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Water heater V/s boilers – what is the difference?

September 7th, 2021

Homeowners who are not experts in the field of plumbing use boilers and water heaters synonymously. Even though they both heat water throughout the house, they have different purposes. Read along to learn about the differences between a boiler and a water heater. If you still need more help, Plumbing Emergency 24/7 is only a phone call away.

What is a water heater and how does it work?

A water heater heats the water. This water is used to wash hands, shower, clean and cook. From a water supply pipe, a water heater takes cold water. Warms the water and this water is pumped throughout the home.

Water heaters warm water that is safe and clean for cooking, as well as, cleaning.

Popularly, there are two types of water heaters found in UK households – tanked and tankless water heaters.

Tanked water heaters take cold incoming water and warm it indirectly by an electric heating rod or gas burner inside the tank. Once the ideal temperature is reached, the warm water is stored inside the tank. You can use this water when you turn on the shower or tap in the sink.

On the other hand, a tankless water heater instantly heats the water. It doesn’t store the water in a tank. When you turn on the water and set a temperature of your choice, a tankless heater starts to warm the water for as long as you have the water running.

What is a boiler and how does it work?

A boiler does not boil the water, but water is turned into steam. Steam is an efficient and affordable way to carry heat. It is easy to pump through the entire household. Simply put, a boiler heats water and turns it into steam which is pushed through the house for heating purposes. The water does not always have to be potable.

When a boiler is used as a heating system, it depends on the thermostat that tells the boiler when to heat the water that is within the system. Generally, boilers are on a closed-loop system. They do not continually use new water. They use the water that is found inside the boiler and the water is heated by a combustion chamber. Once the steam cools, it again turns back to the water. It goes back inside the boiler.

So, are you confused about whether you should get a water heater or a boiler for your home? If you are still confused, do not hesitate to reach out to one of our plumbing specialists. We will give you all the information that you need to make the right choice for your home.


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