Review: the Macro MA-10FE instantaneous gas heater
Unsure about whether an instantaneous gas heater is suitable for you? Read our guide on how to choose a water heater, and the differences between a gas and electric, as well as storage and instantaneous, heater here.
We chose the Macro MA-10FE instantaneous gas heater for ourselves because it suited our needs. Here's why.
These are the stated specifications of the Macro MA-10FE instantaneous gas heater:
- Dimensions: 57cm (height) x 33cm (width) x 13.5cm (depth)
- Nominal useful heat output: 8.5 kW (this is the maximum heat it can provide)
- Nominal heat input: 10 kW (this is the maximum power it'll use at maximum temperature)
- Max water pressure: 8 bar
- Electrical rating: 220-240V, 50 Hz (it uses electricity to power the electronics and display)
- LED display
- Ability to set temperature in 1°C increments from 36°C to 60°C (once set, temperature is constant, regardless of water pressure and volume)
- Automatic operation: automatically heats water when hot water is used
- Safety features: flame extinguish protection, oxygen depletion device, overheating protection, fan failure protection, electrical surge protection, water over-pressure protection and flue blocked protection
Heat and water output / water pressure
The Macro MA-10FE has a high maximum heat and water output, which is more than enough to supply hot water to 2 showers simultaneously. In our house, we've hooked it up to our 2 showers, as well as the two faucets in both our toilets. The heater is never the limiting factor when using hot water in our home.
We get hot water really quickly with this heater. The Macro MA-10FE automatically starts up immediately when hot water is used at the shower (if the shower is turned to only use cold water, the heater doesn't activate) and within 30 seconds to a minute (depending on how cold the water is at that point of time, and how far our shower is from the heater) we have hot water.
We don't really have problems with water pressure in our HDB flat, so there's no issue with that. Because of this, we've had no need for a storage water heater. Although, at certain times, the water pressure in our entire house can drop quite drastically (probably related to neighbours' usage), but that has nothing to do with our heater.
We've installed the heater in our kitchen, so there a bit of distance in the pipes between the shower and the heater.
Energy usage and efficiency
Don't let the nominal heat input specification of the Macro MA-10FE scare you - this is the maximum power used when placed under a heavy load. When less hot water is demanded, it uses less power. On a day-to-day basis, the heater is more energy efficient (from the specifications, it's 85% power-efficient) than an electric heater. Although our gas bill is relatively high (compared to an average household), our electric bill is far lower thanks to the energy savings.
Size and aesthetics
Although the Macro MA-10FE doesn't look particularly stylish, it does have some industrial charm to it. Also, because it's placed in the kitchen and not in our bathroom, it doesn't feel out of place, and the design of our bathroom isn't affected.
The Macro MA-10FE is also significantly smaller than storage heaters, so it was easy to find a spot to place it at in our house. We couldn't conceal the heater though, because safety requirements mandated that the gas heater is placed in relative open air. But this wasn't such an important requirement, since it isn't as big as a storage heater (which really should be concealed behind a false ceiling).
Availability of gas and electricity
We had to get CityGas to lay pipes to the area where we wanted to install the heater - but this wasn't too big of a hassle. We also had to get electrical wiring laid to the heater, because it uses a small amount of energy to power its circuitry and LED screen.
Ease of use
Really, the Macro MA-10FE takes the cake when it comes to ease of use - I just have to turn it on once, set the temperature, and I never have to touch it ever again. Whenever I need hot water, I just turn the tap on and hot water comes out within seconds. There's no need to continually turn the heater on or off.
We usually set our heater to 40°C, and it's more than sufficient. In the shower itself, we adjust the temperature like normal people, by varying the mixture of cold and hot water at the shower faucet.
And of course, if on a particular day I need hotter water, I can easily set the Macro MA-10FE to up to 60°C. I usually do this when cleaning the toilets, because the higher temperature is really helpful with household cleaning.
We didn't need the model of heater that came with a remote control because we didn't have a bathtub, and had no need to remotely control the heater.
All-in-all, the Macro MA-10FE has been perfectly suitable for us, and I've had no complaints, other than thinking sometimes that it had a jarring design (and could look better).
Do we enjoy the smart life with this? Yes - the convenience and ease of use sold it for us.
Who should buy this? Anyone who wants to supply hot water to more than 1 toilet from only 1 source, who has space for a gas heater, and who has no issues with water pressure from the water source.
Who shouldn't buy this? Anyone with water pressure issues from the water source, or who can't deal with a large gas appliance in your service balcony/kitchen.