You can solve the problem of the lack of hot water supply (DHW) in a country house, cottage or apartment using a water heater. Today, the widest range of models of various types is presented on the domestic market. To decide which device will be optimal in a particular situation, you need to know all the advantages, disadvantages and features of the operation of each type of equipment.
We will tell you how to choose the right water heater for your own home.
No. 1. The main types of boilers
Water heaters can be electric and gas. The latter are popularly called columns and are used less and less due to increased danger. Electric water heaters are called boilers. They are familiar to many of us, they are distinguished by quiet operation, ease of operation, durability and safety, if, of course, the choice was made correctly.
By type of heating, electric water heaters are:
Instantaneous electric water heaters
Boilers of this type are distinguished compact size and allow you to heat water instantly. Tap water, in contact with the heating element, is heated and enters the faucet already hot, i.e. there is no process of mixing it with cold water. Water heating occurs instantly, as the power of the heating element is decent. Often, boilers of this type are used in apartments, where there are often interruptions in the centralized supply of hot water. They do an excellent job of heating water for one water intake point. If you turn on hot water at the same time in two places, it may not have time to warm up — it all depends on the power.
Power of instantaneous water heaters ranges from 3 to 27 kW. In an apartment with a single-phase voltage of 220 V, it is impossible to use an 8 kW boiler. A flow-through boiler with a power of 3-8 kW heats 2-6 liters of water per minute, which is not so little — this will be enough for the domestic and hygienic needs of a small family.
For a private house with a three-phase voltage of 380 V, you can take a more powerful boiler. Then there will definitely be no problems with the lack of hot water.
Advantages of flow boilers:
- fast heating of water;
- water is heated only when it is needed. Turned on the tap — warm water flows, turned off the tap — the water does not heat up, which means that electricity is not consumed, which is the competitive advantage over storage boilers;
- hot water will not run out suddenly. In storage boilers, if hot water supplies are used up, it will take a long time to heat up.
- high power turns sidewaysif the wiring in the house is not very good (for Khrushchev and other old houses this is a serious problem), and even with frequent use of such a boiler, electricity bills will not please you. The storage boiler is more economical in this regard;
- water in flow boiler may overheat, as it heats up very quickly, and mixing with cold water does not occur. In this case, the boiler will first drain hot water, then warm water will flow from the tap, and then cold water, and only then normal operation will resume. That is why it is very important that the boiler has a heat limiter.
Instantaneous water heaters can be of two types:
- non-pressure. It heats water for only one point of water intake, therefore it must be located in close proximity to it. For city apartments, this is not the most convenient option, but for summer cottages such a boiler is ideal;
- pressure. Such a water heater is built into the water riser, so the device allows you to heat water for several water intake points at once.
On sale sometimes you can even find water heater-faucetwhich can be considered the most simplified version of a non-pressure boiler.
Storage electric water heaters
In any case, the storage boiler will be larger than the flow one, since it is equipped with a tank in which already heated water is heated and stored. When someone turns on the faucet, the hot water from the boiler mixes with cold water and is fed through the faucet or showerhead. As the water is consumed or cools down, the appliance turns on the heating again. Tank volume fluctuates from modest 10-30 liters to 150-200 liters. Such a water heater is installed on the wall or on the floor — it all depends on the size of the tank.
How much storage boiler is needed? It all depends on the needs of the family for hot water. To wash, on average, one person spends 40-50 liters of water, but keep in mind that hot water from the water heater is mixed with cold tap water. Taking a shower uses less water than taking a bath. When choosing the volume of the boiler you can refer to the following data:
- boiler volume 50-80 l enough for a small family up to 3 people to wash dishes and take a shower. In principle, you can take a bath if you heat the water in the boiler to the maximum;
- 80-100 l — Option for a family of 4 people. Such a unit costs not much more than a 50-liter boiler, but a larger tank will take longer to warm up;
- 100-150 l — a boiler for a large family, which consists of 6 people. There is enough water for several washbasins, and for a shower, and for filling a bath;
- boilers with volume over 150 l are used, as a rule, in private houses, are installed on the floor and consume a decent amount of electricity.
It is important not to miscalculate with volume. If it turns out to be insufficient, there will be constant inconvenience, and if it is excessive, then you will have to overpay and wait too long for heating.
Among the main advantages of storage boilers, we note:
- economy. An average boiler, suitable for a city apartment, consumes 1.5-3 kW of electricity during heating and can be connected to a regular 220 V network;
- one boiler, not even the largest one, is enough to fully provide hot water to all water intake points in the apartment;
The storage boiler immediately heats the entire volume of water in the tank, so the larger its capacity, the longer you have to wait (a 30-liter tank will heat up in 1-1.5 hours, and a 120-liter tank will heat up to 4 hours). In addition, for huge water heaters, it is still necessary to find a suitable place. Usually the boiler is located in the bathroom or toilet, so be sure to take a tape measure before buying and measure what size equipment can fit in the bathroom so as not to interfere with free movement. Small-sized water heaters are produced not only in the usual vertical, but also in a horizontal form. Some manufacturers produce built-in modelswhich can be placed in the cabinet under the sink.
Combined water heaters
This type of device combines the advantages of storage and flow boilers. Small-sized combined water heaters weigh no more than 6 kg, are equipped with a 10-30 l tank and can operate in two modes. The choice of such models is not very wide.
How to choose for a house, apartment
So, what should be considered when choosing a water heater?
- Type of dwelling. For the organization of hot water supply in country houses without gas supply, the most rational option would be to install flow-type electric boilers. For country houses with one draw-off point, a non-pressure device with a power of up to 8 kW is suitable; for a private house, you should choose a pressure model with a power of up to 20 kW. For apartments, storage boilers with a power of up to 2 kW or flow-through gas water heaters with a capacity of at least 15 l / minute are suitable.
- Number of persons. The calculation is simple: one person needs from 10 to 50 liters. hot water. For a family of 3 people, this figure is already equal to 100-120 liters.
- Goals. If instant hot water is required at any time, then preference should be given to flow models.
- The necessary supply of water in case of a shutdown will be provided by storage facilities.
- The dimensions of the boiler depend on its volume. Focus on the number of users and the availability of free space.
|Place of application||1 person||2 persons||3 persons||4 people||5 persons|
|Water dispenser||5-10 l.||15 l.||15 l.||30 l.||30 l.|
|Shower||30 l.||50 l.||80 l.||100 l.||120 l.|
|Shower + washstand||50 l.||80 l.||100 l.||120 l.||150 l.|
|Bath||100 l.||120 l.||120 l.||150 l.||300 l.|
No. 2. Heating element type
Heating elements are responsible for heating in boilers, spiral heating elements are less often used (they are more powerful, but if something happens, they are more difficult to repair).
Heating elements can be of two types:
It is easy to understand who is who by the name. «Wet» heating element — a copper heating element that is immersed in water and works like a boiler. Such heating elements are typical for many storage and almost all flow-through boilers. These are cheap devices, but due to direct contact of the heating element with water, scale quickly forms on it, which has high thermal insulation properties, due to which the heating element’s ability to heat water decreases. You will have to constantly increase the temperature, and this will affect the life of the boiler. It is noteworthy that the higher the heating temperature, the faster the formation of scale. In addition, the «wet» heating element is subject to electrochemical corrosion. If a water filter is installed in the apartment, then in principle you can take a boiler of this type, it costs less. When working with hard water, get ready to clean the heating element every 3-4 months.
«Dry» (steatine) heating element protected by a special flask and does not come into contact with water, so scale cannot form here. The heat transfer of such a heating element is much higher, the service life is also, but a boiler with a similar heating element will cost 1.5-2 times more.
Good example of a water heater with «dry» heating element — French Atlantic. Atlantic factories are located all over the world. In addition to China — that’s why the Atlantic is often called the most «NON-Chinese» water heaters. Atlantic boilers are equipped with a self-developed steatite heating element with a service life of up to 20 years. This is ten times longer than conventional inexpensive «wet» heating elements.
Due to the coating of the tank with branded enamel with titanium dioxide and a magnesium anode, scale does not practically settle in Atlantic boilers and rust does not appear. Therefore, Atlantic are also the quietest, economical and reliable water heaters of all that are sold in Russia.
Atlantic work with all types of water and are provided with a maximum guarantee for tanks — 7-8 years. And the Atlantic does not need to be serviced annually, like most conventional Chinese manufacturers. And once every 2-3 years.
Storage water heaters can be equipped with one or two heaters. The second heating element is received by all boilers of large volume, as well as models with a fast heating function.
Accumulative or flowing?
To understand how to choose a water heater, you need to compare these electrical appliances with each other.
- Storage boilers consume little electricity and are therefore quite economical. Moreover, some models have an energy-saving night mode.
- On average, a storage boiler requires about 2 kW of power (although there are those that require higher power), which means that during installation you do not have to worry about wiring again.
- A device with a storage tank is able to serve several points at once, that is, you can take a shower and wash dishes in the kitchen at the same time.
- The flow heater is always ready to dispense hot water. The storage unit must be turned on in advance.
- The limited volume of the tank at the storage device requires waiting for the heating of the next portion of water — this should be taken into account if you choose a boiler for a large family.
- To maintain a constant temperature of the reserve volume of water in the boiler, excessive electrical costs are required.
- Storage devices require periodic maintenance: cleaning the heating elements from scale, washing the inner surface of the storage tank, replacing the magnesium anode.
With regards to which storage or instantaneous water heater is better in terms of installation, by and large it does not matter, since devices are installed in any room in the same way, permits are not required. The only requirement is the presence of cold water supply and good electrical wiring.
It is only worth noting that when installing an electric water heater in an apartment, you need to take into account the dimensions of the unit, since not all bathrooms and kitchens can fit an overall boiler of 100-120 liters. In a private house or country house, you can easily install a water heater of the largest volume in any convenient place where there is a connection to cold water.
Flowing water heaters differ from storage water heaters in that they do not have a large storage tank, and the water warms up directly at the moment it passes through a narrow tube — a heating tank. However, such a liquid heater, according to reviews, consumes much more electricity and cannot simultaneously serve several points of water intake.
Therefore, economical and prudent consumers buy a good storage heater, preferring it to flowing gas counterparts.
Number 3. Boiler lining
The inner surface of the storage boiler tank constantly interacts with water, so it must be as resistant to corrosion as possible. To date, water heaters are on sale, in which the inner surface of the tank is made of the following materials:
- stainless steel;
- enamel coating;
- glass ceramics;
- titanium coating;
- plastic coating.
Boilers in which the tank has plastic inner lining, are the cheapest, but their reliability is doubtful. Tanks from of stainless steel. Manufacturers give them a 10-year warranty, and some additionally carry out passivation, increasing the warranty period to 12 years. From the point of view of durability and reliability, such tanks are preferable, but they are not cheap either. The most expensive boilers get titanium coatingwhich allows you to extend the service life for several more years.
Bucky with enamel coated not much inferior to the stainless steel counterpart. Thanks to the addition of special additives to the composition of the enamel, it receives the same expansion coefficients as the steel from which the tank itself is made, so this coating will not crack when heated. Enamel coating is improving day by day. Today you can find water heaters in which the enamel gets sputtering with silver ions. Due to this, antibacterial and anti-corrosion properties are increased.
Some experts note that plastic, enamel and glass ceramics can receive mechanical damage from temperature changes and when interacting with solid particles found in tap water. Nevertheless, enamel and glass-ceramic coatings are not the worst option for a boiler, although they are incomparable with stainless steel.
On the other hand, no matter how strong the inner coating of the tank is, the weak points are the same in all cases. it welds that are the first to rust. To prevent corrosion of the tank and the «wet» heating element, the design of all modern boilers provides anode protection. To do this, use a magnesium, titanium or aluminum anode, the tank acts as a cathode. The anode can be called a consumable. It is better to change it every few years, while simultaneously cleaning the heating element and flushing the tank.
Remember that a quality boiler, made according to all the rules, cannot be cheap. The absence of a guarantee or its very short period should also indicate that the manufacturer, to put it mildly, is not sure about the quality of his products and wants to quickly relieve himself of responsibility for it.
Overview of the best models for 15 liters
Thermex Drift 15O
This electric storage water heater belongs to the vertical type of installation. With a compact
With a reservoir capacity of only 15 liters, it will easily fit under or above the sink in the kitchen as well as in the bathroom.
The stainless steel inner tank guarantees reliable protection against corrosion, scale, and other chemical reactions. Also, this metal prolongs the operation of the device.
A small boiler is not enough for a family of four, but it will be a great helper for those who live alone. The mass of the device is about 6 kg.
- heating — electric;
- consumption — 1.5 kW;
- position — vertical, bottom connection, wall;
- the internal material of the tank is stainless steel.
- reliable protection system;
- compact dimensions;
- affordable cost;
- fast connection.
- non-standard size anchors.
Thermex Drift 15U
The Drift 15 U model is an affordable, inexpensive and reliable assistant in the country house and in a city apartment, in case
turning off hot water. The modest dimensions of the product allow you to install it under the sink in the kitchen, as well as in a small bathroom.
The internal water tank is made of stainless steel, a reliable material that ensures long and stable operation of the boiler. The volume of the tank, equal to 15 liters, will help you wash dishes or bathe a child.
The only heating element is made of copper. In 27 minutes, the water heater will heat the liquid up to 45 degrees Celsius.
- heating — electric;
- consumption — 1.5 kW;
- position — vertical, top eyeliner, universal;
- the internal material of the tank is stainless steel.
- heats water in 20 minutes;
- can be placed on the floor;
- small size.
- it is inconvenient to drain the water, you need to turn it over;
- makes a little noise.
Thermex GIFT 15 U
The storage water heater has a volume of 15 liters. The device will be the best solution for
installation in a small kitchen or bathroom.
The presented model has a flat tank with a bio-glass-porcelain coating. Easy control with a mechanical handle will be clear to every user. The tubular heating element is made of copper and has a power of 1.5 kW.
The water temperature reaches 75 degrees Celsius in just 30 minutes with a rated power of 1.5 kW. Power and heating indicators increase the capabilities of the device.
- heating — electric;
- consumption — 1.5 kW;
- position — vertical, top eyeliner, universal;
- the inner material of the tank is glass-ceramic.
- convenient shape and size;
- affordable cost;
- saves electricity.
- fragile pressure relief valve.
Electrolux EWH 15 Q-bic U
The model from Electrolux has a small volume and a neat appearance. The device fits perfectly into the interior
kitchen or bathroom.
A full tank of 15 liters is enough to wash dishes or wash one person. In just 23 minutes, the boiler heats water to a maximum temperature of 75 degrees Celsius.
The device is protected from overheating, so you can keep it turned on for many hours in a row. The indicator lamp will warn that the heating element is working. The inner tank is made of enamelled steel, which successfully resists corrosion.
- heating — electric;
- consumption — 2.5 kW;
- position — vertical, top connection, wall;
- the inner material of the tank is enamel.
- heats up water quickly
- qualitatively assembled;
- easy and clear installation;
- beautiful appearance.
- small tank volume.
No. 4. Boiler tank shape
When deciding which boiler to choose, you can get so carried away with studying the data on power, volume and material that you forget about much more obvious things. It’s about the shape of the body. There are few options here, the case can be:
Boilers with a round barrel-shaped body, as a rule, cost less (since they are easier to manufacture), but take up more space. This is the most popular version. Devices with rectangular tank will save space, as they can be installed in a corner, a niche, on the edge of a wall, or even hidden in a cabinet. Moreover, such models, due to their shape, are supplied with a thicker layer of thermal insulation. There are also so-called slim models, in which the diameter or one of the sides is less than in standard devices. It is very important to decide before buying exactly where the boiler will be located, and how much space is available for its installation.
As for colors, there are few options. The most popular and win-win option is a white case. Gray and silver models are also in demand.
As a conclusion, let’s recall what factors should first of all be paid attention to when choosing a water heater.
- To decide what type of device you need, you need to consider the issue of power consumption. The power of storage boilers varies within 3 kW; flowing requires at least 8 kW of electricity to effectively heat water.
- If the choice fell on a storage type device, you should decide on the volume of the tank. The calculation is simple: for 1 person — 50 liters; for two — 80l; on three — 100 l; a family of 4-5 people will need a tank with a capacity of 120-150 liters. If you decide to purchase a flow heater, then be guided by the number of water points and the number of hot water users. The calculation is as follows: a flow rate of about 15 l / min is required per consumption point.
- Shape and dimensions. Here everything is decided by the volume of the tank and the free space for mounting the device.
Watch a video on how to choose a water heater
No. 5. Vertical and horizontal water heaters
Depending on the installation features, boilers can be:
Vertical and horizontal boilers differ in design features and the location of the heating element, which can be attached to the bottom plate or side surface of the tank. It is not recommended to mount vertical water heaters horizontally — their performance may decrease, and vice versa.
If the space in the bathroom is short, then it is better to stay on a horizontal model. Such a boiler is mounted under the very ceiling, takes up a minimum of space and is not striking. On the other hand, a horizontal boiler is a little more expensive, more difficult to install and maintain.
Universal boilers captivate by the fact that they can be mounted in any way without losing functionality and performance.
The main types of water heaters
All heaters in an apartment or a private house are divided into two large groups: electric (boilers) and gas (columns). An electric water heater is classified by several more varieties that differ in design and method of heating the liquid.
The main types of water heater for the home:
What water heaters are better to buy in an apartment?
In a village where there is no direct water supply, the best solution would be to use a bulk electric boiler.
Flowing household heaters are pressure and non-pressure. A non-pressure device requires installation directly next to the draw-off point, which it will serve.
The pressure device is installed in the water riser and serves several water points at once. It is most expedient to install a flowing pressure water heater in an apartment, and for a garage, a private house or a summer house, it is more logical to install a non-pressure water heater.
A storage or instantaneous water heater is an excellent solution for providing hot water to a house or apartment. Which device is better?
When choosing an electric water heater, first of all, you need to decide on the type of device that suits you best — storage or instantaneous, and only then select the desired power and capacity.
No. 6. Boiler control system
You can set the necessary operation parameters and control the heating of water in the boiler in one of two ways:
- mechanical control. The easiest, cheapest and most practical option. The degree of water heating is set by a rotary lever, which is located on the bottom of the boiler. On the boiler itself there is a small window with an arrow, with which you can control the current temperature of the water in the tank. Everything is extremely simple — there is practically nothing to break here. The downside is that it is difficult to accurately adjust the water temperature, as well as, in principle, to determine the current degree of heating;
- electronic control. Represented by a display and physical or touch buttons. The user gets the opportunity not only to set the desired heating temperature with an accuracy of a degree, but also to memorize the heating modes, carry out diagnostics, start the economy mode, etc. Such boilers are more expensive and, moreover, are sensitive to voltage drops in the network.
The principle of operation of water heaters
Before choosing a storage water heater, it is necessary to study the principle of its operation. This device is a tank, protected from the outside by thermal insulation and a decorative casing, and in the lower part there is a heating element — a heating element. The structure can be mounted on the wall in a vertical or horizontal position.
When choosing which storage water heater is best, keep in mind that the best models are equipped with a thermostat and pressure control valves. Modern boilers are electronically controlled, equipped with two thermocouples, a magnesium anode and an antibacterial protection function.
The principle of operation of the electric flow unit is as follows: the water heater is connected to the mixer, and when hot water is released from the tank, the temperature in the device decreases and the heater turns on. After the water in the tank reaches the set temperature, the thermostat turns off the heating element, and the thermal insulation retains heat.
It is worth noting that a new type of electric boilers with the so-called “dry” heating element has recently entered the market. In such devices, the heating element is placed in a protective flask, which prevents the heating element from coming into contact with the liquid, which prevents scale from accumulating on it. This system has a greater degree of safety and durability, but you have to pay extra for such advantages.
No. 7. Additional functions, equipment, installation
When choosing an electric water heater, it does not hurt to pay attention to its equipment and additional options:
- important for storage boiler thermal insulation layer. It must be at least 35 mm so that the water in the tank remains warm for a long time, saving the family budget. Foamed polyurethane is an order of magnitude superior to foam rubber and will be the preferred material;
- function overheating protection is an important part of your security. If the boiler will be operated in the country, then it is worth looking at a model with a freezing prevention mode;
- timer will allow heating at night, when electricity is cheaper. Such models are not much more expensive than usual ones and will be useful to those who have a two-tariff meter installed;
- each boiler has a certain degree moisture protection. If the device will be used in the bathroom, it is better to take a model with IP44, in other cases, the minimum level of protection IP23 will be sufficient;
- as a rule, normal manufacturers complete their boilers with a power cable and a blast valve. The latter is installed at the point where the water pipe enters the boiler and prevents overpressure. Also, the presence of factory brackets will not interfere, thanks to which the boiler will be mounted;
- it is worth taking care of the presence of a sleeve for isolating stray currents.
Most likely, you will have to buy water pipes, valves, connecting fittings, and sometimes fasteners. If the water in the region is supersaturated with salts, it does not hurt to install a filter.
Boiler installation should be carried out by a professional who is able to accurately follow the instructions and the requirements specified in it. Otherwise, there may be problems with the warranty repair of the equipment. It is important to ensure proper grounding and check whether the pressure in the water supply corresponds to the operating pressure of the boiler: if cold water is supplied with more pressure than it should, a pressure reducer will have to be installed. Finally, we note that there must be enough free space in front of the boiler.
Rating of the best manufacturers of water heaters
How to choose the right water heater for an apartment or cottage? Below is a rating of the most popular models in three price categories.
|Timberk WHEL-3OSC — an electric instantaneous water heater designed to heat water at one point of consumption. Equipment: faucet and flexible hose with shower head. Power — 3.5 kW. Productivity — 2 l/min.
|Ariston ABS BLU R 80V (Italy). Boiler with one heating element and steel storage tank, capacity 80 l. The power of the heating element is 1.5 kW, which makes this model economical in operation. To protect the consumer from electric shock, the device provides a protective power off in the event of a “breakdown” of the heating element or a short circuit in the circuit. Height 760 mm. Weight — 22 kg.
The disadvantage is the presence of only one heating element, as a result of which it takes about 5 hours to initially heat the water.
Middle price segment
|Bosch 13-2G — a gas water heater with an atmospheric burner from a well-known German manufacturer. Ignition — hydrodynamic. Automation provides control of draft, flame, water and gas pressure. Power 22.6 kW. Productivity — 13 l/min.
|Gorenje OTG 80 SLB6. An electric storage boiler equipped with an enameled steel tank with a volume of 80 liters. Two “dry” heating elements with a power of 2 kW are responsible for heating the water. Height 950 mm; weight — 31 kg. Equipped with a safety valve, protection against overheating and freezing. Heating rate up to 75°C — 3 hours.
As the only drawback, users note an indistinct instruction manual.
|Atlantic Vertigo Steatite 100 MP 080 F220-2-EC — a reliable, economical and efficient premium boiler, made in a flat rectangular design. The design feature of this model is the presence of two enameled tanks for 80 liters. and the use of two «dry» ceramic heating elements, with a power of 2.25 kW. Management is electronic. The functionality includes two modes of operation: «Boost» — for quick heating of water for a shower; Smart mode, uses user settings.
The disadvantage is a rather meager range.
|Fagor CB-100 ECO (Spain). Storage boiler. Features: steel tank with titanium coating, capacity 100 l; two «dry» heating elements, with a power of 1.8 kW. Functionality: Three modes of operation, sound and light indication, double electrical protection, protection against leakage and water hammer. Height 1300 mm. Weight 38 kg.
The disadvantage is the high cost.