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A guide on which hot water system to buy for your home

Jewelbic Plumbing & Gas - Which hot water system to buy

With so many options available, we thought we’d break them all down so that you can make an informed decision. If you’re building a new house, or suddenly your showers have gone cold, it pays to know what’s available. Allow our plumbing and gas team to guide you on which hot water system to buy for your home.

If you’re not in rush, here is some advice to guide you on your purchase. Keep in mind that heating water uses a lot of energy and being informed might help you choose a hot water system better suited to your needs.

Our expert team assist with hot water repairs Perth families can rely on.

A guide on which hot water system to buy for your home:

An electric hot water system can be cheaper to purchase and easier to install but more expensive to run. If you’re in an older building with no gas connection, it might be wise to boost your electric hot water system with solar power.

Read below on which hot water system to buy for your house.

Electric boosted solar hot water system

Estimations show that solar might save you 75% on your water heating expenses. There are many electric boosted solar hot water systems on the market. Trusted flat plate brands such as Bosch and Hills to name just a couple. You’ll find mostly Hills products when it comes to evacuated tube systems.

How does an electric boosted solar hot water system work?

Flat plate: Solar panels transfer heat from the collector to the storage tank. This is done when the panels heat up water. The water then flows through a special coil of pipes inside the storage tank.

Evacuated tube: Don’t need direct sunlight and can easily extract heat on an overcast day or when the sun rays are coming in on an angle (early morning, late afternoon). Evacuated tube systems operate using a vacuum created between two glass tubes located in the top and bottom of each panel. A circulation pump is connected to a heat pipe that sits in between the two glass tubes and the pump transfers the hot water into an insulated storage tank.

When the temperature of the water drops below 60 degrees Celsius, an electric boosted system will heat the water in the storage tank, in the same fashion as a standard hot water system.

Jewelbic Plumbing & Gas - How does an electric boosted solar hot water system work?

Electric hot water heat pumps

A heat pump can save you money and is also good for the environment. Usually when we think of renewable energy, we think of solar, but heat pumps use another form of renewable energy to keep your bills down. A heat pump will use one third of the energy of a standard electric storage system. This might be a strong persuasion on which hot water system to buy.

How does a heat pump water heater work?

Heat pumps use air and can be best described as a fridge acting in reverse. Air is drawn into the heat pump which makes the refrigerant inside boil. This converts the liquid refrigerant into gas form which is then pumped through a valve by a compressor. This generates heat which is transferred by an exchanger to the storage tank. The exchange of heat means that the refrigerant returns to its usual liquid state, allowing the heat pump cycle to repeat.

Jewelbic Plumbing & Gas: How does a heat pump water heater work?

Electric hot water storage system

Electric storage systems have the added advantage of being installed inside or outside your home. If outdoor space is limited, an electric system might be the way to go. Having said that, an electric storage system is the most expensive way to heat your water. Once again, this might be a strong persuading factor on which hot water system to buy for your home.

How does an electric hot water system work?

Electricity passes through an element which gets hot. Two elements sit in the storage tank, one at the top and one at the bottom. The heat generated by the elements heats the water accordingly, much like an electric kettle.

Jewelbic Plumbing & Gas: Hhow does an electric hot water system work

Gas boosted solar hot water system

With the government’s Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme (SRES), it makes sense to invest in a solar hot water system. The small-scale systems included in the scheme include solar photovoltaic panels, solar water heaters, air source heat pumps, hydro systems and wind turbines.

However, you’re going to have sunny days all year round. As a result, it’s good to have a gas booster unit in order to deal with days of low solar gain.

Furthermore, it’s common knowledge that natural gas is a far more cost effective method for heating water in comparison to electricity. You’ll find that gas boosted solar hot water systems are the most environmentally friendly option. This might help guide you on which hot water system to buy.

How does a gas boosted solar hot water system work?

Gas boosting only kicks in when hot water is used. If the temperature of the water being sourced from the storage container is less than 60 degrees Celsius, a solar transfer valve will feed the water into the gas booster system. The water is then heated to 60 degrees Celsius to kill bacteria then modified to a safe 45 degrees by a tempering valve.

Jewelbic Plumbing & Gas: How does a gas boosted solar hot water system work

Instantaneous gas hot water system (aka Continuous Flow)

Have peace of mind knowing that your hot water will never run out. While we here at Jewelbic Plumbing & Gas believe in conserving water as a precious resource, it is good to know that your hot water can be provided without the reliance on a storage tank.

You can opt for a system that delivers hot water without the need for a powerpoint or choose a computer controlled system that provides you with the assurance of enhanced electronic controlled safety, status monitoring and temperature control.

You should find that a most instantaneous gas hot water systems carry a 6 star energy rating. This might help educate your family’s key decision maker on which hot water system to buy.

How does an instant water heater work?

Once again, the beauty of a continuous flow system is that the gas will only kick in when hot water is being used. A sensor detects the flow of water then ignites the gas burner. The flowing water runs through the heat exchanger that is warmed by the gas burners. A thermostat regulates the heat by measuring the temperature of the water and adjusting the amount of gas running though the burner.

Jewelbic Plumbing & Gas: How does an instantaneous gas hot water system work?

Gas storage hot water system

Fairly common in new house builds performed in the nineties and naughties. These systems use natural gas or LPG so are a cost effective solution to your water heating needs.

Storage tanks range from 90 litres, all the way up to 260 litres. A couple might opt for a 90 litre tank, while a family of 6 might opt for 300 litres.

You can adjust the temperature of the water using an inbuilt thermostat.

How does a gas storage hot water system work?

You’ll notice a pilot flame that continuously burns. This pilot light ignites the main burner when the temperature of the water in the storage tank drops below 60 degrees Celsius. The burner is usually located at the bottom of the storage tank cylinder and aims to achieve a consistent temperature.

Jewelbic Plumbing & Gas: How does a gas storage hot water system work?

OK, so which hot water system to buy?

In a nutshell, electric systems are cheap to buy and install but expensive to run. Heat pumps are expensive to install but affordable to run in the longterm. Solar systems can be expensive to install but have the tendency to reduce your bills, while a gas boosted solar hot water system is best for the environment.

We hope we’ve been able to guide on which hot water system to buy for your home. For installation of brand new hot water systems, or hot water repairs Perth families can depend on, feel free to contact us.

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