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This is very helpful - we have replaced an aged storage hot water service with a gas continuous flow unit. however the hot water takes a while to reach the shower & then fluctuates in temperature... brrr! We love the cost saving but worry about the wasted water waiting to get the temperature right. Any suggestions?

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Marguerite McCartney

Hi spmm,

The hot water was for those who love morning showers, not always available in winter, with solar. We often had guests in the house, so hot water available at both ends of the day was a must. We have used cold water for the dishwasher and washing machine for probably three decades.

In my new house I have a continuous gas hot water system, but made the mistake of having the unit too far from the showers. The plumber wanted to put it on the upper house, but I was concerned about the access for maintenance. Consequently, I feel there is a lot of waste in the pipes and it takes so long to get through, because of the extra distance from the unit.

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You seemed to have missed one other method of water heating. Install a standard electric storage unit---or several for a better control of the flow---and have them connected to your solar electricity supply. The units can have a dedicated panel array or can be connected to and shared with the household system and controlled with a time switch. Switch the hot water units on only during sunlight hours for minimal running costs and a cheaper installation cost than the usual rooftop system, and less waiting time for the hot water to flow.

Richard Blake


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