Tankless Hot Water.. I love it. – Philippines

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  1. I would not automatically assume that these flow-thru heaters are more efficient than the tank heaters in the US.  

    The flow-thru units also when in use draw humongous amount of power (they start at 1000W and go up from there, usually at least 1500W the ones that I have seen).  This requires special wiring that can withstand such huge surge in demand so the issue could be the US electrical code may not require such grade wiring and therefore US houses may not be ready for these units without special rewiring and changing the fuse box.  

    Further it is quite possible that the US safety/electrical code prohibits use of such powerful electrical devices in the shower area…  BTW, you knowing Philippines now can you be sure that the electrician wiring your apartment followed electrical code and used proper grade wires, properly waterproofed/insulated connections and properly grounded it? I nearly died in one of the hostels in Central America that used such units because an electrician considered grounding a waste of perfectly good cable…

    And just imagine that you have a family and you and two other members take shower at the same time, while your wife tries to do the dishes using yet another one of these flow-thru heaters in the kitchen.  I would not be surprised if that would blow the fuse box and the wires would sizzle… Perhaps somebody with electrical background from US can chime in on the subject but I bet at very least your lights dim when you turn that thing on.

    1. U.S. water heaters run on 240 volts  (two 120 lines) typically two elements at 1500 watts each.  one in the bottom and the other about halfway up the tank that are actuated by thermostats. You are also heating and reheating a substantially larger volume of water. Therefore, an on demand hot water system is more effective. E=IxR   P=IxE

    2. Hi all,
      Typically in the USA a kitchen requires two 20 amp/120volt circuits. 20ampsX120volts = 2,400 watts. So a 1,500 watt instant water heater is no big deal.

      As for the electrical wiring systems in the Philippines = scary to very scary.

      If I was renting a place in the Fils I would closely inspect any instant water heater for proper wiring. Standards for safe wiring systems in the Fils do exist BUT whether or not they are adhered to is another question entirely.

      And let me tell you, doing a 220volt dance while showering is seriously NO FUN.

      If you want to have an electrifying experience, be sure it is not in the shower,

  2. We had one installed before I got there (Manila) in Jan 2014.  Dude… A girl has needs.
    I was a little freaked out with 220 power in a shower  ZZZzZZzZzAAAaAPPPpPpP !!!   but seems ok and the big separate breaker is what we could call GFI (made for bathrooms).  Awesome idea though and so efficient.  In America/Canada we like the tank thing because we use Hot Water all through the house…  Hands, Shaving, Hair, Dishes, Laundry, Cooking, Cleaning etc.

  3. Henry, I retired from the plumbing industry after 32 years and to answer your question about the lack of these point of use shower heaters in the US is that here you might have one shower, whereas in the US you will have several baths per home, each most often having a tub/ tub & shower combination/ lg. jetted tub, and a lavatory or wash basin all demanding hot water, then on to the kitchen where you have hot at the fct,/bar fct. then a dishwasher.  There are many natural gas or LP compact tankless waterheaters when used in a set of 2 or 3 will provide hot water to a relatively large home efficiently but the current technology of an electric model cant heat the water quickly enough as the water passes through the coils to heat more than a single faucet unless you have a huge amount of elec. power to the water heater,  and to do so would be cost prohibitive for most people.  They do sell shower heads that heat water and point of use under counter heaters for lavatories but in the US the public is spoiled to having their extra bathrooms, dishwashers and jacuzzi tubs and until they change the way they think about things neat products like the shower heaters will only be sold to people building a vacation cottage or hunting lease bathroom, IMHO. 

  4. In my opinion, the reason we use the 30g- 50g hot water tank is because we use hot water for alot of things.

    We do not use hot water just for the showers, but for dish washers, faucet for manual dish washing, sinks, and washing machines.

    Unless you can install coil heater at those places without making the house look tacky, then it could work.

    Just an opinion.

  5. Hi Henry for a few years now at home in the UK we have had a condenser boiler that heats the homes water filled radiators and also the domestic hot water supply. Its entirely on demand and we no longer have any cold water tank, hot water tank, heating reservoir tank. Its there when we need or on a timer and easy to use once you get to know how the timer can be operated. 

  6. Yes You Right – I have the same way of thinking during my first time 1993-94 in the PH. But many times I did´nt even use the hot water because I feel the “cold” water was almost warm to me. The reason for at big tank with the heather I guess is because “we” do like to have a more safe and stable temp in our water access. Best Regards from Stockholm Sweden

    1. @Tommy Karlsson i enjoyed the whole basin/ladle arrangement for a year on bohol, in the province.  now that i have hot water.. i feel so spoiled.  🙂

    1. @thailandheron for a single guy, my monthly electric bill is under $30/month.  landlord gives me the bill from the electric company and doesn’t add-on anything.  but not all landlords are like that.

  7. Electric ‘instant water’ heaters have being used here in Ireland /UK for years, Water passes through the electric element in the heater and heats the water up instantly. They use a lot of power about 8/9 kWh of electric which usually is pretty much the max power a house can receive, so there is usually only 1 electric heater per house hold. They are efficient if you don’t take long showers. The tank showers here in Ireland use a heating element 2/3 kWh which heats up a tank of water over a set time period, which would be more efficient if you had a big family for instance taking lots of showers or long duration of showers. 

  8. ummm…As a former gas plumber I can say that tankless water heaters have been around for awhile in the US. The difference is that in the US we use gas units that provide hot water to the whole house and not just one faucet. It commonly takes one to two units to heat a house depending on the size of the house. They are popular in New construction homes. They are less common in pre-existing homes because you typically have to run a larger gas line to the unit and larger venting. Most people don’t see the value in spending the money in upgrades up front to provide them with something they already have, even if it means having a lower bill. Although some do convert when their water heater tank fails. In phils since there is no pre-existing system and it’s electric you just buy and install, no venting no larger gas lines.

    1. @ace24680  i can handle cold water here in the warm PH, but not first thing in the morning.  after 10am, is ok.  but back home in california.. i tried cold shower and i think my heart stopped from the shock.

  9. Whole house tankless units are common in the US, brother Henry. They cost 3-4 times as much as a tank-unit, however, which is why they are not as common as the tank monsters.

    What you’re using in the PH is called a point-of-use (POU) unit. We would need one in each shower and the kitchen, so in your average residence, that would be 3 units right there. Not practical for use in the US due to the number of water useage points.

    Also, water temps run 10-40 degrees cooler in the US, so your average POU unit would not be able to satisfactorily heat up the water enough.

    1. New constructed homes in california have tankless water heater installed for the whole house. The size is like a medicine cabinet in my daughter’s home in Orange County, California. This unit heats 2-1/2 bathrooms and the kitchen sink and washing machine in a 3 bedroom home.

    2. These things are cheap as fuck, the water they pump out is super hot, and you definitely only need one per house, what are you talking about?

  10. We have had these in the uk for 40 years that i know of, there ok but water floe is normally very slow, for many years now we use gas or oil combi boilers that also heat on demand, this is much better because you get piping hot water at mains pressure which is so good after a cold day out working.The funny thing is my pinay wife still has cold showers, she says my hot shower is too hot lol

    1. @K Will it stays hot the whole time running, does not taper off.  i got a great deal on the rent here.. only 8,000p per month.  (less than $200/mo usd)  Most in Dumaguete are paying 10,000p/mo or more.

  11. I have similar at my holiday home in CR. If they use electricity they are called suicide showers as they can be dangerous. The gas ones are safer.
    5 months before you figured it out–thought you were smarter than that.

  12. They have it here in the states and you can have it on the main water line into the house but it’s expensive and most people just don’t buy it. It the best way to go … Good subject Henry.

    1. @William Faircloth i’ve seen them for anywhere from $65 to $100 here in the PH at hardware stores.  but the important thing is having a devoted, safety breaker for that one unit.

  13. hi hennery, yeah they just upgraded to the tankless water heater where I am here in neveada it is a lot better and a energy saver works good to, thanks for the video take care always

  14. Had them in Germany when I was in the Army back in the 1980’s and also over the kitchen sink. We could make scalding hot coffee or soup from kitchen sink

  15. Tankless on demand water heaters have been in the states for a over two decades, but us wasteful North Americans love the lots of hot water and long showers… thus the tank water heater.  Also tank water heaters last for decades with no service required, tankless break more often.  And tankless models cost twice as much to buy.  Home Depot has them.  But…tankless use a lot less energy,  take up much less room and the hot water supply is never ending. True old habits die hard.  Glad you figured out your instant water heater.  Do you miss other American appliances?

    1. Tankless are more efficient, but not enough to make up the initial cost difference.  It would take about 20 years, and the unit is likely to need replacing before then.  But that’s for a whole-house heater; these smaller units must be more cost effective or else I can’t imagine them being used in the PH.  It could also be a landline/cell phone analogue where the developing country skips over the intermediary technology.

    2. @Josh Stapp i’m a minimalist type of person.  i like things simple.  i ‘could’ get a washing machine here for just $100, brand new.  but i don’t like owning things i can do without, so i have a service do my laundry at a fraction of the price and one less appliance i drag around.  the one item i do find useful and necessary is a fridge/freezer so that i always have groceries and ice.  🙂

  16. This makes so much sense!
    I have just paid for one of these systems for my friend in Philippines. She and her family now have HOT WATER SHOWERS and they totally love it after a lifetime of cold showers and heating kettles to get hot water for personal bathing!

  17. I know a few guys who have put those units in over the  years and yes they do safe a lot on the water bill.  We have used them for years in remote areas to save on the electric bill and they work really well  .

    I think the utility companies she tell people to use them would save  a lot.


  18. Traveling through Southeast Asia that is all you see – if you want hot water they are on demand.  They are starting to get more popular here in the states but the upfront cost cause many homeowners to think twice.  I think eventually those big tanks will become extinct.  

    1. @Crunch Hardtack ha!.. nah.  here, with this heat, a cold shower is a good thing.  but after a bit of recreation, a nice hot shower is nice as well.  🙂

    1. @Joey G i have an air-con unit in my bedroom.  anywhere else in the house i am fine with just an oscillating fan.  i adjusted to the heat in about a month of my arrival.  now, i don’t even think about it unless i’m stuck in the city downtown.

  19. Just another fabulous video that you have provided for us.  I am so thankful that an expat takes the time to inform others and …with an obvious love of the Philippines.. help prepare us for life in a foreign country..  We will be expatriating in 2015 and your videos are both extremely helpful and inspiring.  And, I mean it.  Salamat!

  20. I stayed at a hotel in Davao that had two bathrooms with shower in my room. Not bad for about $35 . Both bathrooms had one of these and neither worked. I don’t think they last long and the reason why they don’t catch on here. Probably the life expectancy of a toaster or hair dryer used everyday

  21. Henry,  Tankless Water heaters have been around for Yearsssssssss,,,  Here in florida, they are all over the place,  but yet as someone else claimed they are more expensive and break more often,  Home Depot, Lowes, many stores carry them but they are not as popular,,,  Enjoy the hot water, i am sure its as refreshing as it is here,,,,,,

    1. @C. Y. Diggit ballpark, budget is around $1,200/month usd.  keep in mind i’m a single guy.  for guys with a wife, kids there are many other expenses such as schooling, larger grocery bill, more travel expenses, etc.

  22. They are all over Europe but the issue is they don’t give you the water pressure that we want.  When we have now is a gas boiler and it heats the water as the water passes through it, This type of system is more economical than electricity and the pressure you get is great.  All the Electric heaters they sell in the Philippines are made for Europe and in Europe.

  23. I had the same system when I lived in Spain in the 80s, Japan and Korea in the 90s. For some reason we Americans seem to love wasting money heating water for no reason. My current house in the states has a big, wasteful water heater tank.

  24. I lived here for over 9 years before I finally broke down and purchased one of these on sale from Lazada. Forgot how good hot water can feel early in the morning.

    1. @geekchaser for just my shower needs.. it has not been expensive and is a nice little luxury.  total water/electric bill is rarely over $30/month combined.

  25. Hi Henry, do you happen to know the price of that unit? I plan to put that unit in my house and my parents house. I love that piece thanks Henry, Rose New York

  26. In vegas (new homes since 2009), we have Tankless Water heaters.  They are NOT electric, there natural gas since Natural gas is abundant in the usa.  My Tankless water heater has YET to run out of hot water, I tried a non-environmentally friendly test, I left the shower ON for two hours and never lost heated water.  But the water bill went up $5 that month for that experiment!  Gas was only up $.25cents.  Now I am all for tankless water heaters, because they never run out of hot water.

  27. need information, looks great as far as tropical,,  you say electric kinda expensive at 30 leaves me wondering about costs to live there,, rent ., food, activities, movies, dates how much does this cost. is it doable on 1200 a month social security and is that comparable to wages for workers there

    1. thanks for the feedback, I am from Portland and about to hit 62, lived in apts. since 96 and am not used to spending much more than rent, utilities, food and drinks, have veterans for health care,  I guess nearest va is guam and from what  I see is 700+ for air in case of emergency!!! car not needed, scooter will work

    2. @thumperr909 $1,200 a month (usd) is do-able for a single-guy.  I’d suggest having some cash in the bank for a ‘rainy day’ in case of medical issues or other emergency.  for a married person, i’d suggest at least having $2,000/month as a do-able budget.  (your mileage may vary, depending on your spending habits and luxuries).

  28. we do you need hot water shower in that climate? even when I lived in Dallas I turned off my water heater 3-4 months a year. cold is fine, and lots cheaper.

  29. Thank you for the input that Americans (in my case) can appreciate. Hot water! On demand! It seems to be less than common place here because the kits are so expensive. But it totally makes sense. 

  30. how the hell are you spending 1,200 american there a month?  i go there to vacation and stay in decent hotels and eat fairly well and only spend about twice that!

    1. @jacko lantern it varies between $1,000 and $1,200 per month. rent, immigration fees, helping out a few select friends here and there, dining out, internet costs related to business, etc.

  31. Tankless maybe great for showers, but we use hot water for more than just showers in the states, maybe you forgot already, what about washing dishes, washing machines, and bath tubs???

    1. +Frank Lebrecht still sounds like you would save a TON of money buying and installing multiple POU water heaters for each appliance needed. (I could be wrong) anyone care to fact check? I know i dont.

  32. I think the thing that has been deterring us is the cost – or at least, the fear of the cost of one to replace the mammoth (relatively) out of the basement.
    So, as the old adage goes, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” (Even though some would say, “if it’s not broke, you’re not trying hard enough).
    Thanks for the videos! I’m subscribed, and really enjoy what you, and other folks are putting out there. 🙂

  33. Lots of good videos you post here,, thanksQuestion, I will be moving the Mindanao in a few months and YES I have to have hot showers,,,,I have priced these heaters here, so my question is, would it be better to get one here (yes 240 Volts) and ship in my container of buy there,, thanks in advanceFreddy

    1. Thanks for the info,, I have been to the Philippines 4 times on extended visits to my wives home near Dipolog.  Her and I live in south Miami here and To be honest, I cant wait to move full time. Love the country life.  Thanks and take care

    2. +Freddy Patterson any decent hardware store here has them in the PH, and cheaper than from abroad. has the correct threading (all is metric here). and yes, 240V.

  34. Even with less expensive electricity most of the US (read NOT Cali) it is cheaper to use a tank heated by propane or natural gas unless you are an infrequent user. Only if the tank has to sit there full and not much hot water is being used does the more expensive heater and greater operating cost for unit of hot water start to become competitive.

  35. what if you want to wash dishes or clothes with hot water? You would have to get a separate heater for each? I think that would work if they don’t cost too much.

  36. Just love tankless hot water, I also first found them in the Philippines, they are now common in Australia and New Zealand.Several years ago my best buddy back in NZ had his tank explode so he got the NEW “ON DEMAND HOT WATER SYSTEM” and has never looked back.

  37. Hello where to purchase one of these in the U. S.?  Can it be purchased from the Philippines and sent by U. P. S. to the states?  Does it operate both on 240 and 120 voltage with a switch back and forth?  240 voltage was used in the Philippines.   At least when I spent a couple months Nov 86 to end of Jan. 87 in their country.

  38. Kindda reminds me of a polish friend of mine that told me years ago about combination washer/dryers for clothes that are common in Europe but are fairly new here in N. America. But we’re so advanced here right?

  39. Many people talk about getting one in US or anywhere else.
    keep in mind Those 6kW systems heat up 4 liters per minute at 40°C, the water pressure in Phils is very low (you can stop the flow without effort with ur little finger, no kidding), i m not sure you would really enjoy it in USA. Showers in western country use 15 to 20 litres per minute, about half with regulator.
    This is the reason why they use this system in Phils, and 2nd reason is the abusive price of electricity.

  40. Hello sir. I have problem with that shower. I pressed the TEST button and the water dont go hot anymore. How to fix it? Hope you can help. Sorry for irrelevant comment…

    1. the ‘test’ button is to test the fuse to shut off the unit in case of overload or grounding out. try pressing it a 2nd time or looking for a reset button. you may have to google the maker/brand name to find out where the ‘reset’ button is.

  41. I only knew about the tankless water system which was very expensive but never knew there was much smaller system that you could put in your shower. I’m wondering if you have a link if the company I can purchase it from or do I have to get an electrician obviously too install it.

    1. Search “Gas Hot Water Shower” on eBay, there are hundreds on there. Unless you’re useless you should have no trouble installing it yourself. Just run cold water in from any tap, and run the outlet into the pipe that used to be your hot water cylinder.

  42. Thanks Henry for an informative topic.. I’m trying to decide which to use for the house I’m building there and same comment I got from my sister about the water heater system. So thanks for that good info.

  43. In the states they run in the thousands, like 3-5 thousand installed, where a 40 gallon unit costs a few hundred. Price is coming down though as more people adopt them.

  44. My in laws lives in RI and they have tankless water heater and they saved a lot of money after they installed it. My husband and I are planning to get one too because it’s too expensive when it’s winter here in NH especially we’re using propane gas. Also, we’re using harman pellets stove to heat the house during winter.

  45. We visit Philippines a few years ago, all I remember before using the tabo tabo I was scared of the water everytime I pour water to my head I scream because it’s cold!!!!!!! Not all hotel and airbnb rental have a have water.

  46. I think there real reason is because these showers are dangerous if wired incorrectly. If you don’t properly ground this unit you could get a full electrical shock. I believe they’re called suicide showers lol.

  47. I live in the US and I have a tankless WHOLE house water heater because I want hot water throughout my home including when washing dishes and using my washing machine. I’ve been tankless for nearly a decade, and they’re sold in every big box supply store like Walmart, Lowes, and Home Depot.

  48. The thing is the water temperature in Filippines is already worm enough. So you don’t need much electricity to worm it up. But in some cold countries like Canada where the water is 5 degree even in summer, you will need something bigger to worm the water.

  49. I am fixing up an old house here in the USA, and decided that I did not want to deal with a huge water heater in the basement running on gas, so I got 2 units like these, one for the shower, and one for the kitchen. I like them also because they can be taken when and if I move. Mostly in the summer, I do not take hot showers, it is a winter thing. The kitchen needs the hot water more for dishes.

    1. @Reekay’s LifeBeyondTheSea thank you sir ill consider it. Because the electricity here is very high, i could imagine having a pump would inctease my energy bill

    2. the simplest/best way to fix that is to have a water-tank placed on the roof.. then pump the water up into it and that will give you the higher water pressure. so long as the pipes are standard size. (usually 1″ or 2″ pvc)

    3. @Reekay’s LifeBeyondTheSea sir have you known a product that increase the water preasure for our shower? Because the water barely pass through the shower and sometimes there’s no water at all.

    4. yes, in fact the slower the water passes through the unit the hotter it gets. if it were high-pressure and rushed through, it would not have as much time to heat up inside the unit.

  50. Hi. Thanks for the info, bought one of these from Ace Hardware (SM), it says it has free installation but you have to sked it yourself. I want to have an idea how it’s done before I call them to install it and if I still need to hire an electrician as well to complete the set up process. Thanks for informative video. It’s not common for common residential houselhold to put a water heater.lol Well, I think I need it for my kids who bath early for school.

    1. i know you all ready had a reply but it is very easy to install only three wires live return and earth the only other part of the install is securing it to the wall at a decent height

    2. def have a real electrician install it. i’m not mechanically inclined so i really can’t say much about the installation. mine were already pre-installed when i moved in. 🙂

  51. For those people asking if you can use it for the sink, lavatory etc. all the same time and if you have to purchase one for each, the answer is No. There are two types of tankless water heater here in the Philippines. Single point and multi point. Single point is for showers only as shown in the video but the multi point can be used for your sink, lavatory, bath tub etc. all at the same time which is very convenient and cost-effective. The heater will not consume any electricity until water passes through it and comes out to the shower head. This technology is well known in the entire Asia, Europe and Australia. Not really sure why it is not that popular in the US as mentioned in the video.

  52. Should the heater (and electricity) actually be INSIDE the shower where it can get wet? The ones I’ve seen are nearby – but not actually IN the shower.

  53. hi & thanks for this video , i have one of these tankless h/water systems . i live in thailand but our problem here is very hard water and there is really no way to stop the scaling system . after about 4 years before the pressure degrades but i have found that if you flush the system every 4-6 months from new with vinegar for up to maybe 45 min is will keep the scaling down to a minimum , therefore lasting maybe up to 10 years , but at only $100 dollars its cheap enough to replace

  54. Great video! I have an old instant gas unit and I hate it! The pilot flame wastes so much gas. I’ve also had problem with gas leaking. Gas cylinders cost me $115 and then I get charged $80 a year for the delivery. As you pointed out, a Tankless electric system seems much more efficient. I only use Hot water in the winter so a unit like yours will not cost me anything for most of the year. I just need to find one in Australia.

  55. I was in a hotel in The Philippines last year, and they had one of these water heaters. I never figured out how to use it, so I just dealt with cold water. Thanks for this video, I’m going back in December – so now I know how to use one!

    1. DAMN Buddy… Hotel and no hot water??? I would be downstairs like a lightningbolt with Please explain… Out of curiosity how u pay per day for hotel?

  56. Hi Reekay, I am wondering if you know what those units sell for? Would they be hard or easy to install etc…
    Thanks for sharing, I have been amazed that, this is a luxury…

  57. Mystery solved. The reason they use hot water tanks in the US is that we use hot water all over the house. In my US condo, I had a full bath, a half a bath with a shower. In the kitchen, you want it in your sink & just about everyone has an electric dishwasher that needs it. Down to the basement and you have a laundry room with a washer. A lot of clothes require warm and hot water. It would take at least a half dozen of these units to cover all the use. Plus most tanks use natural gas which is cheaper than electric. They are a good idea here but not in most American homes. I am thankful for the unit because I am not into cold showers. My GF says I am like a goat.

  58. The reason why we don’t have this type of, in the shower, electric hot water heater, is because it would never meet US electrical code requirements, or pass any product safety approvals like UL (Underwriters Lab) The reason being is you are bringing 220 volts of electricity into the shower to power this water heater. Under our codes you can’t be in touching distance any anything powered. In Asia 100’s of people a year are needlessly electrocuted and killed by these dangerous water heaters. Trust me if you come in contact with 220 volts, soaking wet in a shower, due to a malfunctioned water heater, you are going to be killed instantly. These types of water heaters are nicknamed “Suicide Shower” because they are so dangerous, but are common place in Asia, South America, and other parts of the developing world with lacking safety standards.

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