FAQ – Frequently Asked Questions

 

FREQUENTLY
ASKED

QUESTIONS

 

WHAT ARE HEAT PUMPS~

ARE HEAT PUMPS A NEW TECHNOLOGY?

No, they share the same basic technology as refrigerators and air conditioners which were invented over 100 years ago. Heat Pump water heaters were first manufactured over 50 years ago and in many regions of the world such as the Southern United States and Italy. In these areas Heat Pumps have been popular and well known for decades.

HOW DOES A HYDROTHERM HEAT PUMP WORK?

The Fan draws in the surrounding ambient air and transfers the heat into the water releasing cold air as a waste product. The hot air is drawn in by the fan and absorbed by the refrigerant. It is then compressed, changing the liquid into a gas. This process generates heat, which is then transferred to the water and the refrigerants returns to its form state (Liquid) and the cycle begins again.

WHY DOES THE HYDROTHERM USE AN IMMERSE COIL?

An immersed coil, is able to heat the water quicker allowing a larger household to use a smaller tank because of the speed of recovery. It also reduces the amount of heat loss through the tank, in comparison to a wrap around coil system.

WHY GO HEAT PUMPS~

WHY WOULD I INSTALL A HEAT PUMP OVER A SOLAR PANEL SYSTEM?

The installation of a heat pump is quick and easy. This is especially relevant when a conventional hot water system has broken down and needs replacing with a more environmentally responsible hot water system. It doesn’t require roof panels or an electric booster. It works consistently throughout the year where as solar hot water system relies on an electrical booster in the winter period.

WHAT IS THE ADVANTAGE OF USING A HYDROTHERM HEAT PUMP?

Heat Pump technology is widely used around the world for heating domestic hot water, providing an excellent and economic energy solution. By harnessing the sun’s heat from the air, a Heat Pump dramatically reduces the energy consumption of traditional electric or gas heaters. The reduction in energy can result in savings of around fifty to seventy-five percent, depending on the system.

NEED TO KNOW NUMBERS~

WHAT TEMPRATURE DOES THE HYDROTHERM HEAT WATER TO?

The HydroTherm is set at a maximum 60°C – enough to meet sanitary requirements under Australian Standards. The water temperature released at the tap or shower will be a maximum of 50°C in accordance with Government legislation. This is controlled by the tempering valve that comes with all HydroTherm units.

WHAT IS A HEAT PUMP’S EFFICIENCY RATING?

There is currently no star rating like most electrical devices, however Heat Pump efficiency can be estimated through the STC’s (Small-scale Technology Certificates) the unit generates. Currently the 190L HydroTherm generates twenty STC’s in Zone 3. The 300L unit Generates twenty-seven. The HydroTherm has sacrificed a number of STC’s for greater hot water recovery speed.

WARRANTY~

HOW LONG SHOULD THE UNIT LAST?

The HydroTherm are built tough to last in the harsh Australian climate. The tank is made from 2mm thick 304 marine grade stainless steel and comes with a fifteen year warranty. The compressor is a Japanese Panasonic 5PS Rotary Compressor with a seven year warranty. All parts including Fan, Electronic Display, Motors and Valves come with a two year warranty.

SERVICING~

HOW IS A HEAT PUMP INSTALLED & HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE?

The Hydrotherm Heat Pump is an integrated unit that has the same install procedure as an electrical unit. Depending on each individual situation and the length of piping required, the installation is reasonably straight forward and should be done within three to four hours (maximum). Straight forward installs have been easily completed in under two hours.

DOES THE UNIT REQUIRE ANY MAINTENANCE?

The unit will receive a free twelve month service. The unit will need a service to clean the filters every two years from then on. The PTR valve will need to be released if the unit is unused for a length of two or more weeks.
THE PTR VALVE DOES NOT NEED RELEASING ON A REGULAR BASIS.

PARTS~

WHAT TYPE OF COMPRESSOR DOES THE UNIT HAVE?

300L – Panasonic 5PS Rotary Compressor that uses R410a refrigerant, very popular with all air conditioning units. A large compressor that uses a more efficient gas, allowing for a quicker heat transfer meaning the HydroTherm unit can work for a shorter period of time.190L – Panasonic 2PS Rotary Compressor that uses R-417a refrigerant. A larger compressor that works at a higher temperature ensuring a quicker recovery rate.

WHAT IS THE TANK MADE OF?

2mm thick 304 marine grade stainless steel, no extra benefit from using 316 stainless steel.

WHAT TYPE OF REFRIGERANT IS USED?

300L – R-410a / 190L – R-417a
The previous refrigerants used most commonly in heat pumps and air conditioners were R-22 or R134a, which contained chlorine and was blamed for deteriorating the ozone layer, however our systems use R-410a and R-417a respectively. These are chlorine free, non-ozone depleting refrigerants.

HOW LONG WILL THE REFRIGERANT LAST?

The refrigerant is contained within a state-of-the-art Closed Loop compressor that has a seven year warranty. However, if any leakages or issue do occur the compressor and/or refrigerant will be replaced.

DOES THE HYDROTHERM REQUIRE A SACRIFICIAL ANODE?

No anode is needed as it is a stainless steel tank.

ELECTRICAL

DOES THE UNIT DRAW MUCH POWER?

The unit draws 0.88kWh and generates 3.6kW of energy in ambient air temperatures, in comparison with an
electric system, which has a 1:1 ratio.

WHAT IS THE AVERAGE SAVING?

The unit is able to reduce power bills by up to seventy-five percent.

IF THERE IS A POWER FAILURE WILL I NEED TO DO ANYTHING TO THE UNIT?

No, the memory and settings has an in built battery which memorizes all the settings.

WILL THIS WORK ON OFF PEAK?

The 300L must be placed on tariff 11 or 33. The 190L must be pace on tariff 11. BOTH UNITS WILL VOID WARRANTY IF PLACED ON TARIFF 31

MISCELLANEOUS~

IF I GO AWAY CAN I TURN THE UNIT OFF?

No it is not advised. The unit does not use very much electricity whilst your away, the insulation of the unit is very good and therefore will only need to reheat a couple of times to ensure the legionnaire control over a one week period, however on returning to the unit after a period of two or more weeks the PTR valve should be opened to release any build up of gas.

DOES THE UNIT HAVE FROST PROTECTION?

Yes, the unit does have a defrost mechanism. The defrost mechanism prevents the pipes holding the refrigerant from freezing over and blocking the closed loop system. The defrosting will kick in when the pipes are around -20°C and the ambient air temperature is around 5-10°C. It works by shutting down the fan, which allows the heated refrigerant to loop through the pipes, thus warming them.

WHAT IS THE SOUND LEVEL OF THE UNIT?

The unit has been tested to around 51dB. A Timer function is available, allowing for operating hours to be customized.

WHY IS THE WATER NOT VERY HOT?

A ll hot water systems are now fitted with a tempering valve that only releases water at 50°C to prevent scolding.
This is in accordance with the latest Legislation.

WHY CAN’T I REPLACE AN ELECTRIC WITH AN ELECTRIC?

New Government Legislation has been introduced and the phase out of electric hot water systems is in. New builds and retro-fits (the replacement of previous units) are not permitted to install electric units, large fines do apply. These new energy efficient units benefit the owner by saving energy and reducing bills. The HydroTherm is an affordable option saving you between fifty to seventy-five percent off your hot water electricity bill. Most units have a payback period of only two years.

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