Here, we tell you what you need to know about immersion heaters – including who needs them, the pros and cons of having an immersion heater, and why it could be costing you more than necessary to heat your water.
Plus, find out how you could use an immersion heater to get free hot water.
What is an immersion heater?
An electric immersion heater is an electric water heater that sits inside a hot-water cylinder. It acts a bit like a kettle, using an electric resistance heater (which looks like a metal loop or coil) to heat the surrounding water.
Immersion heaters are connected to their own power supply via a cable. They can be easily switched on and off, as there’s no need to constantly heat the water in your hot-water cylinder. Immersion heaters can either be used as a property’s primary water heater, or as a backup water heater for combi boilers.
Who needs an immersion heater?
Most households will use a combined central heating/hot water boiler to heat their home and provide hot water. However, some households may choose to have an immersion heater too, as a backup.
Other households, particularly those with older heating systems, use electric immersion heaters as their only source of hot water. Most immersion heaters are found in rented housing.
Immersion heater – pros
- If your immersion heater has a thermostatic control, it will automatically turn off when it reaches the temperature you set on the thermostat.
- Immersion heaters are not connected to your boiler. So if your boiler breaks down, you can still generate hot water for your home.
- If your immersion heater has a well-insulated jacket, it can keep water hot for several hours after it switches off.
- Time-of-use tariff customers can set timers so their immersion heater switches on during cheaper off-peak hours.
- You can usually turn your immersion heater on or off by simply flicking the switch on the wall socket.
Immersion heater – cons
- Heating water using electricity is more expensive than heating water with gas.
- A typical immersion heater uses 3 kilowatts of electricity an hour, so it will cost the average house about 50p an hour to run.
- Most households will need to run an immersion heater for at least a couple of hours a day to get the water hot enough – costing at least £360 a year.
- An immersion heater needs a thermostatic control, otherwise it can heat the water to far too high a temperature.
- Some heating engineers may recommend you leave your immersion heater on 24/7 – however, this can be hugely expensive unless it has a thermostatic control.
- Be aware that you need to heat the water in your immersion heater to above 50°C to kill off bacteria.
Established in 1971, Cheng Tay Heater & Instrument Co., Ltd. has been in the business of developing and introducing the latest machinery while pioneering new electrical heating techniques. We can supply tailor-made or prototype heating elements for the entire scientific and industrial spectrum. If you need more information about electric immersion heater or other heaters, welcome to browse our website or contact with Cheng Tay directly!