Some of you might think that an article on water heaters could just be the straw that breaks the camel’s back. After all, there seems to be nothing to write about, and water heaters aren’t something you have to replace on a regular basis.
Not this camel. This camel knows what’s up.
Before we get started, there are 2 types of water heaters that you have to take note of. Take a look at your bathroom; is there a huge water tank mounted somewhere above your shower head? Or is your shower head connected to a smaller, unimpressive-looking plastic thing?
Storage water heaters
Storage water heaters work by pushing a switch. But you probably already knew that.
The switch turns on a coil, which heats up a storage tank. This tank is filled with water, and can hold anywhere from 35 litres to 100 litres, depending on how big it is. As you enjoy your precious hot shower, the tank slowly drains of its contents, until you end up with nothing but room-temperature water.
That’s because the flow rate of an average shower head is around7l/min, but the average flow rate of the tap supplying water into the tank is… also7l/min. If we do some math, and calculate the heating rate of the coil, the flow of the water and the other important stuff, we can observe that storage water heaters are slow to heat water, and that they suck.
Honestly. I had a storage heater once, and you had to plan your baths. If you wanted to bathe at 8:30pm, the heater had to be turned on at 8:15pm. And if you live with siblings, good luck to you. They’re going to cut your line, enter the toilet at 8:25pm, and sit inside until the water is hot enough to use, while you bang uselessly on the door threatening to fart on their pillow.
The one redeeming feature of a storage water heater is that it supplies heated water to all areas of your house. Since all the water in your house probably goes through a central tank, you can get warm water flowing through the taps in the master bedroom as well as in the kitchen.
Older apartments, hotels, landed properties and countries with all 4 seasons prefer to use storage water heaters for this purpose. Instant water heaters depend on a local heating element to warm the water; if you wanted hot water throughout the house/room, you’d have to install a heater next to every water source.
However, the benefit that storage water heaters have is diminished when you have more than one person using the heated water. Since there is a fixed amount of heated water stored in the tank, 2 people showering consecutively would drain it twice as fast, leaving both parties with cold water running down their unhappy naked bodies.
Instant water heaters
Instant water heaters work differently. Instead of keeping a tank of hot water hot, it heats up water only when it’s needed. This makes them an absolute joy to have around the house. You can simply switch on the heater before entering the toilet, take a nice long bath without fear of the Arctic’s embrace, then switch it off once you’re done.
They heat up water almost instantly, and can do so until they become damaged – which will be around 10 to 15 years, give or take a couple of years. This makes instant water heaters a fabulous choice for people who are often late, oversleep, or just like nice, relaxing showers.
The drawback to these engineering marvels is that they can’t store water. Engineers – those tricky devils – have found a workaround by limiting the pressure of the water. If you’re one of the types to clean stains off the ground by firing a concentrated blast of water at it, that’s bad news for you. Stick to a brush and worn-out kneecaps like the rest of us.
The other bad thing about instant water heaters is that, similar to storage water heaters, they don’t perform well in a team. If you were to switch on your instant water heater at the same time as your other family members, the water may not be shared, but the temperature will be.
That’s right. The current that’s heating the water up isn’t yours alone; it’s shared between everyone in the house.
Criteria to picking a water heater
Before you choose a water heater, there are some things that you have to consider.
1. Water pressure
You don’t need enough pressure to scrub the barnacles off a whale, but you wouldn’t want a showerhead that can’t even budge a breadcrumb. The ideal pressure you should be looking at for a showerhead is approximately 9-10lof water per minute.
2. Consistency in temperature
This one’s a little iffy. Obviously you don’t want your shower to alternate temperatures on the fly, but at the same time, it’s not easy to regulate it when you take external factors into account. Each water heater type is good for a specific purpose, but we’ll go into that later.
3. Maintenance needed
I’ve never had a problem with my instant water heater, although I hear that some people may have issues with melting wiring. This may be due to the increased wattage required by the heaters. Storage water heaters don’t really face this problem, as they don’t use as much electricity to heat up the water.
If you use a gas heater, biannual checks for gas are also recommended.
This is probably the largest factor for most people. There are 2 costs associated with owning a water heater – the start-up costs and the running costs.
Instant water heaters have a higher setup cost on average due to the expertise needed to install them. The price varies according to the number of heaters and showers you want to heat up; for instance, powering 4 showers with a single heater will cost you more than powering 2 showers with a single heater.
Storage water heaters generally have a lower startup cost, although it’s likewise dependent on the size of the tank you want to heat up.
This is where the bulk of the costs lie. Instant water heaters will cost you less in the long run, as they only run when they’re turned on. On the other hand, storage water heaters have to put in extra energy to keep the stored water hot, which contributes towards a higher running cost.
If it looks dumb, you probably don’t want it in your bathroom.
With all these criteria in mind, let’s look at some of the storage water heaters in Singapore – but first, here are a few disclaimers:
- I have not personally tested any of these water heaters, nor do I claim to be an expert in water heaters.
- All images are sourced from the company’s websites. I do not own any rights to these pictures.
- All information is given as per the product’s page. If you need more information, you’ll have to contact the seller yourself.
- Nobody sponsored me for this post. Please tag one of these companies and change that.
Rated pressure:0.75 MPa
Waterproof rating: IPX4
Dimensions: 355 x 355 x 325mm
5 years warranty on Tank
2 years warranty on Parts
1 year warranty on Service
The Champs A150PRO water heater claims that its surface is sapphire enamel-coated, and that it helps to prevent corrosion. Since I had no idea what sapphire enamel was, I did a quick Google search, and concluded that the product description was probably just misleading.
My revised understanding is that the heater has an enamel-coated surface that happens to have a sapphire blue sticker on it. Either that, or the heater is indeed coated in some sort of sapphire thing that’s probably worth more than the heater itself.
But that’s unimportant. What’s important is that this storage water heater, despite not stating the amount of water it stores, is capable of retaining the heat within its tank for long durations. This allows it to reduce energy consumption, as it doesn’t have to spend more energy to heat up the water every time.
Another cool detail is that the heater claims to have precise temperature control. The pipes are also made of stainless steel, which are amongst one of the more durable alloys when it comes to resisting rust.
Waterproof rating: IP25
Dimensions: 355 x 355 x 325mm
1 year warranty on components
5 years warranty on heating elements
The Joven SB11 Instant Water Heater comes with a lavish rain shower bar set, which gives you the impression of standing outdoors in a storm while naked. If you prefer getting pelted with raindrops from further up, simply adjust the showerhead holder on the slider bar to a height of your preference.
The top knob on the Joven SB11 Instant Water Heater controls the temperature of the water, while the second knob… turns it on and off.
Hey, don’t ask me. I’m not the manufacturer.
Max Temperature: 78 ̊C
5 years warranty on tank
The Ariston Andris Lux 30L Electric Storage Water Heater can hold up to 30l of heated water, which should be just about enough to get through a quick shower. It features a titanium-enamel tank, which is highly resistant to both corrosion and pressure changes. This technology promises an enduring performance.
If you’re looking for a long-lasting storage water heater that won’t break the bank, this is one fine product to consider.
Copper Class Tank
Eco-friendly and Energy Efficient
2 years warranty (Singapore)
10 years warranty on stretchable hose
There isn’t a lot of information given for this unit, but I can vouch for its effectiveness because, for the first time in the history of Unopening, I actually have this at home. It’s been in use for close to 6 years, too, so I can vouch for its efficiency quite well.
The Princeton 707 Instant Water Heater does its job supremely well. Sometimes, when I want to take a bath, I forget to turn it on. All I have to do is to poke my head out of the toilet, turn on the switch, and I’ll get scalding hot water in a matter of seconds.
The adjustable sliding stand has yet to wear out or slip, and it’s been subject to adjustments almost every day. That’s because my brother can’t seem to agree that a good shower is one where the water pressure is greater, in which the showerhead is pointed directly down.
It also comes with a stretchable hose, which is surprisingly resistant to algae or mold. The icons are also idiotproof: the top knob controls the water pressure, while the bottom knob toggles the temperature. Unfortunately, the buttons are switched on my unit (which could admittedly be an installation mistake).
And there you have it; water heaters that are sure to improve your bathing life. I hope I’ve managed to enhance those 20 minutes of your day, and that you continue to have satisfying and warm baths. If you’re the greedy sort and want an enhancement to 7 hours of your day, why not check out my article on the best mattresses you can find in Singapore?