What is the Cheapest Way to Heat Hot Water?

Are you looking for the most efficient way to heat water? Are you struggling to choose between a gas or electric water heater? You’re not alone! Thousands of Kiwis share the same sentiment. Recognizing this problem, we thought of preparing a quick guide to discuss your options and the pros and cons of each type of water heating setup. Hopefully, by going through our discussion below, you can identify the best option for your property.

Gas vs. Electric Water Heaters

The debate between using a gas or electric water heater has been around for years. That’s because both options present varying benefits to potential users. If you’re not sure which of the two you should pick, here are the key factors you should consider when you go shopping:

  • Accessibility – This refers to the ease of using the water heater.
  • Size – When shopping for a water heating system, make sure you take into consideration the size of the tank. This way, you can increase you heating system’s efficiency and avoid producing too much or too little hot water for your home.
  • Efficiency – This aspect specifically looks into how well a water heating system operates and how much energy it uses to do the job.
  • Maintenance requirements – Needless to say, choosing a water heating system that requires little to no maintenance is the best choice.
  • Installation – The installation of both types of water heating options are straightforward. However, you may need to consider a few complications when switching from one system to another. Be sure to consider this aspect when choosing a new type of water heater.

Operational Cost: What’s The Cheapest Option to Heat Water?

Now that you know the basic factors to consider when choosing between an electric and gas heater, let’s deep dive into the operational costs involved. As you might already know, most homeowners base their decisions on the cost of running a water heater, simply because the expenses tend to add up to the monthly budget of families. In fact, water heating costs accounts for up to 30 percent of a household’s monthly electricity bill.

To help you choose between the two, here’s a breakdown of their average operational costs:

  • Gas Heater – Gas-powered water heaters come in two options. Between the two, most people opt for the gas continuous flow because of its high efficiency. On average, it costs between NZD 750 to 950 per year to run this type of heater for an small household if you have a natural gas connection. You may also use an LPG tank and pay around $850 a year. You can even reduced the costs if you have gas supply for other heating purposes.
  • Electric Heater Electric water heater installation costs are almost equal to gas water heaters. However, the running costs have a bit of difference. Notably, an average Kiwi household with three people spends about NZD 1000 a year to run an electric water heater. The cost may also fluctuate depending on the electricity rates and night tariff.

Gas Water Heating Remains the Cheapest Choice

Want to learn more about how gas-powered water heaters work? Would you like to install a gas water heating system in your home? Contact Water Heater Brokers at 0800 692 672 so we can help you figure out which type of gas water heater you should use and schedule your water heating system installation.

Common Cold Water Expansion Problems. Leaky Hot Water Cylinder Valve.

Do you have a mains pressure hot water cylinder? Is the overflow constantly draining? Or the relief valve leaking water? In other words, do you have a pipe sticking outside the house maybe going into a gully/ drain that is always dripping water? If so, it will be an issue with one or both of your relief valves.

 

What is a relief valve?

A relief valve is the most important part of the mains pressure hot water system, it protects the tank from over pressurizing. When hot water is used and the element or gas fire starts up to begin the reheating process, the heat increases, and so does the pressure. In order to prevent the tank from bursting, the excess pressure caused by heat needs to be removed from the tank. This is where relief valves come into play. The relief valve will open when specific conditions are met, which is usually when the pressure increases to a point which the valve is designed to open or if the temperature increases too much

Cold Water Expansion Valve (CWE) does all the day to day reliving of pressure, the valve is fitted to the cold water inlet of the cylinder. The CWE is the first valve to relief pressure on a mains pressure system, it will be set to relieve at a lower pressure setting when compared to the TPR valve, they are designed to be the first to relieve because they are fitted to the cold water inlet, this means all the day to day relieving of pressure is through cold water, and not hot water, this in turn will save you money on power as it will not be wasting hot water.

Temperature Pressure Relief (TPR) is designed to be a secondary back up if the cold-water expansion valve fails but also relives water in the event of overheating. If your system is fitted with a cold water expansion valve, and the TPR is dripping water, that will mean there is an issue with the TPR valve and should be replaced.

Check out one of our older blogs to find out more about cold water expansion valves here and the benefits of having one if you do not have one already.

 

Importance of maintaining relief valves

There are several things that can cause issues with relief valves, and if regular maintenance is not performed, you could be left with higher water bills, higher power bills and even a flooded house in extreme cases. For this demonstration we have cut an RMC Cold Water Expansion valve in half to help show the way the valve works.

Continuous water dripping through overflow or relief drain

Debris or sediment, If you live in an area with lots of building and road works going on, or even if you have an old style water main that may be falling apart internally, this can cause large amounts of debris to make its way into your homes water supply, this debris gets stuck in seal of the relief valve will cause the valve to never be able to shut properly, this will cause a continuous flow of water, this is an issue that should be addressed immediately as the continuous flow of water through the valve will cause holes in the brass and can even cause the water to spray from the brass of the valve itself causing a flood inside the house, in some cases you may be able to avoid the need to call a plumber by simply flushing the valve on a regular basis (recommended every 6 months) otherwise the valve may just need a good clean to repair the issue.

Old, expired cartridge, with age the rubber will become brittle and will start to deteriorate, in some cases you are able to simply replace the cartridge, like with the RMC Cold Water Expansion valve, which is easily, and inexpensively replaceable, other causes could be that the return spring has lost its “springiness”, so it is not able to fight the pressure to close again properly

Hard water conditions, sometimes the water supply you get is not ideal, it may contain things that could corrode these valves or even appliances using the water in a short amount of time. If you believe this may be your issue, we recommend getting your water quality tested to ensure.

Preventative measures

How long does a hot water cylinder last NZ?

Hot cylinders have been here for a long time. They’re one of the most common forms of hot water heating system in New Zealand that’s proven to be reliable and cost-effective. Hot water cylinders tend to last for 8 to 15 years, depending on the type and quality of the unit.

However, hot water cylinders still need adequate and regular maintenance despite the expected long life. No matter what kind of water heater you have, if you don’t take care and check its condition regularly, it can spell early doom for your equipment. 

The unfortunate reality is some hot water cylinders last shorter than they should. After five years, some families might have to get rid of their water heaters. On the other hand, others might be lucky enough to keep their units running for 15 years.

Making the time to monitor the status of your cylinder makes the difference between having to buy a new heater right after your warranty runs out and being able to keep it for a few more years.

So, how can you keep your hot water cylinder running for a longer time? Here are some things you can do:

  1. Check the Anode Rod. Anode rod corrosion causes hot water cylinder failure. To prevent this, check its condition regularly, Replacing if necessary.
  2. Remove Limescale. Limescale can cause your water heater to lose efficiency. Flushing your heater with pure white vinegar will remove limescale buildup.
  3. Flush out Sediments. Hot water cylinders need annual flushing to clean out the tank’s bottom sediment.

Of course, if you’re unfamiliar with working with hot water cylinders, you don’t need to force yourself. We always recommend contacting a reputable hot water cylinder specialist like Hot Water Cylinders NZ for any service or repair difficulties. 

Reach us today at 0800 4 CYLINDERS or 0800 429 546.

Plumbing in West Auckland

Plumbing in West Auckland is always a wonderful experience. This client wanted their hot water cylinder upgraded to mains pressure and connected to their underfloor heating which is a relatively straightforward and stress free job. What made things easy was the location of the client’s existing cylinder.

Because the hot water cylinder was located outside it meant we were able to remove the broken cylinder and install the new one without much hassle. This is what makes plumbing in West Auckland so enjoyable. Most of the homes have their hot water cylinder situated outside, making the whole process quick and easy. It means we are able to access all the plumbing easily and have a little more space to move around.

There are also benefits for the client too. Having your hot water cylinder outdoors provides a couple of benefits. Firstly, it frees up space inside giving you another closet for storage or room to expand your kitchen during a renovation. Secondly, if your hot water cylinder was to leak, then your home would be protected as the water would simply spill outside rather than into your carpet.

If you are in West Auckland and need some plumbing done, then call the team at Hot Water Cylinders NZ. Contact us online or call 0800 832 638.

Leaking Vulcan Freeloader replacement in Milford

Our client had a leaking Vulcan Freeloader, which was new in the 90s. The issue was there was no hot water from the Vulcan Freeloader, and upon investigation, we found that the tank was leaking internally. This is not uncommon for old Vulcan Freeloaders. When the leak starts, it can often drip onto the pilot light putting out the flame and leaving the tank with no hot water. In the case of this job and for most of the callouts we get for Vulcan Freeloaders, the issue was not reparable and required a replacement tank.

Luckily for our client, the timing lined up perfectly with the release of our new deal for a replacement. Our new “all including” sale features everything involved and no need for third-party contractors! You are left with a system that can produce enough hot water for the largest of familys, while still maintaining the efficiency of a smaller tank or an on-demand system. Not only that, The Rheem Stellar is one of the most efficient domestic gas storage water heaters available in New Zealand. Available in Natural Gas only, this water heater has high flow rate capabilities making it ideal for homes with more than one bathroom and with moderate to high water use.

No electrical connections are necessary so the Stellar will continue to work even if the power goes out. Stylish design and construction carries a 10 year warranty. Don’t wait till it’s too late. If you have an old Vulcan Freeloader, chances are it coming up on the end of its life. Why wait when you can install the new Rheem Stellar today and start getting the savings back immediately!

Check out some of our other deals here, or give us a call for a quote 24/7 support

Are you looking to move away from gas? Give us a call to discuss heat pump hot water cylinders, better savings, better for the environment!

Northcote Hot Water Upgrade

In the beautiful Northcote enjoying the sunshine while installing a gas continuous hot water unit.  This Northcote client called us requesting urgent help after discovering they had no hot water. We replaced their old hot water cylinder with a new continuous flow unit. This energy efficient water heater produces an endless stream of hot water, unlike regular electric hot water cylinders.

The install was quick and easy, and in the end left the client satisfied. We always love jobs bringing hot water to the Northcote. If you need a new Hot water unit, call us at 0800 429 546 or contact us on our website.

How Do Instant Water Heaters Work?

It’s quite interesting how many options NZ homeowners have when it comes tot heating water. There are different types you can choose from. One of which, namely, the tankless or instant water heater is among the most popular types because they tend to be more energy-efficient than the heated water storage option. Are you considering switching to this option? If yes, knowing how the system works can help you understand why you should choose it as your new source of heated water. Check out our discussion below and learn more about how a tankless or instant water heating system work.

 

What is a Tankless Water Heating System?

Instant water heaters are not a novel option in many countries, especially in Japan and Europe. It has gained quite a lot of traction in recent years because it’s relatively more sustainable to operate than the heated water tank option. As the name suggests, this system doesn’t need to draw water inside a water tank. Instead, it instantaneously heats water as it passes through the heating chamber inside the appliance.

On average, your instant water heater can generate up to 5 gallons of heated water per minute, which is more than enough for bathing, washing dishes, and doing the laundry for a small household. 

 

How a Tankless Water Heater Works

Essentially, an instant water heating system comprises of a few parts, including the heat exchanger, safety elements, water valves, temperature sensors, combustion elements, combustion chamber, control panel, and vent. Some, especially those powered by natural gas, include additional features like a gas valve and a burner.

The heating process is quite straightforward. Once you turn the faucet, the water starts getting drawn into the pipes. Then, the system’s water flow sensor activates, triggering the heating element to switch on. This process allows the flowing water to reach your preferred temperature. Once the flow sensor stops sensing water flow, it shuts off, effectively disabling the heating element.

Most models also come with a thermistor. Essentially, this component ensures that the temperature of the water flowing out of the taps does not exceed normal or safe levels. This prevents accidents and other untoward incidents while you use heated water.   

 

Top Reasons Why You Should Consider Instant Water Heaters

With the many options available, you might still have a few reservations about installing a water heater. To help you understand why it’s a worthy option, here are the key benefits of using a tankless water heating system:

  • No need to wait long before hot water is ready for use – Within a few seconds after switching on the tap or showerhead, the heated water will start flowing.
  • Save energy used to heat the water inside the storage tank – Imagine how much this would help you reduce your household’s carbon footprint.
  • More savings on your power bills – Consequently, you no longer have to spend as much money on your monthly electric bill because you don’t have to use up more energy to heat water.
  • More durable make and design –  Compared to other water heating options, tankless systems tend to last longer. If well maintained, your chosen instant heater can last for up to 10 years – a worth-it investment, especially for a small household.
  •  A smaller space requirement – This is quite a considerable advantage, especially if you don’t have enough space to spare for your water heating equipment.

There are, of course, some slight disadvantages that you need to know about before shopping for a tankless heater. For starters, the upfront costs may be expensive. Your average spending on the system would all depend on the model you choose and the average water consumption of your household.

Also, you will need to have a professional installer on board, especially if you’re using a high-powered heater or a model that utilizes natural gas. Such models usually need specialized vents and other additional requirements. If you don’t mind dealing with these disadvantages, then you might indeed find the instantaneous water heater a good fit for your home. 

 

I’m Ready to Make the Switch, Now What?

There are definitely a lot of reasons why it makes more sense for some households to use a tankless system. If you’re among these folks, check out the list of things you’ll need to consider when choosing what type of tankless water system you should use:

  • The water flow rate or the average amount of water you will need to heat for each use. Especially Auckland Hot Water Cylinders
  • The temperature difference between the groundwater and your preferred setting
  • The type of faucets you have in your kitchen and bath
  • The showerhead flow rate which you can calculate on your own or check with the manufacturer

Feel free to consult with our team if you have a hard time figuring out what you need for your home. Also, you can contact us any time you need help in installing a water heater. Contact us today at HWC NZ for your water heating needs in New Zealand.

How Does a Pressure Reducing Valve Work?

It’s quite rare for people to worry about high water pressure. However, when it does happen, it could cause a lot of problems. If you fail to address the issue or protect your system using the right piece of equipment, you could end up spending thousands of dollars on repairs or replacement. It could also result in damaged appliances such as laundry machine and dishwashers. 

Several things can cause high water pressure. For example, supplying companies have to ensure that all of their customers get enough water supply. Hence, they sometimes have to use high pressure to pump the water, especially in areas dotted with high-rise buildings. Another factor that could cause your problem is thermal expansion, a common issue triggered by water heater use. 

It’s not possible for the supplying company to reduce the water pressure, so your only option is to have it adjusted using a pressure reducing valve. 

What is a pressure reducing valve?

Essentially, a plumber installs a water pressure reducing valve near your water meter to control the hydraulic pressure coming from the main line. It’s crucial to double check the type of pressure reducing valve you will install to ensure that they work well with your system.Here are the main three types you can find in the market: 

  • Direct-acting – It’s the simplest and most economical type which works well with both convoluted bellows and a flat diaphragm. This type of PRV works best for low to moderate water flow. 
  • Externally piloted – This type of PRV comes with double diaphragms, which allows for higher capacity and increased sensitivity to water flow and pressure changes. It also offers you the flexibility to make use of different pilot valve types such as soleniod, air-loaded, pressure, temperature or combinations. 
  • Internally piloted – It incorporates a main and pilot valve and uses inlet pressure to open the valves. Compared to the direct-acting type, it has a higher capacity and accuracy. It also senses pressure internally, so you don’t need to add an externally installed sensing line. 

To know which among the three would best fit your system, you should consult with a professional plumber. They can provide you with the necessary details to help you decide.

How does a PRV work?

Now that you’re acquainted with what a pressure reducing valve is plus its three main types, let’s take a closer look at how it works. 

A typical PRV is designed to work even in the harshest environment. Regardless of pressure or upstream flow fluctuations, a PRV ensures a steady downstream pressure. It does this with the help of its major components such as the valve body, pilot regulator, and control filter. Here’s how each part works: 

  • Valve body – It stabilises the returning water flow while regulating the pressure.
  • Pilot regulator – Think of it as the “brain” of the valve body. Basically, it determines the water flow coming in and out of the chamber.
  • Control filter – Located inside the valve system, this filter helps you minimise damage because of accumulated debris coming in from the main line.

The system works by opening or closing the valves depending on the available upstream flow. So, for example, if the pressure in the upstream line is high, the pilot regulator drops the plunger, triggering the valve to gradually open. Consequently, if the upstream flow is low, the pilot slightly lifts the plunger, causing the valve to slightly close.

This all happens continuously, even if you don’t use water. It’s a straightforward process that happens quite fast. With the right pressure reducing valve in place, you can ensure that your household or commercial space gets enough water and protect your system from all kinds of pressure-induced mishaps. 

Shop for a Pressure Reducing Valve Today!

You’d be surprised by the usefulness of a tiny piece of item like a pressure reducing valve. With it in place, you can avoid nightmarish situations such as burst pipes, damaged water consumer lines and defective appliances. The best part is that they don’t cost a lot of money.     

If you live in an area here in New Zealand where the water pressure is too high such as Christchurch, you will definitely need a PRV installed. If you’re not certain about the water pressure of the supply line, you may find it useful to check it yourself using a water pressure gauge. You can also stay on the look out for common signs of high water pressure such as:

  • Banging noise in the pipes
  • Low water supply in your hot water cylinder
  • Unreasonably high water bill
  • Unexplained noise coming from your dishwashers or washing machine

Looking for a water pressure reducing valve for your plumbing system? Find the perfect one here at Hotwater Cylinders. You can choose from more than hundreds of items in our product catalogue. If you need more information about a product, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us.

Checking Water Quality – Its Role in Hot Water Cylinder Maintenance

Hot water cylinders are widely used in the country, especially in residential areas. The system is usually comprised of water pipes connected to a broiler. Heated water travels out from the tank to the kitchen tap, bathroom shower, or any other parts of the house that require water use. Then, as the hot water exits, the tank draws in cold water and heats it again. The cycle repeats every time you use up water. According to Smarter Homes, with proper cylinder maintenance, you will never run out of hot water in your household for about 20 to 40 years. 

Unfortunately, hot water cylinder maintenance is most likely the last thing you think of when you list your usual home maintenance tasks. If you want to ensure your cylinder’s optimum condition, be sure to schedule regular check-ups and maintenance. You can start your routine by testing the water quality. 

You can use chlorine and hard water testing kits to check your home’s water quality. Alternatively, you can call in a plumbing company to have the water checked, and the cylinder inspected for possible damage.

Why Checking the Water Quality Matters

Not too long ago, Stuff published a report on Michael Neilson, a homeowner in Christchurch, who complained about his hot water cylinder failing after adding chlorine to the water. Neilson holds the Christchurch council accountable and demanded them to shoulder the $2167 bill. He is the second person to challenge the board in the last few years after the chlorination of the city’s water supply. Both the plumber and insurer confirmed his claim explaining that the damage indeed resulted from too much chlorine. 

The council has confirmed in earlier reports that the chlorine content of Christchurch’s water is indeed high. And yet, they still haven’t paid for the bill of Mr. Neilson. 

It is an upsetting situation, but it’s also the perfect example to emphasize the importance of checking water quality. If chlorine or other chemicals in the water exceed normal levels, it could result in a disaster similar to Neilson’s water heater problem.

How to Test Water Quality and What to Do When the Quality is Poor

If your water contains excessive amounts of chlorine, it could corrode the cylinder. In a typical setting, stainless steel doesn’t rust. But, if it’s exposed to chemicals such as chlorine, the passive layer of the metal slowly breaks down. The best way to get around the issue is to use chlorine treatment and filters. Also, if you move to an area with high water’s chlorine level, it may be worth it to invest in a copper cylinder.

On one hand, if the problem is caused by high levels of minerals like magnesium and calcium, your cylinder may suffer from pitting corrosion. The excess calcium or magnesium binds to free-floating chlorine. The process produces calcium chloride or magnesium chloride, which can attack both stainless steel and copper cylinders’ molecules. If you detect high levels of such minerals, you can use a water softener or schedule regular cylinder flushing.   

With regular maintenance checks, it would be easier for you to spot potential problems. This way, you get to use basic solutions and prevent damages to your hot water cylinder. If you suspect damage on your cylinder due to high chlorine, calcium, or magnesium, it’s highly recommended to have it checked right away. 

Call for Help When Needed

Oftentimes, it’s intimidating to do maintenance checks for usual home equipment like hot water cylinders. It can be challenging for some to spot the first signs of problems. Fortunately, there are a lot of professionals who can help you with plumbing works and water heater-related concerns. All you need is to call their attention and book an appointment. If you have problems with your heater, don’t hesitate to call for help.

Rinnai Infinity A Series PCB Board Installation

The video will show the step by step procedure of installing the Rinnai Infinity A Series PCB Board. Please be guided accordingly

  • Keeping the packaging up to the side make sure you keep the manual so you can give it to the client later on and place the unit on flat surface where you can work comfortably.
  • Use a Philips screw driver and remove 4 screws holding the front panel on. There is one on each corner.
  • Unpack the PCB board, be careful with it because it’s electronic, you’ll see that there are 5 ports that we will be connecting. They are all in a different shape.
  • Find 5 different wires on the unit that you will be connecting and notice that there is a pin at the bottom of the board that locks the PCB into the unit itself.
  • Find the correct set of wire and plug them into the corresponding ports on the control board. You can’t really get this wrong because they will only fit one way as they are all different shapes. If they don’t fit, DON’T force them and try another.
  • Now carefully drop the PCB into place and push the pin into the unit itself. You’ll see that it will lock it by going through the galvanized steel at the bottom of the device.
  • There is one more screw that you need to put on to keep the board secure inside the unit. You can ee that here. Use an appropriate tool so as to avoid hitting any cables or scratch the PCB.
  • Put the front board back on and put all 4 screws back in place with your driver. Be careful don’t over tighten Once you completed these, you’re pretty much good install the unit. Job complete.

Please make sure that once you have installed the unit you strictly follow the manufacturer’s commissioning instructions. Only attempt this PCB installation if you are qualified and competent to do so. Hot Water Cylinders NZ do not take any responsibility for following instructions within this video.