Tuesday, December 04, 2007

The nightmare shower in Japan

The most common type of water heater in Japanese homes is the on-demand water heater, also known as the tankless or instantaneous water heater.


This usually wall-mounted device doesn't heat the water until you open the faucet, after which the water is rapidly heated and dispensed.


These water heaters are cheaper to run and use less energy than storage water heaters. I've seen a lot of these water heaters in action in Japan, and most models, especially the newer ones, are simply great—well designed, well built, and as reliable as can be.


But some models, especially older ones, can be tricky. And every once in a while, you'll run into a water heater that can turn an ordinary shower into a shower from Hades.



A close-up of the Monster.


—Mellow Monk


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