Everything you need to know about electric hot water heaters

sydney electric hot water heaters


Did you know? 25% of energy in our homes is for hot water. 52% of this is for electric water heating. 

How do electric storage water heaters work?

An electric storage hot water heater (ESWH) consists of an insulated storage tank, usually a cylinder, where hot water is kept ready to be used. The water is heated in the tank by electric resistance elements at at pre-set temperature of around 60-80°C.  Electric hot water heaters heat the water the same way an electric kettle heats water, the difference being that your hot water system keeps the water hot at all times.  Over time, the water temperature in the tank decreases through heat losses and usage (called draw-offs).  This results in the tank being refilled with cold water which in turn lowers the overall temperature of water in the tank and needs to be heated once again.

Electric storage water heater product comparison »

adjust hot water temperature

How do I adjust the temperature of my hot water heater?

If your hot water isn’t hot enough, or you are running out of hot water too quickly, it may pay to adjust the temperature of your hot water thermostat.

Step 1 – Check that you are not using too much hot water and therefore having to wait for cold water to heat up in your tank.  Speak to one of our hot water installers and service repair technicians about installing low flow valves on your taps and energy saving shower heads.  Install a timer in the shower to monitor your usage.  Cheap waterproof timers and clocks can be purchased from most department and variety stores.

Step 2 – Your hot water heater may have a 50 degree temperature limiter installed. If this is the case, your hot water cannot be heated to more than 50 degrees. Contact us and one of our service technicians with your hot water make and model number and we will be able to advise if this likely to be the case.

Step 3 – If you have a timer installed, please ensure it is allowing enough time to heat the water in your tank to meet your household hot water usage.

How do instantaneous electric water heaters work?

Instantaneous water heaters heat the water on demand. There is not storage tank which makes them ideal for very small spaces like apartments, boats, caravans, etc. While these are not as popular as the more common hot water tank varieties, they still have a place in modern living spaces and we are regularly called to repair and replace them.

Instantaneous or,  continuous flow water heaters as they are also called, are designed to deliver a steady stream of heated water.  Each time a tap is turned on, the water is heated instantly by electricity and then flows to the outlet.  Instantaneous electric water heaters typically requires high power inputs, particularly if more than one unit is running at once. In some cases three phase power is required, in others single phase power is adequate.

For obvious reasons, instantaneous systems never run out of hot water as the water is heated on demand.  They do not suffer heat loss as there is no storage tank.

Instantaneous electric water heater product comparison »

What are solar and heat pump water heaters?

Electric resistive elements can also be key components of solar water systems and heat pump water heaters where they provide “boosting” when the water temperature is low, with solar radiation (solar) or ambient air temperature (heat pump) providing the primary energy source.

Read more about how solar hot water works »

Questions to ask yourself before buying a new electric water heater

Whether your old electric water heater has failed, or you want to upgrade to a new tank that better caters to your household hot water usage requirements, below are our top tips aimed at helping you make the right choice.

Consider the following when choosing the best system for your requirements
  1. How much hot water do you use?
  2. What times of day do you use the most hot water?
  3. What is your house size?
  4. How many people live in your household?
  5. Are there alternative energy sources available in your area like gas and solar that may be more economical?
  6. Are there any off peak tariffs available in your area?

Once you have the answers to these questions, contact our experienced technicians and we can advise you which electric hot water heaters will best suit your requirements. Call us today on 1800 266 999.

Where should my electric hot water heater be installed?

Depending on the type of system you wish to install, electric hot water heaters may be installed inside the home, outdoors, on the roof, or a combination of those places. Ideally the tank should be near the bathroom with short pipe lengths between the tank and the bathroom taps. This reduces the delay between turning on the tap and you receiving hot water.

Need advice choosing the right electric water heater for your home? 

Call one of our experienced technicians today who are happy to advise you on what electric hot water heaters would best suit your household usage requirements. We can also advise whether it may be more economical to switch to gas hot water or a solar system. All our advice is free and without obligation. Call us today on 1800 266 999.

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