Installing a Hot water System in Queensland

Breakdown of what is involved when installing a hot water system (HWS) for your home. There are very few differences between the installation of an electric HWS and a heat pump. Have a look through this breakdown and it will give you an indication of the materials, labour and all factors involved in getting your home back up and running with hot water.

Hydrotherm Installation Breakdown

Watch a full Install:

If you looking at getting a new hot water system installed be prepared! This is no longer a cheap exercise and is likely to cost you north of $800. You see it is no longer a case of plumbers being able to do a simple like for like replacement, using all the same connections and a few of hours labour. Sure you may have paid a couple of hundreds dollars last time you had a hot water system installed, but that is not going to be the case today.

Now days the rules and regulations that surround hot water, have dramatically increased the cost of installing to full compliance, adding hundreds of dollars to the materials and hours of additional labour. Often plumbers will provide customers purchasing an electric hot water system, with a supply and install price, so the purchaser does not see the cost breakdown of what is involved in the installation process. In most case you will find that the installation charges are in fact equal too if not higher then the supply charge of the hot water system. That is why we have put together this guide to help potential Hydrotherm owners understand the process involved in installing any new hot water system.

We can not stress enough that the breakdown below applies to electric hot water systems as while as our heat pumps, the only cost difference may come in the electrical connection. Some plumbers have limited electrical licenses to re-install an electric hot water system, however all heat pumps must be connected by a fully licensed electrician. Other then this there should be no cost difference between installing a Hydrotherm or an electric hot Water system.

Breakdown of the Installation Process & Costings
Unit location is very important when installing a heat pump as it requires a good flow of air to heat the water. The unit is designed for outdoor installation but it can be installed in garages and large laundries ensuring the expelled air isn’t circulating back into the unit. The easiest installs is a like for like replacement, removing the old unit and placing the new one in exactly the same position. However, if required it can be relocated to maximise the unit’s performance. If you have any concerns on the location of the unit then contact us or your plumber and we can advise you on the ideal location.  
Drainage, Removal & Disposal of Old Hot Water System 
When getting a new hot water system it normally means your old one has passed its sell buy date. Leaking out the bottom or top, rusting and no longer heating, this leaves you with a unit full of dirty water that is heavy and messy to move. Majority of plumbers will include draining, removing and disposing of the unit within the service. 
New Valves Installation
To ensure product performance, longevity and customer safety as well as meeting government legislation, a number of valves must be installed with all hot water systems. These valves make up the majority of the installation price and are necessary for warranty compliance. 
High Performance Solar Accredited Tempering Valve – A tempering valve is required by law to be installed with all hot water systems whether it is an electric, gas, heat pump or solar. This valve tempers the water from the unit to 50 degrees to ensure no scalding occurs at the taps.
Cold Water Expansion Valve – This valve must be installed in the Brisbane/ Ipswich area under the QLD legislation.
High Performance Pressure Limiter Valve – All new homes are built with limiters on the mains but these must be installed at the unit to prevent pressure fluctuations and protect the unit.
Non-Return Isolating Valve – This allows for maintenance on the unit without disrupting water supply to the house. 
Additional Miscellaneous Materials 
These items vary on every job, Connections, elbows, copper and lagging. It all depends on the location of the system, positioning of the drains and the availability of water supply. Every electric HWS and Heat pump has a PTR valve that must be drained off to prevent water sinking into the foundations. The heat pump also has a condensate line that must be drained off for the same reason, this is the one extra component of the heat pump installation when comparing the two. 
Plumbing Labour (3/4 hours)
A straight forward insulation will take between 3-4hrs which includes installation of valves, plumbing and lagging. If the unit requires relocation or a lot of extra plumbing the labour time can increase. Also complex installations may require two installers for safety and work load.
Council Compliance Forms 
Every hot water system that is installed in QLD must be recorded and a Form 4 must be sent off to the plumbing council to ensure it is fully compliant. 
Electrical Connection 
All fixed positioned hot water systems must be hardwired. An electrician will install an isolating switch and junction box. The unit can be connected to either tariff 11 or tariff 33 dependent on your usage. The larger usage families are recommended to go on tariff 11, but if you have any concerns then please contact us. 
This shows you what is involved when installing a hot water system. This is the same for installing an electric unit, as they have almost exactly the same connections. This installation complies with all warranty requirements and QLD government legislation. If an installation is a lot cheaper than expected and you don’t have new valves etc, then consideration of the quality and warranty compliance must be taken.

If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to contact us or one our partner plumbers. 
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