Which is better than the heated towel rail water or electric

  1. Selection based on connectivity
  2. Connection options for towel rails
  3. Requirements for the installation of a heated towel rail
  4. Features of different types of towel dryers
  5. Heated towel rail connected to the heating or hot water system
  6. Combined towel warmers
  7. Electric heated towel rails
  8. Conclusion

Choosing a heated towel rail

Which heated towel rail is better than water or electric? Such a question often arises during the repair of the bathroom or simply by replacing this heater. The answer to this question depends on many parameters and in our article we will try to analyze them in more detail.

Selection based on connectivity

The main factor in the choice between an electric towel warmer and a heating system connected to the central heating system is the ability to connect, the desired installation location and the operability of the heating system.

Connection options for towel rails

First of all, we proceed from the possibility of connecting to the heating system. After all, the mere existence of such a system calls into question the need to install an electric towel warmer in view of the need for additional energy costs.


  • Ideally, a heated towel rail should be connected to a hot water system at home. And the hot water supply system must be looped so that the water does not stagnate in the pipes and does not cool at the moment when someone does not use it.
  • In this case, an electric heated towel rail may become necessary only if you place special demands on the place of installation. Or there are some other reasons. In other cases, an electric towel warmer is not advisable.

Connection diagram of the heated towel rail

  • But unfortunately, since the instructions are made, far from all homes are made. Quite often the heated towel rail is connected to the heating system of the house. In this case, when the heating is turned off, it stops working.
  • In this case, it is advisable to use an electric towel rail in the summer, and his colleague connected to the heating system in the winter. But do not put the same for the two towel rails? To avoid this, there are so-called combined models. They work in the winter from the heating system, and in the summer they are cut off from it by valves and work as a simple electric heated towel rail.
  • The third option, when it becomes the choice of a heated towel rail, water or electric is when it is connected to the hot water system, but when there was hot water you already forgot. Or when the hot water system is not looped. Or you simply have an autonomous heating system and it does not enter the bathroom.
  • In this case, the question of which is better water or electric towel warmer disappears by itself. After all, it is possible to install only an electrical device.

Requirements for the installation of a heated towel rail

But the ability to connect does not always mean the obligation of this action. After all, quite often after redevelopment of rooms or the heating system, it is practically impossible or not advisable to connect a heated towel rail to a heating system.


  • If you have any special requirements for the place of connection, in this case, an electric heated towel rail is almost no alternative. It can even be put on the balcony.

You can connect an electric towel warmer anywhere in the apartment.

  • At the same time, if this is some kind of exotic place in the room, then it’s quite realistic to bring the central heating pipes to the water towel dryer. And even if it is a combined device, then economically it is more expedient than installing an electrical analog.
  • We must not forget that when installing an electric towel rail in the bathroom, you should perform the re-equipment of the electrical network. According to clause 7.1.48 of the OES installation of the outlet in the bathroom is allowed only with the installation of the automatic RCD device for a leakage current of not more than 30 mA.
  • Based on this, it may be necessary to either retrofit an existing power grid or install special sockets with an integrated RCD circuit breaker. The price of such outlets will be an additional disadvantage for electric towel rails.

Features of different types of towel dryers

If you want to define a combined heated towel rail, water or electric to choose, then let's consider the advantages and disadvantages of each of them. In addition, we draw attention to the features of each type and give tips on their operation.

Heated towel rail connected to the heating or hot water system

Let's start with the simplest and cheapest in operation of the water towel warmer. The cost of heating it is usually included in the cost of hot water or heating, and its temperature depends only on the temperature of the coolant.

The cost of heating it is usually included in the cost of hot water or heating, and its temperature depends only on the temperature of the coolant

Regular water heated towel rail


  • The advantages of such devices include their low cost, safety and simplicity during operation. It is also worth noting a fairly wide range of models on the market.
  • But there are a lot of disadvantages of such heating devices. First of all, it is a material that can be used for such towel rails. It should not be aluminum, which is subject to the formation of scale and does not tolerate pressure drops during pressure testing and during operation. Also for these reasons, it is not advised to put steel and stainless steel products.
  • During operation, due to the flow of a large volume of water through them, they quickly become contaminated. Rinse such a device is possible only after disconnecting from the heating system, which is quite problematic especially in the winter period.

Note! Reducing the throughput of the towel warmer affects the flow of hot water or the heating system. Because of this, problems can arise not only in you, but also throughout the riser.

Combined towel warmers

The heated towel rail electric and water at the same time as a whole has the same advantages and disadvantages. Especially it concerns the possibility of using materials. But there are some minor differences.

But there are some minor differences

The photo shows a combined heated towel rail with separate circuits.

  • First, it is of course the work of the towel rail, even when the heating system or hot water does not work. This is the most significant advantage of such devices.
  • But a lot of flaws. First of all, it is of course increased oxidation of PETN, which does not work in winter, but is washed with hot water. Of course, it can be removed from some models, but this can be done only after draining the water.

Note! This does not apply to heated towel rails with so-called “dry” heating elements that can be removed without draining the water. But for such models, the oxidation of heating elements is not a problem and for combined towel rails they will be a better option despite their greater power and price.

  • A larger number of valves that are used to install such a heated towel rail also does not add to it reliability. And errors in the process of operation, when the heating system is already open, and your valve is closed, will not add to your popularity among the neighbors in the riser.

Electric heated towel rails

Pure electric towel warmer stands out in almost all respects. And the main argument against it is the cost of its operation.


  • Install such a device can be almost anywhere. At the same time, it does not require serious interventions in the engineering network of an apartment or house and may well be installed with its own hands.
  • Due to the fact that it has a closed circuit in it a constant pressure and volume of water. This removes all questions about the materials used. For electric towel rails you can use appliances made of aluminum, copper, steel, cast iron, stainless steel, and any other materials.

Electric heated towel rail

Note! When using pure electric towel warmers, we advise you to pour distillate into it. This will significantly prolong its long lifespan, as well as reduce the probability of electric shock.

  • Almost all models have power adjustment of heating elements. This allows not only to regulate the temperature of the towel rail, but also to save energy.
  • Among the shortcomings, apart from the high cost of operation, there are a few more points. First of all, it is a periodic need to replace the heating element. After all, with even the most benign modes of operation, this will have to be done once every 5-10 years. By the way, you can see the procedure for replacing heating elements on the video.
  • In addition, it is not recommended to choose towel warmers with a large volume of water that do not have a closed loop. In this case, referring to the "U" and "M" shaped products. This is due to the fact that when water is heated, there is no water circulation. This leads to uneven heating. Therefore, for large towel rails, it is better to choose models of the “ladder” type.
  • Another disadvantage may be increased corrosion of chrome parts. After all, as it were, it wasn’t, but in the process of operation, “wet” heating elements have leakage currents. This phenomenon should be prevented by an RCD circuit breaker, but it may not be sensitive to them. And these currents spoil the surface of chrome parts.


As you can see the answer to the question of an electric or water heated towel rail, which is better not so straightforward. Therefore, the choice is made only on the basis of your wishes and possibilities.

We have tried to make this task as easy as possible by pointing out all the advantages and disadvantages of each type of product. Therefore, we hope that our advice will help you choose a heated towel rail that perfectly meets your requirements.

But do not put the same for the two towel rails?