Water heater kills man

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 27 December, 1998, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 27 December, 1998, 12:00am

A 55-YEAR-OLD man died yesterday after being electrocuted by an old-style water heater as he was about to take a shower in his Ma Tau Wai Estate home.

The naked man, surnamed Cheung, was found in the bathroom with his left hand gripping the shower hose when his 26-year-old daughter returned home at around 2pm.

He was believed to have died more than 10 hours beforehand.

An inspector from China Light & Power said Cheung would have been saved had the water heater been connected to the building's short-circuit protection system.

The dead man's daughter said the water heater had been short-circuiting.

Cheung lived with his daughter and grandson.

The Consumer Council warned in a report in October last year that many storage-type electric water heaters on the market were substandard.

The two most common models in Hong Kong are single-outlet 'shower' and unvented 'pressure' types.

The pressure types are particularly dangerous as they are enclosed with no outlets to release steam and water expansion.

There have been cases of explosions involving ill-designed water heaters.

The consumer watchdog has urged immediate checks on electrical water heaters.