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Panasonic NC-EH40PC Chauffe-eau
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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur Amazon.com
I'm buying a new kettle, and honestly torn between the obvious value of this lower priced model, and the chance that a Zojirushi will last longer under what MAY be harsher conditions.
Since I got married to a person of Russian heritage, we've always kept an electric kettle on our counter. It's just common practice, similar to other tea drinking cultures, and I readily adapted to having hot water always available. We did a kitchen remodel in 2007 and I opted to install an under-sink electric hot water heater (by the big brand known for garbage disposals) as a convenience. My parents have had one of these in various houses over the past 20 years, and I knew the water taste suffered over time, but I desperately wanted to avoid counter-clutter in my new--but still small--kitchen. Since the new models of Insta-hot had added filtration to the boiler, I hoped the water would taste better.
Fast forward a couple of years, and our electric boiler acquired that metallic taste that my parents' older units always had. Darn! So the quality of my tea went down, except for those times I boiled water on the stove or in the microwave, because I wasn't willing to replace the ~$400 unit on the built-in. A year after that, the built-in began to sputter and spit boiling water when you used it. Ouch! The plumber said turning the temp down might help (another hit to tea quality), or we could replace the unit. I pulled out our old electric kettle and cluttered up my counter again.
But by this point, I was concerned about heating water in plastic containers, and there weren't any electric kettles available (late 2010/early 2011) without some plastic interior parts. Very frustrating. It was then that I decided to accept a non-stick interior (not my preference) but add the energy saving factor of a Japanese style electric thermal pot. Here's what decided me on this course of action:
1) Built in systems cost too much and sacrificed too much water quality--both because they only have one temperature setting, and because the boiler degrades over time releasing a metallic taste.
2) Electric kettles usually have plastic interior parts that come in contact with the water. They all seemed to over a year ago, but I think this has been addressed since. However, I also found myself boiling the kettle really, really, REALLY often. I drink tea and coffee, but also just hot water, all day long, and the water in the kettle cooled off quickly. I would routinely hit the button to boil, go do something else, then find I needed to re-boil the kettle when I remembered what I was intending to do in the first place. Quite a waste of energy.
3) Thermal pots offered an energy saving advantage to a family like ours where hot water is used from first rising until just before bed. They also solved my "mommy brain" problem of serial re-boils.
4) While some electric kettles offer temperature control, these settings seem more useful in a thermal pot that is sitting there waiting for me instead of a kettle I have to turn on every time I want water.
We primarily need very hot (208 setting on the Panasonic NC-EH22PC 2.3 Quart Electric Thermal Hot Pot) water first thing in the morning to brew black tea. After breakfast, as I get the kids out the door to school, I switch to the 190 setting to let the pot cool a bit if I'm returning home shortly for housework. (I'll hit the 6 hour delay if I'm out for the day.) Late morning, I make my coffee, recently using the AeroPress which suggests 175F water, though I find the 190 setting on my NC-EH22PC to be ~182 F and the coffee tastes good. After lunch and a cup of darjeeling (still 190), I switch the pot to 180 (if my husband will be home early enough for green tea) or 140 (which is a pleasant drinking temperature for me.) I might boil the kettle again when I make dinner if a few cups of hot water will speed up preparations. When we go up to bed, I switch the temp back up to 208 but then immediately hit the 6 hour delay so I won't have to wait for my tea the next morning.
* If our family all left for the entire workday, I think a quick-boil electric kettle would suit our needs perfectly well. You might consider a kettle over a thermal pot if this is your family's schedule. (But consider your hot drink needs for weekends!)
* Similarly, in 10 months constant use, I've never wished my thermal pot had an on/off switch. We never turn it off under normal circumstances. I do empty the pot and dry it and leave it unplugged when we leave the house overnight or on vacation.
* This kettle is fairly small, and I often fill it twice per day--after breakfast and after dinner. I prefer this to leaving a larger quantity of water to sit and boil over and over, but this is a personal preference. When my kids get old enough for frequent hot drinks, I'll probably prefer a much larger pot.
* When I took a two night trip recently, I actually brought the thermal pot with me to our hotel. Yes, they had a coffee machine, but coffee-flavored, under-extracted tea is just foul. This kettle is compact enough to travel with... though I think I'll splurge on a compact (plastic--sigh) electric kettle like Bodum Bistro 34-Ounce Cordless Electric Water Kettle, Red before my next trip for even easier packing.
* I liked the short height of this thermal pot because it can easily sit anywhere on my countertops without being too close to the upper cabinets which could get water-and/or heat-damaged by the top-rear steam vents. HOWEVER, the pump spout is correspondingly low on this short pot--about 6.25 inches above the counter. This is trivial for filling a mug or teapot, but only my Bodum Brazil 3 cup French Press Coffee Maker, 12 oz, Black can be filled with the thermal pot in its usual position at the back of the counter. If I want to fill my Aerobie AeroPress Coffee and Espresso Maker or my company-sized Bodum Chambord 8 cup French Press Coffee Maker, 34 oz., Chrome, I have to pull the unit right up to the edge of the counter and hold the receiving vessel below counter-height. This makes me nervous when my kids are underfoot, and is a factor to consider. The cord is sufficient to allow pulling the pot forward.
* I still wish there were a thermal pot made without non-stick interior. I'm just not a fan of these chemicals, in production or in household use. On the reverse, I empty and wipe out my pot about once every week or two, and have had no build-up or deposits. (I use Brita pitcher-filtered Boston-area tap water.) There is nothing like the taste in the old, built-in boiler, but I do believe I taste a slight metallic residue when I drink hot water straight from the Panasonic NC-EH22PC. It is not enough to affect the taste of strong tea like the built-in system aftertaste was.
* In 10 months of constant use, I've seen no evidence of rust on my pot. I wonder if some users got pots with scratched interiors to begin with?
* I prefer to fill the pot with a pitcher, but, since I'm filtering with a pitcher already, this is just the easiest thing to do. I don't think I would like holding the pot under the tap in the sink, but I have a pull-out faucet, so I suppose that would be my filling method of choice if my water were filtered under the sink somewhere.
* If I upgrade my thermal pot in the future, I will likely go to the top of the line Zojirushi CV-DYC40 Super VE 4-Liter Vacuum Electric Dispensing Pot which includes a battery backup for dispensing hot water without being plugged in to electric current. For daily use, my Panasonic is perfectly fine, but I've taken to setting up a small table to the side in my dining room during big dinners (Thanksgiving) or parties so hot water can be dispensed close to the table/action. In my hundred-year-old house, outlets are rarely conveniently located, so this set up puts the thermal pot down at kid-reachable level, again, making me a bit nervous, though my boys are old enough that this option isn't insanely dangerous anymore. (Toddler boys LOVE to push buttons, especially on things with flashing lights!)
* Finally, I don't find the display confusing in the slightest, but I did read the manual when I got the pot, like I always do with new appliances. I think an average person should be able to understand what their pot is doing without too much mental effort.
The manual says to clean once every few months by boiling a solution of citric acid and water. The entire interior is like a big charcoal filter that captures minerals and impurities before dispensing, and citric acid pulls those minerals out and restores the interior to a clean, fresh state. None of the popular reviews complaining of rust that I've seen have mentioned doing this step.
I did, and after building up white film on the sides and substantial reddening of the bottom, my citric acid cleaning made the pot look new again. This isn't to say all complaints of rust are mistaken, but if they don't do this prescribed cleaning then they've failed to rule out the likely cause.
I wish I'd taken a before photo, but it would have looked like a lot of the rust complaint photos. The attached photo is after the citric acid cleaning.
And if the words citric acid scare you, stop drinking orange juice, because that stuff is FULL of it!
After using the first unit for around 6 months of use, I noticed a small spot of what appeared to be rust on the inside of the lid. I contacted Panasonic USA and asked them if they could send me the replacement part, but they said they wanted to inspect the entire unit. They provided me with a mailing label and asked me to bring it to get professionally packed, and that they would reimburse me for any expenses incurred. I brought it to the UPS store, had them pack it up, and I shipped it off. Several days later, Panasonic had notified me that their engineeers examined it, and determined that damage was indeed rust, and that it would not be covered under warranty. Panasonic stated that this unit is not designed to store water for extended periods of time. I explained that the reason I purchased this unit was to store water in it for extended periods of time, so that I can have hot water at the ready. Apparently, I was not using this unit in accordance with the manual (I threw the manual away after the first month, so I can't confirm that the manual actually says not to store water in it).
Panasonic asked me if I wanted the unit back, I said yes. They sent it back, and also reimbursed me for the professional packing done by the UPS store. Their customer service was friendly and attentive, but the fact that their warranty wouldn't cover the damage left much to be desired. My inlaws have a Zojirushi thermal pot that is always on, except when they go on vacations, and it has lasted them well over 10 years!
The second unit we received has been used constantly for over 2 years and has been working just fine, with no signs of rust.
A number of reviewers complaining about rust stated that it developed on the inside of the lid, leading me to suspect that there's a quality control issue with this part. One reviewer said that they were successful in getting Panasonic to reimburse them for the unit, so if you end up with a rusty unit during the warranty period, persistence may pay off. Otherwise, I believe you can find this piece as a replacement part on Panasonic's website for a reasonable fee. I am contemplating doing this myself with our damaged unit, but am somewhat reluctant to even bother.
I have been a huge supporter of Panasonic over the years. Microwave, TV, electric razors, several cameras and camera bodies, even more camera lenses, rice cooker, etc. I have always been extremely satisfied with their products, so am quite surprised by the development of rust in our first thermal pot. Panasonic's refusal to repair or replace it under warranty was very disappointing as well.
Five stars for our second unit, but have to reduce it down to two for the failure of our first unit and the lack of warranty service.