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09 June 2007 @ 02:12 pm
Adventures in Japanese water heating....  
So, how long have I been in Japan...? Nearly three years? And yet I've never experienced a situation quite like this one. One of the interesting adventures that happens when you rent an old japanese house, I suppose.

I have to admit that I'd never heard of water heaters like this one, until the gas guy hooked up our supply and Ami explained later that night that he'd shown her how to use the water heater. My thought was, "huh??" But you know, I didn't really give it much thought until the next morning... when around 5AM I had to wake up Ami to show me how to use it. It really wasn't automatic!! Call me naive in the world of water heaters, but I'd seriously never heard of something like this before! I've since researched it on the internet and found out that they save a lot of power, and it's seeming more normal, especially since they're a super-expensive item in the US that a lot of affluent people would look into buying. Put that way, it no longer seems ghetto, but actually rather cool! =D

This water heater only heats up water when it's needed, so instead of using power like most water heaters to stay warm constantly, it does it on the spot. And FAST. Within seconds, warm water is flowing out. Rather awesome, actually!! I'm not sure how it does it, since I remember many a time when our family water heater would run out and it would take a long time for more to be ready.. So I'd have to say that I like this better!!! ...when I can get it to work, that is. It's kind of tricky.

To heat water: Make sure the water is on. Then make sure the tap is on (separate....). Then hold down and turn the knob on the right to the first line. While it's held down, crank the lever on the front three clicks. Then let go of the knob and turn it to the next line. Now there will be warm water, and you can adjust the temperature with the knob on the left. The lowest setting is actually pretty hot, so it's a really interesting experience!

I still can't get it to work a lot of the time. ^^;; But soaking in that little japanese tub is a really comforting and warm feeling. =^__^=
Jeychynoi on June 9th, 2007 05:19 am (UTC)
Sounds confusing!-- though at the same time, I'm sure once you learn the ropes, it is much better than wasting energy overtime like the heaters over here D:
athenazandrite on June 9th, 2007 05:24 am (UTC)
Our new house has a waterheater like that. Well not as complicated to turn on, we press a button on the remote and it'll turn on, then we have to remember to turn it back off when we're done.

I think, if I remember correctly, unlike with the old water heaters where it filled up the tank with water and heated the tank (think about trying to boil water on the stove, the more you have in the sauce pan, the longer it takes to warm up), it just runs it through hot coils so it heats up a small amount very fast continuously while it's on and water is flowing through the heating coils. Means it takes up a heck of a lot less room along with saving energy. Because you don't have the honking big tank I mean. At least, that's how ours works.
Hi-chan (火ちゃん)hinoai on June 9th, 2007 02:09 pm (UTC)
Yeah, yours sounds like the kind that I read about. I love that it saves energy. Though the cranking and turning thing on the model in this place is kind of hard to get down. Last Friday I needed to take a shower before work, but I spent a half hour in the bathroom trying to turn it on and finally gave up because I didn't have anymore time. The hot water heater completely beat me that time, but no more!! ^^;;
Elizabethxxaibaxl0v3xx on June 9th, 2007 05:27 am (UTC)
^^; I don't really comment ur post. But I like to read them. And there usually so intersting. And the pix are great! ^-^

Hmmm~ Is it really that complicated?! Cuz I probably would have just gotten lost. >.< I wished I had tht. My water is so cold I have to wait like 5 minutes or something to get it warmer! The rubber duck is cute. Lol
Gin・ジン・仁・:)denkimouse on June 9th, 2007 05:27 am (UTC)
same kind as meeeee! hurray!
r j00 teh nwe pimp l0rdz?: YaraFameryoko293 on June 9th, 2007 07:09 am (UTC)
Wow, I've never seen water heart like that before! Definitely a nice invention if it just gives you hot water when you need and in such a short time too~
Chiakichiaki777 on June 9th, 2007 07:44 am (UTC)
Oh yeah, I remember that. If you want to talk ghetto, you have to think of my grandma's house. XD The water heater is a the sink of the kitchen, and you attached a hose to the fauscet and feed it to the bath that was next to the kitchen to pump hot water. Now THAT is ghetto, or country hick in our case. XD
Patricktallanvor on June 9th, 2007 07:55 am (UTC)
You can soak in that tiny thing?

Anyway, here in the UK, on-demand water heaters are very common, and in an apartment, the style we're used to is almost unheard of. Mine is mounted on the wall of the kitchen, and it turns on as soon as it senses that water is flowing through a hot water tap. --It also provides hot water for the radiators when it's cold out.
Kira_Shadow: Myselfkira_shadow on June 9th, 2007 10:21 am (UTC)
...this reminds me of the water heater and taps of my second host family...until I figured out that bathroom on my own it...@_@
It wasn't quite as complicated at this one sounds but you had to turn and crank in and click a lot of stuff, too...

but yeah taking a soak in a japanese bathtub after a long exhausting day is really nice~ ♥

oh and I don't think I told you yet but I'll be in the Tokyo Region from July 10 - July 20

I'm more or less free the whole time (except Sunday the 15th and Monday the 16th so far...maybe a few more days of that week since a friend from Canada and Hong Kong is also coming over to Japan then and we want to meet up ;D aah so many people to meet~)

But any other day I'll have time to see you again!!
And I still offer you to cook for you then =D
(+ I hope the chocolate I'll be taking with me will survive the japanese summer for so long.... *is going to be in osaka the 2 1/2 weeks before coming back to Tokyo*)

I'm counting the days~
Hi-chan (火ちゃん)hinoai on June 9th, 2007 02:12 pm (UTC)
Wow, so soon!!!! ^____^ I can't wait to see you, and of course you're definitely invited over to cook and maybe spend a night out on the town in Kichijoji with me!! ^___^ During that time I'm actually working, but I'll be free on the weekend, especially Fri night or Saturday (best).
Kira_Shadowkira_shadow on June 9th, 2007 03:36 pm (UTC)
ok...I think Friday 13th and Saturday 14th are still free on my end!
(since the weekend after that I'm flying out of japan again... =( *waah*)

aah I'm so happy I can go and see you again!!
it's been like...2 years???
C L O V E R: 강타 : Know your fateidyllica on June 9th, 2007 12:49 pm (UTC)
Interesting... I like the ducky. ♥
Glenburning_batsu on June 9th, 2007 01:18 pm (UTC)
o.o Definitely never seen a water heater like that before, as far as I know that kind of water heater does not even exist here in NZ, we only have the traditional barrel cylinders (that heats up like 100 or so litres at one time, and is not exactly energy efficient ^^'')

Also would not be the easiest thing to get set up here, considering that gas is not readily available in all areas here in auckland...
waremono: Seto and Toothbrushwaremono on June 9th, 2007 02:02 pm (UTC)
Wow, that sounds...really complicated just for some hot water! But at the same time, having an almost instant heater, yeah, that would be nice!

I'm not sure how exactly anyone can soak in that tub, if it's really as tiny as it looks, but if it works, and is comforting, then yay!
+: piggybabymoss on June 9th, 2007 02:27 pm (UTC)
Rubber ducky!! :D
akibare: なんだこりゃakibare on June 9th, 2007 04:41 pm (UTC)
Pretty standard in Japan, yeah. I presume you also have the nice one in the kitchen that you push the button to start the flame and have hot water come out?

I wish I had this style of heater, OR at least a bigger US style one. I've got a US type water heater, but it's TINY. I don't take long showers at ALL, but it can run out while I'm in there.

Weird thing is, usually people think "don't do the laundry before showering," but in my case, it works better, because it sort of turns the heater into "continually heating up mode" and so the water won't run out since the thing is heating more, if that makes any sense. Oddball, I know.

As a kid we had the kind of heater you have here, but also LP gas delivered to the side of the house (there wasn't city gas). Once, and only once, the gas delivery was late and the hot water "ran out" because the flame "ran out." It was the first time I ever ran out of the hot water and my mom laughed that we didn't have much experience with that. Now, I have plenty...

jenntheamazonjenntheamazon on June 9th, 2007 10:52 pm (UTC)
I have a hard time imagining you "soaking" in the tiny tub, Ms. "Bean-pole". :-P I'm glad you're figuring out that water heater though. Cold baths/showers....Bad.
katja_enigmatickatja_enigmatic on June 10th, 2007 05:54 am (UTC)
My stainless steel tub gives me the creeps.
Bethany☆彡 (べス)sourangel on June 10th, 2007 06:58 am (UTC)
That does sound confusing...I've heard of them before but I thought they were only out in the inaka. ^^;; Good luck with everything with the new house! I'm jealous that you now live in Kichijoji, I love that area and really want to live there, but it's too expensive!