FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE  
October 18, 1978  
Release # 78-085
 

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Oct. 18) -- Rhinehart Manufacturing Co., Spencerville, Ind., in cooperation with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), today warned consumers about a possible serious shock hazard stemming from its "Miti-Mite" portable, immersible electric water heater.

About 15,000 to 25,000 heaters have been sold since production began 15 years ago. The heaters are primarily used to heat small quantities of water in rural areas without hot water facilities.

The heater is to be plugged into a standard electrical outlet. It consists of an exposed, resistive heating element contained inside a disc-shaped, perforated, aluminum case. This perforated case allows water to flow inside and directly into contact with the heating element, presenting a dangerous shock hazard if the appliance is "on" and immersed in water. To date, CPSC knows of no injuries involving the Rhinehart heaters.

The heater does not bear a model number, but can be identified by the label "Miti-Mite" embossed on top.

The heaters are sold in outlets such as hardware stores. They presently sell for about $4-$5 and distribution may be nationwide. An unknown number are currently in consumers' hands.

Consumers are warned they may be electrocuted if they touch the water container or the water itself while the heater is "on" and immersed in water. Consumers should immediately stop using these heaters and return them for a refund to: Rhinehart Manufacturing Co., Spencerville, Ind. 47688 (telephone: 219/238-4442). Rhinehart no longer manufactures or repairs the "Miti-Mite" heaters.