Category Archives: Hot Water Talk

10_Mistakes_to_avoid_when_buying_a_new_Hot_Water_Cylinder

10 Mistakes to avoid when buying a new Hot Water Cylinder

  1. 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.10_Mistakes_to_avoid_when_buying_a_new_Hot_Water_Cylinder
  2. 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 Many installers will try to flog off outdated stock and make it look like the deal of a lifetime.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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Warranty
    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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.

Christchurch shake affects hot water cylinder manufacturers.

4.3 magnitude earthquake in Christchurch shakes residence and hot water cylinder manufactures!

christchurch_earth_quake_damage_hwc

Yet another earthquake hits Christchurch and like every other earthquake this one leaves frustration and damage in the millions behind. Peter Cocks have been manufacturing hot water cylinders in New Zealand for decades and despite being prepared for the constant “shakes” every now and then, over 100 hot water cylinder got damaged in the quake.

This of course affects distribution throughout New Zealand, especially Auckland being the largest hot water consumer.

Peter Cocks have been recently sold to Rheem so the timing could have not been any worse/better? I suppose this will fully depend on who is looking at it 🙂

If you live in Christchurch and you are getting your hot water cylinder replaced, ensure your seismic restraint is installed correctly. This could save lives and definitely save you money even in the smallest quake. Hot water cylinders LTD have been busy helping Christchurch residence get their hot water cylinders repaired or replaced. If you are affected by the recent quakes give us a ring for immediate assistance.

We look forward to hearing more about Peter Cocks’ new venture with Rheem and will certainly keep you posted on any product advancements and updates. If you currently own a Peter Cocks hot water cylinder and are concerned about any future warranty related claims, dont be. Peter Cocks have already issued a statement guaranteeing the continuation of all warranties through the new purchaser Rheem. Peter Cocks may continue to operate under the current brand name “Peter Cocks” but only time will tell.

Jason Statham thinks Rheem is bullet proof?

I had to giggle when I watched “The One” over the weekend. An action filled story line played on a multi-dimensional level filled with clichés and “classic” acting ability from Jason Statham and Jet Li. Mimicking typical special effects introduced by the Matrix the movie keeps you anticipated right through to the last showdown between Statham and Jet-Li.
Jason_Statham_with_RheemOn a manhunt, half way through the movie, Statham decides to take cover behind a Rheem Hot water cylinder. Now, I dont know about you but knowing what these products are made of, im not sure I would feel safe standing behind one trying to dodge a bullet!

So what model Rheem is this hot water cylinder?

By its height and diameter I would say this Jason_Statham_thinkingcylinder has a minimum capacity of 250L.
Looking closely at the connections at the top one can clearly identify flow and return pipework. In total 4 connections which exclude the pressure relief valve clearly visible on the side. I would categorise this hot water cylinder within the Rheem Premier Solar and Drain-back assortment.

bullet_proof_Rheem

Further down this article you can find a technical view of how the installation setup could look like.

Some obvious Hollywood neglection.

Other than the fact that this cylinder is EMPTY and will not save your life in a fire fight, why is it not connected to look like it? If you look at the top of the tank, you can clearly identify that it’s fully disconnected with a “stubby” for a hot water outlet. Do you think they upgraded to instant gas and the plumber forgot to take it away or did Hollywood reject the plumbers quote (I would hate to know how much they charge stars for plumbing works) to temporarily provide a “working” hot water cylinder which is full of water making the bullet proofing scene more realistic? I will leave the answer to your imagination! I guess you will just have to watch THE ONE.

After writing this article I have decided to take one of these hot water cylinders into the bush and introduce it to my 308 Browning. We will see how bullet proof a hot water cylinder can be. I will be updating you very soon with a video and some results, you never know, one day a Rheem may save your life!

Rheem_drainback_solar_storage

 

Shame on you BT plumbing and gas

We come across a lot of copy cats online. They steal content, ideas and images from others and later call it “mine”. Most content thieves don’t realise that search engines take content theft seriously and penalise such sites accordingly in organic search. A timeless record of all online platforms recorded by the Wayback machine will quickly reveal where content originated from. Search engines such as Google also provide time stamps, quickly disadvantaging such websites with copied content and this includes images.

In this instance several things were copied by BT Plumbing and Gas with the most obvious being images from our website. A quick Lead Gen site put together by the effort of others wanting to provide a unique experience to their users. Hot water cylinders Ltd legitimately purchased these images honouring the original copyright.

BT Plumbing and Gas may have employed a shoddy company or possibly knowingly copied our content. Either way, excuses aside, you are responsible for what you publish. We work hard to provide our users with an exceptional experience, contributing to a general better online experience fighting spam and content theft.

My advice is.. Try creating real authentic content that will actually benefit your users and if you completely fail in the “creativity” department and must “steal” other people’s work / ideas, do it in a way that is not so obvious to others.

The Original

original

The Copy

fake

1960’s HJ Cooper & Sons New Market Cylinder with Hermetic element.

HJ_coopers_and_sonsWhat another great find! This Hj Coopers hot water cylinder (Pressure water heater rated to max head of 25 FT) managed to last over 50 years and was only replaced because of a new home renovation. Otherwise in pretty good shape! In the 60’s hot water cylinders had a higher content of copper. That, the additional material grade and quality manufacturing processes delivered hot water cylinders that lasted decades! What makes this find even more exciting is that the original Guarantee card was still inside the element enclosure, originally signed by the installer and dated 1965. This is museum material right there! Back of the card reads: ” This “Hermetic” element is fully guaranteed for two years from the date of purchase, as shown on other side, against faulty workmanship (this indicates that Hj Coopers used to install the cylinders themselves, whereas today manufactures don’t install and only supply)  or materials, always provided that the element has been subject to fair and reasonable use. The manufacturers will, at their discretion, repair or replace same if returned to them through the dealer from whom the element was purchased , provided the element is accompanied by this card. this guarantee does not cover element whose failure is due to liming or the building up of water impurities. No responsibility is accepted for any consequential damage arising from the use of this element.

After so many years in business HJ coopers have recently been purchased by Rinnai. Whether HJ Coopers will continue to exist as a brand, we don’t know but one thing we do know, this cylinder was certainly a high quality low pressure hot water cylinder in the 60’s! Back to the treasure hunt!

Guarantee_card cylinder_conditions

Rheem Mains Pressure takes the OW! out of your shower!

Rheem Delta mains Pressure

The title of this blog is what you would have found attached to your Rheem hot water cylinder in the early 90’s! A marketing endeavor designed to encourage home owners to return a questionnaire which will enable them to take advantage of the amazing Rheem warranty.

Rheem_Delta

The back of this two color compact A4 flyer which folds into a convenient sized Free-post postcard states “Please return this questionnaire/warranty. It is your advantage for us to have it on file should the need arise to make a claim. As an additional incentive, your warranty will be entered into a monthly draw to WIN AN ELECTRIC JUG OR KETTLE, A TOASTER OR AN IRON.” I do love the “toaster” classic!

Some of these questions (eight in total, some of which are designed to “paint a demographic”) include:

  • Who selected your water heater? you or your plumber?
  • Where/why has this water heater been installed?
  • What did your new water heater replace?

1990_pipe_layout

Whats also interesting is the installation diagram Rheem has attached, stating that all other valves are optional and only required as specified by the local conditions and regulations. If you look at the schematic you will also notice it does not include a tempering valve. the shower priority is correct but some of the others questionable.

Good on you Rheem for taking such an interest in your clients! For over 25 years now Rheem have been the leaders in hot water heating and they continue to lead the industry by example.

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.

Its been a busy week for hot water cylinders!

many_hot_water_cylinders

2015 has just started and we are already in full gear!

All these leaky hot water cylinders can now only be disposed of as scrap metal. The mixture is never the same. Sometimes we have more mains pressure cylinders and sometimes only low pressure. A few months ago we even replaced 8 external gas Vulcan Freeloaders in 3 weeks! Its funny how the trend goes and very interesting to watch such anomalies.

Hot water cylinders LTD has many upcoming specials in 2015.  Some of these include:

  • Mains Pressure conversions
  • Instant gas hot water conversions. (gas water heating)
  • Stainless Steel upgrades.
  • Relocating internal hot water cylinders externally.
  • Complete services and maintenance programs.

To get your obligation free quote on replacing or repairing your hot water cylinder, please call us on 0800 429 546 or email quotes@hotwatercylinders.nz

No Hot Water on New Years :(

no_hot_water_testingThe last thing you need when you come back from holiday is to find your hot water cylinder has stopped working especially when you urgently just want to take a shower! Many people tend to turn their hot water cylinders off during this time. This in itself is not a problem unless your hot water cylinder is 10+ years old. Turning off the power to your hot water cylinder will of course allow the body of water inside the tank to COOL OFF, this is something your hot water cylinder is not used too as water is constantly maintained at 60 degrees. This “cooling off” will result in extreme contraction of the tank itself which initially does not cause the leak. Most Aucklander’s will coming back from holiday and the first thing they do is switch on the power to the hot water cylinder which will immediately power-up a 3KW element which in return will heat up the body of water back to 60 degrees in a relatively short mount of time. This will now cause the tank to expand very quickly. Depending on age this is when your hot water cylinder might spring a leak! Unfortunately we cannot give you advice whether to keep the power on or off during your absence but encourage you get your hot water cylinder serviced prior to going on holiday to ensure you don’t come back to any nasty surprises. In the image above the home owner was very fortunate that only the immersion heating element was damaged. Replacement of the element was under $200 and included a full check of the thermostat and hot water heating system.

Its time to service your water heater

New Zealand weather is changing and temperatures are dropping. So it’s time to think about getting your water heater or central heating boiling system serviced.

Servicing a Rinnai

Servicing a Rinnai

Why should I get my water heater serviced?

  • To ensure its operating safely > Regardless of system type you want to make sure that its safe! With gas water heaters our service consists of a comprehensive checklist some of which are the following: checking a gas leaks, ensuring the fan is operating correctly, making sure flue gasses (CO and carbon monoxide > combustion check) are in the correct range and not a threat to your family. We also check the appliance physically to ensure the flue is not blocked or leaking, remove cobwebs and give is proper clean from the affects of its natural surroundings. Electrical appliances are also checked for safety, ensuring all safety valves are operating within an acceptable range protecting your family from burst tanks, and scolding temperatures.
  • To ensure its operating efficiently >> Another main component servicing your water heater and central heating boiler is make sure its working efficiently. Is it burning more gas than required? Is your power / gas bill to high? The way your appliance processes Energy is very important if left to run in-efficiently your tear and wear factor will increase making future repairs expensive and reducing the appliances life span!

I have only listed a few things that apply when we service your appliance. Our comprehensive check list will ensure that you can enjoy the upcoming winter days not having to worry about high power / gas bills knowing your appliance is running safe.

Here a range of appliances we can service:

  • Electric Hot water cylinders
  • Gas hot water cylinder
  • Gas central heating boilers
  • Commercial combi-central and domestic heating systems.

Hot water cylinder NZ specialise in how water heating appliance servicing. Whether gas or electrical, residential or commercial. Book yourself in and make sure you ready for winter!