The 5 Types Of Hot Water Systems In Australia

types of hot water systems australia

Domestic hot water systems are super-simple, right? You just turn on the hot tap and soak up the steam. Ah, if only everything could be that simple.

But just because there are several different types of hot water systems Australia wide doesn’t need to be a bad thing. In fact, choice is a very, very good thing. That’s because the more options you have in a cluttered, highly competitive market, the better products you’re going to get at the best possible prices.

So with so much out there, let’s break down the basic types of hot water systems into the five most fundamental categories:

Gulp! As you face your task and compare hot water systems before making the right choice for your home, lifestyle and budget, there’s quite a bit to know. Luckily, we’ve put together all the really important stuff right here in our exclusive hot water system comparison.

Ready to weigh up your hot water options? Let’s get started:

1. Electric storage systems

When you think about the most run-of-the-mill types of water heaters, you almost certainly think of a tank-based system that is connected to the power.

However, our new climate change-conscious era is making a push to phase out this traditional technology, even though the latest iterations are much more energy efficient. Combined with off-peak, overnight heating tariffs, these types of hot water systems remain affordable off the shelf and reliable.


  • Affordable price
  • Simple installation
  • Off-peak tariffs
  • Large tanks can handle multiple hot outlets


  • Most expensive of the hot water options to run
  • Least environmentally-friendly systems
  • Large system size
  • Sacrificial anode requires changing to prevent tank corrosion.

2. Gas storage systems

Just like electric tank systems, except powered either by mains or bottled gas – both of which are typically less expensive than electricity (especially mains). Gas hot water systems are also increasingly energy-efficient.


  • More energy efficient
  • Fewer greenhouse emissions
  • Quicker heating times than electricity


  • Extra costs for mains gas connection
  • Ventilation required for indoor installation.

3. Continuous flow (instant) systems

As you compare hot water systems, it’s not difficult to see why the small, versatile, hot-water-only-on-demand instantaneous systems are so popular right now. The slick unit can be installed just about anywhere, they’re available in various electric or gas hot water options and capacities, and the lack of reliance on stored water means you only waste energy on hot water you’re actually going to use.


  • Never runs out of water
  • Heats water only when needed
  • More energy efficient than tank systems
  • Indoor or outdoor installation
  • Longer-lasting than tank systems.


  • Higher off-the-shelf price
  • Smaller capacities struggle with more than one hot outlet
  • Can struggle with low water pressure
  • Slight delay in heating up the water.

4. Heat pump systems

Based on the traditional electric tank storage system, the working end of heat pump hot water systems is like a fridge in reverse. Much more energy-efficient than a pure electric system, these units pull warm energy from the air around the unit, saving you big in running costs and carbon footprint.


  • Much more energy-efficient than tank systems
  • Significantly reduced greenhouse emissions
  • Ideal upgrade for old tank system


  • Noisier to run, requiring careful placement
  • Outdoor installation only
  • One of the more expensive hot water options to buy
  • Can struggle in consistently colder climates

5. Solar systems

Finally, solar hot water represents the peak of 21st century hot water technology, harnessing the free energy from the sun for very low and often negative operating costs. Traditional solar systems incorporate the storage tank within the roof-mounted panel structure, but split systems are now increasingly common – with the water stored on a ground tank.


  • Slash operating costs down to zero (and even below!)
  • Eligible for government subsidies/grants/rebates
  • Tidy, out-of-mind installation options
  • Energy-boosted so you won’t run out of water


  • Most costly option to buy off-the-shelf
  • Requires full sun exposure & roof space
  • Outdoor installation only.

Adelaide’s hot water experts will help you decide

With a reliable and affordable supply of hot water so important for your quality of life, choosing the right hot water technology type really is a big deal. So if you’re on the market for something new, why not rely on a hot water repair and installation service with an incredible 250 years of combined industry experience?

Here at Fawcett Plumbing, our fully trained and qualified Adelaide plumbers have installed hundreds and hundreds of systems across Adelaide and surrounding areas – and we’d love to help you out next! Get in touch for same-day installations today.