What Is An Indirect Water Heater?

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Monday, January 4, 2016

Types of hot water heaters

A “traditional” water heater  and an “indirect” water heater both provide the hot water you need for showers and cleaning. The difference is HOW they make that hot water.

What is an indirect water heater?


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A standard water heater is a stand-alone piece of equipment. It’s powered by gas, oil or electricity. It stores the water from your well or city supply. An electric water heater has elements inside the tank which heat up the water. These elements look similar to the old-style electric stove burners. A gas or oil unit uses a flame burner, just like a furnace, to heat up the tank which then heats up the water. No matter the type, your water heater should be serviced on a regular basis.

An indirect water heater works with your boiler. It cannot be used by itself. It also needs to be serviced on a regular basis. On the left is a great diagram of how an indirect works with your boiler.

You can see that the two pieces of equipment are connected to each other by a “heat exchanger.” Inside the heat exchanger is fluid. The fluid gets heated by the boiler and circulates to the indirect water heater. The hot fluid inside the exchanger heats up the water inside the indirect water heater. The hot fluid continues to circulate in that loop, 24/7.  The water heater doesn’t have to work as hard to create hot water, and the boiler doesn’t have to work so hard to make heat. This is why this system is considered to be highly efficient.

Your local Coventry CT plumber


Indirect water heater installed in Coventry CT

Rapid Service LLC is your local Coventry CT plumber. If you’re unhappy with your current hot water situation, give us a call. A licensed, professional plumber will check your current water heater for efficiency. It may need to be serviced or replaced. If you have a boiler, an indirect hot water heater is energy-efficient option.


Rapid Service is located in Columbia CT. We offer plumbing, electrical and heating repairs and installations for Eastern CT homeowners.  Some of the families we provide service to live in: Columbia, Willimantic, Andover, Coventry, Bolton, Vernon, Ellington, Willington, Tolland, Mansfield, Willlimantic, Ashford, Chaplin, Windham, Lebanon, Colchester, Hebron, Marlborough, Glastonbury, Manchester, Portland, Middletown, East Hampton, Scotland, and Canterbury CT.