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The History of Hot Water

history of hot water

Warm showers and baths are one of many luxuries of our modern civilisation we are usually taking for granted. If you can pick just one home appliance you wouldn’t want to live without it would probably be the humble hot water unit. It is the single essential commodity that makes our life so comfortable! While homo sapienshave inhabited this planet for over 200,000 years, hot water units have only been with us for about a century and a half…

The Ancient World

The abundance of hot water Perth-wide we enjoy every day helps us maintain health and wellbeing. Invigorating showers help us wake up in the morning while warm baths comfort us before bedtime and whenever we are ill. In the olden days, our predecessors were heating water with fire, while we get to indulge the instantaneous pleasure of hot water that is constantly pouring from our taps. Here is how the story of hot water unfolds…

In ancient Egypt, around 1500 BC, cleanliness was paramount. We all know they loved to be pampered, especially queen Cleopatra who regularly enjoyed milk baths. While the majority of the population bathed in the River Nile, the wealthy people enjoyed the privacy of their own bathrooms. Luxury palaces had stoves where the water would be heated up. The servants would help their masters to bath themselves by pouring warm water over their heads.

The ancient Greeks (100 BC) had developed public bathrooms with showers, which were, at that time, just holes in walls. However, they rarely enjoyed hot showers because they believed cold water is invigorating and much healthier.

Around 33 AD, ancient Romans made significant improvements to Greek plumbing. They developed massive aqueducts and built impressive bathhouses all over Europe, many of which are still being used today. Unlike the Greeks, the Romans loved their hot water baths!

The First Water Heaters

In the late 19th century, English painter Benjamin Maughan invented the first instantaneous domestic hot water system, named ‘the geyser’ after an Icelandic hot spring in 1868. However, it wasn’t until 1889 that the first storage-based hot water system was invented in the US. By the beginning of the twentieth century, many wealthy US homes had hot water units. Back in Australia, the invention of wood chip heaters in the 1880s had been yet another important breakthrough. The mechanism comprised a cylinder with a firebox and a flue with a water pipe running through it. The first manufacturer of electric water heaters in Australia was Dux, and mass production started in 1915.

Modern-Day Hot Water Systems

In the twentieth century, indoor house plumbing has become prevalent throughout Australia and the rest of the world. Hot water systems are now essential to contemporary homes because they significantly improve the level of hygiene and make our lives more comfortable. Throughout Perth, hot water systems range from gas and solar-powered units to electric appliances featuring upgrades for increased safety and lower energy consumption. Nowadays, we tend to choose sustainable solutions that reduce water waste and CO2 emissions, and we keep improving technical solutions to satisfy the ever-changing needs of our modern society.

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