How Does an Electric Hot Water System Work?
Electric hot water units function in a similar way to storage units for natural gas. Cool water is sent into a tank for heating, after which it climbs to the top, so it can be siphoned off once the warm tap is switched on. The heating happens in a different place though. With electric models, one or a couple of elements are situated in the water, heating it from within. Due to the fact that the heating happens inside the tank, a flue is not needed.
Electric Warm Water Tank Systems
The temperature that the water is warmed to is controlled and maintained by a thermostat. If the pressure of the water rises too high, the water gets directed out via the pressure reduction valve, and escapes out of the overflow tube.
Constant flow warm water units work by warming the water as required, instead of warming it then storing it. Once the warm water is switched on with a tap, cool water is directed through a warmth exchanger, which warms the water and directs it through the tubing. Most constant flow electric units need a triple phase electric supply to operate (in Australia, typical domestic wiring is single phase).
Kinds of Electric Warm Water Systems
Electric warm water units can come in constant flow and storage varieties alike. Also, electricity can be used to boost solar powered warm water units.
Electric warm water storage units can be off peak varieties as well. These contain a couple of heating elements. With these units, the bottom element performs the majority of the heating throughout the off peak, cheaper tariff hours on an evening. If the warm water runs low during the daytime, the upper element tops off the temperature. They have thermostats which can be controlled separately. This allows for various temperature settings.
Where Electric Warm Water Units are Typically Found
Normally, electric units are found where solar or gas is unavailable, or not a feasible alternative. Lots of older apartment blocks and dwellings in SA, Queensland and NSW have these units.
Should I buy an Electric Unit?
Off peak units cost about the same amount to operate as natural gas units, however conventional electric warm water units are far more damaging to both the environment and the wallet.
Most of the time, electric units have lower up front expenses than others, however increasing electricity costs have to be considered for the lifespan of a heater. Similarly, the government is targeting inefficient units for a phase out. Therefore, take a long term view when gauging whether an electric warm water tank is suitable for you. Rules might even prevent you from using one in certain areas of Australia.
Gas burners heat water quicker than electric elements. Therefore, if you have to install a warm water tank, select a tank big enough to handle all your water use for the day. By doing this, you will avoid having to wait for your water to warm up, and save yourself from paying peak electricity charges.
For installation and repairs, contact us today. Our technicians can assist you with your plumbing concern in a professional way.