2 wheels and a handle

This post is mainly for my friends interested in the latest water heater technology. We have been researching new water heaters for the past few months. Because both of us are engineers, it has taken us a while to decide on the right next step.

Our old water heater is failing in a number of ways, corrosion, fan failing, etc.. It currently consumes an entire room in the basement. Behind the water heater is a Winchester Mystery House staircase which is a remnant of the previous house built on the property.

We researched and immediately learned about tankless or “inline” water heaters. These are common place in other parts of the world, but here in the US we are used to the 70 gallon reserve tank heaters.

Our concerns about the inline heaters were first hand comments about the amount of time it takes for hot water to arrive at the faucet. Finally after some additional research we learned about “hybrid” water heaters and settled on such a device for our house. The pictures below show its size relative to the previous 70 gallon water heater tank.

It has an internal 2 gallon tank that maintains hot water for immediate demand. Beyond the immediate demand, all remaining hot water is delivered by an on-demand mechanism. There were several advantages to this over a pure tankless water heater. 1) We get hot water faster, thanks to the 2 gallon tank. 2) Because the unit isn’t required to heat water so fast, it doesn’t require a bigger natural gas line like many standard tankless units.

The final benefit, is that the platform previously used to host our 70 gallon water heater now is gone and provides an additional storage space!

So to tie this back to the title of the story; the morning that the plumbers arrived, Kevin had a suggestion to the plumbers.  He told them “if you tape wheels to the bottom and a handle to the side of the tank, you can drag it up the stairs from the basement".  We were impressed and think he may have a future in engineering 🙂

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