your counters. Hot water is also useful when you need to have clean drinking water that has not been filtered from your local water treatment facility. Heating water kills the bad bacteria that is present that could make you sick.

Despite what many people believe, you don’t need hot water to whisk away dirt, such as when you do laundry. Hot water serves to speed up the cleaning process, but it does not in any way get your clothes cleaner than if you used cold water. This is a myth that stems from when hand-washing laundry was common. Furthermore, laundry machines and dishwashers were first being used. Hot water usage was encouraged because the detergents at the time were poor compared to those of today. Nowadays, modern detergents work just as well in cold water as in hot water.

Hot Water Today

Choice Plumbing, the best plumber in Orlando, notes that hot water today is more of a convenience than a necessity. It’s nice to shower and take a bath with hot water, wash your hands with hot water, and not have to boil water if you need to cook. Now that we are used to hot water, many of us don’t want to live without it.

TYPES OF HOT WATER HEATERS

Assuming you are of the opinion that you’d rather have hot water than live without it, we’ll review the different types of water heaters below.

Conventional Water Heaters

By far the most popular (and least expensive) of the available hot water heaters, the conventional water heater, or a storage tank water heater, consists of a tank that holds hot water to be used when you turn on the hot water faucet. The preferred fuel is natural gas since it takes less natural gas to heat the water than electricity.

These hot water tanks work by having a temperature gauge inside the tank that reads the water temperature perpetually. When the water temperature drops below the temperature you set it at, the water heater will turn on and bring the water temperature back up to the desired temperature. This process goes on 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, so the water is being heated even when you don’t need it. However, when you do need it, it is ready and waiting for you, which is why many people love these heaters. Many people mitigate this fact by choosing a hot water tank that is the perfect size for them. For example, a single person needs and uses less water than a family would. Your plumber in Orlando notes that a smaller tank uses less energy because there’s less water to perpetually heat.

The average lifespan of a conventional water heater is only about 11 years — if you have it regularly maintenanced by a top-notch plumber in Orlando, such as Choice Plumbing. Most traditional hot water heaters have to be drained and flushed to have sediment build up removed from the bottom at least once a year, which will prolong its lifespan and save on energy as it will run more efficiently.

Tankless Water Heaters

Tankless water heaters have only recently become popular. This has been because of better technology, but also because it takes a while for tradition to go out of style when it comes to major home purchases, such as a water heater replacement. A tankless water heater heats water on-demand by heating water-filled coils. This only heats the water you will use at that time, heating no extra and not having hot water stored. This, your Orlando plumber notes, leads to cost savings, but tankless water heater installation costs are higher than for traditional water heaters.

One other thing to note about tankless water heaters before you have one installed is that they have a lower flow rate than conventional water heaters. Most can only move between two and five gallons per minute, which means you can only have one use of the hot water in your home. Thus, you can’t run the dishwasher and take a shower at the same time. Thus, many homeowners install multiple tankless water heaters, or point-of-use systems, each hooked up to a different appliance or households use, in order to get around this limitation.

Some things to consider when deciding whether to invest in a tankless water heater:

  • Size of your family. You can invest in bigger sized tankless water heaters that will offer a continuous flow of hot water for bigger families who use a lot of hot water simultaneously.
  • Heating method. Tankless water heaters work best with natural gas, although you may have to install a bigger gas line to use them. Electric tankless water heaters work great, but you’ll probably have to upgrade your home’s electrical grid in order to accommodate it. This can be very expensive, depending on the age of your home.
  • Maintenance. Like all systems that use water, which inherently carries sediment, tankless water heaters will require regular service from your Orlando plumber, Choice Plumbing, just like traditional water heaters. We recommend descaling the coils to keep this machine running strong to provide all of your hot water needs. However, on the plus side is that tankless water heater often last upwards of 20 years, which is almost twice the length of time as a traditional water heater. This will save you even more money in the long run when you factor in the fact that you won’t have to replace it very often and you get savings from fuel costs.

Heat Pump Water Heaters

Many people aren’t familiar with heat pump water heaters, but they are gaining in popularity. Also called hybrid electric water heaters, heat pump water heaters capture heat from the air or ground and then take that heat and use it to heat the water. Since you aren’t physically heating anything up, this uses a lot less energy than traditional and tankless water heaters, up to 60% less energy in fact. Your plumber in Orlando notes that many people like the fact that heat pump water heaters reduce their carbon footprint and saves them a lot of money in utility bills. However, these don’t work well without heat around it, which means they don’t work well in cold climates or cold spaces, such as basements. You also need a tall ceiling because the heat pump is actually on top of the heater itself.

Solar Water Heaters

As previously mentioned, solar water heaters have been around for almost 100 years. However, like the tankless water heater, solar water heaters lacked the technology until recently to make them a viable way to heat the water in your home. Most solar hot water heaters use the energy from your existing solar panels, which are usually mounted on your home’s roof or in your yard. These solar water heaters take the energy produced from the sun’s rays and transfers it to a closed-loop system that uses a material similar to antifreeze to power the heater. These systems work quite well in very sunny and very warm regions, such as the American Southwest. As you can imagine, solar water heaters have many advantages:

  • Saves you money on your utility bills
  • Helps to reduce your carbon footprint
  • The sun’s energy is boundless and cost-effective to collect
  • Solar panels are very cost effective these days, able to turn approximately 80% of the sun’s energy into productive energy
  • Sometimes there are tax credits you can get for installing a solar water heater, which would vary by state
  • Lasts up to 20 years

However, your Orlando plumber, Choice Plumbing, notes that solar panels are expensive, even with financial incentives, and they should be regularly inspected as well to keep them operating efficiently. Moreover, solar panels, of course, are reliant upon the sun for energy, so when it doesn’t shine, you’ll have to use your backup system instead. There are different types of solar heaters, so be sure you do your research to decide which one will work best for your needs.

Condensing Water Heaters

Another little-known way to heat the water in your home, condensing water heaters actually have a tank like a conventional hot water heater. However, they work by taking the hot gases that are normally expelled (and, frankly, wasted), blows these gases through a coil in the hot water heater, where the water then absorbs this energy. Condensing water heaters are very efficient if you are using natural gas as your source of energy and the tank is fairly large, usually over 55 gallons. Hence, you will normally see this type of hot water heater in places that have a need for lots of hot water, such as gyms.

CHOOSING WHICH WATER HEATER IS RIGHT FOR YOU

Choosing a hot water heater basically comes down to you evaluating your needs and your priorities. If you are in need of a lot of water quickly, probably a traditional hot water system will work well for you. If you are looking to reduce your carbon footprint, a tankless hot water system or solar water heater would work well. You may also need to consider your budget. After all, water heater replacements are not cheap. Hence, you may only have budgeted a conventional water heater. Or, you may not have the space for a traditional hot water tank so a smaller tankless water heater would be better for you.

Your plumber in Orlando, Choice Plumbing, is here to help you make that decision on which water heater is right for you. From helping you decide which is the most energy efficient based on your usage to which is more economical, we can help. Contact us today to get started!

WHEN YOUR WATER HEATER IS ON THE FRITZ

All household items need repair, and your water heater is no exception. When you notice your water heater is on the fritz, we have some advice:

  • Call for backup. While we support DIY’ers who just want to save a buck here and there, sometimes you should not DIY your plumbing, including your hot water repair. Because there is gas and/or electricity involved, you should call your experienced plumber in Orlando for backup when you notice that your hot water heater is not cooperating.
  • Note its symptoms. Your water heater will give you signs it needs repair. Note in particular what they are because your Orlando plumber will ask when you call. Has it stopped heating water altogether? Is it making strange noises? Do you notice any water around the base of your water heater? If so, a water heater repair may be imminent.
  • Schedule a water heater inspection. Call your Orlando Plumber, Choice Plumbing, for a water heater inspection. The symptoms above can be hard to diagnose without a professional plumber who knows the ins and outs of water heaters. Give us a call; we’ll take a look.
  • Decide on a water heater repair or replacement service. Have your plumber in Orlando make a service call and will give you a diagnostic report with what exactly is wrong, as well as the different means of repair. Sometimes a hot water heater replacement may be needed, especially if your traditional water heater is over ten years old, or your tankless water heater is approaching fifteen years.

YOUR ORLANDO PLUMBER OF CHOICE FOR WATER HEATER REPAIR

Choosing a water heater can be a big decision. After all, in the United States, the average gallons of water used per person per day is 64 gallons. That’s a lot of water! Thus, you want to be sure you get the water heater installed that will suit you.

Your Orlando plumber, Choice Plumbing, is the best residential and commercial plumber. In addition to our stellar hot water heater repair and installation services, we offer a full range of plumbing services, including emergency plumbing, bathroom plumbing, gas piping, main water line services, repiping, and sump pump services. We take pride in helping you make your home comfortable and sound in all that we do.

We offer our Choice Plumbing VIP Membership club in Orlando in order to reward you for both using us and referring us to your friends, family and colleagues. When you join, you will receive a free yearly water safety inspection, a full kitchen plumbing and bathroom plumbing inspection, preferred appointment placement, and much more. We value your patronage and feel privileged that we can help you when you need it the most.

Choice Plumbing in Orlando is your plumber of choice. Call us today to get started!