Heating water with gas is much cheaper than electricity. Therefore, a gas water heater is the best way to provide housing with hot water. However, when choosing a column or storage water heater, you should pay attention to some features, otherwise it will not be as comfortable and convenient to use as you would like.
Take a column with a cheap steel heat exchanger with increased water hardness
Water with a high content of hardness salts, when heated, forms scale that settles on the walls of the heat exchanger. Scale does not conduct heat well, therefore, in places where it is deposited, the walls of the heat exchanger begin to overheat, which eventually leads to burnout. This is true for all types of heat exchangers, but galvanized steel is the worst. In them, sedimentation of scale and subsequent overheating lead to a violation of the protective layer and rapid corrosion of the wall. Cheap steel hard water tanks last about a year.
If you know that the water in the tap is hard (scale builds up quickly in the kettle), don’t go for cheap. Choose models from trusted manufacturers with a copper or stainless steel heat exchanger. And periodically clean the heat exchanger from scale.
Expect that any column will keep the set temperature of hot water at any pressure
This mistake is made by many who are not familiar with the features of the operation of the columns. They are sure that it is enough to put a column, and the taps in the house can be used in the same way as if there is a centralized hot water supply. But it’s not.
Mechanically controlled columns are adjusted to a certain flow and temperature of water. The optimum water temperature at the outlet of such a column is 38–40 °C. So it will not work to regulate the temperature of the water in the tap with a mixture of cold (as many are used to).
Why not set the temperature higher so you can use the faucet as usual? Firstly, at high temperatures, more scale is formed, which shortens the life of the heat exchanger. Secondly, when cold water is mixed in, the flow rate at the column outlet decreases and the pressure at its inlet drops. Sometimes this causes the column to turn off. Thirdly, shower faucets often overflow cold water into hot water. This is due to the fact that the watering can itself creates a strong resistance to flow and cold water, the pressure of which is higher, begins to “crush” hot water. Hot water consumption drops, the column turns off. Shutdowns due to a drop in water flow are harmful to the heat exchanger, as they are accompanied by a sharp increase in temperature.
If, when cold water is added (using a mixer), the column is turned off, the water temperature cannot be regulated in this way. It is possible only with a regulator on the column body.
But what if you don’t want to put up with the obvious inconvenience? Or if there are thermostats in the house that always regulate the temperature with a mixture of cold water?
Choose a column with electronic control and flame modulation . Such columns are able to maintain a given water temperature, regardless of its flow rate. They are more expensive, but they can be used, as with conventional centralized water supply.
Do not take into account the low pressure of cold water in the house
In many houses of the old housing stock, the water pressure leaves much to be desired. Especially during peak hours and on higher floors. If it often happens that cold water from the tap flows in a thin stream, then keep in mind that not all gas water heaters will be able to work in such conditions.
The same applies to many private houses. If the pump in the house does not provide pressure and water flow, as in a city water supply (10-12 l / min at a pressure of 4-6 bar), then there may be problems with some models of manual columns.
If your water pressure is below normal, look for a column that can work with low water flow. This is weakly related to the characteristics of the speakers; rather, it is a feature of individual models. As a rule, these are columns with a low maximum capacity (5–8 l/min). Although there are also columns with a maximum capacity of 14–16 l / min, they are quite loyal to a drop in flow to 1–2 l / min.
With a small pressure, it is advisable to abandon the model with a hydrogenerator that ignites the gas due to the energy of the water flow. It is better to choose among columns with battery ignition or with piezo ignition and an igniter.
Study reviews on specific models, consult with specialists from specialized stores, or choose an electronically controlled model. They can generally operate at very low water flows.
Wrong choice of maximum column performance
Choose the maximum column performance to suit your needs. If the maximum capacity is too high, the minimum water temperature will be too high. And if the performance is less than necessary, there will be little hot water or it will be cold.
The maximum performance of 5–6 l / min is enough to wash the dishes and wash, but it is uncomfortable to take a shower at this flow rate. Yes, and filling the bathroom will have to wait half an hour.
To comfortably take a shower, you need 10-12 l / min. And this is provided that at this moment no one else will use hot water.
Buy a storage water heater with a large daily water consumption
The storage water heater is convenient in that, with any number of parsing points, the temperature of hot water in all taps will be the same. But only as long as the tank is full of hot water. Then the gas burner is turned on, which starts heating the incoming cold water.
The principle of operation is simple and clear. But many believe that as soon as the hot water in the boiler tank runs out, it turns into a regular column. But that’s not the case at all. The power of the gas burner of the storage water heater is several times less than that of the column. And it cannot heat water in flow mode. More precisely, maybe, but by a few degrees. After the heated water in the gas boiler runs out, there will be no hot water in the tap for some time. Yes, gas boilers are more powerful than electric ones and heat up faster. But still, the process of heating water will take from fifteen minutes to half an hour.
If you have a large family, are not accustomed to limiting water consumption, and often fill the bath, then a storage water heater may not be the best choice for you.
Buy a column with mechanical control with a large number of parsing points
The mechanically controlled column is adjusted to a certain temperature and hot water flow. At the same time, they do not have any automation that maintains the temperature of the water. So the temperature and flow of water in each individual faucet depends on how many faucets are open at any given time. Opening a hot water faucet in the kitchen will result in a drop in temperature and/or pressure in the shower head. Which, you see, is not very pleasant. Moreover, often the opening of a cold water faucet leads to an uncomfortable sharp increase in temperature. The fact is that with an increase in the flow rate of cold water, the pressure at the inlet to the column drops, which leads to a decrease in flow rate and, as a result, an increase in temperature.
If there are more than three people in the family, and there are more than three points of analysis in the house, then it is better to take a column with electronic control and flame modulation. Otherwise, washing in the shower will be healthy, but not very comfortable.
Choosing the wrong type of combustion chamber
There are two types of combustion chambers in columns – open and closed.
Columns with an open combustion chamber are cheaper, but require good removal of combustion products and free air flow into the room. It is not uncommon for a column in an apartment to be connected to a regular house ventilation duct. Under no circumstances should this be done. When neighbors install exhaust fans in the duct, reverse draft may occur, and combustion products will go into the apartment.
A column with an open combustion chamber can only be connected to a specially laid chimney. In apartment buildings designed for the installation of columns, such chimneys are laid at the design stage. If there is no chimney in the house, gas services will not give permission to install a column with an open combustion chamber.
An open combustion chamber takes air from the room in which the column is installed. This imposes some restrictions on the installation location. Firstly, the area of such a room cannot be less than 8 m2. Secondly, it must have a window. Therefore, a column with an open combustion chamber cannot be placed in a bathroom or toilet.
Columns with a closed combustion chamber are equipped with a coaxial duct, which has a limited length. It is usually assumed that the duct is led through the nearest wall of the building. This also imposes certain restrictions when installing a speaker in an apartment. It is impossible to bring the coaxial pipe into the chimney or into the ventilation duct. And it is also not always possible to get permission to bring the pipe to the street through the wall.
Simply put, in an apartment building with a chimney, it is better to install a column with an open combustion chamber. In a private house, determine what will be easier for you – to organize a chimney and good ventilation, or pay more for a column with a closed chamber.
Install a column for liquefied gas on the main gas
There are special columns designed to be powered by liquefied gas cylinders. Outwardly, they look exactly the same as ordinary ones, but require much more gas pressure at the inlet. When installed on the main gas, they will work unstably, not providing the declared characteristics.
Mistakes are usually made through carelessness. Ignoring the type of connection and the minimum gas pressure. They buy a column they like, and then spend time and nerves trying to figure out what is wrong with the device.
It should be noted that many conventional speakers can be connected to liquefied gas cylinders after a little setup. But on the contrary – it is impossible to connect a column for liquefied gas to the main.
The recipe for choosing the right column is the same as for most other types of equipment. You should not rush into the purchase, but first understand all the features of using the device and its characteristics. And be wary of models from the lower price range. For speakers, the pursuit of a low price often leads to a decrease in comfort of use and the duration of trouble-free operation.