Electric Boiler : Working, Types, Differences, Maintenance & Its Applications

EleDay by day the usage of electrical boilers is rising due to its popularity so they provide an alternative solution to gas and oil boilers. Electric boilers are used as a heating alternative mostly in millions of homes around the world due to several benefits. So, these are installed mostly in small homes to medium homes to supply sufficient hot water for heating, central showers & baths but, these boilers are not suggested for bigger homes, because if above one water tap, (or) shower is required simultaneously, the pressure of water and temperature may go down. After all, the water can be supplied only from a single source. This article provides brief information on the electric boiler, its working, and its applications.

What is an Electric Boiler?

An Electric Boiler is a device that uses electricity to boil water. As compared to oil or gas boilers, these are different because they use electricity in place of fossil fuels. These boilers are very efficient, so if you pay 1kW for electricity, then you will get 1kW of heat. Electric boilers are ideal for backup heating at home to boost your existing central heating system. So this boiler is used to add extra heating and hot water when your home requires it most. As compared to gas boilers, these boilers have high efficiency ratings usually 99 to 100%, whereas gas boilers have ratings higher than 92 % rarely.

The range of electricity used by electrical boilers is much lower than kW power as compared to oil or gas boilers. However, the exact electricity quantity your electric boiler gets throughout mainly depends on the boiler type & how much you utilize it. The average three-bedroom house gets 12,366 kWh of power every year.

Electrical Boiler
Electrical Boiler

Electric Boiler Working

The electric boiler diagram is shown below. This boiler works by heating water when an electric current passes through a heating element. Electric supply is given to the electric boiler to the metal heating element from the mains electricity supply within the boiler. These boilers are connected to cold water from a main heating system for heating the water within your radiators & provide hot water through your taps & showers. Electric boiler costs may change due to several external factors from home to home like; insulation level, electricity tariff, windows, comfort temperatures, etc.

Electric Boiler Diagram
Electric Boiler Diagram

There are several reasons to choose these boilers as compared to other heating systems are efficiency. Electricity is frequently very expensive as compared to normal gas. But, natural gas heaters emit a lot of heat from the house as combustion gases, so these are ineffective to the heating system & unsafe to the house owner. When this boiler does not combust fuel, approximately all of its heat directly goes into the water utilized for heating the house. These boilers also need less maintenance because of their shortage of moving parts as compared to combustion heaters.

Types of Electric Boiler

Electric boilers are available in different types, so the list of most commonly used electric boilers is discussed below.


Electric Combination Boilers

The most common type of electrical boiler is an electric combination boiler because it provides both hot water as well as central heating in a single unit. These boilers work by utilizing a heating element to heat the water on demand and these help control the temperature within the home. By using these boilers, temperature can be changed immediately & also have warm water on demand.

These types of boilers are not expensive, need less space & very easy to install because the whole thing is incorporated in a single system, so they are a great choice for smaller homes and also these are cheaper.

Electric Combination Boiler
Electric Combination Boiler

Electric System Boilers

An electric system boiler uses an unvented cylinder for storing hot water because the water supply is directly taken from the mains. These boilers are not compact as compared to combination boilers because of the cylinder, although, they don’t need much space like normal boilers & can meet still higher demands for warm water.

Electric System Type
Electric System Type

Electric Storage Boilers

This type of boiler is part of the mixed boiler family because it includes a hot water tank in a similar unit for storage. However, because of storing hot water their overall running prices are still more costly as contrasted with an electric combination boiler. This boiler produces hot water for heating the housing. The boiler with the inside water tank capacity mainly depends on the number of liters it contains, the inhabitants of the home, and also the number of washrooms.

Electric Storage Boiler
Electric Storage Boiler

Dry Core Storage Boilers

These types of electric boilers work differently from other kinds of boilers since the temperature is not dispersed. These boilers work by simply heating your home bricks at night. After that, the heat from the home bricks can be released into the water tank, and then this can be used mainly for central heating or hot water. These boilers are considered more versatile as compared to storage boilers because the heat can be released into the water as required.

Dry core Storage
Dry core Storage

Electric CPSU Boilers

The CPSU boilers or combined primary storage unit boilers are suitable for large buildings with a huge demand for warm water. These boilers are capable of storing a high range of hot water in the boiler tank and provide it very quickly at high pressure. This kind of electric boiler is normally more costly and it uses more space. So, it’s more frequently used in commercial buildings like hotels.

Electric CPSU Boiler
Electric CPSU Boiler

Solar Compatible Boilers

These boilers are eco-friendly for your home and it has an immersion heater that can be connected directly to the solar panels. Sometimes, this is also called a mega-flow boiler. So producing energy from solar panels also means that you don’t have to depend on energy suppliers.

Solar Compatible Type
Solar Compatible Type

Heat Only Boilers

These boilers are also called conventional boilers which work by simply heating & distributing water throughout a house with motorized pumps, valves & water tanks. A water tank in this boiler normally takes water from the mains & supplies it to a hot water cylinder. After that this boiler heats the hot water cylinder, and supplies it to taps and central heating. These boilers maintain water pressure with a feed as well as an expansion tank, So these are suitable mainly for larger homes with the demand for better hot water because they store hot water whenever you need it instead of heating water on demand.

Heat Only Boilers
Heat Only Boilers

Electric Boiler Vs Gas Boiler

The difference between an electric boiler and a gas boiler includes the following.

Electric Boiler

Gas Boiler

A boiler that uses electrical energy for boiling water is known as an electric boiler. A boiler that burns gas for boiling water, particularly for the central heating within a building is known as a gas boiler.
Electric boilers are expensive. Gas boilers are not expensive.
They work simply by releasing the fuel through a gas valve into a sealed combustion chamber within the boiler through small jets. They work by simply having running water flow throughout an element and are heated with electricity.
This boiler uses electricity to heat an element within a hot water tank to transfer the heat. This boiler utilizes natural gases (or) propane to light a burner and heat the water within the tank.
Electric boiler is frequently used as backup within residential areas to the heating system of a house. An electric boiler is used in your home to provide hot water and also to the central heating system.
This is less powerful as compared to gas boilers. This is normally more powerful so they have higher demands for heating as well as hot water.
These boilers are very efficient. These boilers are less efficient.
This boiler is not large. This boiler is larger due to more moving parts.
These are considered a more environmentally friendly alternative. These are not environmentally friendly.


Electric boilers are one of the most important types of boilers as compared to gas boilers. These boilers do not need yearly maintenance but optional yearly maintenance is required. Even though, anybody can have the advice or faculties to maintain this boiler. So, the intervention of this boiler is always suggested because the expert has the knowledge & skills on this electric boiler for excellent maintenance. This boiler’s maintenance can be done using three steps; examinations, cleaning, and final check which are discussed below.

The Examination

The examination is the primary step in maintaining electrical boilers. At first, it is necessary to unplug the power wire to turn off the device. This boiler’s parts should be carefully inspected. None may be detached and all should be strongly fastened. Finally, need to check all electrical parts to make sure that the wires are in the correct place.


The next step in maintenance is the cleaning of all boiler parts in and out of the arrangement. The operation of this boiler is quite fragile & needs special concentration to keep away from relocating an accessory mistakenly.

Final Verification

The final step is verification to check the proper boiler operation by taking into account individually all its parts & accessories. So this final step is used for recognizing the faulty ones to change or repair them.
It is significant to note that the correct operation of this boiler is connected directly to its energy utilization. Thus, a small failure or malfunction of one of the elements leads to a rise in the energy bill. So boiler maintenance simply helps you to have a main control above the device & guarantees exact electricity consumption.


The advantages of an electric boiler include the following.

  • These boilers don’t need separate chimneys and boilers.
  • These are pollution-free & environmentally friendly.
  • It requires less maintenance.
  • Its installation cost is less.
  • These boilers don’t require oil or gas to fuel them thus they are very efficient and generate fewer emissions.
  • These boilers have typically a 99% energy rating as compared to gas boilers.
  • These are very flexible devices because they don’t have to be fixed on an outside wall.
  • These are more compact.
  • They don’t generate any waste gases, so there is no risk of poisoning or leaks of carbon monoxide.
  • These are stable while operating.
  • These are very compatible with solar panels.

The disadvantages of an electric boiler include the following.

  • These are more expensive.
  • These devices are not suggested for larger homes because providing water supply to several taps (or) showers causes pressure and temperature issues.
  • These boilers have some limitations whenever they produce hot water because based on demand only they heat hot water so this causes more problems,, especially in bigger houses.
  • These boilers don’t work if there is a power cut.
  • It needs special wiring
  • There is an increased threat of electric shock.


The applications of electric boilers include the following.

  • Electric boilers are applicable in small commercial and residential heating systems.
  • These boilers are used to control precise temperatures in industrial processes.
  • Electric boilers are used where hot water is required at 35 – 250 psig pressure and steam at 15 – 280 psig pressure and up to 3,000 kW capacities in a single unit by up to 10,000 gallons tank models.
  • These types of boilers can be used as start-up boilers for wind, nuclear & thermal power plants and also auxiliary heat sources for solar heating systems.
  • These devices provide high-quality steam and hot water mainly for production in industries.
  • They are used in urban heating systems for civil use.
  • These are applicable in different fields for heating all types of fluids and also in sterilization processes like; the pharmaceutical, chemicals, food, and cosmetics industries.
  • These boilers are used in laboratories for hide handling, pressing & different kinds of surface treatment.
  • These are used in different fields like pharma, Bio-Tech, chemical manufacturing, and processing.

Thus, this is an overview of the electrical boiler, its working, its types, and its applications. These boilers use electricity in place of burning fuel for heating the water & to change it into steam. Electric boilers can be found in small heating systems which include schools, hospitals, and hotels to provide steam for heating, sterilizing kitchen equipment and laundry equipment. Here is a question for you, what is a gas boiler?