Common Mistakes To Avoid When Buying A Hot Water Cylinder
Thursday, November 10th, 2016
In New Zealand most hot water cylinders are simply buried somewhere in the back of the cupboard, quietly doing their glorious job of heating our water. It isn’t until the dreaded cold shower one morning that we fully appreciate the vital task they perform. Buying a new hot water cylinder can be a daunting task; one which many people will have no prior product knowledge or experience in.
Due to the extended life spans of hot water cylinders getting the right replacement cylinder now can make a big difference to the years and years of water heating costs ahead for your household. Unless you are a plumber, deciding which hot water cylinder is best for you can be tricky. Here are a few of the most common factors to look out for.
- Price. As with any major household purchase it pays to shop around and do your homework. Look for price differences between brands, different models and suppliers. Don’t be afraid to ask your local hot water cylinder specialists for advice and guidance.
- Quality. When replacing your hot water cylinder it makes sense to get the best quality cylinder within your budget. Ensure you are getting up to date models with modern specifications, some suppliers may try to sell you out dated stock hoping you won’t know the difference. Modern hot water cylinder technology can mean savings on future electricity costs and servicing.
- Installation. Always use registered installers, check credentials prior to the start of the job and request a producer statement upon completion. Look for NZ registered and qualified plumbers who can ensure your install complies with New Zealand standards.
- Hidden Costs. Sometimes cylinder and installation packages will leave out necessary extras only to spring them on you later. Things like upgrading the existing power supply and access issues can add to the cost. The last thing you want is to get a an extra invoice in the mail.
- Size. Smaller cylinders may seem like a good idea, however if you have the room opting for a larger one can be a better long term solution. More hot water in storage doesn’t necessarily equate to higher energy costs and has the added bonus of being less likely to run out. For some helpful information on energy usage see the EECA Energywise website.
- Advice. Relying on your plumber’s recommendation is unfortunately not always the best option. Particularly if replacing an old low pressure cylinder, don’t be fooled into thinking you must replace it with a similar system, in most cases mains pressure cylinders can be installed. Low pressure tapware or pipes can be accommodated with pressure reducing valves, allowing you to future proof the hot water heating system.
- Future Proofing. Taking the time to do a little research, comparing the pros and cons of the various options will pay off in the future. Consider the more high tech cylinders now available that are future proofed for hot water heat pumps or solar, in most cases the cost is very similar. It makes sense to allow for possible upgrades to your power supply when standard electricity prices are always on the rise.
- Warranties. Check warranty conditions and time frames, sometimes they can be misleading. The fine print can often reveal unnecessary servicing conditions or exclusions. In general, hot water cylinders will carry a standard manufacturer’s one year warranty for any parts subject to wear and tear like thermostats or elements, with a 10-20 year guarantee for cylinder failure on the cylinder itself and all good installation companies will offer workmanship guarantees.
Selecting the right hot water cylinder is an important decision. Potential changes in energy sources, hot water usage, on-going costs and budget will all have an impact on your decision but avoiding common purchasing mistakes can mean the difference between a good hot water system and a great one that has ongoing benefits now and in the future. For more detailed information on any of the above points seek professional advice from your local hot water cylinder specialists.