If you plan to get yourself a water heater, you need to consider the space in your bathroom or kitchen before any other factor, and of course, the electricity flow expenses.
The different types of heaters on the market will suit you depending on your needs.
Storage water heaters
This one has a tank where water is stored. The tanks come in different sizes from 10litres up to 2,000 litres.
As mentioned above, the space in your bathroom or kitchen will determine what size will fit. This water heater collects water from the water source to its storage tank when the tank has a few litres left to dry up. The heating process starts when you switch it on. The process goes on up to four minutes and the heating is done, using up to 1,500watts per heating.
It comes with an inlet that connects to the water source and an outlet that connects to the tap or shower.
The advantage of this water heater is that you can stay with hot water for at least three days or more depending on usage before more heating takes place.
“It works just like a flask. You keep water in a flask, and it will keep the water hot for a long time. This heater is also like that. You heat the water once, it stays hot until the tank is empty,” says Joseph Leo Felix, a store manager and retail home furnishing expert at Danube Homes .
The upscale price of a storage water heater is between Shs869, 000 to Shs2.3m depending on the size of the heater you need. These prices are for heaters between 10 litres to 1,000litres.
You can also buy a storage water heater online for about Shs600, 000 depending on the size of the heater.
Instant water heater
This is also known as a tankless water heater. This will work well, especially for smaller places where a tank heater cannot fit. It is small and can fit anywhere in the bathroom or kitchen. It also has an inlet and outlet, the inlet connects with the pipe to the water source and the water passes through the water heater to the tap or basin one is using.
The difference between this and a storage water heater is that this water heater does not store hot water. After heating the amount of water you need, you switch it off and you have to reheat at the next use. For this heater, once you switch on, the water goes through the heater and is instantly heated to the tap or basin. This is unlike the storage heater that takes a few minutes to heat the water before you can actually use it.
In heating 4.5litres to 8.5litres (per minute), the heater uses about 4, 500watts, which makes it more expensive than the storage heater because of its electricity consumption. However, most tankless heaters come made of acrylic material. There is also a touch screen and a manual one, so you have a variety to pick from. It normally comes with a telephone shower head, which saves you from spending extra on pipes. An upscale price of an instant water heater in shops along Kampala Road ranges from Shs950, 000 to Shs1.5m.
An instant water heater from online shops starts from Shs350, 000 depending on the size and brand.
Solar water heater
If you do not have electricity or are afraid of electricity expenses that come with owning an electric water heater, there is a solution for you too.
With a solar water heater, you can be able to save power and also use hot water in your home.
It comes with a storage tank and a collector panel that connects with the pipe from the water reservoir tank above the roof. It is placed on top of the roof where the direct sun can efficiently reach the solar panel. “The water tank must be at least 2metres above the roof, since the system requires the natural flow of water. The solar water heater storage keeps the water hot for 24 hours after heating is done,” Tony Ssimbwa, from Power Trust Uganda Limited says.
Ssimbwa says the water heaters at times come with a backup system, just in case the sun doesn’t shine. Once that happens, it also has an electric system that by a small chance of natural heat shortage, can help heat the water.
The upscale price of a solar water heater in areas like Kansanga ranges from Shs3.5m and Shs4.5m for 120 and 200 litres respectively.
Solar water heaters can be purchased at Shs4.2m to Shs6.83m from online shops.
Before purchasing a water heater, you need a professional plumber to check the piping system of your house and instal the heater properly.
The longevity of the appliance, however, depends on the way you handle it. “Electricity in Uganda is not reliable. One time it is high and the next it is low. This ends up spoiling the electric appliances we use, which sometimes is inevitable,” Abdulhakim Yiga, an electrical engineer says. He, however, adds that durability goes down to maintenance.