Should I replace my hot water system with a tankless hot water system?
Tankless Hot Water Systems and why you should use them
There are many reasons why you should or should not switch to a tankless hot water system, also known as an instantaneous / instant hot water system or continuous flow unit. The main factors that will help you make that decision are the existing type of hot water system, availability of gas or high demand electricity, budget, age of hot water system and household dynamic.
What types of tankless hot water heaters are there?
There are two main types of tankless hot water system. These are electric tankless hot water heaters and the gas tankless water heater. The electric system is very basic, it operates with the water circulating when turned on over a number of heating elements such as you find in a kettle. These instant heat water heater units generally use between 20 and 60kw of power per hour. In comparison, your standard electric hot water service generally uses around 3.6kw of power per hour, but they do need to heat over multiple hours and store the water for future use. The other type is the gas tankless water heater which come as either natural gas or LPG and like the electric systems use a lot of gas at once to get the heat into the pipework rather than storing it like a storage system.
What are the tankless electric water heater Pros and Cons?
There are three main reasons you would opt for an electric tankless water heater. These are price, space and availability of gas. When it comes down to water heater prices they are relatively cheap compared to all the other options and can be supplied and installed for less than $1000, and they fit anywhere you like. They can be installed in bathrooms, ceilings, under benches and can be as small as a standard toaster. Making them perfect for units, flats and areas with no outside room and no excess cupboard space. When it comes to a hot water system service they are also very cheap with minimal moving parts. The cons though are operating costs and power availability. The fact that they can use from 20-60kw on a standard domestic install means most existing properties do not have big enough wiring to run the unit. They also cannot run on any off peak tariffs, solar or batteries, meaning a standard families power bill would be double that of standard storage electric hot water heaters.
What are the tankless gas water heater Pros and Cons?
Like electric systems there are 3 mains reasons for a gas tankless unit. These are price, Natural Gas or LPG availability and space. Like the electric units they are relatively cheap to install compared to a storage system, they usually have around a 6-star energy rating and have a lot more control and options compared to a storage system. From temperature control units to a hot water recirculation system option so you don’t have to run cold water from the tap before the hot comes through. A standard home hot water service is also relatively small and compact and come with options for indoor and external installations. When it comes to cons there is two main factors. The first of which is generally only an issue outside of metro areas and is reliable power supply as these units generally ignite by electronic ignition. The second and main factor is gas type. While Natural gas is relatively cheap compared to electric systems, either tankless or off peak storage, LPG is quite expensive and you can run out of gas meaning if you don’t keep track of consumption you could have not hot water for afew days.
How does my existing installation determine if tankless water heater installation is right for me?
Your home will be more than likely designed for a certain system and changing to new tankless hot water systems can be expensive. If you currently have an electric storage system and no Natural gas availability then you would spend thousands converting to an electric tankless hot water system with the costs involved in new wiring, circuit board upgrades and having to move from the cheaper off peak tariffs. If you do have a standard electric storage system you would much better looking at options such as solar or heat pump that would save you hundreds per year in ongoing electricity costs. If you do though have a fixture a long way from other house services that takes along time to get hot water then an instant hot water heater under sink unit would be ideal. Being able to heat the cold water inline before the hot water from the cheaper hot water source would save you thousands of litres of water per year. If you’re one of the lucky people that has Natural Gas to the home, or in your street then continuous flow or instant gas hot water heaters would be a great option. Converting to a instant gas system can cost as little as replacing your standard gas storage system but with reduced ongoing costs and cheaper servicing moving forward it’s a win win.
Instant hot water prices and the cost of tankless water heater installed, how much should I budget?
We can only give you our prices, and being some of the lowest in the industry with superior installations these are perfect for you to build your budget on. When it comes to electric tankless replacement units we have electric hot water heaters for sale from $700 to $2000 supplied and installed depending on single or three phase and kW consumption. Add around $700-$1500 to the installation if it is all new and not a replacement. The gas continuous flow/ tankless hot water system swap and conversion is our speciality. Every day we do gas whole house instant hot water systems replacements from as little as $1099 supplied and fitted and full gas conversions from electric or storage from $1799 inc electrical work.
Does the age of my existing change my options?
The age keeps all you options the same, but does effect on going savings and running costs. If your system is under ten years old we would recommend to leave it as is and keep up with servicing to prolong the system life, unless the number of people relying on the system changes. If your system is over 10 years though, replacing it early can have big impacts on the family running costs. Converting from a small electric hot water system to a 6 star gas tankless hot water system could save you over $500 a year on running costs. On a system with a life span of around 12years changing it afew years early could save you over $1000 making the conversion cost around 50%. That’s e very quick return on investment. And when you take into account gas water heaters for sale generally increase 5% each April and increase in gas charges it makes it even more appealing.
Reviews, reviews, reviews. How much do they mean?
When it comes to appliance reviews how many people review whitegoods that do their job as designed? If you google “instant hot water systems reviews” you will find most units have a poor rating. Sometimes its warranted-on units such as Dux, Leja and Chromogen, but most of the time its not. Tankless water heaters reviews 2015 showed that some of our worst preforming systems as the better ones. And the reason for this is generally related to home owner self-installation. If they buy a cheap unit and self install and it works to an acceptable standard no review is written. If they buy a quality Rheem tankless water heater and it doesn’t work as they didn’t follow the commissioning instructions they write a poor review. To take the guess work out just give us a call, we stand behind all of our units the full warranty period of the system. All the way upto 25years for the new Rinnai Infinity range of tankless hot water system.
What are the top 5 tankless water heaters or top rated tankless water heaters?
We don’t really have a top five or top rated list as every system is designed and suited specifically to your needs. We do have afew favourite tankless hot water systems that we prefer for various reasons but the main ones are price, quality and longevity. When it comes to gas instant hot water units you cannot go past Rinnai, their hot water repair service is second to none and reliability is industry leading, that said Rheem and Bosch are not far behind. When it comes to a tankless electric hot water system your one stop is the German made Steibel Eltron , these are about the most efficient, robust and cost effective units on the market.
The big question, hot water systems for homes. Are tankless hot water systems right for me?
The answer is yes and no. When is comes to water heaters gas are generally a great additional with numerous cost and environmental savings to be had. When contemplating instant hot water heaters electric can be hard to say yes to. We would generally only recommend them when solar, heatpump and off peak tariffs are not an option or when there is one fixture in the house that is along way from the hot water supply, then a under sink water heater would be ideal.
So where to next?
Give us a call 0437543860 for any queries or questions. We have hundreds of water heaters for sale and would love to discuss long term costs, saving, family factors and personal preferences. For all of our extensive range and pricing head to Water Heaters