The one amenity I could not do without is hot water for when I took a shower. Since the cost of a centralized hot water system in the Philippines was prohibitive, I opted for what is called a single point system that provides hot water to only one shower head. I chose the Trimark 3.5 kw  (Single Point) Hot Water System from a company called Champs. I bought it from Ace Hardware for about PhP 6,000.

There are a lot of well known companies that provides this type of system. I chose one from Champs, a company I’ve never heard of before, due to my cousin. She said that Champs is the one company she knows of that doesn’t use digital electronic circuitry in their systems. This is good, she claims, because electronic parts would have made it more vulnerable to voltage spikes that is common here due to antiquated power grids.

I chose Champs’ Trimark model because it had the same heating mechanism as its more expensive models but with a cheap-looking, hand shower attachment. In order to upgrade its look and still pay less than if I bought a more expensive model, I simply replaced the attachment with a chrome plated one from Delta, a world-renowned plumbing fixtures company.

Looking inside the Trimark, there was indeed no digital circuitry used in its construction. There was just a small copper tank and other simple, mechanical-based mechanisms. I was impressed by the copper tank because even in Canada where the metal is abundant, copper is now being replaced by cheaper but less durable solutions due to rising costs. When I pointed this out to the salesman, he said that Champ is one of the few that uses copper tanks across their product line. Other companies typically uses ceramic-based tanks on their lower end models and reserve the copper ones for their top-of-the-line offerings.

The Trimark requires that your water pressure be of a certain strength, otherwise, the unit will not turn ON. I was concerned about this as my water pressure was not great due to my water coming from a deep well. The salesman said that if the existing water pressure is not sufficient to turn the unit ON, simply cut a spring (which he then identified) in half. When I installed the system, it turned out that the pressure was indeed insufficient, so with much trepidation, I cut the spring. I then opened the tap and it worked! I’ve had no problems with it since. Looking back, it would have been more professional for Champ to have provided another spring for cases like mine. Be that as it may, I consider this a minor issue.

Although the least expensive of the Champ product line, the Trimark performed very well. Its chassis hasn’t turned yellow like a lot of plastic items tends to do in this climate, and it seems immune to voltage fluctuations despite having experienced many brownouts. Aside from the spring issue, I give the Trimark  a well deserved thumb’s UP.

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