Category Archives: Gas water heating

Gas water heating

How Do I Know If My LPG Bottle Is Empty?

A shower running cold mid-bath is never a welcome change. And it’s just as frustrating when your heating appliance or gas hob stops without a hint, because you’re suddenly out of gas. You can stop this annoying thing from happening again if you know when your LPG bottle is running low.

Help is here as we’ll show you an easy way to check when the bottle is about to run empty – so you can keep your gas supply going.

How long does a LPG bottle last?
For a family of two adults and two children, a 45kg bottle used for both hot water and gas cooktops will typically last about 6-8 weeks. It’s a different thing if you add a gas-fired space heater.

Gas cylinders typically have a change-over regulator (reg) installed between them. Some cylinders have an automatic reg that switches from the empty bottle to the full one when the first runs out. Other cylinders have a manual regulator, which you will need to turn by hand to switch to the reserve bottle.

The change-over regulator usually has a viewing window or an indicator. When both bottles are full, the indicator will be Black, Green or Clear. When one bottle is empty, the indicator will be RED. The reg will have a change-over valve and a directional arrow. If your regulator is manual, do not adjust the directional arrow. Many people mistake it for the change-over valve, but the arrow simply indicates which bottle is empty.

It’s a good idea to regularly check the indicator on the change-over regulator, so you can call us when one bottle is empty.

How to test the level of LPG in the cylinder
One way is to pour warm (not boiling) water down the side of the bottle. Wait a few minutes, then run your hand down the side of the bottle. The level where it feels cool to the touch indicates how much LPG is left.

This is a fairly accurate method, but there’s an easier and faster way – using a LPG cylinder weighscale.

gas_bottle_scaleThis is an innovative sensing device that monitors bottled gas levels and automatically sends an accurate reading of the remaining gas in the cylinder. The weighscale is installed underneath your LPG cylinders. We can set them up for you, and once they’re there, checking your cylinders will be one less thing to worry about.

The device is also tied to a mobile app, which you can  access to get detailed daily usage reports or prompts when your cylinders need a refill. You never need to guess the gas level as there are easy to view visuals and graphs for the remaining LPG. As the supplier, we also have this data in the app, so we’ll also know when to deliver the next cylinder so you can keep your gas going without interruptions.

This works for both residential and commercial applications. For more information about this new technology, a chat or call is most welcome. Get in touch with Hot Water Cylinders NZ!

Gas Hot Water Vs Electric

The Hayman Thermostatic Storage Electric Heater made by L.T Hayman Ltd in Auckland you see is almost 60 years old!

gas_VS_electric_water_heatingIncorporated is a Satchwell Thermostat (made in South Africa) enabling the user to change the internal storage temperature. This was before our new laws around Legionnaires’ disease were passed a few years ago preventing manufacturers from incorporating an adjustable thermostat.

As in the case of our Hayman Thermostatic Storage Electric Heater, when an older tank gives up and it’s time replace it, the question each home owner should ask is, “Is it worth switching to gas?”.

To read up on some of the benefits when upgrading to gas, please visit our Upgrade to Gas section.

old_low_pressure_hwcThis blog is not designed to convince you to buy a gas product, rather point out the benefits gas will bring and, in some instances, the disadvantages when upgrading from an electric hot water cylinder.

When looking at gas vs electric water heating there are several things you will want to ask yourself, including why, when, and how much will it cost?

The following should play into your decision making:
Why do I want an upgrade to gas?
Is it Opportunity, because your cylinder needs replacing?
Is it Savings, because you believe gas is cheaper to run?
Is it Lifestyle, because want to enjoy unlimited time in the shower?

Whatever the reason may be, it’s important to know all the facts.

hwc_thermostat_adjustableOpportunity
Without doubt, the best time for an upgrade to gas is when your hot water cylinder needs to be replaced. This is simply because you are about to spend $1500+ on a replacement which could go towards a gas water heating system if all variables apply.

If you have done your due diligence and are confident gas is the way to go, then by all means upgrade to instant gas water heating.

To help with your due diligence, we have compiled the following “to do list” for you.
If you can answer all the below with Yes, then you are ready to go with gas!

  1. Are you upgrading because your hot water cylinder needs to be replaced?
  2. Do you have a single level home?
  3. Are you upgrading from low pressure to gas?
  4. Can the gas unit be positioned in a compliant manner and central to most delivery points, especially the kitchen and shower?
  5. Do you already have gas on the property or intend to go with LPG at the time of upgrade?

Savings
If you are looking at gas because you believe it’s cheaper to run, then you are right and you are wrong. Savings will fully depend on your site conditions and how your current hot water cylinder system is set up.

There are ways to make savings on an electric system without upgrading to gas including:
• Flow restrictors
• Smart controllers
• Better insulation

If your home has 2 levels or more, you may want to be cautious before upgrading to gas as pipe lag and undersized units may result in more energy use, negating any desired savings. Additionally, in many cases when upgrading from mains pressure to gas you will also experience a water pressure drop. Pressure loss with instantaneous water heating systems is very common, especially when retrofitted into the existing house plumbing.

Lifestyle
Lifestyle is one of those reasons that is hardly arguable. The home owner understands the pros and cons and is willing to make sacrifices to gain a specific desired outcome.
Some of these include:
• Longer showers
• Gas cooking
• Combination systems

Despite your motive, it is advisable to keep all the above points in mind.
Whether you are upgrading to gas or upgrading to mains pressure, one of the key factors is your property.

Before making any commitment, get a second or even third opinion. Why not speak to the hot water specialists to get advice on a solution that will not only compliment your property and desired benefits but also meet your budget!
Call Hot Water Cylinders NZ today!

Rinnai Discontinues INFINITY Composite Recess Box

Rinnai Corporation, leading manufacturer of tankless gas water heaters, announces the discontinuation of its INFINITY™ composite recess box (R1406).

The composite recess box was introduced as an affordable alternative to the metal recess box designed for housing some units from the INFINITY™ range. Composite products are known for being incredibly strong and corrosion resistant, making them perfect for external applications. Despite this, the Rinnai NZ team explains that demand for the composite recess box is low, hence their decision for its discontinuation.

Meanwhile, the metal recess box will continue to be available.

INFINITYTM Metal Recess Box

The Rinnai metal recess box allows you to virtually hide your INFINITYTM unit, pipe work and power supply into a cavity, ensuring a smooth and neat finish to the job.

It allows a continuous flow gas water heater to be partially or fully recessed into an external wall, unlike the composite recess box which can only be semi recessed. The composite recess box is also not suitable for fire rated walls. These are probably why the metal recess box proved to be a more popular option.

Constructed of folded galvanised steel and powder coated white, the metal recess box can easily be painted to match or complement the exterior cladding. It is suitable for the following external Rinnai INFINITY gas water heaters:

rinnai_composite_recess_box_discontinuedR1405 recess box:

  • A-Series: A16-A26 (current range)
  • VT16-VT26 (discontinued)
  • XR16-XR26 (discontinued)
  • V16-V24 (discontinued)

R1407 recess box:

  • EF24 (current model)
  • HD200 (current model)
  • HD250 (current model)
  • XR32 (discontinued)

Installing a metal recess box

The INFINITYTM metal recess box is ideal for new builds or major renovations as it needs to be installed during the framing stage, i.e. before the internal linings, claddings or building wrap are applied.

The Rinnai continuous flow gas water heaters are designed for external installation, and thus your metal recess box must be located in an above ground, open-air situation. The area must have natural ventilation, where flue gases are safely expelled and rapidly dispersed by wind and natural convection.

Generally, it can be mounted on any vertical structure with water and gas connections and enough clearance for the pipe work. You can install it on an outside wall below eaves, balconies and other areas, but you might want to reconsider siting it near bedrooms since water heaters inside a recess box operates at a slightly louder level than units located externally. In most cases, the metal recess box is better located near the kitchen where there is a high demand for instant hot water.

In addition to general clearances, you need to consider your local building codes regarding this type of installation. To make sure your INFINITYTM water heater is compliant and installed properly, consult a licensed gasfitter familiar with the system prior to installation.

For Rinnai installation advice and consultation, you may call us at 0800 TEAM EURO. For more information about the Rinnai metal recess box and gas water heaters, click here.

Gas Water Heater Reviews

If you are considering upgrading to gas, you no doubt want to know which gas heaters you should be looking at. If you are new to gas systems, it can all be a little overwhelming. So we have decided to review five popular gas water heaters so that we can help you decide what’s right for your home.

Rheem_27_Continuous_Flow_Hot_Water_HeatersRheem 27 Continuous Flow Gas Heater

The Rheem 27 is an extremely popular unit in New Zealand for gas. Available in both NG and LPG, these are a low cost solution to gas water heating for people looking to switch over from electric, or to upgrade their old gas water heater.

The Rheem 27 offers an economical 2 litre per minute start up rate. What this means is that it reduces water wastage by heating water much sooner than other gas water heaters, which require up to a 3 litre minimum. Because of this. it also lends itself to use with efficient tap-ware.

Other features include:
  • 6 Star efficiency
  • Improved minimum flow start-up
  • 10 year pro-rata warranty on the heat exchanger
  • 3 year warranty on parts and labour
  • Digital display for easy fault diagnosis and servicing
  • Full technical support through the Rheem National Service Network
  • Unique Flame Safe overheat protection system

Bosch_hydropower_16HBosch Hydro Power 16H

The Bosch Hydro Power 16H delivers a 16 L/min flow rate and is available in natural gas or LPG. What is special about this unit is that it ignited without a power point or standing pilot light. This unique technology works by utilising the energy of the water flow to ignite the burner and begin the heating process. It only ignites when the hot tap is opened, and shuts off when it’s closed. This makes for a very efficient unit which is easy to install.

This unit is suitable for 1-2 bathroom homes.

Other features:

  • Continuous flow technology
  • Delivers 16 L/min at a 25°C temperature rise
  • External installation
  • No electricity or standing pilot light required
  • Energy efficient
  • Simple installation
  • Comprehensive warranties

Rinnai INFINITY VT26

Rinnai_inifinty_vt26The Rinnai INFINITY VT26 is a continuous flow gas water heater suitable for external residential installations. The VT26 features an improved start-up flow rate, which saves you water and ensures your water heater is future proof for water efficient tapware upgrades. Available in both NG and LPG, it is perfect for homes with 1-2 bathrooms and high simultaneous hot water demand. It can be used on both mains and medium pressure systems.

The VT26 also works with a range of controllers for kitchens and bathrooms which have features including options to run water for you to fill a bath at a certain temperature and tell you when it’s ready. It also has a range of accessories such a recessed installation box, pipe covers, flue diverters and more.

Other specs and features include:

  • Efficiency of 80%
  • Energy star: 6.1 star energy equivalent
  • Hot water capacity: 1.8-26 L/min
  • Nominal water capacity: 26 L/min, 1560 L/h
  • Input on max: 199 MJ/h
  • Output on max: 44.2 kW
  • Water supply: 130-1000 kPa

Why should you convert to gas water heating?

Gas water heating systems provide a range of benefits over traditional electric water heaters. Gas continuous water heaters are more efficient than electric water cylinders, and provide contiunous hot water, meaning you will never run out as long as you have gas. You’ll also free up space in your home with the removal of the cylinder. Gas water heaters can also work with digital controllers to allow specific water temperature for certain instances, such as filling a bath.

If you want to upgrade to gas water heating for your home, talk to us today on 0800 429 546.

Freeloader Dead? Stellar Ahead

The Vulcan Freeloader is a very common cylinder found around New Zealand for gas water heating. Available in Natural Gas and LPG, they were a popular choice in the 80s and 90s. However, these heaters are known to fail and have been the subject of many replacement jobs we have done.

These cylinders were originally made in Australia by the company Vulcan. In 2002 , Rheem aquired the Vulcan Company, and the Freeloader was no longer produced.

99% of these Vulcan Freeloader water heaters fail because of the thermocouple, which causes the pilot light to go out, meaning no hot water. Every one of these cylinders we have replaced had this issue. And the problem is that the parts are no longer manufactured, which makes repairing them impossible.

Here is a very old Vulcan Freeloader that we had to deal with recently. It failed on the customer and we tried to repair it, but were not able to due to lack of parts. So the customer was advised that they would need to replace the Vulcan with a new water heating system. As you can see in the pictures, this Vulcan was so old that the green color on the casing has actually faded to brown. Even we rarely see them in this state!

Is your Vulcan Freeloader dead? Check out our Vulcan Freeloader replacement deal here.

vulcan_freeloader_old_water_heating_systemsvulcan_freeloader_old_water_heaters

 

 

What’s A Rheem Stellar Gas Hot Water System?

If you have had the blessing of gas hot water for many years and are looking to upgrade or replace your water heater, then the Rheem Stellar is the most efficient domestic gas storage water heater available in New Zealand. It is the gas storage water heater of choice by many installers and is ideal for replacing the Rheem Vulcan Freeloader.

rheem_StellarWhat makes the Rheem Stellar so popular? Well it has high flow rate capabilities – which makes it ideal for homes that have multiple bathrooms and / or moderate to high hot water use. On top of this, it is suitable for all water pressure types – you can operate it using mains, and low pressures with no issues. The Rheem Stellar requires no electrical connections to run – in fact, it will continue to work even if the power goes off.

Rheem is known to be at the forefront of both technology and design and the Stellar does not disappoint. The Stellar is a bold cylinder with a matte enamel finish and small footprint. It’s stylish design and construction carries a solid 10-year warranty that covers both the cylinder and super flue. The warranty also gives you a 5 year labour warranty on the cylinder and super flue and a 1 year parts and labour on all other components (there are warranty conditions).

Example:

A customer requested a technician call out to investigate their Vulcan Freeloader which appeared to not be lighting.

On attendance it was found that the gas valve was not letting the pilot gas through. This was rendering the Vulcan Freeloader unusable.

We advised our customer that their Vulcan Freeloader was not able to be repaired and it was uneconomic to do so. The Rheem Stellar NG was recommended and the benefits were explained. The customer agreed to replace their Vulcan Freeloader with a Rheem Stellar NG.

As you can see from the photo the Rheem Stellar has a much more contemporary design. There are a lot less exposed pipes on the outside of the unit which removes a lot of the maintenance issues that can show with the Vulcan Freeloaders. The installation required just a new paver for the Stellar to sit on and the customer was back up and running with hot water.

Before:

rheem_stellar_gas_hot_water_before

 After:

rheem_stellar_gas_hot_water_after

 

Continuous flow hot water systems prices

With gas prices down, its time to upgrade to a continuous flow hot water heater!

To make it even more compelling we are now offering a fixed system price to upgrade from electric storage to continuous flow LPG or natural gas with everything included.

CURRENT GAS HOT WATER CONTINUOUS FLOW SYSTEM PRICING FOR NG AND LPG GAS

continuous_water_heating_natural_gas$2,800.00 incl. GST and installation natural gas

This installation includes everything you need to convert from your current hot water storage to continuous flow hot water.

We will supply and install a Rheem 27 continuous flow appliance in an approved location and certify the installation as required. This includes a connection to an existing natural gas meter. Whether you currently have low or mains pressure this is full supply and install price which includes everything you need to get into that endless hot shower you have been craving!

 

 

continuous_flow_hot_water_systems$3,049.00 incl. GST and installation LPG

Similar to the above, this installation is designed to accommodate a LPG installation when natural gas supply is not possible/available or too expensive.

Available with a 27 Bosch or Rheem continuous flow heater. All connections and supply of pavers also included

lpg_bottlesTo make this deal even more attractive, we will throw in 1 free bottle of LPG at a value of $150!

The installation includes all required components required to replace your existing low or mains pressure hot water cylinder. Commonly a site visit is required to ensure that placement complies with the relevant standards and safety requirements.

Ongoing gas pricing may vary but is currently trending at $80-$120 per bottle depending on your supplier. If in doubt, please ask our team about current rates prior to ordering.

 

 

Rheem_continuous_flowAll continuous flow hot water heaters included in the above deals require an electrical connection for ignition (we also offer self igniting hydro powered continuous flow heaters on request). We can offer the electrical connection at a fixed price of $350 + GST. Alternatively you are free to organise an electrician of your choice to be onsite on the day of the installation.

All installations are installed by qualified gasfitters and plumbers and come with a full Master Plumbers warranty.

We WONT be beaten on price so make sure you are quoted apples for apples. In any case claim your $50 if you do!

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.

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