Who Invented the Electric Water Heater?

When you take showers or full baths nowadays, you can choose to have cold or hot water to wash yourself with. That is now one of the basic commodities that we have thanks to the person who invented the electric water heater years ago.

Various Records of the Water Heater
Some say that it was during the 1850s when an experiment started it all. However, there was no mention of the person who invented the electric water heater. That is why we can only speculate on the true creator since there are some accounts in history that mention some names of the possible creator but the inventions were done in different years.

For the earliest record in the 1850s, water and bath were said to be used in the experiment. These were heated from underneath with the use of gas jets.

Another account says that in the year 1868, there was an Englishman named Benjamin Maughan who was said to have invented the first water heater. This product was named as “The Geyser.” This particular device, that many thought to be a bit dangerous, was used to heat water flowing into the bath.

And there are also others that say that it was indeed Edwin Ruud who created the first model of the water heater. However, there are some notes in the early years that mention Edwin Ruud, a Norwegian mechanical engineer, was merely initially influenced by the earlier invention of Maughan that is why Ruud’s creation was made afterwards.

Ruud invention of the electric water heater (or automatic storage) was done in the year 1889. Later, Ruud founded the company called as the Ruud Manufacturing Company which carried a long line of these products. That is why many consider this particular invention to be the pioneer of the other later models for residential and commercial use. It is also written that Ruud’s firm is actually still currently operating up to now.

Other Terms Used for Water Heaters
In some countries, particularly, in the UK, the water heater product is still called by many as the geyser. Other terminologies that were used included: the electric water urn, electric water boiler, or the electric dispensing pot.

Different Varieties of the Water Heaters in the Market
If you look at the current products out in the market, you would see different varieties of the water heaters. These include the following:

The Storage Tank
This is considered to be the most common of the water heaters. There are various kinds of burners of the storage tank water heaters that include gas, electric, and oil. The big white tank also has an insulation to help maintain the heat of the water.

The Instantaneous or Tankless Types
Aside from the term tankless, these instantaneous water heaters are called other names: Flash Water Heaters, Continuous Flow Water Heaters, Combination Water Heaters, On-Demand Water Heaters, Combi Boilers, Instant-On Water Heaters, Inline Water Heaters, or Flash Water Heaters.

For this type, you do not have to use a big tank to put in water and heat it. When in use, water is heated only when it flows through this water heater. Because of this, this model is considered as highly energy efficient than others.

So who invented the electric water heater? The earliest person mentioned is Benjamin Maughan. Still, you may wonder who really created the very first model during the 1850s prior to Maughan’s invention.