A Guide to buy a storage or instant water heater geyser
Simple Steps you follow to buy a water heater are as follows:
What you would find in the market is branded and unbranded water heaters and almost similar features but how would you choose the right product for your house.
Here is a small quick guide for you to help pick up the right water heater.
Points to be noted :
Point No: 1 - Do not buy unbranded water heaters, Its just like investing your money on a wrong stock or mutual fund. A branded water heater can offer you not only guarantee but also safety and good customer support or service. Unbranded water heaters may be lucrative in terms of the price, many water heaters would not be according to BIS standards or not have a BEE energy star rating or an ISI mark which may be unsafe . (CHECK BEE RATING HERE)
The inner tank is the heart of a water heater, Beware of Brands which do not mention what their tank is made up of as they use mild steel and consume double the power, your electricity bills depend on the heating time, if your looking for lower maintenance costs look for a product with an ISI Mark, A product that doesn't have it is not according to Indian standards, this increases the cost of spares or the brand might charge a higher value for replacement spares like (heating element, thermostat, thermal cut out) and service costs depending on availability of spares by the particular brand.
Point No: 2 - Location of installation of the water heater is very important. People living near the coast have to take corrosion into account. Saline water can also corrode internal parts of the water heaters.
eg : borewater (apartments), hard water areas (city out areas), salt water areas (costal areas). So the best option here would be a water heater with a Fibre outer body (ABS) and a complete internal copper Assembly set up. Copper has special anti corrosive properties that prolongs the life of the water heater and saves energy as copper is a good conductor of heat.
What kind of Thermostats do water heaters carry?
Stem Type Thermostat - 7" Inch for instant Geyser / 11" for a storage geyser
Capillery Type -
What kind of Heating Elements do water heaters carry ?
Copper : Usually lasts for about 2 years in hard water areas (most preferred due to low costs )
Incoloy : Usually lasts for about 3 years in hard water areas ( preferred upto an extent)
Glasslined Incoloy : Usually lasts for about 4 years in hard water areas (cheaper in few brands costly in international brands)
There are 3 different type of inner containers
1 : Stainless Steel - Used by many brands still - may phase out over a period of 5 years stainless steel is a good metal and non corrosive as well, but cannot withstand pressure of more than 7-8 floors 6.5 bar.
2 : Mild Steel - Most Brands in today's date use this container - To prevent corrosion almost all brands add a lining (coating) over the tank like ( enamel / glass lining / polymer / titanium enamel and so on) These geysers are used today to cater the needs of high raised buildings (multi storied apartments) with more than 6 floors where the pressure is more than a rated limit mild steel as a metal is strong and sturdy but attracts lot of salts making is prone to corrosion at regular intervals, due to the coating on the inner bed of the metal the corrosion rate is reduced up to an extent making the product functional upto a certain period a metal container is magnetic this enables manufacturers to add a magnesium rod to keep the salts away from the bed of the inner container preventing corrosion or prolonging the life of the inner container,
the pressure withstanding capacity for this inner container is around 15 floors - 8 bar.
3: Copper - A Very Few Brands use the copper container in todays date - the inner tank is excellent and doesnt have any corrosion issues as copper is a non corrosive metal and a good conductor of heat, if insulated well the product can save a lot of power. the only disadvantage of this inner container is that it cannot withstand any pressure and may fail if used in a high raised building of more than 5 floors most brands in the 90s used only copper as a metal in water heaters but todays manufacturing standards have changed due to not only costs but even keeping advantages and disadvantages into consideration
personally for a house or an apartment below 4 floors without a pressure pump this inner container is a better buy.
Point No: 3 - The model of water heater which you buy is again based on what kind of a residence you live in which can be an independent house / small apartment (less than 5 floors) / high rise building this even depends on how many people require hot water.
If you are living a bachelors life or with other fellow bachelors an instant water heater is the best option
3, 6 ,10 litres - 3 Litres is most preferred - Copper Tank Models have been quite successful with faster heating and more durability.
An instant geyser 1 litres is usually used for kitchens or in your washing area as it would deliver an output of 1 litres every minute which would take around 15 to 20 minutes to fill around half a bucket of hot water.
If you are living in an apartment an electric storage water heater is the best option.
A 15 litre model is ideal for a family of 1-3 Members, 25 litres for a family of 2-5 Members 35 litre for a family of 5-6, 50 Litres for a family of 7-9, 100 for a family of 10 and above - in most cases a 35 Litres water heater and above is used for a bathtub / jacuzzi / shower panels and other shower accessories where a pressure pump is built in for faster output of hot water supply.
The most ideal size of a water heater is a 25 Litres - its best not only for a complete hot bucket of water which is about 25 litres but a perfect choice for a hot relaxation under a shower which usually lasts more than 14 Minutes if mixed correctly.
If your bathroom ceiling is low or you have a false ceiling or a attic then a horizontal water heater would suite your need in terms of space but if you have enough space upto 2 feet a vertical is always suggested as an horizontal water heater you would loose 4-6 litres of hot water from the total capacity (Horizontal Geysers are mostly preferred in sizes of 15 / 25 / 35 / 50 - 25 again remains an ideal size for this kind of mount according to the output of water.
If you are living in a multi-storied high-rise building there are chances of high pressure pumps being installed to make sure water reaches all the flats. This can damage the water heater over a period which normal storage water heaters with copper of stainless inner containers cannot withstand. Opt for a water heater that has a good tank mildsteel guage holding a pressure capacity of 8bar depending on the floors of the building or capacity of the pressure pump.Enamelled Mildsteel / Glasslined Mildsteel inner containers are more preferred for withstanding not only High Pressure but hard water depending on the apartment.
Copper tanks can be used only in a building without a pressure pump or a building below 5 floors.
You don't have to keep reminding yourself to turn off the heater and you wont waste electricity as most water heater carry a thermostat built in.
If you are living with a family in an independent house a Solar Water Heater is also an option, this is 100% electricity free and the most green way to go. expensive in terms on initial investment. The basic recommended capacity is the 100 litre per day.
In Solar water heaters there are two technologies the conventional flat plate collector and the Vacuum Tube Model. Both of these cost the same but the vacuum tube model is preferred because its replacement cost is cheaper in case of damage to the solar tube and also because it can absorb infra red rays so heating takes place till late in the evening and on cloudy days as opposed to the other model which requires direct sunlight.
Solar water heaters have not been that successful for the monsoon and winters in many places, these water heaters are weather dependent.
A gas water heater is a good buy if you have your gas cylinder placed outside the bathroom. Ideal for the kitchen because thats where the gas cylinder is located or if you have extra ventilation.
(NOTE : GAS WATER HEATERS ARE NOT SAFE IF PLACED INSIDE THE BATHROOM DUE TO CARBON MONOOXIDE FUMES EMITTED BY THEM).
Accessories and Installation for Water Heaters
Required Material - Stop Cock - Rs 200 Bolts - Rs 50 Connection Nipple - Rs 20 Branded 15A Plug - Rs 80 2 Metal Connection Pipes - 300 Rs.
Point No: 4
Safety and Quality Features that you should look out for
1. BIS / ISI mark : The basic requisite for accepted safety and quality standards
2. Warranty on tank and other critical components
3. 5 star rating is preferred.
4. Thermostat for Auto Cutoff at 60degree so you can use a mixer to control the output of cold water
5. Thermal Cut out / Thermal Plug and Semi return device- a fail safe device to prevent dry heating
6. Copper Heating Element : Heats the water very fast compared to any other coil (EASILY AVAILABLE) and shock proof
7. PUF insulated tank : Heat Retention is longer
8. 2-in-1 pressure cum release valve : Ensures positive and negative pressure is not created inside the tank -
9. BIS APPROVAL is most important factor so that in terms of energy consumption you don't land up paying more on electricity BILLS.
10. Check for BEE Label too. ( Recently BEE has Rated brands which state the standing loss of a water heater ). Look for 5 star rating.
11. Look for a product that can be serviced easily all products with isi have standard heating elements which are available everywhere.
Most of the leading brands will have the features mentioned above, the consumer voice survey, Power rating chart by ISI is a good guide to help you in choosing good buys namely Morphy Richards, Orient Actus, Remson , Venus , HAVELLS, EUROHOT and Racold.