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A Short Story Of Water Heater for Home Use in China

A Short Story Of Water Heater for Home Use in China

  • Aug 10, 2021

In 1972, Premier Zhou was gifted two 5L direct vent gas water heaters when he stopped at Hong Kong in his way to visiting Europe. Under his command, China started studying and developing household water heaters since then. In 1979, the first gas water heater for home use was worked out in Nanjing, China. This symbolized the end of times when Chinese people used pot to heat water for shower.


After that, development of residential gas water heaters in China went through 5 phases, direct vent, natural draught, forced draught, forced balanced and outdoor water heaters. Each steps signified a breakthrough in technology, and a progress towards high safety and comforts.

1988 was another critical time in China water heater history. China succeeded in developing the first electric water heater for shower. It has the advantages of easy-to-use, simple installation, fast hot water delivery. Furthermore, it was not affected by gas pressure differences due to levels of buildings.  However, it took up much space and too long waiting time as it had to be preheated before the shower. The temperature might go a bit higher. Fouling in the tank reduced the life span of the heater.


Around 1995-1996, a more environment-friendly, energy-saving,more importantly, safer water heater was introduced to the market. That is solar water heater. Strongly supported by the government, the solar heater was rapidly gaining popularity then in rural area. Solar energy is available throughout the year and definitely clean energy. It had high heat collection efficiency and good heat preservation. However, on rainy or overcast days, the water heater had to be fueled by electricity due to insufficient solar power. Besides, it had drawbacks like inconvenient installation, unstable outlet hot water temperature, easy-to-fouling in the tanks, high failure rates etc. All these problems made the market share of solar water heaters shrank to only 1%.


In the year of 2000, air sources heat pump came into China. Its heat originates from air and to some extent it is very environment sound. However, its big size is unacceptable for many households. In addition, it only works efficiently in places where temperatures ranging from -5℃ to 43℃, that is to say, only workable in Southern China . Upfront expenses for heat pump is huge, too. It is slow in heating water, etc. The above mentioned issues prevented it from gaining popularity with families.


In all, nowadays, two types of water heater takes up the biggest share of Chinese market, gas water heater and electric water heater.

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