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Plumbing the depths…

By Reprobate 22 May 2009 36

I need someone to look at my leaky hot water system (1985 vintage, off-peak electric, living on borrowed time) and I couldn’t see a previous thread on the topic. 

So, recommendations for a plumber please – quick, tidy, not interested only in selling me up to a new system with the biggest margin, and not that expensive (yes, I’m a dreamer). 

And if I need to go to a new system (probably gas), your experiences with the newer instantaneous systems?

What’s Your opinion?


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36 Responses to
Plumbing the depths…
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sepi 4:41 pm 24 May 09

Is there any way to provide a temporary hot water service while people wait for gas to be put on?

Putting the gas on is a tortuous process, involving phone calls, faxes, diagrams of your house, and measuring your driveway. Then waiting….

Ours has been ‘underway’ for a couple of weeks. If our hot water had actually stopped working I’d have bought a new electric system the same day – you can’t go weeks without hot water.

poppy 4:18 pm 24 May 09

With the greens going to ban the installation of new electric systems from next year I’m also considering replacing my very old 80 litre electric system before it dies completely. I don’t have any gas connected although it is available in the street, so I won’t get an exemption under the green’s rules. It seems like the only viable option for me is to make sure I get the old system replaced with a new electric storage system before the ban comes in!

JC 7:13 pm 23 May 09

molongloid said :

Excuse my randomness: The little compliance plate on my old hot water system says manufactured Feb 1969. Must have been re-cored or something. Can’t believe it’s hanging on this long.

They don’t make em like they used to. What brand is it by the way?

JC 7:12 pm 23 May 09

dtc said :

Some instant systems have a function under which the water in your pipes (between the system and the tap) can be directed back through the heater, to be warmed, before it comes out the tap. Its controlled by your control unit inside the house – or, at least, that is what the booklet for the system I have says can be done. I dont know how well it works or the additional cost involved (presumably some more plumbing) – my heater is 5ft away from the shower so I didn’t bother.

The preheat on an infinity needs a return pipe from the futherst tap, plus an extra box near the heater and of course the control pads to activate the heat function. To run it doesn’t cost anymore, because the moment the tap is turned on the water is being heated anyway, all the pre-heat does is direct the cold water back to the heater.

The main difference is you are not wasting water by having the tap running cold whilst the water is getting from the heater to the tap, so a saving in water cost. Mine takes about 15 seconds for my ensuite to get hot water, this is the futherest tap. The bathroom which is close is about 4 seconds, which is quite reasonable.

I looked at having it put on in my place, but not all that easy to do with a home where the pipes are in the slab. But on a pier style house it would be very easy.

molongloid 1:43 pm 23 May 09

Excuse my randomness: The little compliance plate on my old hot water system says manufactured Feb 1969. Must have been re-cored or something. Can’t believe it’s hanging on this long.

monomania 10:56 pm 22 May 09

PsydFX said :

Also, some people have said that they do waste a little water, and whilst this can be true, as someone else said you can buy a unit to get around it. Basically you push a button on the control panel and the system cycles all the water in the pipes through he heater and brings it to the right temperatute, when you turn the tap on, it’s hot straight away. No more waste.

The water isn’t wasted. It flows into the river and is recycled. 2L water 1000 times a year is 2KL or $7.50. So how much does this system cost?

taninaus 10:40 pm 22 May 09

Drain King provide a great service – very professional and reasonable – and they do a good job too!

gertel 8:53 pm 22 May 09

+2 Rinnai Infinity (bathroom control a must)

R J Gasfitting & Plumbing removed our 70s electric hot water and installed the Rinnai a couple of years ago. They also installed a new loo for us just yesterday – always on time and reasonably priced.

Ernie 8:14 pm 22 May 09

Plumb Perfect Solutions

barking toad 6:42 pm 22 May 09

I’m sure someone can recommend where to get a coffee
while you consider this basic purchase.

Jim Jones 4:14 pm 22 May 09

PsydFX said :

I have a Rinnia Infinity, and I highly recommend them. I also highly recommend getting a control panel for the kitchen and the bathroom, this way you can set the water to the exact temperature you want, which is much more efficient than setting the unit to max, and mixing it down with cold water – it also stops the water fluctuations.

Also, some people have said that they do waste a little water, and whilst this can be true, as someone else said you can buy a unit to get around it. Basically you push a button on the control panel and the system cycles all the water in the pipes through he heater and brings it to the right temperatute, when you turn the tap on, it’s hot straight away. No more waste.

+1.

Also nice and safe for the little ones.

PsydFX 3:59 pm 22 May 09

I have a Rinnia Infinity, and I highly recommend them. I also highly recommend getting a control panel for the kitchen and the bathroom, this way you can set the water to the exact temperature you want, which is much more efficient than setting the unit to max, and mixing it down with cold water – it also stops the water fluctuations.

Also, some people have said that they do waste a little water, and whilst this can be true, as someone else said you can buy a unit to get around it. Basically you push a button on the control panel and the system cycles all the water in the pipes through he heater and brings it to the right temperatute, when you turn the tap on, it’s hot straight away. No more waste.

Holden Caulfield 3:42 pm 22 May 09

burkes08 said :

Yeah, I would probably just spend the money and upgrade to instantaneous gas. My hot water system broke down about 4 years ago and it was only going to cost about $300 more to upgrade it.

The instantaneous gas has been fantastic. No problems at all, cheap, and just runs and runs and runs.

+1

They don’t wast much water though.

Gungahlin Al 3:06 pm 22 May 09

We have an Endless Solar evacuated glass tubes system that is doing very nicely, and the tube approach is much more efficient in Canberra and frost resistent. We have a manual switch for an electronic boost as the gas boost costs a lot more (essentially the cost of a full instant gas system), and we hardly need it anyway.

Whatever you do, just avoid any storage system other than a solar or heat pump one. Remeber that heat pumps have what is basically an airconditioning compressor running outside your house – noise may impact you or your neighbours.

Instant gas will waste water – less of an issue if you have a grey water capture system so it can go to good use anyway.

Inappropriate 2:53 pm 22 May 09

As others have stated, instant hot water systems can be a bit touchy on water flow – if it’s not flowing fast enough, it doesn’t heat. It can make it tricky getting the temperature of the water right in the shower.

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