Questions for hot water system suppliers

Split systems have the heavy tank on the ground and only the relatively light collectors on the roof. Most installations will require both a plumber and an electrician to complete.
It’s best to sound out an installer to check their reliability before buying a hot water system. Have they successfully installed this particular hot water system before? What happens if they go out of business? Here are some key questions to get you started.
General questions regarding all systems
  • What’s your experience with heat pumps/solar thermal/PV diversion systems etc?
  • Are you licensed to install this kind of system?
  • What happens if the system needs to be fixed under warranty, and your business is no longer operating?
  • How long have the equipment manufacturers been in the industry, and do they have a local office?
  • What’s the warranty on the tank? And on the other components of the hot water system?
  • Does the quote include all system components as well as installation? Does the quote include all labour, transportation and inspection charges?
  • What maintenance is required on the system?
  • Are replacement parts readily available?
  • How long can I expect my system to last?
  • How long will it take to install the system?
  • Do you handle the rebate application process? How many STCs does my system qualify for?
  • What material is the tank?
  • Will the installation be designed to reduce weathering of the storage tank?
  • What level of insulation and lagging do you offer on the system?
  • Do you install any measures to prevent heat coming out of the pressure relief valve?
  • What is the maximum output water temperature and is a tempering valve included? (Note tempering valves are compulsory)
  • Will the system meet the household’s needs regarding number of occupants and bathrooms?
  • Can I retrofit my current system?
  • If you’re looking at an electric hot water system, ask if they can set up a timer so that it runs in the middle of the night, or in the middle of the day if you’re on solar.

Find out more in the Efficient Hot Water Buyers Guide.

This article was first published in issue 139 of Renew magazine.

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