Taking a bath could be lethal in the old days!

Geelong Gas Hot Water Systems | Tomlinson Plumbing
Geelong Gas Hot Water Systems | Tomlinson Plumbing

A little hot water system history….

About 150 odd years ago, a technique of heating water called the ‘side-arm’ hot water heater was being developed. The heater was connected with piping to the side of a thirty gallon water storage tank, hence the name ‘side-arm’.

The side-arm hot water heater usually had a gas burner positioned underneath a copper coil. These were held in by a cast-iron shell. Water would be heated in the coil, and then convection would drive the heated water to a storage tank.

Originally, side-arm heaters had a gas valve that was operated by hand. The gas was lit with a match when you wanted a bath.  They had no means of automatic control and in most cases, no pressure temperature relief valve on the tank.

Forgetting to shut it off when you were finished could potentially trigger an explosion!  Taking a bath could be lethal!

Luckily, hot water systems have come a long way since then!

There are so many different options to choose from when it comes to heating your water – and we can help you with them all.  Give us a call on 5261 2422 to arrange a free quotation.


We can assist with all types of hot water heaters –  Rheem, Rinnai, Vulcan, Aquamax, Bosch & more.

This is an article from our Hot Water Systems Series