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Hot Water Heater Guide: helping you decide on the right hot water system for you and your family

At Curran Plumbing, we understand how difficult it can be when thinking about the right hot water system.  Often the decision has to be made when you’ve found out that you need a new hot water system because you get up in the morning and there is only cold water for your shower.  Not good!

The Curran Plumbing team totally understand – that’s why we make sure we are available to our customers 24/7.

After many years of experience we have the knowledge to provide the right advice when it comes to deciding on the right hot water heater for your individual situation.

This handy guide will also help you decide what you will need.

Keep it somewhere safe for those hot water emergencies.

Things to consider: 


1// Who will be using the hot water system and what about the cost?

Don’t you just hate the feeling of running out of hot water thanks to certain family members who take really long showers?  It can get really annoying.  That is why it is best to evaluate if your choice of hot water system is realistic with the number of people in your household.

If your household consists of 4 people it’s probably best to purchase a 125-160 litre tank if you are choosing a continuous system, or if you are purchasing an off-peak system 250-315 litres will be the best.

Remember it’s not only the cost of the hot water system to consider, it’s also the cost of running that system over a number of years.

Check the energy rating of the hot water system you are considering as a quick way to determine ongoing costs.


2// What kind of hot water system do I want, and does it suit my location?

There are so many different types of hot water systems.  Natural gas, solar powered, electric, instantaneous and more.  Which one is right for you?  Because the average hot water tank will last about ten years it’s worthwhile taking a bit of time to think about the right system for your individual situation.  You should analyse your location to see if it is fit for the type of hot water system you are considering.  It would be a shame to order a solar powered hot water system in a location that only gets four hours of sunlight in a whole day!  Here’s a brief breakdown of the various systems:


Electric hot water systems are cheap to purchase and install. However, they can be pretty expensive to run and maintain. These hot water systems can also be installed outside, rather than being confined indoors.

Electric hot water systems are available as off-peak or instantaneous.  Off-peak refers to lower, discounted electricity prices during specific times and that means the hot water system will usually heat up overnight.  Instantaneous hot water systems continuously heat the water meaning you will never run out of hot water.


Using natural gas hot water systems are popular. The main reason is because they are cheaper than electric.  If you are purchasing a gas hot water system, it is recommended it’s installed outdoors but they can be used with appropriate fluing.

Some gas heaters have a pilot light which can go out on occasions but you can also purchase a hot water heat with an electric ignition.


If you are living in a four-person household, it is recommended to purchase roughly four square metres, as well as a tank for those cloudy days. It is expensive to purchase solar hot water systems; however, the long-term expenses are cheaper than other alternatives.

Heat Pumps

Heat pumps heat the water by extracting heat from the air in the same way that a refrigerator operates, but in this case the air is issued to heat the water tank. It has been reported that heat pumps work best in warmer regions and they will need to be installed outside.


3// How much will my hot water system cost me to run?

Ausgrid has put together a handy calculator to help you work out the right hot water system for your individual situation.

You can access that calculator here.


4// How much space do I have for my hot water system? 

It is often best to take a look at your current hot water system, and evaluate the size. If you are after a bigger hot water system because your family is growing, you may need to consider where you are going to place that new hot water system.  Purchasing a smaller hot water system because children have left the home may not provide such a conundrum.  Regardless, it’s best to let us know if you believe that you will need a larger hot water system and we can help you determine the best one to purchase and what’s required if you need to move it from its current position.

Remember, hot water systems are not only required for homes.  Many businesses rely on hot water systems to keep their doors open.  Curran Plumbing has the expertise to provide the right hot water advice to business owners and residents.


Curran Plumbing offers a special trade in deal:

Trade in Deal

Contact us today on 1300 135 355.

Need a plumber? Call Curran.