How Does A Hot Water System Work?

One of the many benefits of civilisation is having hot water on tap whenever you want or need it. The luxury of a hot shower is easy to forget until you are denied one, then you realise just how wonderful they are. Luckily for us, we no longer have to light a fire under a cauldron and wait for the water to boil before we have hot water. All we have to do is turn the tap and presto. But how does this work? Most houses either have a hot water cylinder or a califont. Generally, either of these systems will be powered by gas or electricity.

Water running into basin

Hot water cylinders are the most common form of hot water production. They consist of a well-insulated steel tank that has either a heating element running through the inside, for electric systems or a gas burner at the bottom with a chimney flue running through the inside, for gas systems. Generally, the hot water cylinder heats water during a set period, often at night for electricity, and stores it at the same temperature using a thermostat.

The other common way of heating water is through a califont. In this system, the water is heated on demand. It runs through a piping system and is heated by either a gas burner or an electric element.