Questions about my existing Hot Water

How can I maintain the shower temperature?

If you're looking for consistent hot water for your shower, a continuous flow hot water unit offers the optional added extra of controllers. They're designed to deliver consistent hot water at the temperature you choose, for complete comfort. And they're also a good safety addition if you're wanting to make sure any little family members don't get scalded.

If it's not sunny, will my solar hot water unit still give me hot water?

Short answer is yes. Solar hot water units, whether they are electric or gas, will have a booster built in, to ensure that even on overcast days, you won't be without hot water. 

How often should I service my hot water unit?

Different manufacturers have different requirements for how often they'd like you to service your hot water unit to keep it performing at it's optimum. It's also handy to keep the servicing up to date to protect your warranty. As a rough guide, try to maintain regular maintenance by a licensed plumber for your unit:

- Continuous flow - annually

- Electric and gas storage - every six months, you should lift the lever on the Pressure & Temperature Relief valve for approximately 10 seconds (as per your Owners Instructions). Then a service every five years.

- Solar - every five years

- Heat pump - annually

Why you shouldn't try to fix your own unit

It's simply not worth the risk. Fixing your own hot water unit is not only dangerous, it will also void your warranty. Plumbers are experts when it comes to hot water, and know what makes them tick. It's always best to leave these things to the professionals who are trained to understand the issues that can occur, and how to fix them quickly and safely. Always use a licensed plumber.

Can I adjust the temperature on my continuous flow?

The temperature can be adjusted slightly on most continuous flow hot water units, but this is a job that's strictly for licensed plumbers only. Have a chat to your plumber and ask them for assistance. Any changes made to your unit will void your warranty, are potentially dangerous, and best left to the professionals.

Extending the life of your unit

You rely on your hot water unit every day. So you want to make sure it’s operating at its best. To help prolong the life of your unit, make sure you have it serviced regularly as per your home owners manual. A number of manufacturers recommend having the unit looked at once a year by a licensed tradesperson to ensure optimum performance.

I'm renting and my hot water unit isn't working, what should I do?

Your recommended action is to contact your landlord or real estate agent immediately for assistance. Your real estate agent may need a little more information about the specific unit you have, so see if you can find all this out when you contact them. Photos can be a very handy tool.

If it's an emergency, such as a burst tank, or leaking water, you may be able to have it taken care of as an emergency repair. Make sure you understand what you can and can't do in your state when it comes to emergency repair work, and what is classified as an emergency repair. Refer to your local Residential Tenancy Authority for more information.

Choosing a new Hot Water Unit

How much will it cost?

Repairs and installation costs will vary from plumber to plumber. It’s always a good idea to discuss the potential costs with your plumber and get their advice on the best course of action. Some costs that may come into play include:

  • Emergency call out – if you require assistance outside of normal work hours, you may be asked to pay a premium for the time of day.
  • Hourly charge – plumbers typically charge by the hour for their work
  • Call out fee – check to see if your plumber will charge you a call out fee (regardless of whether you select them to complete the job or not). This call out fee is to cover their time to attend your home and assess the issue.
  • Additional tools or materials required – if you’re upgrading your unit you may need additional items (such as piping or fittings). Make sure you discuss this with your plumber so there aren’t too many surprises.

Factors to consider when buying a new unit

There are a few things to consider when buying a new unit:

  1. What energy source are you looking to use? E.g. Electricity or gas
  2. What are the hot water demands of your household? Do you have a large family that uses a lot of water for showers and washing? Or a smaller household that uses minimal hot water?
  3. What is important to you? Would you like to keep your replacement costs low, or would you prefer to spend a bit more on a high efficiency unit to reduce your ongoing energy bills?

Our handy decisions guide can help step you through the process and give you various options, along with a suggested hot water unit size suitable for your home.

Replacement vs repair

Should you fix or replace your hot water unit? The typical age of a hot water unit before it needs replacing is generally 10 years. However with advancements in technology, some are now expected to last for longer. Have a look at your warranty for guidance. For example, some gas continuous flow units come with a 12 year warranty, so they are expected to live a bit longer. If you are finding you are constantly running out of hot water, your unit may be too small for your needs. In this case it’s a good idea to discuss the option of a larger unit with your plumber. If your unit is relatively young, repair might be the best option.

Rebates and initiatives

The Government is still currently offering incentives that allow home owners to apply for rebates when installing environmentally friendly and energy efficient hot water systems. These typically apply to solar hot water systems and heat pumps. The value of the rebate varies depending on the location of your home and the specific unit installed. For more information on the current rebates available, please visit:

Choosing a Plumber

What do I check before calling a plumber?

It’s helpful if you have a few pieces of information on hand when calling your plumber. Firstly, what is the issue – has the water gone cold, have you lost pressure?

Next, identify the type of hot water unit you have. Write down the name and type of unit and let your plumber know. Knowing the age of the unit is also helpful. This will help them understand what possible issue they may be dealing with. If you’re not sure what type of unit you have, use our guide to help you.

How do I choose the right plumber?

You need to make sure you choose the right person for the job - someone you’re comfortable with fixing your issues. There are a few simple things to consider when choosing a plumber. Firstly, they need to be licensed, so don’t be afraid to ask for that information. All reputable plumbers will have this information available. Plumbers generally require a Gas Fitting License to work on gas appliances, so check this one too when getting in touch with them. Secondly, you’ll need to make sure they can handle the type of work you have. If you’ve got a specialised solar system installed at your home, they may need to know this beforehand so they will be equipped to fix your issue. 

The following websites will assist you in finding the licence number of your selected tradesperson:

Shower thoughts

What do your favourite sport players think about in the shower?

Alex Rance

Richmond Football Club

Alex Rance

Richmond Football Club