FGF 10/10/11: Heaters for the Outsides and Insides

When I was growing up there were 8 of us to share a tank of hot water. That’s why I will forever remember the pounding on the wall from inside the shower while I was attempting to rinse the dinner dishes with hot water. Or, why I will remember my dad pounding on the bathroom door when I had been in the shower too long.

I also remember how our coal burning stove was the main source of heat for our home. Lying in front of the stove for the last few minutes before the bus came was a winter morning ritual.

Wasn’t life so hard?

At least it felt like that as a spoiled brat of a child–sometimes. It was my Dad who had one of the hardest jobs in the arena of my childhood, being responsible for the temporal needs of his family. I’m grateful that he taught me the importance of being frugal with our water usage and to appreciate the luxuries of life.

Now I’m not so much a brat as I am spoiled (depending on who you ask). I am happy my life includes these 3 lovelies as my Favorite German Find. Heaters.

1) The Stiebel Eltron, DHE  – Instantaneous Hot Water!

THE coolest invention on the planet: Tankless Water Heater!

This box is on the wall above our bathtub. It heats water only as you need it. Water comes through the pipes into the box and is heated before it comes out of the tap. Regulated water pressure. I can set the temperature to whatever I want and it comes out that way the entire time it’s coming out of the tap.

They have these in the States, but I’ve never seen one and Stiebel Eltron was born in Berlin. Here’s a neat inside look.

I know you think I’m exaggerating when I say it’s the coolest invention ever. Ok, “cool” is not the best choice of adjectives. And maybe electricity is the best invention. BUT next comes the SE-DHE TWH! (Try saying that acronym-like.)

That’s how much I love hot water.

If you’re as nerdy as I am, this little timeline on the history of Stiebel Eltron is pretty killer.

2) The Toilet Seat Heater

Just kidding. This heater just happens to be right next to the toilet. But since the weather here has turned cold the past few days, I’m really liking this heater in a room filled with ceramic tile. It also worked great to help heat up the Mini Haus the other day.

I’ve heard-tell there are fabulous heated tile floors here in Germany, but we’re not as spoiled as my friend Becky C. (love ya, Becky! ;-).)

3)  Electric Water Kettle

This little contraption heats up water in less than a minute. I use it almost every day to heat water for my herbal tea or hot cocoa. Also, with our inefficient hot plate burners for cooking (which take 5+ minutes to boil water) I often use this kettle to boil water first and then pour it in the pan for pasta, eggs, etc.

Even though these items are available in the U.S., I will always remember that it was in Germany where I was introduced these luxuries. Then I’ll be grateful for online purchasing.

Happy Columbus Day and Cheers! to warming your bodies and souls this wonderful chilly season.

5 thoughts on “FGF 10/10/11: Heaters for the Outsides and Insides

  1. When we went to Okinawa everyone was pretty much required to live on base because it was extremely expensive to live “on the economy.” This, however, led to a bit of a shortage of base housing and long waiting lists to get into the base housing. We had to live off base for a year in a small apartment upstairs from our landlord. It was unheated (remember Okinawa is subtropical, but the temps in the winter months were occasionally in the 40s) but had a couple of AC units we shuddered to use because the electricity was expensive.

    Our little oven and cook top was propane, our washing machine was cold water only, the dryer was upstairs on the roof (read: clothesline – we had a dryer but if you think the German dryers are small and slow, they are speedy when compared to the Japanese electric – again, expensive – clothes dryers), and our hot water heater was kerosene fired. It was outside in back of our apartment on the little walkway that went around the second floor. Every time we needed hot water we had to go outside and push a little red button on the water heater. It would fire up, and in a minute or two we had hot water. For about a sink full of water. Then we had to run back outside and push the button again. Here’s a riddle: how many people does it take to get a shower? Answer: Two. One to stand in the shower with the water running, and another to be on call to go out and push the little red button every 5 minutes.

    Yes, life can be hard.

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