Replacing a hot water system

Our PPOR hot water system is about to give up the ghost. We're looking at new systems- but we're not getting some answers- especially as regarding installation costs and Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs).

We don't have gas available; the house is in Canberra.

The options seem to be:

1. Storage hot water- which is what we are replacing. We don't really want to go that way.

2. Heat pump hot water system. Cost appears to be about $3000-$4000 with a $600 rebate available under the revised guidelines. Installation shouldn't be too much- but some people have said that heat pump systems don't operate too well with Canberra's cold.

3. Solar Hot Water. Cost $4000-$5000 with $1000 rebate. But installation will be (much?) more that a heat pump system. We don't have a direct north facing roof- northeast and northwest only.

We have no guidelines at all on installation costs- the people who sell the systems just tell us that it's out of their hands, because it's done by tradies, and they don't have any idea even on ballpark costs.

I understand that RECs are available, and can be sold on the open market- but I cannot find any information as to their sale price. I did hear that they are droppping- perhaps quickly.

Any info would be appreciated.
 
Don't get a heat pump.

You're right, they don't work well in cold climates - same vague principle as a reverse cycle airconditioner that transfers heat from outside to inside, and if there's no heat outside, you don't get heat inside. My old house was in near-Canberra climate - usual temperature range -8 to 40, so I have a passing appreciation of the problem ;)

Also heat pumps are noisy as hell. My grandparents got one recently. I had no idea how LOUD they were.
 
Can you contact your electrician and ask him if he can source and install one for you? I imagine these HWS sellers have quite a mark up plus they will steer you into whatever they want to sell you.

If you have a good relationship with a lecky - and I bet you do seeing as you are such a nice fellow - then he might give you sound advice and buy one at tradie prices.

What do you all think?
 
My father in law is an electrician and 'trade prices' aren't so different to retail. We get the same price as he does at the plumbing supply store - it does trade and to the public. Exact same HWS we were looking at was $50 or so more at Bunnings and $300 more at our local hardware store, however ...

I heard much the same when we were getting quotes for our bathroom/laundry here - go get your own stuff that *you* like, prices aren't any different. Could vary in the big city, but this is Adelaide prices.
 
is 1 hws enough to service a typial 4x2 with a family living in it? we have dual rinnai infinities and I can't imagine how families get by with just 1 storage system? I want to build a new beach house soon - could i get by with 1 heat pump system do you think?
 
got my info sheet back
a heat pump can be air or ground

air heat pumps lose as it gets colder

ground heat pump works in air temperatures of minus 40C, (used here in the Frozen North to heat water and homes)
either a vertical well is sunk ~200 feet down, a pipe is looped down and up the well casing,
or 500-600feet of ditchwitched in pipe is sunk ~5 feet horizontally down
well water is about 15 degrees summer and winter
the ground 5 feet down is 10 degrees summer and winter
the temperature is constant, no matter how much heat is pumped out its a gazillion tonnes of heatsink

no council problem with the well as nothing is being drawn out of it, its just a hole ( a lot of homes here have drinking water wells already, they just loop an extra pipe down the same casing for heat )
want to do it for our larger buildings which are water radiator heated (3 floors 3800sqft/floor). initial estimate was 2000feet 5 feet down or 3, 220 foot wells spaced around the lot, would replace the oil boiler for heat and hotwater
waiting for e$timates permits and location certificates
140-160F (not sure about the C conversion North American brochures) heat supply fluid(airconditioner gas?), through a coil in the water tank for hotwater or to supplement / replace the oil fired heating boiler Which already has a secondary coil for HW
system gets heat output efficiences of 500-400% of electrical input, ground heat pump, NO noisy fans, just little refrigerator motor

This building is heated by output of the newly dug well in the bottom left of the picture, between the cones

I knew that pic was taken on that day, I followed the google maps car around for half a day when they were taking the pictures our car is in google maps a lot, but they kept fuzzing my face, :p
Its our house too, the green is a basement, windows to both sides two storeys, then a 16foot tall attic, considered to be small house, it goes back about 75 feet for a floorspace of 4800sqft plus basement plus attic
This is a $130000 house of the type we are accused of slumlording & immoral behaviour, we live in one of our slums​
Lady love says I am not allowed to write epithets at anybody, no matter how much I want to :mad:
 
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Rinnai Infinity....amazing equipment !!! you will never run out of hot water, got one in my PPOR and IP and had one in my previous PPOR, I'll just keep buying them as I add to my IPs.
 
Rinnai Infinity....amazing equipment !!! you will never run out of hot water, got one in my PPOR and IP and had one in my previous PPOR, I'll just keep buying them as I add to my IPs.
geoffw said:
Our PPOR hot water system is about to give up the ghost. We're looking at new systems- but we're not getting some answers- especially as regarding installation costs and Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs).

We don't have gas available; the house is in Canberra.
The OP is STILL in Canberra, has No gas, No infinity,

last house in Aus, laverton, killed off electric low pressure storage in roof, Rinnai mounted to the outide wall, aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhh,, 'kin fantastic and lower cost
 
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We have no gas here or I'd get one of those - $0 extra on the house for a gas infinity HWS, vs the only other sensible option on a new build of $5000 - $600 credit for a solar one. Instant gas services ROCK.
 
Canberra does have gas- as does Queanbeyan.

However our house is not connected. It would require a 100m pipe to connect, so is not an option.
 
HI geoff. I repair lots of HWSs. Just curious, what makes you think that your present HWS is about to kark it?
it has been boiling over for some months. We had a hws repairer look at it, and he told us it was beyond repair.

It is over 16yo so it's had a good innings.
 
Geoff, when utilities run service to your land, dont they make you pay for the service but then reimburse you?. We had to do this in Counctry Victoria once and it took 10 years for them to pay it all back but they did. Maybe ask ACTEW AGL about it.

Hope to see you at the Canberra meet-up next week :)
 
When we built, we paid for basic services. We had the option of having gas connected at no extra cost- but at that stage the storage hws was a good option, and I'm cautious about gas for cooking after having once used a leas than satisfactory stove. So we didn't have it put in.

Not sure about the meeting. My daughter is in town for three days next week.
 
Geoff, thermostats can still be gotten for ALL types of electric HWSs, as that sounds like your problem. Unless it is leaking and/or corroded, which is unlikely ater only 16 yrs, you should repair it. It may still be good for another 20 yrs. I've seen many good electric HWSs removed only because they are old, and replaced with a new one which barely last as long as it's warranty. I'd be looking for a more experienced repairer. Good luck.:)
 
Thanks Units4me.

I suspect that anybody who repairs also sells- so they have a vested interest in selling a new system

I can get new quotes.

However, I'm also interested to know if a solar system can really be cost effective in the longer term- especially given the claims of the people selling.
 
For me the hardest part about repairing a thermostat on the hot water boiler was finding a 1 1/4 inch tube wrench to unscrew the old one,
does sound like the vested interest thing
plumber did the first one I saw, he was adamant about not replacing it,
repair was 45minutes, and 'give me that thing in that shelf of the truck'​
there is very little access to this tank to get it out or put in a new one, the house was completed after the fixtures were in
Shawn the plumber:- unless the tank is leaking there is nothing that cant be easy repaired if you can access the panels behind which, zinc corrosion rod, heater element thermostat and pressure valve are fitted.
leaking can be prevented for years longer than warranty, if the zinc rod is removed brushed clean of mineral deposits and put back, considering hardness of local water​
 
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