Aren’t you glad that we don’t have to heat water over a fire to take a bath or do dishes?
We’ve come a long way from the 1800s when the only way to have hot water was to have servants haul water from a nearby stream, dump it into a pot, “cook” it over a fire, and then carry it into a tub or barrel fearful of being scalded and burned every step of the way!
Whew! No wonder people only took a bath once a week – and everyone shared the same bathwater!
Nowadays, we have hot water whenever we want. All we have to do is turn on the faucet.
No doubt about it, modern water heaters are a marvelous result of modern technology.
Here are 9 fascinating facts about your water heater:
ONE: The first water heater was invented in 1868
Benjamin Waddy Maughan was an Englishman. He was a painter who wanted to wash up with soap and hot water after a hard day of work. He invented a mechanism that used gas to heat water. However, because he didn’t allow for gas vents, Maughan’s invention was very dangerous because carbon monoxide gas could build up and cause explosions in the home.
TWO: The first American water heater was patented in 1889 by Edwin Ruud
Edwin Ruud was a Norwegian engineer living in Pennsylvania. He developed the first automatic storage water heater that eliminated the need for constant heating of the water. It was patented in 1889. The Ruud Company was one of the first manufacturers of water heaters in the United States.
THREE: Everyone wanted to produce water heaters
After Rudd’s patent – and because everyone wanted to have hot water on demand – many companies wanted to produce water heaters. !
By the early 1900s, more than 150 companies were manufacturing the popular appliance.
Now, there are only EIGHT companies that manufacture water heaters.
The top three water heater manufacturers are A.O. Smith, Rheem, and Bradford White. Those three companies accounted for 90.3% of the revenue in the industry in 2023.
FOUR: Without water heaters, your water would be TOO cold to bathe in
Natural, unheated water typically enters your home at around 50 degrees. That’s TOO cold to bathe in! The National Center for Cold Water Safety recommends wearing protective thermal clothing at water temperatures of 70 degrees. Water that is 50-60 degrees Fahrenheit is water that is “Maximum Intensity” cold shock range.
FIVE: Average American home uses 80-120 gallons of hot water per day
Showers. Laundry. Dishwashing. We need hot water for so many routine chores.
Washing your hands in hot water is more effective than washing them in cold water because the hot water removes the oils on your skin which may carry germs and bacteria.
A typical 8-minute shower uses 17 gallons of water. If you stretch your shower to twenty minutes, you may be using up to 50 gallons of water for just one person!
SIX: Water heaters are changing
Innovations are happening every day in the water heating industry.
Water heaters can now be powered by geothermal heat, electric heat pumps, and in many parts of the world, by solar power.
In fifty years, we may all have solar panels on our roofs, powering our water heaters.
SEVEN: Solar-powered water heaters at the White House
In 1979, President Jimmy Carter installed 32 solar panels on the roof of the White House. Their purpose was to supplement and aid the water heaters. They worked.
In 1986, however, President Ronald Reagan needed to have the roof of the White House repaired. The solar panels were removed.
EIGHT: Other countries utilize solar water heaters
While solar water heaters have not yet caught on in America, their use is expanding exponentially in other parts of the world.
Ninety percent of the homes in Israel have solar water heaters. Cyprus, Greece, China, Austria, and Barbados have all embraced sun-powered water heaters.
NINE: Water heaters can be dangerous
Water heaters must be installed by professional plumbers who understand all the safety factors, pressure rates, and building codes.
Installing a water heater is never a DIY project!
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission reports that EVERY year in the United States, 300 people suffer injuries and 40 people die when water heaters explode.
SERVICEONE is here to help!
Now through March 31, 2024, ServiceOne is offering you $100 off on a new water heater installation.
We are polite, professional, plumbing specialists who care about keeping you in hot water and out of hot water depending on the situation.