Hot water heater?

In this thread Philster writes:

When I was in high school mumblemumble years ago, we had an ‘underground’ newspaper; a parody of the high school’s Ubiquity called The Ubigot. One of the joke ads was ‘WANTED: Hot water heater to heat hot water.’

I was born and raised in Southern California, and I say ‘water heater’; but since a joke was made about it in our ‘underground newspaper’, I surmise that ‘hot water heater’ was at least not unknown in the region. Which is more prevalent in your region: ‘Water heater’, or ‘Hot water heater’? And where do you live?

Upstate NY and hot water heater. And about that joke, the reason you’d want to heat hot water is so that it doesn’t get cold.

I am always annoyed by “hot water heater,” because if not actually redundant, it is ridiculous.

I think this misuse is prevelant all over the country, unfortunately.

I use “Water Heater” and have actually been corrected. “Oh, you mean the Hot Water Heater?”

Hot water heater would not be uncommon in PA.

While I agree that “hot water heater” is redundant and silly, I use the term. Raised in Maine.

A justification just occurred to me: it heats the water for your hot water system. A water heater could be anything: a tea kettle on stove is a water heater.

I think is a confusion/combination of the terms, “water heater”, and “hot water tank”
Reminds me of the joke;
“what does S-I-L-K spell? – silk.
What does a cow drink? – milk.
No, water.”

“what does the person who has more than everyone else have? – most.
what do you call someone who has a party at his house? – host.
what do you put in a toaster? – toast.
No, you idiot! you put in bread. it comes out toast!”


I used to walk around without a care in the world, saying “hot water heater” with abandon. Then I met the SDMB and feel bad when I…still say “hot water heater”.

Of course it’s a hot water heater. It’s not heating your cold water, is it?

Actually it heats cold water into hot water.

I call it a hot water heater. In fact the circ pumps that I PM are the hot water heater circ pumps.

I know it is rally a water heater.

Up here in Wisconsin our hot water is so cold you have to heat it just to thaw it out

Technically, it only does that when you first turn it on. After that, it’s a hot water heater.

Cold water enters the tank and is heated by the other water in the tank. This causes the overall temperature of the hot water to fall below its setpoint, but it is still hot (or at least warm) water. The water heater then heats it back up to the setpoint temperature. So, unless you completely drain the tank, it’s always heating hot water.

It’s a hot water heater.

(the fact that I also live in PA where people look at you weird if you don’t call it a hot water heater has no bearing on this argument, I swear…)

Unless you consider the heated water part of the heating system, as in it ‘is heated by the other water in the tank’. Cold water enters the system, and is heated. Else, why not just take hot water from the mains and forego the heating device altogether?

It’s a bit of a stretch to argue that it can rightly be called a “hot water heater”, since it heats cold, warm and hot water and stores it. Using an adjective to describe the type of water it heats doesn’t really do it justice. It actually disregards what it really does. It heats water.

You mean it’s really a cold water heater?

It heats cold water that comes in, it heats the warm water in it, and it also brings it up to ‘hot’ temps if that is how you have it set. It makes whatever temp water you send it to a temp within the range you select, from warm to hot. Invariably, even if you raise 50 degree water just one degree, you’ve heated it. It heats water. It really heats cold water, because that what is coming into the tank. It heats it by mixing the cold with the hot/warm already in the tank, and it heats it via electric coils or a petrol flame.

It heats water.

Its a water heater in California. Why would anyone want to heat hot water???

Reading the thread made it impossible for me to remember which term I use.

However, my water heater doesn’t ever heat hot water, only cold water. It’s tankless. :wink:

I was born here and I say “Hot water heater”.:stuck_out_tongue:

I just call it a water heater. The word “heater” establishes that the water, whatever temperature it is when it goes in, is going to come out hot. We don’t call our air condioners “cold air conditioners”, do we? I don’t call it a “cut vegetable slicer”, a “sound CD player”, a “clean clothes washing machine”… you get the idea.