Continuous flow hot water services have to be one of the most welcome innovations for the home.
If you've ever been enjoying a nice hot shower and suddenly the hot water has come to an end and all you get is icy cold water, you'll know what it's like. It's not the most pleasant experience.
This is not a beat up on hot water storage tanks by any means. Hot water storage tanks have many incredible advantages, but the one thing continuous flow has over hot water storage is, the hot water never ends. That's a feature that is pretty hard to beat.
Apart from hot water that never runs out, why are they so good?
What are continuous flow hot water services?
It might be good to start with explaining what they are first. There's a little confusion in the marketplace because of the names. They're also known as continuous hot water systems, instant hot water or instantaneous hot water systems.
Once you've got past the hurdle of realising they're all talking about the same thing, the easiest way to explain what they are is, a type of water heater that doesn't store water. Instead, when the hot water tap is turned on, it triggers a sensor within the unit to activate the heat exchanger within it.
The cold water rushes through lots of thin windy copper pipes in this heat exchanger and heats up along the way. When it comes out the other end it's lovely and hot.
What types of continuous hot water systems are there?
What it all boils down to is, there are two main types. They either run on electricity or gas. The electric version is all electric and the sensor activates the electric heat exchanger or element within it the gas version operates via a pilot light that is automatically ignited when the sensor picks up the rush of water.
Regardless of whether you have solar power, LP gas, natural gas, or electricity as your source, your system will be either a gas unit or electric unit.
Each of these has its advantages, so let's take a look at them.
The great advantages of continuous hot water systems
We've already spoken about the main advantage of continuous hot water systems, but there are many other features and benefits that make them a very appealing purchase. You'll know some of these, and some you won't know.
The advantages of continuous hot water systems include:
- Never ending hot water
- Only pay for hot water heating when you need it
- Compact size for installing in tight spaces
- Smaller versions that can be installed right at the point of use
- Options for installing indoors or outdoors
- Preset temperature or temperature adjustable via remote control
- Reduced cost of heating water
- Environmentally friendly
- Long 20 year lifespan
Instant hot water systems are truly a luxury.
Troubleshooting continuous flow hot water services
Like anything you buy, there are pros and cons and they have to be weighed up. A good way to make a decision on a purchase is to check the reviews from genuine buyers. You'll find out the pros and cons pretty quickly that way.
It's true that they're the holy grail of hot water services, but there are some downsides that you need to be aware of.
The few downsides of continuous flow or instant hot water systems include:
- Not so instant
- Low flow may not turn them on
- Electric models pay full electricity tariff when being used in peak times
- Purchase cost
One look at any negatives in the reviews can burst your bubble, but for each of these negatives there's a solution which we're going to address.
Reducing the wait for hot water
There are very few downsides to continuous flow hot water systems, but they're worth addressing so you're fully informed.
In most cases for most homes, the hot water arrives pretty soon after turning on the hot water tap. It's when there's a long run of piping from the heater to the point of use that it can take longer. An easy way to solve it, is to capture the pre hot water in a little bucket, and use it for the kid's bath or to water the garden.
There's another way to solve it if you have a particularly long run of piping to the outlet. There are a variety of smaller instant electric hot water heaters that can be installed right at the point of use. These can be wall mounted under the taps or in the vanity unit. Problem solved.
Triggering the sensor every time
With continuous hot water systems, if you turn the hot water tap on with just minimum flow, it may not turn the unit on. The simple solution is to turn the hot water tap on with moderate to high flow whenever you need it. This will trigger the unit to start heating and the hot water will begin to flow. Simple.
The running costs of the instant electric hot water system may be a little more than gas, because when you use it on peak, you're paying peak rates for electricity. This cost is usually minimal though.
The purchase cost may be seen as a downside, but the positives far outweigh the negatives. They're a good investment, a great selling point if you ever decide to relocate, they last up to 20 years, and the luxury of instant hot water is very appealing.
You'll find some very affordable continuous flow hot water services out there on the market, such as the Rinnai B26 Builders Series Nat Gas Continuous Flow Preset 60C Hot Water System B26N60A available online at Bathware Direct.
The difference online with Bathware Direct
Bathware Direct has the largest range of products for the bathroom in Australia and it's all at your fingertips, online. They also have essential products for renovating your kitchen, laundry and commercial spaces.
Along with massive range, you also benefit from leading brands at the best prices.
Add to that prompt delivery Australia-wide, and your all sorted with Bathware Direct.
Browse online, anytime – 24/7.
For the biggest range of quality bathroom products at the best prices, it's Bathware Direct.