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  • Amandada6262000
  • Veteran

    • 128

    • September 03, 2011, 08:48:17 am
    • Jinju, Gyeongsangnam-do, South Korea
How the $#*% do I work my hot water heater?!
« on: September 29, 2011, 01:05:18 pm »
Ok, I have been in Korea a month now, and I have YET to take a hot shower. WTF!
All of you are probably gonna be like, "Did you see that little switch plate with the floor heating knob on it? Your hot water knob is on there too!" but yes, I saw that, and no matter what temperature I turn it up to (45 degrees even!), my shower spits out freezing cold water. Because of this, I haven't shaven in a month, haha, and I dread showering.
What am I doing wrong here? Am I not waiting long enough to take a shower or something? Is my hot water heater broken?! Am I the only one with this problem? Help!


  • Koreak
  • Super Waygook

    • 405

    • November 13, 2010, 08:15:43 am
    • South Korea
Re: How the $#*% do I work my hot water heater?!
« Reply #1 on: September 29, 2011, 01:11:37 pm »
Are there any flashing lights on the control panel when you turn it on?  Does your floor heat up?  You might need to flip a switch outside of the apartment.  Your apartment might also have an oil boiler.  In that case you might be out of oil and have to order some.

Sorry can't help any more than that.


  • rach.m
  • Waygookin

    • 11

    • March 18, 2011, 07:27:24 pm
    • United Kingdom
Re: How the $#*% do I work my hot water heater?!
« Reply #2 on: September 29, 2011, 01:13:56 pm »
When you moved into your place, had it been empty for a while? When I moved into my flat, the previous NET had left over a month before, so they had turned the gas of at the mains, resulting in me having to take freezing showers in winter when i first arrived. Speak to your co-teacher who will be able to call the building maintenance people to switch it on. It literally took 2 minutes, they switched something on, then came into my flat, did something, and it was all sorted out within about 5 minutes.


  • lotte world
  • The Legend

    • 2272

    • August 22, 2011, 09:00:38 pm
    more
Re: How the $#*% do I work my hot water heater?!
« Reply #3 on: September 29, 2011, 01:14:08 pm »
Are you sure you have the control set to the right mode?

I'm generalising here, but you didn't give much info (a picture of the control box would be great!).

In your apartment you have one boiler.  The boiler runs on gas, and does two things.  First, it provides hot water to your kitchen taps, bathroom taps and shower.  Secondly, it heats and circulates water through pipes in the floor to keep your room warm in winter.

So, first, do you know where your boiler is?  Do you have gas?  Is the gas tap on?  Is the boiler plugged into a power outlet?

Secondly, the control box will select between hot water, heating, or both.  In summer you want only hot water.  In winter you want both.  Maybe you have selected heating only, or neither.

Lastly, the temperature control might be setting the temperature of the heating, not the water.  Look closer for another control, which might have only a small number of options for cool, warm, hot.

If you could post a photo, or describe exactly how many buttons and knobs are on the control box, together with the Hangul lettering maybe we can help.


Re: How the $#*% do I work my hot water heater?!
« Reply #4 on: September 29, 2011, 01:14:57 pm »
Hmm, have you tried asking the building manager? He should be able to show you how to work it or let you know if it's broken so that it can be fixed. If there's a problem, your building manager can get it fixed for you too.

I hope you get it fixed soon so you can shower! It's getting colder, so hot water is a must!


  • flasyb
  • Hero of Waygookistan

    • 1901

    • November 30, 2010, 12:10:03 pm
    • South Korea
Re: How the $#*% do I work my hot water heater?!
« Reply #5 on: September 29, 2011, 01:24:02 pm »
Could be that there's no water at all in the tank. I once fiddled with the taps and stop cocks to try to get the washing machine to fill up faster. A few days later I had no hot water.

Just try turning everything and listen to see if it fills up.

Asking your building manager is obviously the easiest course of action too.
In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.

We are not "guests" in Korea. Korea didn't invite us over for Pimms in the garden. We are paid employees.


  • kayladb
  • Adventurer

    • 27

    • September 24, 2011, 05:40:42 pm
    • Gyeongsangbuk-do, South Korea
Re: How the $#*% do I work my hot water heater?!
« Reply #6 on: September 29, 2011, 01:26:57 pm »
Did you ask your co-teacher? Mine had to show me how to use it, twice.

Maybe you are doing it wrong? Does everything else turn on?
With mine, when I turn it on the right setting, I can hear a hum, and it takes a few minutes before I can turn on my shower so that it will heat up. Especially if I have all of the heat off, not just my shower... maybe its similar?

Is it a button panel, or just dials?

Good luck!


  • Ectofuego
  • Featured Contributor

    • 920

    • November 02, 2010, 09:21:10 am
    • Mars
Re: How the $#*% do I work my hot water heater?!
« Reply #7 on: September 29, 2011, 01:33:56 pm »
Take a picture and post it here.  I am sure someone can translate it for you.
I'm Jason and I approve this message!


  • Amandada6262000
  • Veteran

    • 128

    • September 03, 2011, 08:48:17 am
    • Jinju, Gyeongsangnam-do, South Korea
Re: How the $#*% do I work my hot water heater?!
« Reply #8 on: September 29, 2011, 01:37:44 pm »
Wow, thank you so much for all of your replies. And so quickly!
When I get home from school today I'll try and get a good picture of the control panel. I KNOW I have gas, because I've been cooking with it.... unless it's a different line.

When I turn the water heater knob, I also hear a hum coming from the boiler, and it sounds like the water heater should be working, right?

Then I wait about 10 minutes for the water to get nice and heated.... and it's still freezing cold. I must be missing a step in there somewhere! I've triple checked on the boiler, and there are no knobs on it. There are a couple of buttons on the control panel, but I really just thought they were for the floor heating/turning the gas off to go on vacation?


  • Amandada6262000
  • Veteran

    • 128

    • September 03, 2011, 08:48:17 am
    • Jinju, Gyeongsangnam-do, South Korea
Re: How the $#*% do I work my hot water heater?!
« Reply #9 on: September 29, 2011, 01:41:35 pm »
Asking your building manager is obviously the easiest course of action too.

Also, I've never seen my building manager before, and he/she doesn't even live in my city... since my school pays my rent, he/she only interacts with them. I'm pretty sure the manager only comes around if there's a serious problem with the place.


  • The.it.girl
  • Veteran

    • 123

    • November 11, 2010, 07:15:27 pm
    • Chungnam, Korea
Re: How the $#*% do I work my hot water heater?!
« Reply #10 on: September 29, 2011, 02:02:18 pm »
Amanda my hot water does not work with GAS but with OIL!! If I have oil the red and green button will flash but when ive run out of oil only the red button flashes.. I think you out of OIL.. Ask your co workers to check this for and have the Oil peole come and refill your boiler for you if that is the case~


Re: How the $#*% do I work my hot water heater?!
« Reply #11 on: September 29, 2011, 03:11:41 pm »
You will have gas lines under your sink, or in your laundry. 

IF: You are not getting any hot water, even to your kitchen, then it the line connecting your gas to the boiler is off.  Turn the lever to send gas to it.  The gas lines are either under then sink in the kitchen, or in the laundry, or cupboard.

IF: You are getting hot water to other places, just not the shower, then the hot water knobs under the sink in the bathroom aren't letting water through so turn it to allow water.