Skip to content Skip to main navigation

Business

Beyond the expected

Flawed ACT Housing rollout of Airoheat hot water tanks – ‘green’ maybe, but don’t actually work!

By miz - 16 June 2009 38

A lot of govie houses had perfectly good electric hot water tanks replaced by DUX AIROHEAT hot water units that have a reverse fridge unit on top (as described here)

My previous (perfectly good) water tank was off peak and not expensive to run (I was paying around $50 per month through direct debit).

I don’t know if I will save any money on the new Airoheat, but if I do it’s because it doesn’t actually heat the water properly!

Problems:
1. It is intrusively noisy, and
2. It does not seem to be able to cope with Canberra’s winter.

Mine sounds like a noisy fan night and day, which is an issue as it is situated near the laundry which is also near my daughters (2) bedroom window. Remember, govie houses are small. There is nowhere else it could go.

Even more problematic is the fact that it ices up even when the overnight temp is nowhere near zero, causing it to constantly be in ‘de-ice’ mode and never actually get around to heating the water.

For example, child comes home from work in evening and has shower at 11pm. Morning shower is a rush job of two frantic minutes with just the hot tap running as turning on the cold would reduce the temp too low.

Calls to ACT Housing have unearthed a widespread issue with these tanks and they apparently require some kind of logic box added to them all.

This hardly seems like an efficient rollout.

I would be grateful if someone has encountered this issue and got it fixed.

I would also like to know if anyone can shed some light on the rumour that ACTEW don’t want to ‘do’ off peak hot water any more . . .?

What’s Your opinion?


Post a comment
Please login to post your comments, or connect with
38 Responses to
Flawed ACT Housing rollout of Airoheat hot water tanks – ‘green’ maybe, but don’t actually work!
Gungahlin Al 4:19 pm 16 Jun 09

screaming banshee said :

miz, I’m just wondering if they have also fitted a tempering valve that may not have been there previously causing the hot water that is available to be ‘less hot’

Yes likely a source of the problem. When we rolled out a lot of solar HWSs in a pilot retrofit program with Brisbane City Council, we then got a number of complaints about inadequate heat. But it was invariably a tempering valve issue, where they weren’t installed before.

For those not familiar, hot water to ‘hygiene uses’ i.e. baths, showers, basins now have to be limited (under the Building Code of Australia) to 50 degrees max to prevent scalding, which IS a serious problem in older (and not so old) places. But most plumbers do this cheaply by just putting one valve right at the beginning, meaning the kitchen and laundry are also capped at 50. A “Greensmart” plumber should know how to avoid this problem.

In our new home, we specified that only the hygiene uses be tempered. They had to run a separate line for the laundry and kitchen, and this had to be copper instead of black pipe, due to the high temperatures that come out of the Endless Solar HWS. But we get great hot water where we really need it, and safe hot water where needed too.

On the noise, this is a big problem with heat pump systems. When heat pumps cost similar to a good solar HWS, and Canberra has such consistent sunny days even through winter (just not the last week or so…) I don’t understand why Housing would have gone the way of heat pumps. Poor advice I think. The noise from air conditioning units is bad enough, without throwing heat pump HWSs into the mix too.

peterh 4:16 pm 16 Jun 09

James-T-Kirk said :

I too love my Rinnai – When it arrived we couldn’t set the heat higher than 50C in the kitchen – (all for the bathrooms being limited to 50C), but a bit of an internet search, and we can set the water in the Kitchen to 75C – Whoot!

Bloody stoopid govmit limiting what I can set my hot water heater to – Next they will want to tell me how old I *have* to be to retire!

they set it to 50c for the kiddies who are far more clever than mummy and daddy, and can work out the settings on the DVD player like the child lock – they didn’t want a child scalded by really hot water. the dishwasher still cleans, as does the washibng up in the sink under 50c temp.

miz 4:15 pm 16 Jun 09

Thumper, sadly, the warm fuzzies have iced over!

miz 4:14 pm 16 Jun 09

I’m pretty sure a tempering valve is fitted – they said the max temp is lower for safety and economic reasons.

Mind you, I could ‘turn a dial on my old one to a safe temp that also saved me money. . .

Peewee Slasher 4:10 pm 16 Jun 09

Banshee’s right. All new or replacement storage hot water units must have a tempering valve fitted to limit temperature to 45 degrees.

JC 4:08 pm 16 Jun 09

screaming banshee said :

miz, I’m just wondering if they have also fitted a tempering valve that may not have been there previously causing the hot water that is available to be ‘less hot’

By law any new or modified hot water heaters must have a tempering valve. It must limit the temp to 60′ or 65′.

One odd thing though is with ‘infinity’ systems are limited to 50′ without a controller, or 55′ with. Not sure if this is gov regulation or just the way the company makes them. My guess is regulation as taking the cover off one reveals they can, in theory go higher, but doing so clearly loose efficency.

VYBerlinaV8_the_one_ 4:05 pm 16 Jun 09

I’ve had a Rinnai Infinity for 7 years now, and wouldn’t have anything else.

Choose your temperature, turn on the hot, and enjoy.

And you only heat what you use.

James-T-Kirk 4:02 pm 16 Jun 09

I too love my Rinnai – When it arrived we couldn’t set the heat higher than 50C in the kitchen – (all for the bathrooms being limited to 50C), but a bit of an internet search, and we can set the water in the Kitchen to 75C – Whoot!

Bloody stoopid govmit limiting what I can set my hot water heater to – Next they will want to tell me how old I *have* to be to retire!

MissPeaches 3:59 pm 16 Jun 09

peterh said :

makes me love my rinnai infinity. 42c constant gas heated water.

+1

Thumper 3:44 pm 16 Jun 09

Yes, but you’re reducing your carbon footprint and therefore ultimately saving the planet from global warming.

That should give you a warm fuzzy feeling.

screaming banshee 3:43 pm 16 Jun 09

miz, I’m just wondering if they have also fitted a tempering valve that may not have been there previously causing the hot water that is available to be ‘less hot’

Peewee Slasher 3:32 pm 16 Jun 09

Reverse cycle air-conditioning or heat pumps lose efficiency below 4 degrees, i.e. they don’t work.

peterh 3:32 pm 16 Jun 09

makes me love my rinnai infinity. 42c constant gas heated water.

S4anta 3:28 pm 16 Jun 09

Yet another example of the Government giving the public the cold shoulder.

miz 3:18 pm 16 Jun 09

Sorry can I correct the cost of my old hot water – should be $50 per fortnight, not per month.

1 2 3

Related Articles

CBR Tweets

Sign up to our newsletter

Top
Copyright © 2017 Riot ACT Holdings Pty Ltd. All rights reserved.
www.the-riotact.com | www.b2bmagazine.com.au | www.thisiscanberra.com

Search across the site