How Water Heaters Came into Being

Traditionally, before water heaters were invented, people used to store water in containers and heat them on fire placed on woods, whether they wanted to use water for bathing or cooking purposes. Today, the scenario is different.

The real inventor of water heaters is not known, however, it is popularly believed to be the invention of the Romans— dating back to 306 AD. The struggle of moving large containers of water to boil and use was tough. Therefore, the invention of water heater is seen as a breakthrough equipment in human history.

water heater

Water heaters: Timeline

The Romans

It is believed that Romans were the first one to design large baths with hot water. However, these were not made individually in the form of a water heater, but are essentially known to be the first step towards the process.

The 1860’s

After many centuries, the second half of the 18th century saw major advances in water heating in the works of Benjamin Waddy, an English painter. He was the first one to patent the water heater. The Gas Gyser (water heating system) was first introduced by him. It was not safe to use initially as it was not equipped with a vent. This water heating appliance was used to heat water in tubs.


This was the era of Edmund Rudd. He upgraded the initial idea used by Waddy. His design was more popular as it involved safety features and developed into a modern water heater, known as the instantaneous water heaters.

These were not equipped with a tank and were far more efficient and superior than previous water heating styles. This kind of water heater is also referred to as an ‘in-line’ water heater, because it only heated water that passed through the equipment. Hence—saving energy, as extra water is not heated all day long.

1890- till date

During the past two centuries, many modern day water-heating devices have been developed. Many manufacturers are turning towards the idea of innovation and efficiency. Today, water heaters are available to store and heat large amount of water with little amount of energy, unlike in the past.

According to this source one of the most common types of water heating device in the modern world is the solar water heater. If you are living in an area with abundance of sunshine, then this is the most cost efficient water heating appliance to use. These are generally installed on the exterior, such as on the roof to help absorb energy from the sun. At nighttime, solar water heaters make use of sensors (automatic) to keep the water heated.

Additionally, in winters you can make use of solar water heaters (Evacuated Tube Solar Collectors) that work efficiently in winter as it contains heat operated poles.

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