What are the benefits and disadvantages of a storage heater and a multipoint heater? Multipoint heaters are a relatively new type of heater in the Singaporean market. Hence, they are not quite understood. After speaking to several retailers and homeowners in Singapore, we’ve decided to put their feedback together.
Storage heater cost: $300+, installation: $100+
Multipoint heater cost: $280+, installation: $100+
Storage heater (3000W): $10.3/person/month
Multipoint heater (4500W): $9.8/person/month
These heaters consume energy as long as they are switched on… Remember to turn off your heater after use to conserve energy! The energy consumption between these two, you can assume little or no difference.
As multipoint heaters are a variation of instant water heaters, they are reliable and safe systems. This is also the same for storage heaters.
If both these heaters are serving as central heaters to two bathrooms (or kitchen) users have reported waiting up to 10 – 50 seconds to get their hot water. Contratry to popular belief, this is not due to the type of water heater you are using, rather, it is because of the location of the heater.
Since you are using a heater far away from the hot water source, hot water needs to flow through the pipes (which are not in the straight line btw) to your shower. As long as your bathrooms are close by, your wait time is shorter.
An alternative option (expensive): You have the option to install a circulating pump that can give you hot water almost immediately. (Pumps cost around $680 + $500 approx piping cost) and can only be used with storage heaters.
Both heaters are easy to install and installation costs are not high in the market. (Approx $100-$120) Because of its larger tank size, storage heaters will take up more space in your bathroom while multipoint heaters compact little boxes.
If you are using Multipoint heaters, make sure your installer is using a single-coil, 2.5mm cable! This is a special cable not every installer carries. The higher current flowing to the system has been reported to cause regular wiring to melt easily.
Previously, we mentioned that the electrical running costs of both heaters are about the same. The only other factor is the cost of cold water running while waiting for the shower to heat up.
Multipoint heaters have been marketed as being able to serve two bathrooms, but they are really only instant heaters which can connect to mixers or two bathrooms. It is not advisble for two showers to be running at the same time or to have rainshowers at home. You will need to use a smaller showerhead. The pressure drop is about 50% for a single shower.
Storage heaters are closed tank systems which preserve the same water pressure from the PUB water supply. If two showers are running simultaneously, water pressure will still drop but users will have higher water pressure than if they are using a multipoint heater. This is because they have a reservoir of hot water at a high temperature to draw from.
You can use rainshowers or showers with higher flow rate when using a storage system.
An acceptable shower temperature is around 38°C and that is the maximum temperature an multipoint heater can give at any one time. If there is a pressure fluctuation (if two people are using the heater at the same time), the temperature will drop below 38°C.
Some users are more comfortable taking hot showers between 40 – 42°C. These users should go for storage heaters for better showers. The maximum temperature a storage heater can produce at any one time is more than 60°C.
An overwhelming number of homeowners have mentioned that their multipoint heaters have a connector in them that has a high chance of melting! After asking several retailers about this, they said that this is true. Most multipoint heaters in Singapore are unable to withstand the 4500W and even though melted connectors can be replaced, the life span of the heaters are quite short. This is due to the constant build up of water pressure that these systems cannot handle.
We found this comment the most disturbing. I don’t think I want to buy a heater that doesn’t last… ><
Storage heaters are widely used. Mostly no maintenance required. Fix it and let it be.. until it leaks!
For those of you greenies out there, sorry to disappoint you on this one but both storage and multipoint are equally… un-green on a $/unit basis. If you really want to save energy, get something renewable like solar or heat pumps!
No sugar coating here… According to the feedback of retailers, multipoint heaters are a little disappointing. They are really only instant heaters which are designed to connect to mixer taps. Which is great for BTO homeowners who are already getting their mixer taps preinstalled in their houses. Other than that little cost saving, it seems to perform only as well as a single instant heater…
Storage heaters score 3.5/5.0 while multipoint heaters score 2.5/5.0 stars.
Multipoint heater review homeowner 1: http://myhdbrenovation.blogspot.sg/2010/10/bravo-bennington-instant-multi-point.html
Multipoint heater review homeowner 2: https://theartistandthegeek.wordpress.com/2011/11/19/review-bennington-c600-multipoint-water-heater/