How To Choose A Water Heater For The Apartment And Home: Selection Guidelines

If the hot water supply in an apartment building is frequently interrupted, it is worth buying a device to ensure an uninterrupted water supply. How to choose a water heater for an apartment or your own home, taking into account the family's needs?

To do this you must take into account many characteristics on which the service life of the equipment depends. It should be chosen taking into account the space available in the bathroom or kitchen. In an apartment this question is particularly relevant.

In this article we will indicate all the details of the choice of the water heaters, understand the types of heating elements, and the principles of operation of different types of equipment.

Content of the article:

  • Housing material as a point of choice
    • Enamel coating is a market favorite
    • Super resistant stainless steel
    • Novel glass ceramic and bio glass porcelain
  • Overview of water heating elements
    • Wet heating element
    • Dry heating element
  • System Heating control system
    • Simple mechanical thermostat
    • Automatic thermostat with extended functions
  • Principle of operation and comparison of performances
    • Electric water flow heaters
    • Electric water heaters
    • Gas  flow-through water heaters
    • Double-circuit gas boiler
  • Conclusions and useful video on the subject

Housing material as a guide to selection

The service life of a heating appliance depends directly on the material from which it is made. If the heating elements and anodes still have to be replaced, corrosion on the casing will ruin the appliance permanently without any possibility of repair.

If the hinged heating unit comes off the mountings, this will also lead to failure due to the low quality materials used in the manufacture.

There are various metal casing variants on sale with different types of internal coatings. It is possible to choose an acceptable variant in terms of quality for a relatively small price, but it is worth giving preference to reputable manufacturers who care about their reputation.

In this case the probability of failure due to poor quality of the raw materials is minimized.

Enamel coating - market favourite

Emalt and its variations are the most popular coating for the case of water heating appliances (mainly of accumulation type). It perfectly protects the steel base against contact with water and the beginnings of rust.

But enamel without the addition of other components is brittle and can peel from the walls of the vessel. More often than not, the coating cannot withstand excessive temperatures. In this case, cracks will form.

How to choose a water heater for the apartment and home: selection guidelines

Translated enamel exposes metal that is exposed to water. This leads to corrosion that will soon make further use of the appliance impossible

Titanium or cobalt are added to the enamel composition to prevent the cracking and destruction of the protective shell and the subsequent corrosion of the body. These metals increase the strength and lifetime of the water heater.

If the heater body s enamel protection is high quality (especially the joints), the steel body is as good as stainless coatings.

Super resistant stainless steel

One of the most practical materials for the water heater body is stainless steel. It has a number of key advantages over any enamel coating. The first of these is heat resistance.

If it happens that the boiler is plugged in without being filled with water beforehand, the casing will not be damaged. Only the heating element will burn, which can be replaced and operation can continue.

A second advantage of stainless steel is its resistance to mechanical stress. In case of an accidental impact or fall, the case and its technical filling will not be damaged. In an emergency, minor dents can be straightened in a workshop.

If the connecting seams are welded with corrosion-resistant metals, as some Scandinavian manufacturers do, the service life will be many times longer than the warranty.

How to choose a water heater for the apartment and home: selection guidelines

The weak point in low-quality boiler models is the welding seams. They are not resistant to corrosion. In addition, it is not known for certain whether the type of stainless steel is safe. In order to keep costs down, heavy metals that cause poisoning may be added

Some manufacturers coat stainless steel with silver plating. This is an advertising ploy based on the bactericidal property of this nonferrous metal. The water in the boiler heats up enough to kill pathogenic microflora, so there is no point in overpaying for silver plating.

Novel glass ceramic and bioglass porcelain

Glass ceramic differs from enamel in that it reduces the thermal conductivity of the tank. A water heater treated with this material will not radiate heat, which means the water in it will cool down slowly. This reduces electricity consumption. The disadvantage of the coating is sensitivity to mechanical impact.

How to choose a water heater for the apartment and home: selection guidelines

Despite high thermal insulation properties, glass ceramic coated boilers are provided with a shell. It also serves as protection against falls

Biosilicate glass ceramic or bioglass porcelain is a rather expensive material that is not used in budget models. Unlike enamel and glass ceramic, it contains no toxic substances harmful to the human body and is completely biologically safe. It does not interact with moisture and is resistant to temperatures from 60 to 70 degrees Celsius.

Overview of water heating elements

The heating method is an important characteristic of the device. The heating element may be in direct contact with water or it may be protected by a metal element.

The choice must be made according to financial possibilities. Boilers with a non-contact heating element cost more than contact ones.

Wet heating element

If the water that enters the house has good sanitary and epidemiological indicators, does not contain fine suspended matter from old metal pipes, then you can save and buy a water heater with a wet heating element.

In addition, it is necessary to insure if the water contains a high content of mineral salts (as is often the case in private country houses), and install a filter. The need for a filter is determined simply, if the electric kettle often has scale in it, the water has a high salt content.

How to choose a water heater for the apartment and home: selection guidelines

If you neglect the filter, after 5-6 years of operation, scale will appear inside the boiler and a dirty sludge will form in the tank. Over time, the appliance will completely fail

In addition, with such a failure, replacement of the wet heating element will require additional expense and time. Different manufacturers' models have different size and power heating elements. You will have to wait for the necessary parts, as they are not always available.

Dry heating element

If finances allow, it is better not to save and buy a boiler with a dry type water heating element. It is also necessary to choose a unit with a tank made of wear-resistant material, otherwise there is a risk that the boiler will fail due to depressurization of the body, and this will inevitably lead to the purchase of a new device (even with a functioning heating element).

How to choose a water heater for the apartment and home: selection guidelines

The heating element is protected from water by a metal case, which fits tightly to it. The air gap does not exceed 1-2 mm. This does not significantly increase electrical consumption and maintenance costs

Another advantage is the easy replacement of the heating element. It can be done by yourself without resorting to the services of specialists.

The disadvantages may include the fact that using this element makes the appliance 15%-20% more expensive, but in the long run it pays off and even allows saving on repairs.

Heat control system

All water heater models have a sensor that allows getting reliable values about the degree of water heating. In case it is noticed that the water heater heats up more than it should, this will give a signal to replace the heating element.

Devices are often equipped with a thermostatic regulator in addition to the sensor. They allow you to control the heating. This is done to save energy.

Simple mechanical thermostat

In the budget models a simple switch is installed, which can be in the form of a circular knob or buttons. It can be used to change the heat from 60 degrees to 30 degrees. It is not possible to set the exact temperature value, it will be respected with an error of a few degrees.

As a rule, these mechanical regulators are interchangeable, it is often possible to pick up an analog in case of breakage. Their replacement is simple and does not require the help of service technicians. This is the end of their advantages.

Automatic thermostat with extended functions

Such boilers are equipped with additional possibilities, among which is programming for a certain on or off time. It is possible to set the required heating temperature with high precision.

How to choose a water heater for the apartment and home: selection guidelines

The disadvantages of these models include the difficulty of repair, in case of electronic failure. If the water heater is made by a little-known firm, there is always difficulty in ordering parts and chips

If the firm leaves the market, spare parts will be impossible to obtain. A minor breakdown in the electronics can result in the need to buy a new device. It is worth giving preference to proven manufacturers.

The principle of operation and comparison of performance

Besides the body material, heating element and thermostat, there are significant differences in the design and principle of operation of water heaters. They can use gas or electricity for heating.

Worth considering, gas water heaters are more expensive, they are cheaper to operate, but cannot be used in an apartment. Their purpose is to supply hot water to private country houses. Electric, respectively, are cheaper, but costly. They can be used in the apartment. Now more details about all of them.

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Hot water heating equipment

Water heater for apartment

Water heater

Location of the water extraction point

Rules for connecting the heating water heaters

Boiler in tandem with storage water heater

The use of water heaters in combination

Electric flow water heaters

The principle of their operation is to heat water which flows through the heating element when the tap is open continuously. In the construction of these models, the material used to manufacture the tank does not play a leading role.

Their advantage is in supplying just prepared hot water, for the reason that there is no need to wait long for its heating. An unlimited volume can be obtained.

How to choose a water heater for the apartment and home: selection guidelines

The main disadvantage of these water heaters is their high energy consumption. They put an increased load on the wiring when used for extended periods of time. Old wiring will not withstand such loads, especially if other household appliances are included in addition to the water heater

Another disadvantage of electric water heater devices is heating for only one water supply point. The one to which it is directly connected. If the device is connected to a shower or bathtub, the hot water supply will only be to them.

Use two flow-through water heaters is extremely unprofitable in terms of electricity bills. This option is only suitable for apartments with occasional seasonal interruptions of the hot water supply.

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Shower and bath water heater

Hot water heater for washing hands

Water heater with head control

Electric water heaters

The working principle of boilers is to heat a certain amount of water, and maintaining its temperature. The maximum electricity consumption is fixed when filling with cold water, because the body of the water heater is designed as a thermos.

How to choose a water heater for the apartment and home: selection guidelines

There are different forms of the appliance body. It can be cylindrical, rectangular or circular. The shape of the tank does not affect the performance

Besides the shape, boilers are subdivided into horizontally oriented and vertically oriented. This variety is due to the popularity of these water heaters, which can be placed in any room, kitchen, bathroom or toilet. The shape is determined solely by the available space.

The essential characteristic of the appliance is the volume of the tank. The most popular are water heaters with the following volume:

  • 30 cubic liters;
  • 50 cubic liters;
  • 80 cubic liters;
  • 100 cubic liters;

The size is determined by the number of people that live in the house or apartment. If the number of people is higher than the number for which the boiler is designed, you will have to wait a long time until the water heats to an acceptable temperature.

How to choose a water heater for the apartment and home: selection guidelines

Use boilers in country houses where more than 5 people live is not convenient. It is better to choose another water heating option, it takes too long to heat up

When choosing a wall-mounted boiler, it is important to make sure that the mounting method is secure. The fasteners must be made of high quality steel. This is necessary to securely fix it to the supporting wall.

In some cases, it is better to choose a floor standing water heater if the partitions will not support the weight of the appliance filled with water. Floor standing water heaters are safer, so families with children should choose these models.

Further details on the choice of storage water heaters can be found below.

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Vertical storage water heater

The horizontal model вида

Специфика работы накопительного типа

Малогабаритный нагреватель воды

Газовые  Flow-through water heaters

If the country house is heated with gas, it is better to opt for gas water heaters as they are cheaper to operate. The most popular type of gas water heater is a flow-through. It has all the advantages of its electric counterpart, but it does not create a significant load on the wiring.

How to choose a water heater for the apartment and home: selection guidelines

Ether disadvantages include keeping track of the condition of the device. The devices are sensitive to pressure fluctuations in the natural gas supply source

Unlike an electric water heater, several hot water outlets can be connected to the gas unit.

The disadvantages of this type of water heaters include the need to run a vent pipe. The heating principle is based on the combustion of natural gas, which is impossible in the absence of oxygen supply and exhaust of combustion products.

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Gas heater in a country house

Wiring of gas units

Features operation of flow-through appliances

Location rules for gas units

Gas-fired units are differentiated by the ignition method. Because the equipment is a high-risk source, it has a built-in feature that automatically shuts off the gas supply if there is a back draft in the chimney and the wick goes out. There are gas heaters that require a spark, by pressing a button, and there are models where this happens in an automated mode.

We also recommend reading about the best models of flow-through gas heaters. For details - follow the link.

Double-circuit gas boiler

What water heater to choose to install in a country house if it does not yet have heating, but there is a gas input? In this case, the best solution is a two-circuit gas boiler.

This is a complex device that solves two problems at once in the country house:

  1. Heating the living space.
  2. Heating water for domestic needs.

It is a great way to save money, because the purchase of a two-circuit boiler is cheaper than the total cost of a boiler with a solid fuel boiler.

How to choose a water heater for the apartment and home: selection guidelines

The main advantage of this device is that it does not require a separate room for operation. It can be placed anywhere in the house where a ventilation pipe can be brought out

Boilers can be wall and floor mounted, it depends on their dimensions. In country houses with a large area, floor boilers should be installed, as they can completely solve the problem of heating spacious rooms.

Conclusions and useful video on the topic

The video explains the general principle of choosing a boiler:

Practical tips on choosing a water heater:

Video on how to choose a gas flow heater:

The water heater should be chosen according to personal needs. If you have gas in your apartment, then it is better to buy a gas water heater. It will fully meet the need for hot water in an uninterrupted mode, unlike electric counterparts.

If a private house or apartment has no gas, you should opt for electric storage water heaters, as they are more productive than flow-through.

And what heater do you use? Please tell in comments on which device you have chosen, are you satisfied with its work? Also you can ask questions on the subject of the article, and we will try to give a very clear answer.


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