Monthly Archives: May 2015

Is Your Quote Apples for Apples?

Us Kiwis just love to get free quotes for any size job, this includes hot water cylinders of course.apples_with_oranges

Whether we need a quick fix or a complete replacement, its a good idea to shop around and see what the market has to offer.

Once you have all of your quotes its very important to consider some of the following things.

 

WHO IS THE INSTALLER?

The plumbing industry has made some considerable progress over the last few years by introducing a licensing scheme and compliance based requirements to ensure standards are maintained and to reduce the amount of unqualified individuals operating within the industry.

First check to see if they are authorised to undertake the work by asking to see their card. All authorised tradespeople must carry their authorisation card issued by the Board. The card also details what a person’s supervision requirements are, if any (on the reverse).
You can also check to see if a trades person is authorised phoning the Board on 0800 743 262.

It’s simple, If they DONT carry a licence DONT employ them!

IS THE INSTALLER EMPLOYED OR SUBCONTRACTED?

Many Auckland based product supply companies use marketing tricks such as promoting a service which enables them to sell their product. Such companies will in most cases subcontract out their work which presents several issues and challenges that can effect you.

Some of these are:

  • Who is responsible when something goes wrong? Ultimately the person billing you has the final responsibility but a dispute between the supplier and contractor will only lead to your inconvenience.
  • Subcontractors are on a limited “budget” meaning targets need to be met or they don’t make any money. If anything goes wrong it will either cost you more or shortcuts will be taken.
  • Insurance and warranty are always a big factor in a licensed industry. When something goes wrong no one is ever to blame and no one ever wants responsibility. the more middlemen the more complicated it becomes with a claim.
  • Bias attitude towards their own product will always disadvantage you with a high risk of getting what they want to sell and not really what you need.

WHAT IS INCLUDED IN YOUR QUOTE? 

We all understand bottom line $$$ but is it really cheaper when we look closer??

The main problem every consumer has, is by not being a specialist they don’t know what is required, what they really need and how to finally compare apples with apples.

This might be the case with many other industries but thankfully with hot water cylinders its almost black and white and very easy to make a comparison. This is mainly because the supply and installation is broken down into two main sections:

  • LEGAL REQUIREMENTS. THE LAW STIPULATES WHAT THE MINIMUM STANDARDS ARE AND WHAT YOUR INSTALLER MUST INCLUDE AND INSTALL WITH NO EXCEPTIONS.
  • INSTALLATION QUALITY AND GOOD PRACTICE. THIS INCLUDES ASPECTS OF THE SYSTEM WHICH ARE NOT A LEGAL REQUIREMENT BUT ARE RECOMMENDED.

WHAT ARE THE LEGAL REQUIREMENTS? 

For a full overview of legal requirements for hot water cylinders,
please download the following document clause-g12.

REPLACING LIKE FOR LIKE LOW PRESSURE

Hot water cylinders systems installed 10+ years ago DO NOT comply with today’s legal requirements. When a plumber replaces your hot water cylinder, even if he is only replacing like for like HE SHOULD inspect and ensure the remaining parts of the system are up to standard.

  • If the existing system does not have a tempering valve and he is replacing the hot water cylinder he must include a tempering valve.
  • If the existing system does not have seismic restraint and he is replacing the hot water cylinder he must include seismic restraint.
  • If the existing hot water cylinder is not open vented, he must include a low pressure cold water expansion valve.
  • ELECTRICAL COMPONENT: If you have an existing round (typically black in colour) electrical switch from Bakelite, this must be replaced.

REPLACING LOW WITH MAINS PRESSURE

System that are being upgrading from low to mains pressure are more complex and have even more compliance requirements. Some things to look out for are:

  • Have all the correct valve been installed? these include a tempering valve, cold water expansion valve, correctly sized TPR and isolation valves.
  • Has the installer allowed for a 20mm drain minimum? In most cases your existing drain will only be 15mm. Some installers tend to reuse this drain and discharge two valves into it, which is absolutely not allowed (CWE and TPR valve).

Whether the installer is saving materials by not upgrading the drain, not installing a tempering valve as required by law, not upgrading your electrical switch or not ensuring your seismic restraint is installed correctly the motive is always the same..They want to reduce their spend to increase their income leaving you with a non compliant, potentially unsafe and inefficient hot water system.

Every hot water cylinder installation must legally include:

  • Tempering valve (low pressure systems have low pressure tempering valves which are more expensive)
  • Seismic restraint must applied on all hot water cylinder installations, including external models.
  • Energy saving valves such as a cold water expansion valve.
  • Correctly sized Temperature relief valves.
  • ELECTRICAL COMPONENT: If you have an existing round (typically black in colour) electrical switch from bakelite, this must be replaced.

WHAT IS A GOOD STANDARD INSTALLATION?

As specialists we look at future proofing your installation and ensure your system runs as efficient and safe as possible despite some aspects not being a legal requirement. Some examples include:

  • Installing a drain point at the lowest point possible will ensure the next person servicing or repairing your hot water cylinder will not charge you for an hour because he has to wait for it to drain.
  • Maintaining a compact installation within the hot water cupboard will ensure you have space for storage.
  • Ensuring all pipework is secured correctly will prevent leaks in future when a pipe is accidentally hit by storage items. This will also prevent rattling and noise when hot water taps are opened and closed.
  • Separation of materials is important to prevent rusting (electrolysis), in many cases a cylinder tray is recommended as a base.
  • Using the inlet diffuser correctly is important to prevent cold water patches during showers.

As you can see the list of things you need to be aware of is closely linked to price! We from Hot Water Cylinders NZ have the best price and service policy, always endeavoring to give you the best price possible!  Speak to us today and we will give you a quote tailored to your needs. You can be confident that all our installations fully comply to the standards and that no corners will be cut ensuring you get the best money for value! Speak to us today on 0800 4 CYLINDERS

For more information about our guarantees please visit WHY USE A HOT WATER CYLINDER SPECIALIST.