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Cost of continuous flow hot water system?

By CanberraGirl2002 - 19 February 2015 24

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Hi all,

Newbie here – please be kind 🙂 Our electric tank hot water system has died, leaving us without hot water. Instead of paying to get it fixed we thought we may as well get a continuous flow hot water system (gas) installed, as we’ve been talking about it for a while, but have never gotten around to making it a priority.

Our quote has come back at just under 4K. As we need to book it in asap I thought I would throw it out on RIOTACT to see if anyone else has had one installed and what the cost was. I think much of the cost is in the installation. Just as background, we are in an old (circa 1950-60) four bedroom home with two bathrooms.

Thanks in advance!

What’s Your opinion?


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24 Responses to
Cost of continuous flow hot water system?
JC 2:37 pm 19 Feb 15

Oh forgot to say with traditional tank heaters it has been the law for about 20 years that if you have a tank replaced it needs a tempering valve set to 60c. So even though it may be easy to up thermostat on a tank beyond this you will wont get super hot temps like some people are talking about as the tempering cable will mix in cold water for reduce it.

dungfungus 2:30 pm 19 Feb 15

VYBerlinaV8_is_back said :

carpediem said :

dungfungus said :

Stay with electricity, better still put in a solar with electric boost.
Gas is outrageously expensive.

With 4 adults and occaisonal warm water washing – I’ve actially found my gas hot water to be substantially cheaper than electricity. Could be the choice of systems?

Your $4K quote might also include getting the natural gas lines to house if they hadn’t been previously connected. If so, you wont get that component of the cost any cheaper.

We had a rinnai (sp?) infinity gas system at my last house and it costs three fifths of nothing to run, it was insanely cheap.

That said, it takes time for hot water to reach extremities of the house (the bigger the house the worse the latency), and also cost a lot more to install in the first place.

I’m about to replace our normal gas hot water unit and am currently thinking that another standard gas unit might well be the best bet. It still doesn’t cost much to run, keeps up with our hot water needs without issue and costs substantially less to install in the first place.

Decisions, decisions…

If the OP doesn’t have gas already connected then it makes no sense to do it just for heating water. The daily “standing charge” for a gas service is about 65 cents a day. The gas costs extra.
Be aware that Australia has signed massive delivery contracts for exporting gas and on current projections we will not meet them so domestic gas supplies will become even more expensive.
Once again, that filthy black stuff will save all civilised Australians who use electricity.

JC 2:25 pm 19 Feb 15

With the infinity the temp is set at 50c unless you have controllers where it can go to 55. That’s said had one for 15 years set at 50 and never had issues with cleaning the dishes.

I added controllers later on which was good. Means when having a shower you set the temp you want and don’t waste money heating water only to cool it by mixing in cold water. I found 42 in the ensuite was quite comfortable or 41 in the main shower which was close to the unit.

Time wise it takes about 15 seconds for the ensuite to come to temp and the main bathroom and kitchen under 5 seconds. You can buy an add on preheated to get around this issue but requires a return pipe to be run from the further most outlet back to the heater.

So moral to for it but get controllers. For the infinity they are about $120 retail for the standard type no doubt an installer will jack the price significantly.

VYBerlinaV8_is_back 12:50 pm 19 Feb 15

carpediem said :

dungfungus said :

Stay with electricity, better still put in a solar with electric boost.
Gas is outrageously expensive.

With 4 adults and occaisonal warm water washing – I’ve actially found my gas hot water to be substantially cheaper than electricity. Could be the choice of systems?

Your $4K quote might also include getting the natural gas lines to house if they hadn’t been previously connected. If so, you wont get that component of the cost any cheaper.

We had a rinnai (sp?) infinity gas system at my last house and it costs three fifths of nothing to run, it was insanely cheap.

That said, it takes time for hot water to reach extremities of the house (the bigger the house the worse the latency), and also cost a lot more to install in the first place.

I’m about to replace our normal gas hot water unit and am currently thinking that another standard gas unit might well be the best bet. It still doesn’t cost much to run, keeps up with our hot water needs without issue and costs substantially less to install in the first place.

Decisions, decisions…

pajs 12:50 pm 19 Feb 15

You can get a solar hot water system with an electric boost to the storage tank for about that $4k figure. Less exposure to gas prices that way.

Maya123 12:49 pm 19 Feb 15

Rollersk8r said :

but I think standard units only heat the water to 60 degrees. Some people say this is not hot enough to wash really dirty dishes etc.

My solar tank is heated to 70 degrees, but the temperature mixer then cools the water to most of the house. The exception is a separate line running into the kitchen hot water tap that bypasses the mixer. Water cooled by the mixer is definitely not hot enough to hygienically wash dishes.
My last house had water at 85 degrees running into the kitchen sink. Now that cleans dishes well.

carpediem 12:44 pm 19 Feb 15

dungfungus said :

Stay with electricity, better still put in a solar with electric boost.
Gas is outrageously expensive.

With 4 adults and occaisonal warm water washing – I’ve actially found my gas hot water to be substantially cheaper than electricity. Could be the choice of systems?

Your $4K quote might also include getting the natural gas lines to house if they hadn’t been previously connected. If so, you wont get that component of the cost any cheaper.

Maya123 12:42 pm 19 Feb 15

dungfungus said :

Stay with electricity, better still put in a solar with electric boost.
Gas is outrageously expensive.

I agree about the gas. My solar has an electric booster. The builder wanted to have a gas booster, but I said no, as I didn’t want to pay for a service every month, even if I used no gas. My house only needs a wood fired stove to heat for very rare use, and doesn’t need any other heat source. Plus I didn’t want to cook with gas. So the only use gas would have would be boosting the solar hot water system one month a year. So I stuck with electricity. My electricity use triples for the month my booster is on, raising the bill (with service charges) to about $170. Next winter I shall only boost in off peak, in an attempt to lower that.

arescarti42 12:35 pm 19 Feb 15

dungfungus said :

Stay with electricity, better still put in a solar with electric boost.
Gas is outrageously expensive.

I find the most expensive thing about gas are the supply charges.

My old house had gas cooking, heating, and hot water, and the supply charge for each bill was typically more than the actual gas I used.

If I were building a house, I’d be tempted to go all electric, as I imagine any increase in electricity costs would be more than offset by the circa $300 a year not being paid in gas supply charges.

switch 12:33 pm 19 Feb 15

Rollersk8r said :

We put one in, a few years ago, for a bit over $3000. Electricity bill immediately reduced by 20% – and we were very happy to reclaim the space the tank was taking up in the laundry.

A couple of points to be aware of though! Firstly, the instant gas system works very well for us, thanks to having a tiny house (as already posted). There is still a bit of a delay.

Secondly – and most importantly – is the temperature of the unit. I’m not 100% sure this is still current information – but I think standard units only heat the water to 60 degrees. Some people say this is not hot enough to wash really dirty dishes etc. We purposely sourced a hotter unit and have no problems with it being hot enough.

Make that 50 degrees C. Being a typical mindless bureaucrat nannystate regulation, this means that an older house with little or no insulation on the pipes makes the hot water too cold by the time it gets to the kitchen sink to shift grease. A bit of searching for the manual for your model on the internet usually finds the instructions you need to make it run hotter.

We had one installed several years ago to replace a failed electric storage tank (not off-peak) and are still happy with it. But as dungers says, gas is getting noticeably more expensive to run it. It was cheaper to start with, but I don’t think so anymore. Also make sure the installer puts it where the pipes will have the shortest run. Ours was installed for their convenience on the day and we ended up with long runs of pipe to join back to the failed water tank pipes in the roof which also doesn’t help heating efficiency.

Rollersk8r 11:58 am 19 Feb 15

We put one in, a few years ago, for a bit over $3000. Electricity bill immediately reduced by 20% – and we were very happy to reclaim the space the tank was taking up in the laundry.

A couple of points to be aware of though! Firstly, the instant gas system works very well for us, thanks to having a tiny house (as already posted). There is still a bit of a delay.

Secondly – and most importantly – is the temperature of the unit. I’m not 100% sure this is still current information – but I think standard units only heat the water to 60 degrees. Some people say this is not hot enough to wash really dirty dishes etc. We purposely sourced a hotter unit and have no problems with it being hot enough.

Chris 11:54 am 19 Feb 15

Do the electric systems require three phase?

dungfungus 11:36 am 19 Feb 15

Stay with electricity, better still put in a solar with electric boost.
Gas is outrageously expensive.

Maya123 11:24 am 19 Feb 15

If you have to pay that much, why not pay a bit more and have solar installed. I only need the booster about one month a year. The rest of the year the sun heats the water. That’s means for eleven months of the year I don’t pay for power to heat water. The time the booster is needed could likely be reduced if I added more tubes.

ExarKun 10:19 am 19 Feb 15

We had one installed last year for about $3600. It used an existing external power outlet so that cut costs by a small amount.

There are limitations as to where they can be installed (distance from windows etc) but try to get it as close to your wet areas as possible. We had to put ours at one end of the house and it takes an age for the hot water to reach the kitchen.

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