Immersion Heaters Guide & Costs

immersion heater

Immersion heaters are worth considering if you are looking to install a new boiler, either during initial construction or need to upgrade an existing one. However, in most cases, immersion heaters are more suitable as a backup than the household’s primary water heating method.

What is an Immersion Heater?

Immersion heaters are devices that can heat liquid in a tank or container. It can be installed in various ways, including flanged, threaded, or over the side. They are essentially big tea kettles, warming large amounts of liquid.

In some older boilers, they provide the primary source of hot water. However, it can also serve as a helpful backup. Immersion heaters run directly off the electrical power and are not connected to your boiler. Therefore, even when the boiler is broken, the immersion heater will provide you with hot water at the switch of a button.

If the heater is well insulated, the water supply will last for quite a few hours, even after it has been switched off. Therefore, you may be able to get multiple showers out of it without numerous uses.

Another significant advantage of immersion heaters is the ease of operation. They are so straightforward to use that they require nothing more than the flipping of the switch and the thermostat setting. You can even avoid the latter by regulating it with a timer.

What Types of Immersion Heaters are There?

The most common variety of immersion heaters are the flanged ones. This form of installation includes hairpin bent tubular elements incorporated into a flange. An engineer will install the heater by bolting the flange to a nozzle or the tank wall. This is the most adaptable type of immersion heater.

When a flanged immersion heater is challenging to install for one reason or another, a good solution is installing an over-the-side immersion heater. The engineer positions them at the top of the vessel. The natural circulation of the fluid distributes heat evenly.

Through-the-side immersion heaters and screw plug immersion heaters provide other options. With the number of solutions available, an immersion heater can be installed in just about any home.

Who Needs an Immersion Heater?

Immersion heaters are a handy backup (to central heating) and, therefore, in theory, are helpful for everyone. However, the drawback is that heating water with electricity can be several times more expensive than heating it with gas. It does have the notable advantage of requiring less ventilation than a gas unit. However, that does not make up for the higher expense.

Also, immersion heaters are pretty slow. That can make relying on them somewhat inconvenient and also increase the cost. Another final disadvantage is that immersion heaters are less efficient at heating. Therefore, the water may not be as hot as some people like. Some have trouble heating water above 50°C and therefore are not as efficient at killing bacteria as other heater variants.

Therefore, an immersion heater is very useful if you have a primary heating water source and need a reliable backup. Keep in mind that you should not use it unless your primary source of hot water is not working due to the related expenses.

It is deeply inadvisable for anyone looking for one primary source of hot water wi