Water Heater Versus Hot Water Heater...What Is the Correct Phrase?

Real Estate Agent with Cedaredge Land Company

I guess there is no right answer to that question. At least that's what came out of the office debate we had this afternoon.

Growing up I always called the thing that heats my water a water heater. It's simple to me. The thing heats the cold water that goes into it. 

Water Heater Versus Hot Water Heater...What Do You Call It?The guys in my office both call it a hot water heater. Is that grammatically correct? I suppose so. Although I'm not one to be on the grammar police squad. Is it redundant? I personally think so. 

Break it down like this...are you heating hot or cold water? There is an argument for both sides. The water heater heats up the cold water that goes into it. It also keeps the hot water in it hot.

I can also argue that tankless water heaters aren't usually called tankless hot water heaters. Whether you have a tankless water heater or a tank heater...the end result is the same. You turn cold water into hot water. So why aren't tankless water heaters called tankless hot water heaters? If calling an appliance that heats water a hot water heater is the correct phrase, then why doesn't the same apply to the new tankless variety of water heater?

What do you call the appliance that heats your water? Let's hear what you have to say, and maybe some of our home inspectors, handymen and contractors will give us their  expert opinions.  

I've lived on Colorado's Western Slope for over 26 years. I love this area and all it has to offer, and I enjoy sharing what I know about my home. As a REALTOR®, I also love to share my expertise in this area as well. If you need any real estate information for Montrose County, or Delta County, Colorado...please give me a call.


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William Feela
Realtor, Whispering Pines Realty 651-674-5999 No.

I hear people call it a hot water heater, and once the water is hot then it is just that, but before that it is just a water heater.

Dec 21, 2016 06:16 PM #1
Endre Barath, Jr.
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices - Beverly Hills, CA
Realtor - Los Angeles Home Sales 310.486.1002

Great question and love the musings about it... we are somehow becoming less precise in our language:)Endre

Dec 21, 2016 06:33 PM #2
John Pusa
Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Crest - Glendale, CA
Your All Time Realtor With Exceptional Service

Debbie Laity Water heater vs hot water heater is a good topic for discussion.

Dec 21, 2016 06:49 PM #3
Grant Schneider
Performance Development Strategies - Armonk, NY
Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes

Hi Debbie - now I am going to throw you off.  The boiler heats my "domestic hot water"  and it is store in a circulater tank.

Dec 21, 2016 08:06 PM #4
Lou Ludwig
Ludwig & Associates - Boca Raton, FL
Designations Earned CRB, CRS, CIPS, GRI, SRES, TRC


Great question . . . . I always called it a hot water heater.

Good luck and success.

Lou Ludwig

Dec 21, 2016 08:22 PM #5
Michelle Carr-Crowe-Top 1% Diamond Certified Real Estate Team Sells Cupertino San Jose Homes-Just Call 408-252-8900
Get Results Team...Just Call (408) 252-8900! - San Jose, CA
Family Helping Families Buy & Sell Homes 40+ Years

We've called it both, but I've never heard of a cold water heater yet.

Dec 21, 2016 11:10 PM #6
Sharon Lee
Sharon Lee's Virtual Assistance - Jonesborough, TN
Retired and loving life

What a interesting discussion you all must have had. I've always called it a hot water heater but I can see the debate.

Dec 22, 2016 12:46 AM #7
James Dray
Fathom Realty AR LLC - Bentonville, AR
Exceptional Agents, Outstanding Results

Good morning Debbie.  I can see where the debate is however, I've always known it as a hot water heater.  I would be  poster because I constantly stay in hot water....  I'll leave it at that

Dec 22, 2016 03:23 AM #8
Brian England
Arizona Focus Realty - Gilbert, AZ
MBA, GRI, REALTOR® Real Estate in East Valley AZ

I actually have heard and use both, but in thinking about it, saying hot water heater is somewhat redundant, haha.

Dec 22, 2016 05:36 AM #9
Michael Jacobs
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena Area Real Estate 818.516.4393

Hi Debbie --- ahh, yes, I've wondered about this hot topic issue too but as long as the water is clean and the desired temperature when I want it, I'm pretty happy.   

Dec 22, 2016 06:08 AM #10
Scott Godzyk
Godzyk Real Estate Services - Manchester, NH
One of Manchester NH's Leading Agents

I call it a hot water heater Debbie Laity. On another note I had 3 bpos yesterday and today zero. I was offered 1 but it is my listing so i cant do it. Have a good day 

Dec 22, 2016 06:26 AM #11
Lynnea Miller
Bend Premier Real Estate - Bend, OR
Premier Real Estate Service in Central Oregon

Debbie Laity , I never really thought about it before, but locally we refer to it as a hot water heater. But per your blog, I agree it is redundant to refer to the tank in the garage that heats water as a hot water heater. Water heater works, but I don't think our locals would know what you meant if we referred to it as this.

Dec 22, 2016 10:25 AM #12
Dick Greenberg
New Paradigm Partners LLC - Fort Collins, CO
Northern Colorado Residential Real Estate

Hi Debbie - An informal and highly unscientific survey around here produced the same ambiguity and strife. However, the correct answer is, as you suggest, water heater. That should settle it.

Dec 22, 2016 11:53 AM #13
Robert Bob Gilbert
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Anderson Properties - Katy, TX
Your Katy TX ( West of Houston) Real Estate Expert

Debbie, I call call it a water heater or hot water tank(s). Strange thing here is most home have the water heater in the attic.. Not a good idea in my opinion. 

Dec 22, 2016 01:26 PM #14
Debbie Reynolds
Platinum Properties - Clarksville, TN
Your Dedicated Clarksville TN Real Estate Agent

I call our water heater a tankless water heater. I generally leave the word hot off as it is implied.

Dec 22, 2016 02:13 PM #15
Jeff Dowler, CRS
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude - Carlsbad

Hi Debbie

I have heard both on many occasions. Seems to me it's a water heater.


Dec 22, 2016 06:01 PM #16
David Alan Baker Laveen & South Phoenix Realtor
HomeSmart - Laveen, AZ
Your local Expert

Either way, in the end I know that they are talking about, and that works well enough for me.

Jan 20, 2017 10:43 AM #17
Gita Bantwal
RE/MAX Centre Realtors - Warwick, PA
REALTOR,ABR,CRS,SRES,GRI - Bucks County & Philadel

I call it a water heater. 

Jan 20, 2017 11:49 AM #18
Joshua Frederick
Home Inspector for ASPEC Residential Services, LLC - Defiance, OH
Home Inspector in Defiance & all of Northwest Ohio

It's a water heater - lol.

Jan 20, 2017 04:32 PM #19
David Martin (703) 585-4687
Fairfax Realty - Fairfax, VA
Making Realty Dreams a Reality

hmm.. never really pondered the difference I believe I hear and say Hot Water Heater more often though 

Dec 21, 2017 05:18 PM #20
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