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Is Your Gas Water Heater Safe from the Weather?

This is no coincidence. How can bad weather damage your instant gas water heater?

Two days of bad weather and this is the result!

Five units in just two days since tropical storm hits Auckland!

As the week went on, more and more instant water heaters have becomes victims to the weather.

Today we will be addressing why this happens and what you can do to safeguard your valued hot water appliance.


It is needless to say that you require a registered plumbers and gasfitters to install a gas powered instantaneous water heater.

A Gasfitter will strictly follow appliance location as per standard AS/NZS 5601. Within you will find restrictions as where an external water heater can be located safely and compliantly.

Unfortunately despite having met compliance and safety the installer should take various other factors into consideration such as:

  1. High wind zones
  2. Exposure to environmental effects such as the sea where salt is carried by the breeze. It is a known fact that steel corrodes much faster in such environment.


First of all, we don’t want to worry any of our readers in case you do have an external water heater affected by one of the above scenarios. This information is more of an FYI and has become more relevant to the changes in our weather patterns over the last few year, especially given the high number of replacements that have taken place recently. We believe that installers should be slightly more cautious upon deciding where they will install an external instant water heater.

Whilst the appliances are I.P (Ingress protection rating) rated at IPX-5 (Protected against low pressure water stream from any angle) if positioned in a high wind zone, moisture may still find its way into areas that that includes electronics or if close to the ocean highly corrosion will create more risk especially if water finds its way into the flu which is made of very vulnerable metals. As you can see in the images above corrosion has been the main factor for the IP rating to fail which has led to the units EOL.

Further, in some instances and especially with gas powered hot water cylinders such as the Rheem Stellar high wind zones will cause ignition problems if the pilot light is affected.


So what can you do to safe guard your gas instantaneous water heater?

Once you have worked out where the unit is to be located, ensure it’s not a high wind zone. You can do this by using basic tools and in most cases common sense by evaluating the environment.

If there is a concern of high winds or high corrosion risk, then we recommend the unit is installed within a complaint box. This can be bespoke or something like the following example:

The added benefit you will have is theft protection!

Whatever solution you find, your main objective is to ensure the installation is done by a registered tradesman and is fully compliant and safe. Hot Water Cylinders NZ has experience in both.

Give us a ring if you are after any solutions to safeguard your appliance.

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What is the Cheapest Way to Heat Hot Water?

Are you looking for the most efficient way to heat water? Are you struggling to choose between a gas or electric water heater? You’re not alone! Thousands of Kiwis share the same sentiment. Recognizing this problem, we thought of preparing a quick guide to discuss your options and the pros and cons of each type of water heating setup. Hopefully, by going through our discussion below, you can identify the best option for your property.

Gas vs. Electric Water Heaters

The debate between using a gas or electric water heater has been around for years. That’s because both options present varying benefits to potential users. If you’re not sure which of the two you should pick, here are the key factors you should consider when you go shopping:

  • Accessibility – This refers to the ease of using the water heater.
  • Size – When shopping for a water heating system, make sure you take into consideration the size of the tank. This way, you can increase you heating system’s efficiency and avoid producing too much or too little hot water for your home.
  • Efficiency – This aspect specifically looks into how well a water heating system operates and how much energy it uses to do the job.
  • Maintenance requirements – Needless to say, choosing a water heating system that requires little to no maintenance is the best choice.
  • Installation – The installation of both types of water heating options are straightforward. However, you may need to consider a few complications when switching from one system to another. Be sure to consider this aspect when choosing a new type of water heater.

Operational Cost: What’s The Cheapest Option to Heat Water?

Now that you know the basic factors to consider when choosing between an electric and gas heater, let’s deep dive into the operational costs involved. As you might already know, most homeowners base their decisions on the cost of running a water heater, simply because the expenses tend to add up to the monthly budget of families. In fact, water heating costs accounts for up to 30 percent of a household’s monthly electricity bill.

To help you choose between the two, here’s a breakdown of their average operational costs:

  • Gas Heater – Gas-powered water heaters come in two options. Between the two, most people opt for the gas continuous flow because of its high efficiency. On average, it costs between NZD 750 to 950 per year to run this type of heater for an small household if you have a natural gas connection. You may also use an LPG tank and pay around $850 a year. You can even reduced the costs if you have gas supply for other heating purposes.
  • Electric Heater Electric water heater installation costs are almost equal to gas water heaters. However, the running costs have a bit of difference. Notably, an average Kiwi household with three people spends about NZD 1000 a year to run an electric water heater. The cost may also fluctuate depending on the electricity rates and night tariff.

Gas Water Heating Remains the Cheapest Choice

Want to learn more about how gas-powered water heaters work? Would you like to install a gas water heating system in your home? Contact Water Heater Brokers at 0800 692 672 so we can help you figure out which type of gas water heater you should use and schedule your water heating system installation.

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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!