What to do when a hot water system breaks down

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What to do when a hot water system breaks down

When a hot water system breaks down, the priority is to get your hot water supply back up and running immediately.

When this happens, the need to get hot water back on, often comes well ahead of the need to buy an efficient hot water system. However, it does not have to be this way.

If your hot water system breaks down, some companies can install a temporary water heater to supply your business. This will give you time to choose and install a solar hot water or heat pump system of your choice.

In the event of a breakdown, here are the questions to ask an installer:

  • Can they install a temporary water heater to give you time to choose and install an energy-efficient hot water system? If not, you may want to find a supplier who will – after all it’s your company who will have to pay the ongoing hot water bills.
  • Are all installation costs included in the quote?
  • Is the installer appropriately qualified? Any system that requires an electricity supply will need a licenced electrician and plumber involved in the fitting. Similarly, if a natural gas hot water system has been chosen, your installer must be qualified to fit it.

If your hot water system breaks down, an installer can give you a temporary water heater until a solar or heat pump system can be installed.


Buy devices that are appropriate for the task 

Choose hot water units that meet the demands you place on them.


A water heater with a high energy efficiency rating that’s too big for your needs could use more energy and cost you more than a smaller water heater with a lower efficiency rating.


The trick to saving money is to get the right-size water heater with the highest energy efficiency rating. 

Ferguson Plarre, VIC

At Ferguson Plarre Bakehouses the hot water required for cake production is preheated using energy that’s recovered from their refrigeration systems.


They have also installed a ‘liquid chocolate tank’ whose hot water utilises heat that’s been reclaimed by their heating system.


Saving even further on hot water, they even have a pie meat pump delivery system that also uses heat recovery technology.[1]


Install dedicated units 

If different parts of your business require significantly different water temperatures, it may be more efficient to install separate heaters for high temperature and low temperature areas.


This will reduce costs associated with heating large quantities of water to higher temperatures than required.

Fresh & Clean Uniform Services, NSW

Fresh & Clean Uniform Services saved money by simplifying their washing processes.


“Our normal wash cycle used to require a break wash, a hot wash and three rinses,” said owner Steve Gordon. “All of that required large amounts of energy to heat the water, lots of chemicals to remove grease and lots of water in each wash cycle.”


The new alternative is a lot simpler. “We now dry-clean and rinse the garments once,” said Steve.[2]