The History of Water Heaters

Throughout the ages, people have been using various means and tools to produce warm water for bathing. The water heater we have today is vastly different from the original water heater, which was invented by an Englishman named Benjamin Waddy Maughan in the 1870s. Maughan produced a water heater that people called, “The Geyser,” which worked by means of running cold water through hot wires. This was actually quite dangerous. A somewhat safer version of the water heater was developed soon after in the United States by a Norwegian inventor, Edwin Ruud. The Ruud Manufacturing Company is still in business today, and has made much advancement in water heater design and operation.

Turn of the Century

Nowadays, when you hear the terms water heater, it usually means something that is capable of heating water in a continuous flow from the cold water source to the outlet for hot water. In the beginning of the 20th century, many types of water heaters were on the market. The two major types during this time were automatic instantaneous and automatic storage heaters. However, solar water heating started catching on around the turn of the century and, though they were slightly more expensive, they were very simple, with no moving parts and little risk of freeze damage. However, there was one major disadvantage to the solar water heater: they began to leak.

Newer Developments

As the years have gone by and energy costs have increased, more Americans have looked for ways to save energy, money and water. So, many Americans finally turned to the tankless water heater. Tankless water heaters only heat water when you need it. So, you get a never-ending source of hot water, while also saving money on energy costs, which is a huge benefit! Another advantage to tankless water heaters is the fact that they do not waste water since water is heated almost immediately. Today, many manufacturers make tankless water heaters.

One thing Americans take for granted is having hot water for showering, bathing and cleaning. As you can see, advancements have certainly changed things for the better. Investing in a tankless water heater is a great way to conserve energy, save money and help contribute to a better environment!

If you’re interested in learning more about tankless water heaters, or you are experiencing an issue with your current water heater, don’t hesitate to call Barker and Sons Orange County plumbers! We’re happy to help!