Category Archives: Hot Water Talk

Rinnai_discontinues_ducted_iheat_range

Rinnai Discontinues the iHeat Ducted Heating Range

Rinnai Corporation, the leading makers of tankless gas water heaters in New Zealand, announces the discontinuation of their iHeat central heating products dues to “cost increases of key internal components.”

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The Rinnai iHeat is a ducted heating system that uses hot water to warm and circulate air, providing fast central heating to the entire home. The system is designed to operate in conjunction with a Rinnai Infinity continuous flow water heater. It has been touted as a healthy central heating option as it maintains the air quality and reduces the likelihood of allergens entering the home. The iHeat system is defined by its discreet installation and high energy efficiency (up to 80 percent).

Despite its wide public reception and positive reviews, the Rinnai team has decided to stop its production as a result of their ongoing product rationalisation, citing the following reason:

“Cost increases of key internal components has made producing the iHeat uneconomical.”

iHeat products will remain on the market until the end of December this year, or until stocks have run out. Nevertheless, Rinnai reassures iHeat users that spare parts will remain available and all warranties for iHeat will be honoured over the long term.

An Alternative to iHeat

With the iHeat phased out, Rinnai offers an equally efficient and powerful central heating system: Brivis ducted heaters.

Brivis is the leading brand of gas ducted central heating solutions in New Zealand, and has only been recently owned as a subsidiary of the Rinnai Corporation. The brand supplies a complete range of highly efficient ducted gas central heating products specifically designed for the NZ conditions.

“The addition of Brivis to the Rinnai range means that a more complete heating range is now available,” said the Rinnai team. “In most instances where an iHeat has been specified, Rinnai can supply an equivalent Brivis central heating solution.”

Brivis heaters may not have some of the “smarts” found in the iHeat, but their performance is highly comparable. They are also extremely efficient, with the range offering 6-Star rated systems such as the StarPro 6.

Some of the noteworthy features of Brivis ducted heating systems include:

  • Up to 16 fan speed settings that better match air volume and flow to your home
  • Zero ChillTM soft fan that prevents cold drafts on start-up
  • Automatic gas modulator that maintains the temperature level using a minimal amount of energy. You can set your home to a comfortable temperature and leave the system to keep it steadily heated at that level.
  • Ability to create up to four distinct zones
  • Ability to set the system to automatically turn on/off so you come home to a warm house or limit heating when not needed
  • Simple and easy to use programmable controller with both manual and auto modes
  • Compact, splittable and weatherproof units that ensure ease of installation.

More information on the Brivis range can be found at brivis.co.nz. To enquire about an installation, please contact our home heating specialists on 0800 4 CYLINDERS or 0800 429 546.

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.

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How Water Cylinder Theft And How To Prevent It

Did you know that hot water cylinders are a target of theft? To most people, the thought of someone stealing your hot water cylinder would be ludicrous. But it is no joke, and hot water cylinder thefts continue to rise.

hot_water_cylinder_stolenCylinder Thefts And The Resulting Problems
The main target of hot water cylinder thefts are older low pressure hot water cylinder units which contain a large amount of copper. Copper fetches a significant price over metals like steel at scrap metal merchants, as high as $7.40 per kg, which means a 180L cylinder could be worth as much as $74, placing these cylinders containing copper at the top of the list for thieves.

However, the theft of the cylinder is not the only problem. When these thefts occur, the thieves are not exactly overly concerned about what state the property is left in, and as such usually take the quickest route to removing the cylinder which involves quickly sawing or ripping pipes, letting the cylinder drain onto the floor and then removing the cylinder by force. This causes a substantial amount of damage, not only to the pipework and the area surrounding the cylinder, but extending into the rest of the house due to the flooding.

Primary targets have been older homes which are under renovation or construction and are easier to access, not occupied and are likely to have an old cylinder about. Boarded up unused houses and houses which look to have been unoccupied for a while (such as when the occupants go on holiday) are also common targets.

However, due to these thefts, it is required by law to produce ID when selling scrap metal to a metal dealer. This makes it more difficult for thieves to sell the scrap once they’ve taken it, and acts as a deterrent to minimise the amount of theft that is happening.

How To Protect Yourself
There are steps you can take to minimise the risk of your hot water cylinder being targeted by thieves. One of the best steps you can take is to make your property look occupied, even if you are going away. This could involve having a friend clear out your letterbox regularly, leaving an old car parked in the driveway or leaving a light or two on to seem like someone is home. Thieves usually target vacant homes when going for cylinders, so if it looks like someone is home it will minimise the chance that they will try your home. Always have a friend or family member check on your home regularly to ensure it is secure while you are away.

Other measures you can take include making sure your cylinder is securely strapped into its installed position. This makes removal much more difficult, and is likely to put off opportunists. For home owners with instantaneous gas water heating units installed outside, there are brackets and cages which you can install on the unit to make removal next to impossible.

Luckily, modern mains pressure hot water cylinders are usually either stainless steel or enamel, which makes them much less of a target for theft than the older low pressure copper cylinders. While this does not guarantee that your home won’t be targeted, it certainly means that the reward is far smaller and will make the break in much less worthwhile.

Always Report Theft
If you have been a victim of theft, it is always important to report it to the police, even if you believe the damage is insignificant or you believe that they won’t be able to help. Reporting crimes helps to paint a bigger picture, allowing the police to see how prevalent the problem actually is and treat it as a priority. It can lead to an investigation which could result in the apprehension of the culprit. It will also help with insurance claims, as a police report can help with the process of filing a claim.

If you would like assistance in securing your water heater or have questions about how you can prevent theft from your property, contact us today.

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We Have Hot Water Cylinders for Sale!

Gas heaters can be found in many homes in Auckland. These heating systems often use hot water cylinders to ensure copious amounts of hot water are stored and available on demand. There are a number of things to consider when choosing a hot water cylinder for your home, i.e. capacity, efficiency, cost effectiveness and suitability to your boiler system.

Types of Hot Water Cylindershot_water_cylinders_for_sale

There are two main types of cylinders:

  • Unvented Cylinders. These work off the cold water main pressure, providing hot water on demand. Since they operate without a feeder tank, unvented cylinders free up space in your loft and allows you to install the cylinder anywhere around your home.

Generally constructed with top quality stainless steel, unvented cylinders have long lifespan and high durability with manufacturer’s warranty that range up to 25 years.

Since they operate at higher pressure than traditional vented units, unvented systems require additional safety features and need to be installed by boiler specialists. This adds up to the installation costs.

  • Vented Cylinders. These copper tanks are fed cold water from the mains feed and use gravity to drive water through the pipes to the home’s heating system. They are suitable for use with standard heat only boilers. A vent pipe connects the cylinder and the cold water in the header tank.

Vented hot water cylinders are less complicated than vented systems, which means they are easier to install and maintain.

Other types of hot water cylinders come in both vented and unvented systems:

internal_gas_hwc_for_saleDirect Systems

In direct systems, an internal element (usually an immersion heater) heats the water in the cylinder directly. The heated water is fed out the top of the cylinder and supplied to the outlet (i.e. a shower or a tap) on demand.

Direct cylinders are an electric only option and are normally used when no central heating is installed, such as in flats and apartments.

Indirect Systems

As the name suggests, indirect cylinder systems heat water indirectly via an external heat source such as a gas boiler or solar thermal. An immersion heater is typically fitted as a direct backup or supplementary heat source. This ensures you have a steady flow of hot water even when your boiler is broken.

Indirect gas heaters particularly heat up and recover faster, making them a cost effective option. If you want to save cash without compromising performance or efficiency, you can always switch to gas cylinders any time.

We offer Best Price Guarantee!

Just as not all hot water cylinders are created equal, not all varieties are priced the same. Think your quote is cheap? Try Us!

We carry a wide selection of hot water cylinders from leading brands including:

  • Bosch
  • Rheem
  • Econergy
  • HJ Cooper
  • Rinnai
  • Peter Cocks
  • Apex Valves
  • Chromagen
  • Green Glo
  • Triumph
  • Thermann
  • And more

For hot water cylinder repairs, upgrades or replacements, call our free NZ hotline: 0800 429 546.

We Want A Hot Water Hero!

HWC ad 2We know the right guy is out there!
If your passion is hot water then Hot Water Cylinders NZ need you!Your responsibilities will include:

  • 60% Hot water cylinder installations
  • 20% Hot water gas units
  • 10% Solar Heating (servicing and fault finding)
  • 10% Heat pumps and Boilers

You Job position will include:

  • Vehicle, phone, fuel card and uniform
  • Industry Specialised Tools Provided
  • Training in systems

Every job will have a KPI and if accomplished you will be rewarded above and beyond your epic hourly pay. We have a unique package waiting for the right candidate. If hot water is your super power, apply now! Please submit your CV to cv@hotwatercylinders.nz

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Hot water cylinder repairs in Auckland

Checkout some of our latest hot water cylinder repairs in Auckland!

We pride ourselves with over 1500 Hot water cylinder repairs in 2017. Hot Water Cylinders NZ is your #1 water heater specialist in repairs and replacements. If you have a fault, talk to us.

Repaired faulty cold water expansion valve.

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New Pipework due to leaks

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Resealing of incoming connections

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Installation of new Rheem Stellar

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Replacement of fault change over regulator

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Repair of exiting Rheem Instant water heater

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Repair of gas leak

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Replacing existing low pressure hot water cylinder limiting valve

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Temporary hot water cylinder installation to accommodate renovations

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Inlet valve and pipe repair

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Replacing therm couple on gas hot water cylinder

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Gas valve repairs on Rheem Stellar

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What Is Ripple Control?

Have you ever looked at your hot water cylinder only to find that it was not operating? Upon inspection, you find that there is nothing wrong with it. So why is it not running?what_is_ripple_control

What you are seeing is the result of a type of power load management, know as ripple control. Load management is used to allow utilities to reduce electricity demand during peak usage times. This is a cheaper and more reliable alternative to using peaking power plants, of which some can take more than an hour to bring online, which makes load management even more critical if a plant goes offline unexpectedly.

Ripple control is the most common form of load management, and is used in many countries worldwide. It works by superimposing a high frequency signal, usually between 100 and 1600Hz onto the standard 50-60 Hz main power signal. When devices which are attached to the non-essential loads receive this signal, they shut off the load until the signal is disabled. Affects devices can include residential electric hot-water heaters, air conditioners, pool pumps and crop-irrigation pumps. This includes your hot water cylinder.

ripple_control_hot_water_cylinderWhen connected to a power network that runs load control, devices are outfitted with communicating controllers that run a program that limits the duty cycle of the device. Consumers are usually rewarded for adhering in the load control program by paying a reduced rate for energy in off-peak times. Controllers are available for ripple control which will ensure your devices run during off-peak times and you will save money by paying a lower tariff.

To find out more about ripple control for your water heater, talk to us today. If you are not on ripple control and you don’t have hot water, check out our “No Hot Water Troubleshooting Page” to diagnose the problem.

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Your Cylinder May Just Need A Repair, Not A Replacement

Your cylinder may just need a repair, not a replacement.
Does your hot water cylinder suffer from one of the following conditions?

  • No Hot WaterHot_water_cylinder_fault_repairs
  • Very Low Temperature
  • Knocking (Banging) Noises
  • Hot Water Smells
  • Low Pressure
  • Leaking Hot Water Cylinder
  • Damaged Hot Water Cylinder
  • Discharge Valves Running Constantly

First things first, DON’T PANIC!

Your hot water cylinder may be repairable.

Hot Water Cylinders NZ provide unique repair options for most hot water cylinder related faults. Before jumping into an expensive replacement, get the professionals in to investigate and repair the problem at a fraction of the cost.Fault_hot_water_cylinder_element

Hot Water Cylinder Faults and Remedies

NO HOT WATER (Temperature)

Possible Faults: Faulty thermostat, faulty element, blown fuse, power provider ripple control.

Possible Remedies:  Replace thermostat, replace element, replace fuse, unsubscribe, ripple control.

Hot_water_cylinder_faults_no_hot_waterNO HOT WATER (Physically)

Possible Faults: Blocked tempering valve, blocked strainer, incoming water problem, various possible blockages, damaged valve.

Possible Remedies: Process of elimination, identify fault and repair.

VERY LOW TEMPERATURE (or High/Low Fluctuation)Blocked_tempering_valve

Possible Faults: if applicable, incorrect controller or thermostat settings, damaged element, damaged or wrongly set tempering valve, damaged diffuser, possible blockages, tapware problem.

Possible Remedies: Change thermostat and/or controller, tempering valve settings. Process of elimination, identify fault and repair.

KNOCKING OR BANGING NOISE (Water Hammer)

water_hammerPossible Faults: This fault can appear when upgrading from low to mains pressure. Existing pipework not fixed properly, plumbing priority wrong, too much pressure, damaged valves, damaged or unsuitable tapware.

Possible Remedies: Find and fix loose pipework, improve existing priority, install water hammer arrestor. (For more information please view our “what is water hammer” blog.)

HOT WATER SMELLS BAD

Possible Faults: (External Smell) Typically an issue that relates to older cylinders or cylinders that have been slowly leaking internally (element thread or minor crack) for longer periods of time. When the insulation between the casing and tank is wet for a long period of time, it will rot and start to smell. (Internal Smell) A bad smell coming from the tap when hot water is running may be caused by the following: Bacterial growth due to minimum HWC temperatures not being met, accumulated sludge/rust caused by insufficient protection against electrolysis(?) due to the breakdown of a sacrificial anode. Incoming water affected by filthy water tanks or non-treated roof water. Note that smell is heightened by the higher water temperature.

Possible Remedies: Replace hot water cylinder, process of elimination, identify fault and repair.

LOW PRESSURE

low_water_pressure_hot_water_cylinderPossible Faults: This fault will depend on whether it’s an existing low pressure problem or whether it’s a new low pressure problem. (Existing) Existing low pressure system and no fault, damaged pressure reducing valve, incoming pressure changes, tapware, related valve issue, excessive sludge/debris blocking outlet. (New) Tapware, blockages, valves, incoming pressure.

Possible Remedies: (Existing) Replace/repair valves/tapware, remove blockages, insert booster pump, upgrade to mains pressure. (New) Replace/repair valves/tapware, remove blockages. Process of elimination, identify fault and repair.

Leaking_hot_water_cylinderLEAKING HOT WATER CYLINDER

Possible Faults: Split welded seams or welded connections caused by various reasons including thermal expansion and contraction, typically seen with older leaking hot water cylinders, loose fitting, damaged fitting/valve, overheating causing condensation, worn element washer.

Possible Remedies: Repair leak where possible, hot water cylinder replacement.

DISCHARGE VALVES RUNNING CONSTANTLY

Possible Faults: In most cases there is no fault at all. The cold water expansion valve (considered the energy valve) may discharge up to 20L/day in very hot weather and no hot water usage. The idea is to discharge cold water instead of hot water to save on power which is much more expensive than water. Faulty valve, faulty TPR, debris blocking valve spring.

Possible Remedies: Follow manufacturing instructions to manually discharge water from valve to remove debris, regularly maintain valves, repair or replace faulty valves.

In some cases a repair is not possible or recommended, especially if it’s not economical or safe to do a repair. Depending on the fault, our team is trained to make the recommendation that will assist you with your budget and requirements.

WARNING!! When older cylinders are repaired or an element is replaced, they must be drained to enable the process of repair. This draining will cool down the cylinder tank and reduce its pressure. Consequently higher expansion and contraction will take place when the cylinder is re-pressurised (refilled with water). This process may result in an already poorly welded tank seam cracking which would result in a leak. The danger is that a seam cannot be repaired and a full cylinder replacement would be required, rendering the original repair redundant.

This information may be updated regularly to accommodate new information. 

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What Is Water Hammer

Do you hear banging or knocking coming from your water system? Often times we get people reporting a banging noise coming from the water system, but there is nothing hitting any of the pipes or parts. This phenomenon is called Water Hammer. How is this caused?

Water hammer is caused when the valves are shut off, and the sudden stoppage of the water causes a sudden spike in pressure which reverberates through the pipes, causing them to rattle and shake, and produce the knocking noise. Areas that commonly have water hammer issues include:

  • Flush valveswater_hammer
  • Solenoid valves (washing machines, dishwashers and zip boiling units)
  • Ceramic disc tap ware
  • Full flow ballcocks
  • Long runs of pipe
  • Pumps
  • Worn out valves

What can you do to stop this noise? The solution to this comes by means of a device knows as a Water Hammer Arrestor. What this device does is it provides a comprehensible cushion of air in the system, so when pressure occurs the water is pushed against this air which absorbs this spike. You want this placed as close as possible to the offending valve, pipe or area where the banging is occurring. Depending on the pipework system and how extensive it is, you may need to use multiple arrestors to effectively solve this situation.

 

water_hammer_installationTypes of water hammer arrestors

Single Chamber Water Hammer Arrestor – A commonly used arrestor, these are most often used on 12mm pipe and are easily installed onto any section of pipe where it is needed. Its sealed air chamber absorbs the energy from pressure spikes in the water pipe system. These arrestors are made of copper and sustain water temperatures up to 80ºC. The benefit of these arrestors are that they can be installed at any angle to the main pipe. If a threaded joint is not available to attach the arrestor, it can be soldered into place on a T-joint and fitted into the existing pipe, taking up little space behind the wall panel.

Mini End Stop Water Hammer Arrestor – This type of water hammer arrestor is designed to be directly attached to the hose connection of a washing machine, dishwasher, or other water-using appliance. It comes with a 90-degree angled fitting and a threaded end and can be used on a range of pipes from 12mm to 25mm. They can be screwed to a threaded fitting or soldered directly into the pipe itself. While they work best installed at 90 degrees, they work at any angle. Like the single chamber arrestors, these only need minimal space behind any interior wall.

Hose Bib Style Water Hammer Arrestor – These are ideally suited to be used directly on the water intake on washing machines, as they can handle higher water volumes pressures than the other types. These have a wide PVC housing with an internal diaphragm to disperse the shock of water flowing through a quick closing valve. They are larger in diameter and therefore not suited for installation inside a wall. They also tend to be the most expensive to purchase and install.

To read more about RMC water hammer arrestors see the following:

pdfRMC – What Is A Water Hammer?

Water Hammer Faults And Remedies

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Make Sure Your Hot Water Is Hot Enough!

If you try to save power by reducing your hot water cylinder temperature, you need to be very careful. The following may also happen to you:

https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/health/96161836/water-cylinder-warning-after-nelson-bays-family-develops-rash-after-showering

legionella_bacteria_hot_water_systemsCases of Legionella have been popping up as people have fiddled with their hot water cylinders, lowering the temperature in an attempt to save on heating costs. But this can cause a serious problem.

Hot water cylinders should normally be set to a minimum 60°C. At this temperature, bacteria cannot survive, and therefore keeps your water clean. When you set the temperature lower than this, it becomes an optimal breeding ground for Legionella bacteria, which is the main concern for hot water systems in New Zealand.

Some people, however, think that by lowering the temperature that the hot water cylinder is set at, they will save power. While this can work, going below 60°C is not safe, because this is the perfect  temperature range for the bacteria to grow.

make_sure_your_hot_water_is_hot_enough

What is Legionella?
Legionella is an aquatic bacteria that lives in warm water conditions. It is the cause of Legionnaires disease and is commonly found in potable water supplies, hot tubs, cooling towers, fountains, swimming pools and so on. It breeds in warm water temperatures of 20-45°C. This is why it is recommended to keep your cylinder above 60°C, they cannot survive at these temperatures.

tempering_valveMost cylinder manufactures these days such as Rheem have a prevention lock on the thermostat which restricts people from reducing the temperature via the thermostat. In most cases, it is only possible with older models, however we have come across several systems where DIYers have dropped the temperature through various methods despite the thermostat lock by manipulating components. This results in damage and invalidation of warranties.

If you are looking for ways to save on water heating, speak to us today about upgrading to a more efficient hot water system. Don’t risk your health to save a few dollars!