How to choose the best hot water system

There are a lot of things to consider before purchasing or upgrading a hot water system. If you would like further assistance, please give us a call today or book online, were here to help answer all of your hot water questions.

Unfortunately, no hot water system lasts forever. The usual lifespan of a hot water service is between 8-12 years depending on the water quality in your area, and if it was looked after through regular maintenance by a professional plumber. Eventually, your hot water system will go with a bang or even a flood, then suddenly you will be left with no hot water and in a position where you need to make a quick decision about what type of hot water system to get installed.

Before this happens, it’s good to be prepared and get an understanding about hot water systems, how they work, and their pricing. This way you won’t find yourself without hot water and having to take cold showers! In this guide, we explain the different types of hot water systems available and their pros and cons. This will help you choose the right size and type of hot water system for your home when your old one needs to be replaced or its time for an upgrade

What types of hot water systems are available?

Gas Hot Water Systems

These types of hot water systems come as either a storage tank or a box system that uses continuous flow heating.

Storage Tank

One advantage of having a storage tank is that the hot water gets delivered fast because it’s stored in the tank and ready for use.  Another benefit is the installation cost which can be lower if you replace your old storage tank to a new one because there is no gas upgrade required.

Whilst the storage tank is a great option to deliver hot water, there are a few things to keep in mind. Firstly, it’s limited to the size of the tank, this means if you use more water than the storage allows and you run out of hot water, you will have to wait until it heats up again. Storage hot water tanks are also bulky, so they can take up a lot of space and some of them will make noise when the water is heating up.

Continuous Flow

Continuous flow hot water systems are the energy efficient option compared with gas storage tanks. They work by heating the water up as you use it, this means you never run out of hot water unlike storage tanks. Whilst they require power to operate, energy consumption is low, and they use much less gas than storage tanks.

Another advantage is they look modern and take up very little space because the compact hot water box is mounted on the wall. The purchase cost is usually lower than a storage tank, however, if you change from a tank to a continuous flow system you will most likely need some pipe remodelling and a gas upgrade which will increase the installation cost.  Overall, we always recommend a continuous flow gas hot water over a storage tank because it is more efficient and saves money in the long run.

Read more about gas hot water systems…

Electric Hot Water Systems

One of the benefits of an electric hot water system is that you can program them to only heat water during off-peak and low tariff times, this keeps your electricity costs to a minimum. You can also set a maximum heating temperature so there is no risk that the water in your bathroom or kitchen will be too hot to be used safely. The replacement costs when compared to the other hot water systems are the lowest, but there are downsides because the emissions and the operating costs are the highest.

Read more about electric hot water systems…

Heat Pump Hot Water Systems

Installing a heat pump hot water unit in your home enables you to harness a renewable energy source and although they are powered by mains electricity, they are far more efficient and consume significantly less power than normal electric hot water systems, in fact up to 70% less.

Ultimately, this means you use less electricity or gas to heat the water in your kitchen, bathroom, or laundry and this reduces your ongoing operating costs. Because of the high efficiency and low emission output of a heat pump hot water system, homeowners in Adelaide are eligible for a government rebate to reduce the higher purchase and installation cost.

Heat pumps are a great technology if you would like to be environmentally friendly and save energy. A disadvantage is that heat pump systems have a lover warranty time compared to other hot water systems.

Read more about heat pump hot water systems…

Solar Hot Water Systems

Solar hot water systems are a highly effective way of getting cost-efficient and environmentally friendly hot water into your bathroom, kitchen, or laundry. Although the initial outlay for a solar hot water system can be significant, they are still popular in Adelaide. This is due to our high proportion of sunny days (even in the winter and autumn) so your installation costs can be recouped because of much lower ongoing operational costs.  

With a solar hot water system, solar panels are mounted on the roof of your home that converts the sun’s rays into energy, which is then used to heat cold water that is stored in a tank. Your solar storage tank can either be located on the roof itself, along with your solar panels (a close-coupled unit) or situated on the ground (a split-level unit).

In addition, solar hot water systems can be fitted with either an electric or gas booster system which kicks in to heat your water when the solar unit is not providing sufficient energy. With a booster system in place, no matter the weather, you will never be left without hot water. 

Read more about solar hot water systems…

What is the best hot water solution for your home?

The first thing to consider when choosing a new hot water service is what system can be installed at your home? There are South Australian laws which state – if you have natural gas on your property you are required to use a “high efficient” hot water service.

Hot water systems which classify as high efficient are 5-star gas hot services, solar hot water services or heat pump hot water services. If you do not have natural gas on your property, you can have a normal electric hot water service up to 250L in capacity, LPG gas hot water service, solar hot water service or a heat pump hot water service.

The next thing to consider is the outlay on a new hot water service. For example, if you do not have natural gas on your property, you could have a Rheem 250L electric hot water service which is an affordable option if it’s a straight change over, but your electricity bill will be higher as they use a 3.6 kw element. A high efficient option in this situation would be a heat pump which uses 60 to 70% less energy than a standard electric hot water service but the initial outlay on a heat pump is considerably more for a decent system.

If you have natural gas on your property a continuous flow hot water service is a great option as they do not take a lot of space up and you will never run out of hot water. Continuous flow gas hot water units are also reasonably priced compared to other energy efficient options, but you also need to have the right size gas pipes to install these systems otherwise a gas upgrade may be required to have the right flow and pressure.

Warranties & Maintenance

Other things to consider are warranties with new hot water systems. A normal electric hot water service can have a 10-year warranty on the tank, whereas a heat pump may only have a 5-year warranty. Whatever service you choose, make sure you have a good warranty because hot water systems are costly, and things can go wrong during their lifetime.

You should also consider how many people live in your house, how many showers a day they are having, and roughly the amount of hot water being consumed daily. Different brands and models come with different warranties. We recommend checking the warranty directly on the manufacturers website if you have made up your mind and you’re ready to purchase a hot water brand and model. 

One of the benefits of an electric hot water system is that you can program them to only heat water during off-peak and low tariff times, this keeps your electricity costs to a minimum. You can also set a maximum heating temperature so there is no risk that the water in your bathroom or kitchen will be too hot to be used safely. The replacement costs when compared to the other hot water systems are the lowest, but there are downsides because the emissions and the operating costs are the highest.

government rebates on high efficient hot water systems

If you choose to get a high efficient hot water service, you will also receive a government STC rebate which can be up to $1000 for heat pumps and solar systems. If you do not have gas on your property but have gas in the street, there are also gas rebates available from Australian gas networks.

Do you need help?

We know this is a lot of information to consider and it can be particularly confusing if this is the first time choosing a hot water system replacement or upgrade. If you need help or would just like some advice about making the best choice, please contact us on 8123 3535. We are experts in hot water systems and are always here to help and give give you the advice you need, we can answer all your questions and come out to your property and give you a free quote with different options.

Aquatek Plumbing & Gas

No matter what type of gas or plumbing emergency you may be experiencing, and regardless of the time of the day or night, we are here to help and provide a quick and efficient solution.

At Aquatek Plumbing & Gas, we provide an Adelaide emergency plumbing service and are on call to serve you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.