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Hot Water Systems

Your hot water system is the engine room for your home, Did you know your hot water system needs maintenance ?

Tips for prolonging the life of your hot water system.

1, Ensure you have a pressure limiting valve installed on the cold water inlet.

2, Regularly release some water though your TPR Valve (Temperature pressure relief valve)

3, Replace the Anode in your hot water system every 3-4 years.

Did you know you can install a Temperature control valve on your hot water system to prevent accidental scalding, We highly recommend these device if you have young kids or elderly people living with you.

Choosing the right Hot water system for your home.

There are a number of different options on the market now when it comes to selecting a new hot water system for your home some of the important factors to consider are.

  • The amount of hot water needed daily for the number of people living in your home.
  • The length of time you plan on staying in the home.
  • What type of system best suits you – Electric, Gas, Solar, Continuous Flow or Heat Pump. Select the correct unit is important for your energy in the years to come.

Electric Hot water system

This is currently one of the most common systems used to heat water at homes across New South Wales, as it is one of the most cost effective units to have installed but does cost more to run for the life of the unit.

Gas Hot water systems

This system is slightly more expensive to purchase then an electric system but running, operational costs and maintenance costs are much lower and this units is great value for money.

Solar Hot water system

This unit is the most expensive to have installed on your property but you will have no operational costs as long as you have great sunlight. Maintenance cost are required on this system also so please bear that in mind.

Heat Pump hot water system

This system is another great system which will have very low operational costs moving forward once installed, but do sit in the more expensive range to purchase but with this unit rebates are offered if you do install this system and you can get you up to $1,000 back on the purchased price.

Location of the system

Inside, outside or down side of the house.

We are always happy to answer any questions you may have about your hot water system.

Ph 9986 1234

 The choice in hot water heater by clients of NSW Hot Water has been our instantaneous water heaters, otherwise known as continuous flow hot water heaters or instant hot water systems. These provide an efficient solution to hot water heating needs and cost between $1,500 and $3,000 depending on what your current plumbing application is. A continuous hot water system heats your water when you need it. This makes the option affordable and eco friendly. Hot water will be provided day in and day out by a static heater that only heats the supply, not the storage unit.

How Do Continuous Flow Hot Water Heaters Work?

Although there are several varieties of continuous flow hot water systems, they all run on the same foundation. The system takes cold water from your wait main supply, and pushes it through a heat exchanger or glowing element that is heated by gas or electricity.

When the tap is turned on, the heating element is triggered. The heat pumps heat the water to a desirable steamy temperature before it is expelled from the shower head or sink faucet. In a gas hot water system, gas is used to ignite a burner, in an electric water heater system, your regular electricity supply is utilised to trigger a heating element. Electric systems tend to be slightly less efficient than gas heater systems.

Benefits of a Continuous Flow Hot Water System.

The benefits of a continuous flow hot water system not only include everyday all night access to hot water. Because an instantaneous hot water system only uses a small hot water storage system to hold hot water, four main advantages become evident:

  • The system never runs out of hot water, so you never need to wait for a refill.
  • The system doesn’t waste energy keeping water hot over extended periods. It is energy efficient.
  • The system is more environmentally friendly because of the two aforementioned.
  • The system is efficient to store because the storage tank is rather more compact.

Gas vs Electric Hot water systems

It is not often that you find yourself looking for gas vs electric hot water heater solutions, except in the instance that your current system stops working or you move into a new house. Without a hot water system, you are living uncomfortably, No one likes cold showers in the morning or night. If you are replacing your system, it pays to know which options are best suited to your situation. Heating water takes up 14-18% of our electricity bill, so choosing the right heater is important to optimising your investment or keeping costs down in your home so you can enjoy more of your hard earned money.

Standard water heaters use a gas flame or electric heating element to heat your water. Depending on the cost of utilities in your area, gas heaters are generally more affordable to run than electric heaters. However, gas heaters cost more upfront than electric heaters. Despite this, they will generally pay off the difference in purchase price within about a year of operating.

Gas VS Electric Water Heaters:

Gas water heaters are generally more efficient than electric water heaters. They will burn more consistently and heat up water faster than is possible with an electric heating element. Electric heaters by comparison require a lot of energy to run and are relatively inefficient.

Since gas hot water heaters do not need a storage tank, the actual systems are also smaller, especially the tankless instant gas water heaters available. Because they are smaller, they do not need to run as often. The gas burner heats up the water as you need it, so it is not necessary to heat up a large volume of water in storage for use later as is the case with an electric water heater.

Gas and Electric Water Heaters Installation

The system that is more appropriate for your home will depend on the size of the pipework in your home and also if Gas is on your property. Switching from electric to gas will require installation of gas lines which will contribute to the overall expense of your new water heater.

Categories Blog

5 Quick and easy plumbing checks to do before buying a house

Found the house you love? It looks great, meets your budget and is in the location you wanted. Fantastic!
Buying a home is a big investment.
Now is the time to do your checks before you close the deal.
The building inspector gave the tick of approval. The pest inspection passes with flying colours. Have you forgotten anything?


What about the plumbing?

Unfortunately, the pre-purchase building inspection does not include examination of the drains and plumbing, only the sewer layout. It does include details as to the condition of the plumbing inside and outside the house.

Mr Drains have heard so many stories from customers that they didn’t check the condition of a houses’ plumbing before they purchased, only to find out months later, sometimes just a few weeks, that they have an issue with the plumbing. We hate having to tell them that they now have to spend money fixing problems and blockages that could so easily have been avoided.

Blocked drains and dodgy plumbing and pipes can be a huge expense, occurring at a time when you least expect it. Not to mention the damage it can cause to your new house, property and perhaps your neighbours’ property – not a good start for friendly neighbour relations.

There are some easy checks that you can do before purchasing a home. Here are the things you can look at before purchasing a home. It won’t take long if you follow our checklist and will give you peace of mind and could save you thousands of dollars in plumbing problems later –

1. Hot Water System

Most hot water systems last for approximately 10 years. Check the unit itself, which is usually installed outside the house. Note the model number of the hot water heater and the serial number. The age of the water heater is usually determined by the model of the heater.

You can email Mr Drains at with this information and we can advise on its age.

Check for any damage to the hot water heater and if there is any corrosion. This may reduce its life.

Take note of the location of the hot water heater, especially internal hot water heaters. If the unit were to leak, will it cause water damage to your home?

If the hot water system is old, a new replacement hot water system can range in price from $1700 up to $3500, fully installed.

2. Water Hammer

Turn on the taps and check that there is not a hammer noise when the water flows through the pipes. A hammer noise is the pressure caused when water has to stop suddenly or change direction when a valve has to close quickly. This pressure can cause major problems, from noise and vibration to pipe collapse.

You will need to get a plumber to assess the cause of the water hammer. Your plumber will recommend solutions to remedy the noise and stop further damage to the pipes.

3. Water Leaks

Check around taps and under sinks for any sign of water damage or water lying on a surface. You may be able to follow the water to see where it is coming from. A leaking tap is easy and inexpensive to fix but if it has been left unchecked it could be causing bigger problems such as ruining the vanity or weakening the floor.


A leaking toilet can do severe damage to the flooring and subfloor. Check for discolouration or warping around the base of the toilet and check if the floor around the toilet feels weak or moves when standing on it. Also try to wiggle the toilet bowl. If it moves it could mean that the seal is weakened, the flange is not secured or the toilet bowl is not secured to the flange.

4. Noises

Gurgling sounds as the water flows down the drains could mean that they are blocked. It could be blocked with kitchen scraps, oil, soap scum or hair or it could mean there are tree roots and/or cracks in the pipes. This is a more serious problem and can cause heartache and damage to your new house if it overflows.

5. Healthy trees and grass patches

Take a look through the garden noting the layout for the sewer pipes. Are there very healthy trees along this sewer line? This could mean the tree roots have penetrated the sewer pipes and are having a great feed from them.

Healthy grass patches could mean that there is an external overflow. Check for water sitting on the surface of the lawn or any unpleasant smells.

It is even more important to check for blocked drains when sewer pipes are located under the street or located in an area that is hard to access. This will add extra plumbing costs to have them cleared and fixed.

Download our new home plumbing checklist as a guide when completing a pre-purchase plumbing inspection.

We don’t want you to get any nasty surprises after you move into your new home. Mr Drains has over 28 years’ experience checking and clearing plumbing in Sydney homes. We can do plumbing inspections that include a CCTV inspection of the inside of your pipes. This can locate blockages, faults and uncovers any unseen problems that may cost you thousands of dollars to fix and damage to your new house. It is well worth the investment.

CALL NOW on 9986 1234 – Mr Drains is offering a pre-purchase CCTV inspections for only $99 – just mention this blog when booking!

Categories Blog

Awesome outdoor shower ideas and tips

Awesome outdoor shower ideas and tips

How does a simple little outdoor shower bring so much pleasure and look so great in any backyard?  It doesn’t have to be elaborate, in fact the simpler, the more rustic, the better in most instances.  And when you stand under it, letting the water fall on your body, after a sweaty session of lawn mowing, or to wash the salty residue from your sun kissed skin, it can be exhilarating.

An outdoor shower can be a great addition to any backyard to beat the summer heat.  Not only can they be used to rinse off the chlorine from your swimming pool, or the salt if you are lucky enough to live near the beaches, it’s a great place to clean up the kids from dirt and mud after a long play in the backyard or to wash the kids in summer – bath time doesn’t have to be a chore and there’s no clean up after!  Use it to clean the muddy best friend, your dog! Or cooling off after a workout session or mowing the lawn.

The best part about an outdoor shower is you don’t need much room in your backyard or down the side of your house to fit an outdoor shower. You can create a cosy niche or put it on the corner of your deck, they are practical and look great.

The best bit is your outdoor shower ideas don’t have to follow any strict rules.  Have some fun and use different materials to add style to a simple shower.  They can be as elaborate as you like or simply just a shower.  

Now what does it take to install your own outdoor shower?

Just add water –

The simplest and most cost-effective installation is to hook your hose to the outdoor shower.  Your showers will be cold and will limit the shower use to summer months only.

To keep installations costs down, install it close to water supply, usually an existing bathroom or the garden taps.  The further away the shower is the more the costs in labour to dig the trenches for the pipes and cost of the pipes.

Hot or cold water?  This would depend on your personal needs but hooking up to hot water, means you can use it year-round.  

Take note of the location of your hot water tank because if it will be some distance from the outdoor shower it will use a lot of water waiting for the hot water to come through.  Also ensure the hot water is tempered to 55 degrees as most outdoor showers do not have a tempering valve.


If your outdoor shower will be located against the wall of the house or other building structure or the slope of the land heads towards these structures, it is best to install proper drainage by a plumber.  This will stop water affecting the house walls or foundations over time and will prevent mould and moss growing around your shower area.

Garden drainage – this is where the grey water seeps directly into the garden surrounding the outdoor shower.  You will need to have permeable ground for the water to drain away at a reasonable rate.  A pit can also be dug out and filled with gravel, pebbles or other permeable material so the water can slowly drain into the surrounding soil, instead of sitting on the surface.

Use the existing outdoor drains – connect the drain to the existing outdoor drainage system.

Connect to the wastewater system – this will require a licensed plumber to join the outdoor shower drain to the existing wastewater drainage system.  Although this is more expensive than the others, this solution prevents any water damage from the outdoor shower.

If you are unsure, Mr Drains can advise on the type of drainage which will be best suited to your outdoor shower.

Waterproofing will be needed if your outdoor shower will be against the wall of your home or very close to something that could be damaged from the water.  If it is free standing or away from your house, there is no need for waterproofing.  

As with everything you install that is exposed to the elements, ensure it is durable to stand the weather and harsh climate.  Structural or marine grade steel are robust materials suitable for an outdoor shower.  Brass and copper can be used as well and will develop a beautiful patina over time.  Choose fittings that are designed for outdoor use to extend their life, and look for products that offer a warranty.

Rainware have a modern, stunning range or try Reece for the stylish Milli Inox collection.

You may not need to install an outdoor shower enclosure for a little discretion.  Check the view from your neighbours, as they may not like being able to see you showering.  Use plants, glass, wood panelling or sheets of corrugated iron for a little privacy.


Slips, falls and burns are the dangers from an outdoor shower.  Give some thought to the following –  

•    Choose non-slip flooring to prevent falls and slips.  
•    Install the outdoor shower away from powerlines and power points to prevent electrocution.  
•    During installation, ensure the plumber tempers the hot water to a maximum of 55 degrees as most outdoor showers do not have a tempering valve.
•    When using the outdoor shower, run the water for a few seconds before using as sometimes the sun can heat the water and cause scalding.

Add-ons for extra special fun

Do you want to add a bath tub for the ultimate in outdoor bathing!  Hours of entertainment for the kids (and cheaper than a pool!) or wash the pooch without the mess.
Will you need a shelf for soap and shampoo?  Use bio-degradable products to care for the environment.  How about a seat or bench to sit on or use for your clothes?

Have a think about how you are going to use the shower.  If it is after a session of surfing, you may want a spot to lean the surfboard on, somewhere to hang up a dripping wetsuit.

If it will be used for swimmers, hooks for towels and wet swimming costumes is a nice touch.

Here are some cool outdoor showers to get your creative juices flowing.  Or sometimes, the trusty old hose and tap will suffice!  

Call Mr Drains today on 9986 1234, if you have questions or concerns regarding the installation of your outdoor shower.

Categories Blog

How to make the bathroom safer for the elderly

How to make the bathroom safer for the elderly

Ageing at home is important for all of us.  Maintaining our independence in familiar surroundings and being close to our family and friends, can make all the difference to our happiness, health and wellbeing.

However, there are certain changes that can be made around the house to improve safety and access so that the elderly can move around confidently and function well during their activities at home.

Most accidents in the home occur in the bathroom, regardless of age.  Combine this with a loss of mobility, vision or hearing, sickness or recovering from an operation and safety concerns are increased.

It doesn’t take much to make the bathroom a safer place for the elderly.  Your plumber can give you great advice and help you install these products.


For some elderly people, the simple act of turning on and off a tap can be difficult and cause pain.  Traditionally, taps use rubber washers to prevent dripping, however, when these washers wear out, it makes it harder to turn the tap to close fully.

There are now quarter turn taps using ceramic disc technology available on the market.  The use of this new technology, makes tap turning so much easier and less leaks.  A quarter turn of the tap and the water flow is stopped immediately.  The ceramic disc also means that you do not need as much strength to turn the tap on and off.  Your old taps can be replaced with these new taps by your plumber.

Another alternative is soft close taps, they do not take as much effort to turn on and off.

In the Shower  

Showering can be an unsafe activity for the elderly, when you combine tight spaces and hard surfaces with slippery soap and water. 


There are hand rails you can install in the shower to secure your movement and prevent slips and falls as you shower.  The rails come in a range of finishes to match your bathroom décor.

For those that find standing for a long time difficult, do not feel confident on their feet or are recovering from an operation, there are fold down chairs that are secured to the shower wall.  The seat folds down when you need it and can be folded back up when not needed or if there are only people using the shower.  The fold down chairs are made of moulded plastic with slip resistant feet and include a vinyl seat for extra comfort.

Installing a hand held shower head with hose will help to control water flow when seated.  The old shower head can be replaced or there are models that can be attached to your existing shower head.


Anti-slip mats that you place on the bottom of the bath will prevent slipping and give you a secure footing when stepping in and out of the bath.  These are inexpensive and can be purchased from any bathroom accessories shop, supermarket, department store or hardware store. 

Attaching hand rails to the wall close to the bath tub can help to support the person as they step in and out of the bath tub.


Hand rails like the ones used for the shower and bath, can be attached to the wall to guide the person as they sit down and to support them when standing again. They can be installed on the diagonal or you can purchase 90 degree angled rails for extra safety.

They also have glow rails with a luminous glow strip for use at night or in low light conditions.

Hot Water

Hot water set at high temperatures can cause injury to older people with slower reaction times.  Tempering valves can be installed onto the hot water system which limits the hot water temperature to 50 degrees C.  Water set at 50°C, takes five minutes to cause third-degree burns.


Not sure how to improve the safety in your bathroom?  Call Mr Drains today on 9986 1234, we are happy to take a look and recommend how you can make it safe and give you the confidence to stay at home.  Mr Drains also gives pensioner discounts, so let us know when you call.