We finally have hot water in the house! The house has never been occupied before, but is a few years old. When we were initially looking at the house we were told there were hot and cold pipes already in the walls (so we didn’t have to use portable electric heaters on each shower which look like this http://www.joven-electric.com/product_instant/930.asp and are attached to the tiles in bathrooms. Most older homes in Malaysia do not have hot water pipes in the walls. I was told that only in the last few years in KL and larger cities has it become common to install in new homes). After buying the house, it was confirmed that there was already a water pump installed above the second floor in the space below the tile roof as well as a water tank. However, the plumbers and electricians who ventured up the small hole located in one of the bathrooms told us that there was no hot water heater in this ‘attic’ space. They did reconfirm that there appeared to be hot water pipes for 3 of the bathrooms (but not for the maid’s room’s bathroom) and for the dry kitchen.
So R and I had to decide if we wanted to get an electric storage water heater tank to put up in the attic or a solar heating panel that would be installed on the exterior of the tile roof. I really like the idea of solar heat and it is quite popular in Malaysia because homes usually get a steady source of sun every day making solar panels viable. There are a number of solar panel companies to choose from (see the following list I pulled from a forum):
But Solar Panels are running 4,000-5,000myr where as electric storage water heater tanks cost less. So we finally opted for the electric heating tank because we are on a budget. We went with Joven and chose the JH68 68 Litres (15.0 Imp. Gals) model .
I would have gone for the largest 91 litre unit, but they couldn’t fit it up in the attic. The price of the tank itself was 700myr. But there were extra costs of 1,500myr to adjust pipes to the tank, create a water source outside the attic for excess water, a shut off valve and other sorts of modifications. Oh and the pump already in the house needed an electrical switch and the automatic-off switch needed to be repaired as the pump just continued to run when it was on. During the installation, they weren’t sure if the pipes in the wall might burst as they tested it. Fortunately, the pipes were ok, but the installers forgot to turn off (or on?) a value on the Joven unit so it was leaking. They didn’t know why so a technician from Joven had to come two days later from Melaka to fix it. He adjusted the valve and confirmed that all of the pipes were connected and the unit was ready to use. Did we make the right choice picking an electric water heater over a solar panel... only time will tell.