Hot Water Systems



WILKINSON PLUMBING & GAS operates from Aldinga Beach servicing all suburbs within a 30 km radius. Our van is fully equipped with a comprehensive range of plumbing tools, ladders and spare parts. This means most jobs can be undertaken on the original call to site.

Our store is stocked for all plumbing and pipeline emergency repairs and replacements. All brands of hot water services are in stock and accessible 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We only employ licensed plumbers, fully qualified for installation & repairs to all major makes and models of Hot Water Systems.


There are two basic types of water heater – storage systems and instantaneous (or continuous flow) systems:

Storage Water Heaters

Water is heated and stored in an insulated tank for use when it is required. These systems can operate on mains pressure or from a gravity feed tank.

Mains Pressure: Hot water is delivered at a similar pressure and flow rate to cold water so more than one outlet can usually be turned on without greatly affecting pressure. The storage tank is usually located at ground level inside or outside the house.

Constant Pressure or Gravity Feed: Hot water is delivered at lower than mains pressure from a tank located in the roof of the house. Pressure depends on the height difference between the tank and the point of use. Gravity feed systems are most common for properties not connected to mains water.

Storage tanks may be made of copper, glass (enamel) lined steel or stainless steel. Copper and glass-lined tanks typically have a sacrificial anode to reduce tank corrosion, which needs to be replaced every 5 years or so, depending on water quality.

Warranties offered for tanks range from 5 to 15 years and details vary considerably. We recommend that the anode be replaced every 3 years.

Instantaneous Water Heaters

Instantaneous systems heat only the water required and do not use a storage tank. They can operate on natural gas, LPG or electricity. Gas models are available with either electronic ignition or a pilot flame or hydro powered units.
Instantaneous systems cannot run out of hot water and can be mounted internally or externally.

Standard units can only deliver adequate hot water to one or two points at the same time but high performance gas units can supply several points at once. They also have sophisticated temperature controls.


Solar Energy

Solar hot water systems depending on your climate can provide up to 90{bc7cfdd121ca77ae910536db68b1b0d3bbb5b09a470de545575bd841b01a18bd} of your hot water for free using the sun’s energy. Solar systems may be less appropriate in smaller households, in cooler parts of the country, or where access to sunlight is restricted.

Rebates may be available to assist with the purchase cost of solar water heaters. Rebates are currently available in Queensland, Victoria, NSW and SA.

Natural Gas

Natural gas water heaters generate far fewer greenhouse gas emissions than standard electric storage systems.
Gas storage systems have quicker heat recovery times and generally use a smaller tank than a comparable electric storage system. This improves efficiency and makes indoor installation easier. Systems installed inside the house need a flue that leads outside to vent exhaust gas.

Instantaneous systems usually use natural gas as it is cheaper for this application than LPG and electricity.
To compare energy use of gas storage and instantaneous gas water heaters, check the star rating label.

Electricity can be used for standard storage heaters, for heat pump systems or for boosting solar systems. Expensive three-phase electricity supply is needed for instantaneous systems.

Electric Heat Pumps

Electric heat pumps are an efficient type of electric storage water heater that extracts heat from the environment to heat water. They pay back the extra initial investment more quickly in larger households.

Heat pumps that draw heat from the air use only about one third of the energy of a standard electric system and can be made even more efficient by using a solar booster. Electricity is not used to directly heat the water but to move heat from one place to another. The heat is carried by a refrigerant.

Ground source (or geothermal) heat pumps use a water body, shallow trench or deep bore instead of the air as a heat source. They usually provide both space heating and water heating.Electricity is used to pump water around a loop buried in the ground or immersed in a water body. The enclosed water absorbs heat from the surroundings. Geothermal heat pumps can produce more than 4 units of heat energy for every unit of electrical energy used. Heat pumps can be located and designed to utilise waste heat from air conditioners and refrigerators.

Government rebates may be available to assist with the purchase cost of heat pumps. Rebates are currently available in Queensland, Victoria and some parts of NSW and SA.

Electric Storage Water Heaters

Standard electric storage water heaters use a heating element inside the tank to heat the water, just like an electric kettle. They are responsible for the most greenhouse gases of any water heater so are not recommended.
Smaller electric storage water heaters of less than about 160 litres usually use peak electricity and are the most expensive of all to run.

Larger electric storage water heaters generally use cheaper off-peak electricity tariffs where available, heating water at restricted times (usually overnight). To reduce the chance of running out of hot water, tanks are often oversized and overheated, increasing energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. An electric storage water heater can indirectly produce as much carbon dioxide each year as the average family car.