Hot Water FAQ FAQ

Click on any of the questions below to find the information you are looking for!

1. What’s the most economical or efficient water heater?

The answer is different for different situations. It depends on your roof space, energy tariffs and access to natural gas.

Does your home have natural gas available? If so, gas boosted solar, 5 Star gas storage or continuous flow may suit. If not, then perhaps an electric boosted solar heater or a Heat Pump might be the answer.

Do you have a low off-peak electricity tariff? If so, electric water heating on an off-peak tariff may have the lowest running cost. Take a look at our running cost calculator or ask your plumber or energy provider for more information.

2. I have limited roof space and don’t have access to gas. What are my options?

A Heat Pump might be right for you. Heat pumps are like solar without collectors on the roof. They use refrigerant vapour compression technology to extract and intensify the warmth in the air around us. They then use that warmth to produce hot water. Have a look at the Heat Pump range to find the one that’s right for you.

3. My electric water heater is inside my home. Can I put a gas, solar or heat pump water heater inside my home?

Yes, you can.

Indoor gas water heaters are available but they require an available gas supply and fluing through an external wall. Split heat pump systems – that allow the tank to be installed indoors and the heating unit outdoors – are also an option.A solar tank can be placed indoors, but if it’s gas boosted it will need a gas supply and fluing through an external wall.

4. Is my house right for solar?

The best homes for solar meet the following requirements:

A good-sized roof – most houses will use 2 collectors which are each around 2m tall x 1 m wide. That means you need at least 2m x 2m, plus some clearance space on your roof. You’ll also need some ground space for the ground-mounted hot water storage tank. For a roof-mounted tank, you’ll need even more roof space . A north-facing roof area – it’s best if the collectors can be mounted facing north in order to capture the most sunlight. If you’re not sure, use a compass or go to Google Earth to check if you’ve got a north-facing roof area. An area free from shade – the roof where the solar collectors are fitted needs to get plenty of sunlight – so watch out for shade from trees or surrounding buildings. Climate can also be a factor when choosing a solar heater. Extreme weather areas that get frost or very high heat will need a product designed to suit the climate.

See our Water Heater Selector for more information or contact one of our stores or even ask a solar specialist plumber.

Remember, Eagles, a plumber or solar installer can help you make sure you have the right set-up.

If your house doesn’t suit solar, a Heat Pump is a great alternative. We call it ‘solar without the panels’.

5. How long does it take to install solar?

Not long at all, particularly if the installation is well planned. If a ground level storage tank is installed first, you won’t be out of hot water for long, as the tank can operate using its gas booster until the collectors are installed. An experienced installer will organise the necessary trades (a licensed plumber and electrician) so you are quickly enjoying hot water from your new solar hot water system.

A Heat Pump is also a quick replacement for an electric water heater. We call it ‘solar without the panels’. Heat Pumps can attract solar rebates and incentives.

6. Should I consider a Heat Pump to replace my electric model?

Definitely. Heat Pumps are often the simplest replacement for an electric water heater.

They have a storage tank much like an electric water heater. They use the same plumbing and electrical connections as electric water heaters. They can be quickly installed by a licensed plumber. And they consume about a third of the electricity than a traditional electric water heater.

The one thing to be aware of is that the water in the tank may take a bit longer to heat, but a Rheem Heat Pump comes with an electric boost for those times when you use a lot of hot water, or when the weather gets really cold.

Talk to Eagles Plumbing or an installer about the storage capacity to make sure you have enough hot water when you need it.

7. What is the difference between a Heat Pump water heater and a solar water heater?

A Heat Pump doesn’t need solar collectors mounted on the roof. It uses technology to extract and intensify the warmth that is naturally in the air around us then uses that warmth to produce hot water.

Traditional solar water heaters use the warmth from the sun to heat the water.

For a more scientific answer, look at How does a Heat Pump work?

8. How much money can I save with a solar water heater?

How much you save depends on: your existing system – you’ll save more if you replace an electric water heaterhow much water you useyour current energy tariffs how your new solar system is installed – for example the direction and angle of the solar collectors.

The majority of homeowners see the greatest savings on hot water bills when replacing an electric water heater on a continuous tariff.

It’s also useful to know that a solar water heater will reduce greenhouse emissions by up to 65%* depending on where you live, according to Australian Government approved modelling.

Talk to your plumber or solar installer for more information. Your energy provider may also be able to assist with specific information on tariffs applying to your home or area.

9. How much can I save with a Heat Pump water heater?

The impact on your electricity bill will depend on the tariffs you pay and the type of water heater being replaced.

The majority of homeowners see the greatest savings on hot water bills when replacing an electric water heater on a continuous tariff.

Rheem Heat Pump water heaters are recommended for connection to either 24 hour continuous tariff or extended off-peak, minimum 16 hours per day.

Heat Pump water heaters can reduce the energy you use and reduce greenhouse emissions by up to 65%* depending on where you live, according to Australian Government approved modelling.

Before buying a Heat Pump, look at our running cost calculator or talk to your energy provider for more information on cost comparisons .