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What is an Instant Gas Hot Water?

An instantaneous gas hot water unit (instant gas hot water system) is a tankless hot water heater that warms the water as it passes through a serpentine heat exchanger at a flow rate of 10 to 32 litres per minute, whilst providing a virtually endless supply of hot water.

Instant gas hot water system heat up the hot water as it passes through a heat exchanger inside the unit. The heat exchanger is heated by a gas burner.

Some call them instant hot water system or instantaneous hot water whilst still others just call them instant hot water.

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All plumbers at Sharpe Plumbing are Master Plumbers, certified to the highest Australian standards. Our master plumbers SA are proud to uphold the highest standard for plumbing services Adelaide. The next time you need a “local plumber near me”, call on Sharpe Plumbing for the best plumbers Adelaide. We don’t have any subcontractors, only in-house fully licensed local plumbers. 

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Gas Hot Water

HOW THEY WORK?

An instant gas hot water heater works when you open a hot water tap and a sensor detects the flow. The gas burner fires and the heat exchanger warms the flowing water.

A gas water heater tank works by heating water and storing it until needed. Hot water is drawn from the top of the tank and replaced with cold water at the bottom, based on the fact that warm water rises. When the tank water temperature drops below the thermostat set-point, the water heater works by having the burner run until the temperature recovers to the set-point.

ADVANTAGES

Gas hot water systems will produce few greenhouse gas emissions. Additionally, depending on your location, gas systems are usually considered to have lower usage rates compared to electricity, making them a more cost-effective option long term.

DISADVANTAGES

Gas hot water systems are only really viable if you’re connected to mains gas, as using LPG bottles is more expensive, and creates the risk of running out of hot water. Gas hot water systems must be located outside or have an exhaust vent if they are located inside.

Instant or Storage?

Gas hot water systems prices vary so it is important to first identify how many people will be using the hot water system, the number of outlets, and your budget so we can recommend a suitable product. Instant gas hot water systems have a number of advantages, with the main advantage being that it only heats water when needed, so isn’t affected by peak and off-peak rates.

GAS STORAGE

Storage gas hot water systems use a gas burner located underneath the storage tank to heat the water.

They usually have a continuously burning pilot flame that ignites the main burner when it is needed. Heat is then transferred from the gas burner through the bottom of the cylinder.

Most units have an adjustable thermostat to set the water temperature. When the temperature at the bottom of the tank drops below the level set on the thermostat the pilot flame ignites the main burner so the water is kept constantly hot. The energy from the pilot flame is not wasted as it helps to heat the water in the tank.

Storage hot water systems come in a range of tank sizes from about 90 litres to 300 litres. Some units use a special flue system to recirculate the hot flue gases around the outside of the tank to increase heat transfer into the water and increase their efficiency.

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INSTANT GAS

Instantaneous gas hot water systems, also known as continuous flow, don’t have storage tanks and heat water only when required.

Water is heated by a gas burner as it flows through a coiled pipe called a heat exchanger. The gas burner starts when a hot water tap is turned on. It only heats the amount of water that is required instead of continuously heating a full tank. As they don’t store any hot water, there is no heat loss from a tank and so can have energy and cost savings.

To allow enough time for heating, the water is slowed down as it flows through the heat exchanger. This means that instantaneous units supply hot water at a lower pressure than storage systems. They can typically deliver hot water at flow rates per minute of between 10 litres and 30 litres, depending on the model.

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