Hot water. What would we do without it?!
There are few better feelings than a hot shower at the end of a long day (especially as a plumber after a day clearing blocked sewers!), we also rely on it to keep our homes and clothes hygienic and clean.
This is why it’s important to ensure the hot water system in your home is set up correctly, safely and ensures a never-ending & cost-effective supply of the good stuff! Here we break down the A-Z of hot water systems (HWS/hotties) in your home.
The 2 Most Popular Hot Water Systems
Instantaneous/Continuous Flow Systems are compact, energy efficient and can offer a never ending supply of hot water. They’re mounted to a wall inside or outside your home saving valuable Sydney space and only heat up water as required. Natural gas and LPG set ups are available with natural gas being available in most inner west locations.
Storage Tank Systems are identified by their sizeable cylindrical tank, and work by heating up the water stored within. They’re often simple to maintain and install, though can be the most costly to run and do run the risk of running out of hot water! These systems also require servicing every 5 years or so to keep in good working order.
Which Hottie Is Best For My Home?
If you’re looking to maximise the functional space in your home, and your home is connected to natural gas, we recommend an Instantaneous system. You’ll save space and potentially money when you install a quality system – some models use up to 15% less gas than others, just ask your plumber!
If space isn’t an issue or if your home doesn’t have a natural gas connection a storage tank could be a great option. Make sure you select the right size tank to ensure you’ve always got hot water when you need it! Small storage tanks can be a great option for under kitchen sinks in homes where the main HWS is far away and the water take a while to come through!
How Do I Choose The Right Size?
Common Hot Water Problems
This occurs when the inside of your storage tank begins to rust and can be a sign your hot water system is on the way out!
Another sign of an ageing system, leaking is often caused by the tank rusting through. All leaks should be taken seriously to prevent sudden bursting and water damage.
NO HOT WATER
A number of things could be the cause here. You could have run out of hot water and will need to wait for more to heat up; your heater may be set on off-peak energy to reduce your electricity bill; your heater may have perished and require replacement; your taps/shower heads need to be cleaned out as the build up is preventing sufficient water flow!. If in doubt, call a plumber.
WATER TOO HOT
Your tempering valve may need replacing/you may need one installed or your instantaneous system may need adjusting!
The Three V’s
When it comes to hot water in your home, safety is key! The Three V’s (Tempering Valve, Temperature/Pressure Relief Valve, Emergency Stop Valve) when installed and maintained correctly, help to keep you and your family safe.
Temperature/Pressure Relief Valves (TPR)
These are essential on all storage tank systems, they allow for built up temperature and pressure to be released safely from within the tank. These valves are most-often brass in colour, and its normal for them to leak a little as the valve opens and the pressure releases. It’s important to test these quarterly, simply pull the brass coloured lever up to allow the pressure (and water) to release (if these leak constantly, it’s best to call your plumber as it may be faulty and dangerous).
Tempering Valves/thermostatic Mixing Valves
These valves control the temperature of water entering your home. It’s a legal requirement that water entering Australian bathrooms is tempered to maximum temp of 50°C. These valves have a lifespan of 5 years and should be changed accordingly.
Emergency Shut Off Valve
It’s important to have a fully functioning emergency shut-off valve on your hot water system. This allows for water flow to be completely turned off to your hws in an emergency and to allow for servicing and maintenance.