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Thread: Immersion heater that lasts?

  1. #1
    Registered User bchaplin's Avatar
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    Immersion heater that lasts?

    Hi.

    I almost always take a hot water heater on my trips. I have used this one for years. It is dual-voltage and trustworthy, but unfortunately takes up a lot of space in my bag.

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    An immersion-style heater [below] would be more compact, but all the reviews for them on Amazon that I've been able to find seem to indicate that most fail after a few uses. Does anyone know of one with either a replaceable fuse or that they have used reliably?

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    I know this would not be an issue for normal people, but I need at least one cup of coffee before I leave my hotel room! So a hot water heater is an essential item for me.

    Thanks!
    Last edited by bchaplin; 08-19-2012 at 06:50 AM.
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  2. #2
    Registered User ncb4's Avatar
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    I would also love to know about a reliable immersion heater: not to make coffee in my case, but to heat water for tea. I know there have been posts before about portable travel kits by the coffee aficionados among us, but I don't recall if there was ever a ringing endorsement for any particular water heater. But I'm sure that among all the savvy travelers on the forum, someone can help.

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    Here's the trick with keeping immersion heaters working: put it in your cup with water, then plug it in, then when the water comes to a boil, unplug, and only then pull it out. What generally causes early immersion heater failure is having it out of water while plugged in. And that's surprisingly easy to do unless you really concentrate on the process. I think I burned out four or five of them before I got super-careful about how I used them.

    Never, never have a plugged-in immersion heater that isn't in water. Keep to that, and they last forever.
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    I agree with flitcraft. The immersion heater cannot be plugged in when out of water. It is designed to short out to prevent burning or fire.

    I too need that first cup before heading out and have found they last if careful. And honestly, they're so small, I usually take two just in case I get careless.

    As for brands...I use a dual voltage one just so I know it will work just about anywhere. Can't remember where I got the last ones.

    Believe it or not, this is the cup I use. It weighs practically nothing, takes up no space when folded down, and can easily handle the heat of the immersion heater.

    Fold-A-Cup – FP589 | Magellan's Travel Supplies
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  5. #5
    Registered User bchaplin's Avatar
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    Thanks for the advice!
    If anyone who likes theirs remembers what brand they got, please let me know. I would go for a dual voltage one.
    Beth

  6. #6
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    I looked at mine and it doesn't have a "brand" name. In fact, I don't remember ever seeing one with a brand name. Some companies buy them and put their name on them, but I think they are basically all the same. It's a very simple product and all have the same design.

    I've ordered a couple through Magellans in the past and they were fine.
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    The ones made in the U.K or in India, for those respective markets, ought to be more resistant that the low market ones.

    I had one which was used for many years but I cannot remember the brand, it looked more sturdy than the one in the above picture.

  8. #8
    Registered User Lani's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frank II View Post
    I agree with flitcraft.
    Me, too. Most people don't know that you're never supposed to pull an immersion heater out of the water while it's still plugged in. So... make sure you've immersed the heater BEFORE you plug it in, and then don't remove it from the cup until after you unplug it. You should be in good shape then!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lani View Post
    Me, too. Most people don't know that you're never supposed to pull an immersion heater out of the water while it's still plugged in. So... make sure you've immersed the heater BEFORE you plug it in, and then don't remove it from the cup until after you unplug it. You should be in good shape then!
    Also keep in mind that immersion heaters don't turn off by themselves after the water boils. My mother destroyed one that way.

    I might get my mother a plug adapter with a power switch on it along with a new immersion heater Aus UK USA to European Universal Travel Plug Adaptor AC Power Wonpro Switch | eBay
    Flipping a switch on and off is a habitual thing when you want to turn something on or off (vs just plugging it in and it being fully operational) so it might be a good visual cue.

    Humangear now makes an 8oz GoCup humangear - GoCup A 12 oz Insulated Kleen Kanteen is also a good height for one person's worth of hot water.


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