Hot water system installation tips

Close-up of droplets of condensation on a glass pane

Regardless of the type of hot water system you choose, simple installation tips will help you save energy and money.

  1. Choose a hot water system to meet your situation and needs, including family size, climate and roof type.
  2. Choose the right sized system for your hot water needs in consultation with your hot water specialist.
  3. For instantaneous systems, choose electronic ignition instead of a continuous pilot light to reduce gas consumption.
  4. House planInstall your system close to the water outlets where you'll use it, such as near the kitchen, bathroom and laundry. Keeping the length of connecting pipes as short as possible will minimise heat loss.
  5. Insulate all pipes using closed-cell rubber to reduce heat loss.
  6. Ensure all plumbing is carried out by a licensed plumber and request a certificate of compliance.
  7. Ensure all electrical work for the installation of electric heating elements and pumps is carried out by a registered electrical contractor and request a certificate of electrical safety. 

Solar hot water systems

  1. Read your system's warranty details carefully. Does it include frost protection?
  2. Orient solar collectors as close to north as possible (ideally no more than 45° east or west of north) at a tilt angle between 15° and 50° (standard roof pitch is usually sufficient).
  3. Ask your installer to assess your roof's structural strength to ensure it can support the weight of the system.
  4. Solar panels should not be shaded by trees or nearby buildings, or prone to damage from falling branches from nearby trees.
  5. The storage tank and solar collectors should be as close together as possible to reduce the length of the connecting pipes and therefore heat loss (in remote thermosiphon and pumped systems).