Author Archives: Mr Cylinder

5 Successful Northshore (Rodney) Hot Water Cylinder Installations

If you live on the North Shore, contact us today for the best available deals North of Auckland.

Unbeatable prices and service! We will beat any quote you have.

Hot Water Cylinders NZ have completed over 50 hot water installations North of Auckland in the last 3 months.

Here our top 5 favourite picks:

#1 Gas hot water installation in Sunnynook:

Here a classic gas hot water installation in Sunnynook North Shore.

System Spec:

  • Remove old low pressure hot water cylinder and replace with Gas.
  • Rheem 27 LPG
  • Test pressure and commission. 

#2 Gas hot water installation in Takapuna:

Replace Vulcan Freeloader with Rheem Stellar

Takapuna North Shore area.

System Spec:

  • Remove old leaking Vulcan Freeloader and replace with new Rheem Stellar.
  • Maintain existing gas connections.
  • Rearrange plumbing to suit
  • Rheem 27 LPG
  • Test pressure and commission.

#3 Gas Rinnai Infinity installation in Birkdale:

Replace Vulcan Freeloader with Rinnai Infinity

Birkdale North Shore area.

System Spec:

  • Remove old leaking Vulcan Freelaoder and replace with new Rinnai Infinity.
  • Maintain existing gas connections.
  • Rearrange plumbing to suit
  • Rinnai Infinity 27 Natural Gas
  • Test pressure and commission.

#4 Low Pressure Upgrade in Glenfield:

Replace Low Pressure with Rheem Main Pressure Stainless Steel

Glenfield North Shore area.

System Spec:

  • Remove old leaking low pressure hot water cylinder and replace with new mains pressure.
  • Maintain existing plumbing connections.
  • Rearrange plumbing to suit.
  • Rheem mains pressure 180L 3KW electric
  • Test pressure and commission.

#5 Mains pressure gas continuous flow Bosch unit in Albany:

Replace old burst Rheem hot water cylinder with new continuous flow unit.

Albany North Shore area.

System Spec:

  • Remove old burst low pressure hot water cylinder and replace with new mains instant hot water flow unit.
  • Relocate existing plumbing connections to exterior.
  • Rearrange plumbing to suit.
  • Bosch Hydroflow 16L/min
  • Test pressure and commission.

Hot Water Cylinders NZ are the originals and specialists in hot water. Contact us today for your unbeatable quote.

 

Flexible Sacrificial Anodes: The Future of Water Heating Technology

Would you spend 449 including GST to increase your hot water cylinders lifespan by 10 years?

Of course! 

Imagine living in a place filled with a light cool breeze during the day, and freezing temperatures during the night. Turning on the faucets and having warm or hot water for baths, showers, washing, and whatnots is a complete comfort – the epitome and pinnacle of rest and relaxation.

In New Zealand, this isn’t an uncommon occurrence. For a country far from the sun’s rays on the equator New Zealand is definitely a cool place, abundant of rainfall and glaciers. Temperatures in New Zealand go from 10 degrees centigrade down south, and 16 degrees centigrade up north. Throughout the year, temperatures change ever so slightly!

A specific type of tank-type water heater is the Hot Water Cylinder, that uses supply water pressure and delivers hot water to showers and taps. As this type of system does not use a cold-water storage tank, it is designed for small spaces and sometimes limited access. Hot Water Cylinders are enclosed with safety mechanisms that include relief valves, thermostats, and somtimes expansion vessels.

Why You Need A Sacrificial Anode

The problem with this type of heating system is that it does not last very long at the constant pressure and heat changes it faces. That is where a sacrificial anode comes to place. This replaceable component helps maintain and control the rate of corrosion there is in the tank and is present in every water heating system. Sacrificial anodes are often made out of magnesium and attracts all corrosive elements to prevent metal breakdown.

In the span of 10 years, these anodes become very corrosive and will degrade, contributing to the damage of the heating system itself. What many people don’t know is that this anode can easily be replaced, expanding its life to over 20 years, and getting the bang out of your buck.

It should be noted that only steel hot water storage needs a sacrificial anode. It becomes a secondary type of protection to the steel in any hot water tank. Because anode rods are created using less sturdy metals than steel, the node fends off attack from minerals and other materials in your water. This is why anodes are called sacrificial.

Another thing that many people don’t know is that sacrificial anodes must be replaced every 5 years to get over 20 years of use from the hot water cylinder! The real problem now is replacing the anode in a really small, tight, and cramped place such as the hot water cupboard. Replacing this over 1 meter long component needs wide space and it should not be removed or disconnected in the cylinder, which is terribly a huge cost.

Why Use the Flexible Sacrificial Anode?

This is where the Flexible Sacrificial Anode comes into light! This type of sacrificial anode eliminates several other challenges when it comes to replacing the anode. There will no longer be a need to drain and remove the cylinders, and you will no longer have to put a hole above your ceiling for access!

This anode needs less than 250 millimeters of clearance and is very time efficient as it can be installed in an hour. Upgrading your sacrificial anode to a flexible sacrificial anode is the best choice to make, because expanding the life span if your hot water cylinder outweighs the costs of buying a new one every few years.

Where to Buy Flexible Sacrificial Anodes

Buying flexible hot water cylinder sacrificial anodes are no longer a hassle in the country. Companies like Rheem, a New Zealand staple since 1958, sell products that are at the leading edge of hot water heating technology that benefits not only residential areas, but also the commercialized areas of the country.

Hot Water Cylinders NZ invests in innovation and technology to improve your experience with hot water systems here in New Zealand. Our latest innovation allows you to replace your existing Anode without having to dismantle your whole water cylinder installation. Becuase conventional Rods are very long it is almost impossible to replace without disconnecting the entire cylinder and its pipework enabling this physically.  A flexible anode makes this possible and avoids these costs. Without much hassle our technicians will remove the degraded Rod and easily replace is with a flexible model keeping the hot water cylinder in its place which provides the same protection at a much lower installation cost.

Learn more about how to upgrade your sacrificial anode when replacing a hot water cylinder here.

Is Your Hot Water Cylinder Leaking? Here are 7 Possible Causes

Leaks are never planned and when they happen, the timing is always bad!

This guide will help you identify where the leak may be coming from and what could have caused your hot water cylinder leak.

Whether you use Hot Water Cylinders NZ to do the repair or not, by asking the right questions and/or providing the right information, you will save hundreds if not thousands in repairs or replacement depending on system type and size.

Cause #1: Damage Caused by External Forces

External damage may cause a leak within the hot water system. If your hot water cylinder is relatively new (7 years or less) then the probability of a leak resulting from wear and tear is low.

Some questions you may want to ask yourself are:

  • Have any works taken place on my property? This includes any renovation works etc.
  • Have I repaired or replaced a plumbing fixture? This includes minor upgrades such as replacing a tap to larger upgrades such as replacing a shower. Often such upgrades can result in leaks to your hot water system. Our specialists will quickly be able to investigate through a process of elimination to determine the cause.
  • Has local Council done any upgrades? Watercare can often upgrade public watermains introducing more pressure onto a private property. This added pressure may spring a leak within the hot water system.
  • Is your hot water cupboard often used for storage or drying laundry? It may well be that pipework has been knocked resulting in a loose connection. If this is the case, please don’t attempt to repair this yourself. You may risk the pressure blowing the fitting off which will become very difficult to isolate and will cause flooding.

The good news is that most hot water cylinder leaks can be repaired, keeping your cost low. Time is often of the essence.  If you quickly identify or suspect one of the above external forces to be the likely cause, please let us know at time of booking.

Cause #2: Recent Electrical Repairs or Element Replacement

When the immersion element is damaged due to age, electrical failure or otherwise, an electrician or Limited Electrical License holder such as a plumber will need to replace the element and/or the thermostat.

When this occurs you need to be aware of several things:

  1. Your tank has been under pressure for a long time. This pressure has been consistent but when the element is replaced the tank will “decompress” which results in the movement of all components internally, including the welded seem. Often, cylinders that have had no issues prior to this decompression will start to leak once the cylinder undergoes repressurisation. This expansion and contraction is more than enough to crack a welded seam under certain circumstances.

    We always advise consumers to think carefully about an investment that could require a full replacement a few months later. Often it’s better to make this investment into a new hot water cylinder system than into a repair that represents a third of the total cost. View our “*Is Your Hot Water Cylinder Leaking?” section for more info.

  2. Once the element is replaced, if you find a leak in the vicinity of the element, then the element seals have not been installed properly or could be faulty. This information comes in handy if you recently had your element replaced and have spotted a leak.

  3. Always make sure that your contactor replaces the element with an equal wattage e.g 2kW should be replaced with 2kW and not the more common 3 kW. 3kW elements are cheaper to purchase and corners could be cut which may end up costing you more.  A higher kW rating means more load on your existing wiring and HWC which again due to age may fail.

Cause #3: Safety Valves May Be Operating

We have some great information about cold water expansion valves. Here are a couple of resources:

Cause #4: Vacuum Relief Valves or Open Vents may be Overflowing

If you possess a Low Pressure Hot Water Cylinder then your installation will either include a vacuum relief valve or an open vent.

Cause #5: Age of Your Hot Water Cylinder

If your hot water cylinder is ageing and has sprung a leak, our recommendation is that you save any money you intended to spend on an investigation or repair. Having completed over 5,000 installations to date, our records show that 2 out of 10 repaired hot water cylinders end up being replaced within 3 months of the repair. This of course will depend on the fault, cylinder & environment, but in most cases a plumbing company will charge a fee to investigate and/or attempt a repair if you’re agreeable. It’s best to make sure that you will not be charged before they despatch a technician.  

TAKE NOTE: To attempt to repair a cylinder of this age including replacement of the element may result in unintended additional damage. Element threads are often seized and too much force will crack the internal tank. Low pressure hot water cylinders are often made of copper which is a relatively soft material. It will not take much force to cause a leak.

Cause #6: Watercare & Council Watermain Upgrades

If road works are visible from your home, then there is a high chance your home is affected. Particularly if you notice a leak during or after these works are complete and you didn’t have the necessary protection in place such as a pressure reducing or limiting valve which regulates your incoming pressure.

An increase of pressure may result in:

  • Safety valves suddenly discharging water
  • Open vents overflowing
  • Burst hot water cylinders

To add to the strain, often debris will find its way into households causing other issues such as hot water fluctuation or blockages on valves such as toilet inlet vales and hot water system valves.  If you intend to install a pressure reducing valve, it is highly recommended you also install a strainer which will isolate any unintended debris from entering your home.

 

If you would like more information about Watercare compensation for watermain leaks and processes, please visit the following article: Watermain Leaking? Here is What You Can Do.

Cause #7: Dissimilar Metals & A Failed Sacrificial Anode

Every steel hot water cylinder contains a specialised Hot Water Cylinder Sacrificial Anode. Over time they break down so your hot water cylinder doesn’t. But what happens when are fully broken down? What will protect your hot water cylinder?

Whilst this is one of the causes a cylinder may leak, you may ask your, “well isn’t it a bit late once my cylinder is leaking?” You are absolutely right! This information won’t help if your cylinder is leaking but it will provide you with some knowledge around why it may be and what you can do to prevent it from happening again.

For other faults such as electrical faults or no hot water at all, please visit the following resources:

The above is a short list of causes that apply more than others. We also come across dozens of isolated causes which we have not included due to their rarity.

If you are unsure what may have caused a fault on your hot water cylinder, why not give us a quick call and speak to our highly qualified hot water cylinder specialists?

In many cases we can identify the fault over the phone at no cost to you. Alternatively, in 80% of all cases, we are able to identify the fault over the phone and immediately advise of repair and/or replacement costs. Hot Water Cylinders are New Zealand’s #1 hot water specialists and are ready to assist 24/7.

HUNSON RT AKA “THE ELEPHANT”

Hunson_brandManufactured in Glen Innes Auckland on January 1978 by W. Hunt & Son Ltd this HUNSON RT revolutionized mains pressure water heating in New Zealand!

Due to high manufacturing costs and technology limitations, in the 1970’s hot water cylinders were primarily manufactured from copper.                                                         hunson_RT

Copper hot cylinders are made to suit low to medium pressures (75KPA – 120KPA), with medium pressure cylinders being made from thicker copper. The week spot on a cylinder is not the actual copper material but rather the machine manufactured welding seams. Anything above 120KPA depending on weld quality and the seam will crack resulting in a burst hot water cylinder!

So how do you get around this problem and achieve mains pressure using low pressure technology? W. Hunt & Son Ltd certainly acknowledged the demand for mains pressure and their reply was the advanced Hunson RT Direct mains pressure hot water system. Great engineering and ahead of its time.

What makes the Hunson RT so special?

hunson_diagram

 

The basic principal was to use the heat exchanger to supply mains pressure ONLY to one shower making it a semi “instantaneous water heater” (in the 70’s showers started becoming more popular) whilst using the large low pressure body of water to supply the exchange heat to the mains pressure coil and direct supply to all other low pressure fixtures such as a bath or laundry.

On request Hunson could manufacture these cylinders with multiple elements up to a total of 8KW! This would certainly make the supply more reliable and showers longer but expensive to run (not sure about power rates VS income in the 70’s). Modern cylinders use the same technology in reverse because water can now be stored in a mains pressure environment (stainless steel or enamel) and of course also because of a few other reasons such as efficiency and reliability.

What challenges did this “new style” mains pressure cylinder present to home owners?

hunson_rt_instructions

 

 

To start with, it was important the plumber got the installation right. If you have a look at the image you will see the instruction says: “At all times, the flow from the cylinder should be strong and steady, but not excessive”. Mains pressure can be anywhere from 120KPA to 500KPA and the term “not excessive” is too broad. If the pressure was set too high the heat exchanger would not have enough time to keep up with the demand. Plumbers also started using the mains pressure supply (which was originally only intended for one shower) to deliver mains pressure to the whole house and all plumbing fixtures! This immediately presented a problem because the standard supplied element of 3KW could not keep up with the demand and showering usually was over after 5 minutes! This was also the case with Hunson RT you see in this image. the only reason this cylinder survived over 30 years was because the hot water from the low pressure supply side was never used. The sludge build-up on the inside would reach all the way up to the element. Despite a sludge relief point which was most likely never ever used.

Another common issue this technology presented was random cold patches during a warm shower. Have a look at the diagram and see whether you can identify expansion, cold water inlet, hot water supply, overflow and sludge outlet. This date_230178cylinder also provides bottom entry connections for wetbacks.

Why did this hot water cylinder receive the nickname “The Elephant”? 

It turns out there used to be an engineering company in New Zealand call Elephant NZ. Elephant NZ originally came with this technology and design which was purchased by W. Hunt & Son Ltd. Why that actually engineering company was called Elephant, we don’t know but if you do, please send me an email so we can add this info to our article.

Internal natural gas hot water cylinders

Iinternal_gas_hwcinternal gas hot water cylinders are always a bit harder to replace because of existing installation conditions. Gas hot water cylinders installed 10 + years ago may not comply to the latest standards. this includes ventilation, flue penetrations, floor base, seismic restraint and several other factors. New products such as the internal Rheem 170L are much more efficient and carry 5 year warranty. What do our installers look for before installing one these models?

  • Ensure the platform is fire resistant (e.g. concrete paver will do it)
  • Ensure there will be sufficient ventilation at lower level and down draft diverter to allow for complete and safe combustion.
  • Check to make sure the existing gas supply pipe is of sufficient size.

    On completion our technicians are required to do a full gas pressure inspection to confirm there are no existing or new gas leaks. Once the installation is complete seismic restraints will attached to secure your new hot water cylinder and finally a gas certificate can be issued that your new hot water cylinder is deemed safe and sound. Hot water cylinder NZ offer various gas hot water solution’s including instant water heating and combination central heating. For more information please call us on 0800 4 Cylinders.

What are Calorifiers?

A calorifier is a heat exchanger which heats water indirectly by circulating is over a heating coil or multiple coils. The source of heat can be water or steam, heated by an external heat source, contained within a pipe immersed in the water. the two bodies of water or steam do not mix. (touch each other)

In hospitals and factories where steam is already being generated for other uses is can also be used to heat the water by the indirect method.

The calorifier may be a continuous coil of pipe or a cylinder within a cylinder with an annular space between the two vessels.

calorifier_design

With the vertical hot water cylinder, the steam enters the coil though the top connection. the strainer or grit trap removes any solid matter suspended in the steam. The steam then passes through the inlet valve which is thermostatically controlled. the thermostat prevents overheating or boiling of the stored water.

A steam trap, fitted near the outlet of the coil, prevents the steam from leaving the coil until is condenses.

In a hot water cylinder which contains a steam coil, the coil must be able to be removed for descaling. this is more likely to occur using steam because the coil is working at a higher temperature than with the conventional hot water system.

Hot water cylinders Ltd provide custom hot water cylinder (storage tanks) design and construction with integrated calorifiers at most demanded KW sizes. Our services include domestic and commercial applications. With water applications heat sources such as Heatpumps, Gas, Solar or steam can be applied. For more information please contact us on 0800 4 CYLINDERS.

Heatpump hot water cylinder conversion

heat_pump_hpt_water_cylinderIf your looking at saving power ($$$) with your domestic hot water heating demand, your hot water cylinder is leaking or you are keen on upgrading to mains pressure why not consider a heat pump hot water cylinder?

Save up to a third on your hot water bill with this Aquarian Heatpump! These heatpump cylinders can be installed internally as well as externally with the difference that the air intake must be ducted to the outside if the installation is to take place inside. This is usually achieved by ducting directly up through your existing hot water cylinder cupboard and out through the roof. Our installation special includes a flashing fro your roof, all ducting (up to 5 meters), all involved labor and materials for $ 4999 including GST . If your a high hot water user or want a quick return on your investment now is the time to place your order! For more technical info on this heat pump hot water cylinder please CLICK HERE

Please note that electrical services are not included and an obligation free site visit must be made by us prior to our commitment.

For alternative heat pump specials please visit our heat pump catagory section.

Over 30 years! Starkie HWC supplied by Henry & Co LTD

henry_and_co_ltd_hot_water_cylinder

Every now and then we come across goodies like this! This hot water cylinder has been supplying hot water for over 30 years! Originally supplied by Henry & co Ltd. A quick Google search reveled the company is still around as a tool supplier. The bottom clearly show the state the cylinder is in, we are confident the cylinder rusted through years ago but its own weight created a natural seal preventing water to lea out. Eventually the holes got bigger and bigger leading to what it is today. I would love to know how many showers this tank accommodated!

What a great find..rusty_low_pressure_water_cylinder.

Gas Water Heating on LPG

gas_water_heating

Another successful LPG installation onto a Rheem 27 instantaneous hot water heater. The purple bin which is holding up a 9KP LPG cant be missed and is currently only a temporary solution to test the system until the 45KG bottles arrive which will be standing on a concrete base as per the gas standard.

In this artcle I wish to discuss the commissioning of LPG cylinder systems.

The commissioning of LPG cylinders must meet the same requirments of NZS 5601. However, special methods and precautions are required due to the special characteristics of LPG and its equipment.

The special requirements of LPG installation commissioning relate, for example to the relative density of LPG and its storage as liquid. Special purging methods must be used for LPG and sufficient ambient heat to boil the liquid gas.

Special LPG equipment includes fixed and mobile installations including single cylinder, twin packs, or cylinder banks. Systems may have auto-changeover regulators, which may include automatic ordering features.

NZS 5601 includes references to commissioning gas installations which requires every part of a gas installation to be commissioned and certified.

If you are getting quotes for gas water heating its important to make sure the installers are registered gasfitters. Even qualified trades people make mistakes so also very important to check with the installer that all commissioning requirements have been met.

Hot water cylinders LTD have several gas water heating specials which includes supply and installation. For more details please call us on 0800 429 546 or email gas@hotwatercylinders.nz

Ruud Hot water cylinders (Ruudglas Pacemaker DV)

Ruud_hot_water_cylindersIn this picture you can see two old gas powered Ruud hot water cylinders. The flues have been installed without a down draft diverted using a powered flue to remove products of combustion. These  cylinders have lasted 10 years and its amazing to see that both show the same signs degradation. The most challenging part of this job is that the cylinders have been installed in the worse place possible. Down three sets of stairs in a lower level that is over 300 meters away from vehicle access. It will be a logistical challenge! The job description is to remove the two gas powered cylinder and replace with one storage tank which will include a heat exchanger powered by a system 24KW system boiler. The storage tank will allow us to maintain the existing plumbing arrangement which also includes a ring main. The new system will be saving on operating and maintenance costs straight away! The old powered flue can also be removed as the new unit comes with a compact flue arrangement that can routed as required. This area if fully ventilated hence all building and code requirements can be met. With more sophisticated jobs such a this planning is paramount. Experienced installers can save you money and hassle! If you are looking at replacing your old gas hot water cylinder with an instant water heater, please view our instant water heater specials here.