- Price Price Price
Compare the price you have for one brand with another quality brand. Don’t be shy to ask for an alternate brand quote. Look at the differences and select the product that will most likely meet all your expectations now and in the future. This will also filter out those who are ‘partial to one brand’. They will always give you reasons as to why ‘their’ brand is better than the others.
- Don’t Settle for Less.
If you have to replace your existing hot water cylinder, make sure you get the most recent technology and quality. Many installers will try to flog off outdated stock and make it look like the deal of a lifetime. You will be surprised what modern specifications you are able to get for the same price without having to compromise on quality or warranty.
- Low VS Mains Pressure
Let’s face it, with today’s technology, the world is going mains pressure. If you are replacing your low pressure cylinder, don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t replace it with a mains, because you have low pressure tapware. You can in fact upgrade to mains pressure and set your mains pressure system to accommodate your low pressure tapware. That way you have already future proofed for your upcoming new and amazing mains pressure tapware.
- Future Proofing
This ties in nicely with point #1. Believe it or not a cylinder that is future proofed for solar, heat pumps and alternative energy will cost you the same as a cylinder that is not. With climate change and the costs of energy on the rise, you want to be ready for the next energy revolution which will involve having a cylinder that is also ready.
Read the fine print! They say you get a 20 year warranty when in fact it’s conditional to a yearly service and expense, this should not be required at all, especially in the first 5 years. Seven to 10 years is a good indication of where a warranty needs to be here in New Zealand. Please note that parts subject to wear and tear are in most cases only covered by a one year warranty.
- Power Supply
The trouble with cheap quotes is that they tend to leave out what They believe ‘you don’t need’ but will in-fact only benefit you in the long run. For example, this is the case with the power supply to your new hot water cylinder. If you are replacing an older hot water cylinder, your power switch will be of the same age and wont comply. If it’s round and in most cases black (Baker Light Power Switch), it must be replaced. These switches are deemed as unsafe (electrical hazard) by the electrical board of New Zealand because they can only support 10 AMPS (just below 2KW) and most cylinders now require 16 AMPS the same goes for the wiring from and to your hot water cylinder and electrical board. The last thing you want is for an older component to cause damage to your new shiny hot water cylinder or home and voiding the warranty in the process.
- Compliant Installation And Certification
No one expects you to be a plumber but it is always good to know a bit more about your installation. Do the research and find out what the minimum requirements are. The best place to start is by looking at the New Zealand Building Code G12 which can be downloaded for free >> G12 HERE. It will only take 15 minutes to get your head around the basics. You will then be able to ask the right questions and the installer will be very careful not to cut any corners. Make sure your installation complies and that you have received a producer statement on completion. This will be very important when you come to sell the property as it becomes part of your LIM report.
- Maximise The Size Of Your Storage
if you have the space, USE IT. The more water you can store the more efficient you become. They all come with 2KW or 3KW elements so you are not ‘using more energy’ you are only heating more water that is stored and ready to be used. The insulation values are the same so minimal heat loss. Considering point #4, another advantage is, should you decide to add an alternative cheaper form of energy later, you will be able to store more water that has been heated efficiently. Because most forms of alternative efficient energy are dependent on having sunlight or the right temperatures, you want to heat as much water as possible during that time and use your storage outside that time. Hence it’s best to store as much hot water as possible. As a small example, the price difference from going from a 180 Litre to a 300 Litre hot water cylinder is about $300.
- Licensed Installers
We cannot voice the importance of this enough. Make sure the installer is registered! Regardless of whether the installation complies or not, the technician must be licensed and registered by the plumbing board of New Zealand. If not and something happens, your insurance will bail. ASK TO SEE THE LICENSE and on completion ask for a producer statement. Selecting an installer that is a Master Plumber will ensure you have someone that is experienced and insured to do the job.
- Drain Discharge Size And Location
Some guys just looooove cutting corners and the discharge pipe is the most likely place. It takes more materials and more time to run the drain to an approved and less annoying position. On most installations, the drain must be 20mm to comply (refer to G12 above). All pressure relief valves from your hot water cylinder discharge water every now and then. This happens as water is heated and expansion takes place. The last thing you want is for a pipe to be sticking out your front door or constantly discharging water onto your footpath. All drains must discharge into an approved point of discharge. What is considered an approved point of discharge? Give us a ring to find out or stay tuned for my next blog.