Monday, June 6, 2016

History of the Water Heater

The History Of Water Heaters or Geysers:


The water heater has been around for so long now that in today’s society it is mostly taken for granted.  However, hot water for bathing is a luxury that once was reserved only for the elite.



The first reports of people using warm baths came out of Rome which is of little surprise as the Romans are credited with having invented plumbing and aqueducts that carried fresh water in and waster out of the city.  They were master engineers.  Around 300 AD, large soaking tubs of heated water were being introduced in the great bathhouses of Rome.

For centuries the only way to have a hot bath was to heat water on a stove or by burning wood and hanging pots of water over the fire until hot.  This hot water was then poured into wooden or metal tubs for bathing.

Then Came the 1800s


First on-wall instant boiling water heaters with enhanced energy efficiency and an increased capacity. by ZIP

Around 1850 some inventors began experimenting with how to heat bathwater.  One method involved a series of gas jets that were lighted directly under the tub, unfortunately, while the jet flames heated the water; they also heated the tub making it too hot and impractical for regular use.  Moreover, most people didn’t have a gas pipeline in their homes.


Then in 1868, English painter Benjamin Maughan invented the Geyser, a cylindrical contraption that used gas to heat a series of wires which in turn heated the water.  With no ventilation for the gas build-up, it was considered a dangerous method of heating water.

Years later, in 1889, Norwegian immigrant and mechanical engineer Edwin Ruud improved on the designs of previous inventors and built the first electric (storage tank) water heater and founded the Ruud Manufacturing Company which still is in business today some 125 years later.

BBQ Pit from an Old Water Tank. - 

Water Heaters of Today

Since the days of Maughan and Ruud, water heaters have come a long way with better and more efficient models being designed that save water, energy and money by heating water more efficiently and by eliminating the old style storage tank system that many of us grew up with.
This new water heater from Gorenje Tiki is actually a heat pump which saves money and contributes to a cleaner environment

Some of the newer designs available are tankless water heaters that heat the water as it passes through the pipes thus eliminating the need for a bulky tank that heats the water all day long whether used or not.

There are also solar models that use glass tubes containing heat-conducting rods to heat the water, thereby reducing energy costs.

All of these improvements have led to better and more energy efficient water heaters providing us with enough hot water at our fingertips to make even the Romans jealous.