What should you consider before upgrading your hot water unit?

Wondering how best to replace a hot water system? Changing your existing hot water unit at home or workplace can be a daunting prospect, as you are likely to have more questions than answers. Doherty Plumbing Solutions can assist yuo with upgrading your hot water unit and advise you about what to look out for.

A standard hot water unit operates for around 10 years on average, whereas a quality hot water unit can last for at least 15 years. This, however, depends on the type of hot water unit and its usage since its installation.

If you are on the hunt for a hot water unit that is a perfect fit, remember to consider these things before finalising your purchase and the installation of an upgraded version.

It is always a good idea to speak with a licensed plumber to ensure that you are making the right choice based on your requirements. Our knowledgeable plumbers at Doherty Plumbing Solutions are always happy to assist.

Type of hot water system

The choice of hot water unit depends on either storage type or instantaneous type.

Storage hot water systems heat water through ignition, from a main burner, and store this hot water, ready for use. Once the stored hot water capacity is used, it takes time to reheat more water.

Alternatively, instantaneous (tankless / continuous flow) hot water units only heat the required amount of water as it flows through a heat exchanger. These do not heat a large reservoir of water, unlike storage type systems, but only heat the water as the tap is turned on, with no water being actually stored in a container.

Energy source and power supply capacity

Whether it is a storage hot water system or an instantaneous one, the energy source that powers the hot water unit is a crucial element.

Storage systems mostly utilise gas, electric, solar and heat pump mechanisms, while instantaneous units run on LPG, electricity or natural gas.

This will further be reliant on the power supply framework in place around the property, as well as the water supply lines that are connected to the hot water unit.

Insufficient water supply to the hot water unit can lead to a reduction in water flow pressure.

Usage and lifestyle

Depending on the number of people in the residential or commercial property who are likely to use hot water regularly, this will decide the size of your hot water unit. For example, a two-person household can comfortably use a 90-litre storage hot water unit, while a four-person household might be better off with a 135-170-litre capacity unit.

The number of appliances connected to the hot water system is another thing to keep in mind. Dishwashers, laundries, kitchens, bathrooms – where is your unit supplying hot water to?

Over half of the hot water usage in a house is utilised in the bathroom, a third in the laundry and the rest in the kitchen.

If the capacity in your house or office is too large, installing multiple smaller hot water units across different sections of the property might be a more economical option.

Similarly, if there is less storage space in your property, an instantaneous system might work better, as these do not require installation of a separate hulking storage tank.

Energy efficiency

Heating water at home accounts for 21% of energy usage, while water heating is the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in an average Australian household.
As we all know the higher the number of stars displayed on an appliance, the more energy-efficient it is.

Therefore, installing a water heating unit with at least 5 to 7 energy-star rating can help you reduce more on energy bills. Opting for a hot water unit that uses renewable energy resources can be a greener option, thereby slashing environmental impacts. Solar-powered hot water units are one of the most energy-efficient types available on the market.

Compared to storage-type designs, continuous flow water heaters also offer better energy ratings due to the water being heated only as it is required, while producing a steady stream of hot water for your usage.


To gauge how much it will cost for upgrading your hot water unit, there are several variables involved.

Besides the type of the hot water unit itself (storage/continuous flow), there might be additional costs if the existing pipeline and power supply need to be overhauled.

Since installation and supply line connection costs will vary depending on the type of hot water unit and your specific installation requirements, it is always advisable to talk to a plumbing expert for the latest advice.

The Victorian government is committed to helping Victorian households and businesses reduce their energy costs and reduce environmental impacts simultaneously.

The ‘Victorian Energy Upgrades’ program can help you save money on upgrade costs and energy bills.

To check if your household or business is eligible to participate or to know more about the program, please visit https://www.victorianenergysaver.vic.gov.au/save-energy-and-money/victorian-energy-upgrades/save-with-these-energy-efficient-products/hot-water-systems.

Where can you find hot water unit repairs / upgrade services in Melbourne’s eastern suburbs?

When you choose Doherty Plumbing Solutions for your next hot water unit replacement / upgrade work, you are guaranteed top-of-the-line workmanship and support from our team of licensed plumbers.

Our licensed team of professionals provides complete hot water services in Melbourne’s eastern suburbs, including repairs, maintenance, and installation.

In the event a Melbourne hot water repair is not possible, we will work with you to determine a replacement that is suited to your home, budget, family, and lifestyle.

We work with industry-leading hot water system brands, including Rheem, Vulcan, Aquamax, Dux, Rinnai and Bosch.
If you have a preferred hot water system not listed above, we will make the necessary arrangements to order and install it in your Melbourne home or business.

Contact the friendly team at Doherty Plumbing Solutions today.

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