Royal Flush Plumbing specializes in gas hot water systems, providing quality installation and maintenance. Our reputation is based on reliability, efficiency, and professionalism. If you’re looking to learn more about these systems and their advantages, please look at our guide below. To learn about other hot water systems, click here. You can always reach out with any questions or if you need additional information.
A gas hot water system is a type of water heater that uses natural gas or LPG for power. To use it, your home must be linked to a gas main’s supply pipeline, or specific versions can use LPG tanks. It is typically more expensive to purchase and establish than an electric hot water system, but cheaper to run and releases fewer greenhouse gases. Almost half of all the water heaters in Australia are gas-powered.
Selecting the right type of water heater for your household may be overwhelming because there are many different options available. Instantaneous flow systems, storage tank systems, and solar-powered storage tank systems are the three main types of gas water heaters. These types of water heaters vary in their performance, efficiency, cost, and environmental impact, so it is important to compare them before making a decision. Gas water heaters can deliver hot water on demand, lower energy usage, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Instantaneous flow gas water heaters, also known as tankless or continuous flow gas water heaters, are systems that heat water instantaneously as it flows through a heat exchanger. They do not have a storage tank and only use gas when hot water is needed. They are usually installed near the point of use, such as a shower, sink, or faucet.
Gas water heaters with instantaneous flow make use of a gas burner to heat a coil of pipes, known as the heat exchanger. When you turn on a hot water tap, cold water enters and passes through the heat exchanger where it is heated by the gas burner. From there, the hot water exits and supplies your tap. The flame size and temperature are regulated by a flow sensor and thermostat that adjust according to the level of water demand. Once you switch off the tap, the gas burner switches off automatically.
Instantaneous flow gas water heaters offer several benefits compared to other types of gas water heaters such as: providing hot water quickly and efficiently, conserving energy and the environment, great space-saving potential, high durability and a longer lifespan, improved safety reducing the risk of burns or explosions, and a lower risk of gas leaks.
Installing instantaneous flow gas water heaters comes with some downside such as the high cost of installation and initial costs due to additional requirements such as larger gas lines, dedicated meters, venting systems and electrical connections. They don’t perform very well in providing hot water for multiple simultaneous uses mainly because they have lower water pressure handling capability. Regular cleaning to avoid mineral deposits, scale or debris accumulation will also add to maintenance efforts leading to more cost. Furthermore, they can run into repair or replacement issues if their parts including the heater exchanger, burner etc malfunctions.
Traditional gas water heaters, also known as storage tank gas water heaters, are systems that keep and warm up water in an insulated tank. They feature a gas burner at the bottom for heating, as well as a thermostat to ensure the temperature of the water is controlled. This type of system is usually installed in basements, garages or utility rooms.
Storage tank gas water heaters work by using a gas burner to heat the water in the tank. The gas burner is ignited by a pilot light or an electronic ignition system. The heated water rises to the top of the tank and is delivered to the hot water outlets through a pipe. The cold water enters the tank through a dip tube at the bottom of the tank and replaces the hot water that is used. The gas burner cycles on and off to maintain the temperature of the water in the tank, which is usually set between 120°F and 140°F.
Compared to other types of gas water heaters, storage tank gas water heaters have a few advantages – they are low-cost and easy to set up, they don’t need an extensive gas line nor venting system nor electrical connection (as it can use existing plumbing and wiring), they have higher flow rate and pressure which can deliver generous amount of hot water at once plus cope better with cold weather, low water pressure and high demand. Additionally, these systems have lower sustaining costs since they don’t require frequent cleaning and servicing to keep mineral deposits or scale in check. Lastly, storage tank gas heater designs also render fewer parts that might malfunction or fail.
Disadvantages of storage tank gas water heaters should be taken into account, as they can only store a limited amount of hot water, leading to a potential shortage during peak hours or when demand exceeds capacity. They are less efficient and environmentally friendly than instantaneous systems due to the wasted gas and water used for heating and storing. In addition, they may lose heat through the tank walls or pipes, take up a large amount of space, have shorter lifespans than other systems, require various parts like drain pans, relief valves and expansions tanks, and also have an increased risk of scalding or gas leaks.
Solar storage tank gas water heaters utilize the sun’s energy, a gas burner, and a solar collector that captures radiation, to generate hot water for domestic use. This system allows you to reduce usage of conventional energy sources, save on utility bills, and benefit the environment with lower greenhouse gas emissions and less fossil fuel consumption. Unlike some other forms of solar water heating, this solution provides supplementary energy when solar heat is unable to provide the full amount of thermal heat needed for a hot water heater.
Solar storage tank gas water heaters can be classified into two types: active and passive. Active systems use pumps and controllers to circulate water or a heat-transfer fluid between the collector and the tank. Passive systems rely on natural convection to move water or air through the system. Active systems are more efficient and reliable, but also more expensive and complex. Passive systems are simpler and cheaper, but also less effective and durable.
Solar storage tank gas water heaters can also be distinguished by the number of tanks they use: one or two. One-tank systems have a single tank that combines the solar storage and the gas booster. Two-tank systems have a separate tank for the solar storage and another tank for the gas booster. One-tank systems are more compact and convenient, but also more prone to overheating and mixing. Two-tank systems are more spacious and flexible, but also more costly and cumbersome.
Solar storage tank gas water heaters possess several benefits compared to traditional water heaters. With the capacity to make use of up to 80% of solar energy for hot water, they yield a high efficiency rate. They can provide enough heated water for family demands provided that they are sized and set up appropriately. Additionally, they require less maintenance due to fewer mechanical parts and reduced corrosion. Moreover, depending on the area and type, these systems may secure tax credits or incentives.
However, solar storage tank gas water heaters also have some disadvantages. They require a suitable site that has adequate sun exposure and unshaded areas. They also require regular maintenance and cleaning to prevent scaling and freezing. They also need a gas supply and a venting system to operate the gas booster safely and efficiently. They also have a high initial cost, as they involve purchasing and installing the collector, the tank, the pipes, the controls, and the gas burner.
Solar storage tank gas water heaters are an innovative and sustainable way to obtain hot water at home. They can offer economic and environmental benefits, as well as comfort and convenience. However, they also have some drawbacks and limitations, as well as some technical and practical challenges. Therefore, before deciding to install a solar storage tank gas water heater, it is important to consider the factors such as the climate, the budget, the space, and the preferences of the home-owner.
When choosing a gas hot water system, look at the energy efficiency. How well does it convert the gas into heated water? You can measure this by looking at the energy factor (EF) and uniform energy factor (UEF). The higher these ratings, the more efficient and lower-cost the device is annually.
According to the Australian government, the minimum energy performance standards (MEPS) for gas hot water systems are 0.62 EF for storage systems and 0.69 EF for continuous flow systems. However, some brands and models may exceed these standards and offer higher efficiencies. For example, some of the top rated brands that manufacture gas hot water systems in Australia are Rheem, Dux, Rinnai, Thermann, and AquaMax. These brands offer a range of gas hot water systems with different capacities, features, and prices. Some of their products have EF or UEF ratings above 0.8, which means they are more than 20% more efficient than the minimum standards.
When choosing a gas hot water system, users may consider its environmental impact. Burning gas releases greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide and methane which contribute to global warming. The emissions vary depending on the type of gas used, the efficiency of the device, and use pattern. According to estimates given by the Australian government, the average emissions for a storage system are 1.2 kg of carbon dioxide equivalent per kilowatt-hour (CO2-e/kWh) while they are 1.0 kg of CO2-e/kWh for continuous flow systems. However, some brands manufacture systems that have low emission or low NOx certifications – emitting less than 0.5 kg of CO2-e/kWh or less than 40 mg of NOx/kWh respectively – making them more eco-friendly and possibly qualifying for government rebates or incentives.