In this video, Ask This Old House plumbing and heating expert Richard Trethewey walks through all the various options available to homeowners for purchasing or renting a water heater
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Richard Trethewey teaches Kevin O’Connor all about water heaters. Since 90% of water heater purchases are emergencies, Richard thought a bit of homework on the topic would help avoid purchasing what’s available over the best water heater for the scenario. It’s not just discussion, either; Richard shows Kevin the gruesome interior of the shop’s water heater, comparing it to the other models available.
Types of Water Heaters:
Gas Storage Tank Water Heater [https://thd.co/3oSAr7l]
* Gas burner is underneath the tank. Cold water enters the glass-lined tank by the dip tube and goes to the bottom of the tank. Through the process of convention, hot water rises to the top of the tank.
* A flue runs through the tank and up out of the house to take away exhaust gases.
* Most popular in the USA
Electric Storage Tank Water Heater [https://thd.co/3Bl4hV5]
* The process is very similar to the gas water heater. A dip tube brings cold water to the bottom of the tank, where it is heated.
* There is no direct burner but there are electric elements to heat the water, just like the elements found in a coffee machine.
* There is no gas, so there is no need for a flue.
* Usually more expensive to run than a gas water heater.
Hybrid Water Heater [https://thd.co/3oAwqnP]
* The water in the tank is heated by a heat pump. It works like an air conditioner does – it moves heat from one location to another. It pulls heat from the surrounding air and, through fans and coils, heats that air even more, then dumps it into a tank to heat water.
* Can be two to three times more energy efficient than conventional electric resistance water heaters.
* They work best in a warmer climate.
Tankless Water Heater [https://thd.co/3Blda0S]
* Also known as “instantaneous” or “on demand” because they make hot water only when you need it.
* When the hot water tap is turned on, cold water travels through a pipe into the tankless heater, and a heating element (usually a gas burner, or sometimes an electric element) heats the water as it travels through the tank.
* Popular in Asia and most of Europe. They are starting to gain popularity in the USA.
Indirect Water Heater [https://thd.co/2WLuBsu]
* Has no direct flame. It relies on a boiler or furnace to produce its heat. It is typically a stainless steel-lined tank that holds a coiled heat exchanger. Boiler water is pumped into the coil through a pipe that connects the units. The coil transfers the heat into the water in the tank. The water from the boiler never mixes with the water in the tank.
* You’ll need to have a boiler in your home for this type of water heater.
Where to find it?
Richard explains different types of hot water heaters you can install in your home: gas storage tank water heater, electric storage tank water heater, hybrid tank water heater, tankless water heater and indirect water heater. Water heaters can be purchased at home centers or sourced through a local HVAC technician or sales representative.
The hybrid water heater was manufactured by Viessman Manufacturing [https://www.viessmann-us.com/en/products.html].
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About Ask This Old House TV:
From the makers of This Old House, America’s first and most trusted home improvement show, Ask This Old House answers the steady stream of home improvement questions asked by viewers across the United States. Covering topics from landscaping to electrical to HVAC and plumbing to painting and more. Ask This Old House features the experts from This Old House, including general contractor Tom Silva, plumbing and heating expert Richard Trethewey, landscape contractor Jenn Nawada, master carpenter Norm Abram, and host Kevin O’Connor. Ask This Old House helps you protect and preserve your greatest investment—your home.
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