Do You Need to Replace Hot Water System?

Do you need to replace hot water system?

Have you got a Bosch 10P or 10H that’s not looking too good, not even working, maybe leaking a little bit? You probably think the best way to get it fixed is to get someone out there and replace hot water system with the exact same thing.

But the thing is sometimes these things aren’t installed right in the first place, maybe 15-20 years ago, whenever they were. And we’ll explain to you why that’s an issue.

The Issue

The hot water system in the video is in a really, really bad condition. There’s no way that we could get even the diaphragm out of this thing.

So we’ll need to replace hot water system, but the trouble is, if you look at the gas main, it’s the smallest pipe that goes up into a larger pipe. It’s also nearly 25 meters away from the gas meter box.

On the pipe sizing charts, it’s only really able to supply 57 megajoules, where this heater alone is about 89 megajoules. Plus, they’ve got a bayonet, which is another 25 megajoules, plus a stove as well, which is probably another 40. So it’s massively undersized.

So all these years this thing’s been working but not to its peak performance and the customer never knew.

What You Need to Know

If you’ve locked a plumber in on a price, he’s going to come and change it over because he thinks like for like so it should work. Now, if it’s not working at its peak performance and he can’t get that burner pressure right, do you think he’s going to let you know?

He’s got to have all this conversation that says, “Oh, I’ve got to enlarge the gas pipe, it’s going to cost a lot more money.” If he doesn’t want to have that conversation with you, the only way you’ll find out is if one of the gas inspectors come over and audit his job. They will send him a notice of defect saying, “You’ve installed it, you’re the professional, but the pipe sizing isn’t correct. You should have told the customer that.”

So you could be stuck with a heater for the next 10 years that still is never working to its peak performance. These things like to run, they like to heat water, that’s what they do.

This Case

So the customer’s called us and we’ve come out to have a look at it. It’s leaking, probably not worth spending any money on it. So we said, “Don’t worry about spending money on it, but let’s rethink the whole thing.”

Look at the pipe sizing, it’s not going to work efficiently anyway. If you’re putting exactly the same thing in here and the gas fitter doesn’t test it or measure the burner pressure, you’re going to be stuck with this stuff that’s not working correctly for the next 10 years. And you’re never going to know about it.

It’s also undersized and the position isn’t the best. They’ve got a whole bedroom between the hot water system and the bathroom, laundry, and kitchen. So we suggested to install the new hot water system right next to the kitchen which is going to be great. It will also be close to the laundry and bathroom. We’ll run a new lineup, 25 mil, make it the correct size all the way over to the meter box, and hook it up and get it all sorted. We’ll put something like a Rinnai which flows a lot better.

It was a lot more than he expected to pay than what he was quoted on the internet. But he’s going to get something that’s going to work correctly and it’s going to really future-proof it.

Another Case

Now, this exact same situation happened a couple of weeks ago from a bloke in Tuart Hill. His hot water system was leaking. We said it was not worth fixing it. It was rusting out the bottom, terrible condition. It was also undersized.

We spent nearly an hour there measuring up, pulling off roof tiles, checking out where everything was. He said, “Oh, we could be able to move it near the kitchen, that’d be better. But I just wanted the minimum done.

So we said, “Okay, well maybe just get one of the guys on the internet who just swap them over. That’s all they do. That’ll be the cheapest thing you’re doing.” But we can’t put it in because if it is undersized and we can’t get that burner pressure right, then we’ll get a defect notice and we are not willing to wear that. As plumbers, we sign off on all our work.

We left him and he paid the 66 bucks call out fee. We carved two hours out of our day. A couple of days later, we got an email from him, saying that he was disappointed that we didn’t do the most basic thing to fix the issue. He said he read in the troubleshooting guide that said, “No hot water, failed to ignite.” It could have been the gas lockout. So the solution was to turn the taps on and off and then try it again. And he did that and the thing lit and started working again, even though it was dripping down the bottom and stuff.

But he missed the main point that it failed to ignite. Hot water systems are meant to ignite. He thought just by turning it on and off, that fixed the problem. But it didn’t. And so he was playing it down to us that we didn’t know that.

While the customer in this video was happy to do what we suggested.

End Result

As you can see in the video, we’ve put the Rinnai 16 in. This has got 125 megajoules. We’ve got a new cold main going in, the hot main up. There’s already enough pipes on this outside the wall anyway, so we try and hide it in the cavity. That’s all connected up. The gas main goes up. We still have to clip it a bit first.

As soon as that gets inside the roof there, it jumps up to 25 mil, goes all the way across to the meter. Now, it’s a shorter run, maybe three-meter run to the kitchen, a meter to the laundry, and maybe four meters to the bathroom. So a lot better location. He’s going to be stoked with it.

We told him when he had a shower that night to make sure he was holding a Zimmer frame because the difference of the pounding of the water from these things compared to the old Bosch Hydros or the Bosch Pilots, is going to be a huge.

Conclusion: Make sure you get your pipe sizing right. That’s the most important thing. If you need our help, give us a call. We’ll be happy to help.