Skip to main content

Dual hot water heaters: why it is worth doing?

In the extension we paid extra for a second instant gas hot water heater to be fitted to the kitchen wall.

Our primary reason was that we were concerned about the distance from our existing gas storage heater to our upstairs shower.  When we moved into the house in 2006 and had the new hot water heater installed, the only place that met regulations with respect to how far it had to be from a window was the end wall of the house.

With the new kitchen as far from the heater as it could be, and the ensuite upstairs, we opted for two features:

  1. a small instant hot water heater on the outside wall of the new kitchen, at the opposite end of the house
  2. plumbing the upstairs ensuite from both hot water heaters, with a tap in the roof enabling us to switch between them.
Our thinking was that we'd save water by getting hot water more quickly from the tap in the kitchen if the hot water heater was right outside.  Running two heaters would increase our green house gas emissions though.  We also thought that as our children get older and start having showers, we may want to have the ensuite shower on a different source of hot water in case we ran out, or were often having showers at the same time.  We didn't think we'd want to swap often so we told our builder that the tap could be in the roof space.

When the ensuite was plumber, the plumbers actually (sensibly) put the tap in the vanity of the ensuite.  This means we can easily swap between heaters - but again I think that would be a rare event.

When it came to install the instant hot water heater, the plumber found that a larger unit was on special and cheaper than the smaller unit, so we received a "free" upgrade.

Our ensuite shower is great, with strong, warm, flow.  We love our "old" shower fitting but there's barely any water pressure into that bathroom and it is something we need to have a plumber look at. We will also need to offset our increased green house gas emissions - our low energy lighting is one way, and future solar electricity will be another.


Popular posts from this blog

Walk-in pantry: advice for designing yours

Now we've been in our renovated home for a week, we've picked up on some minor issues that anyone considering a walk-in pantry or butlers pantry may want to consider. I think we got ours right, and the minor issues are ones we'll correct ourselves, shortly, at low cost.

 Our pantry is exactly that on most days - a pantry. There's no sink, no oven or hot plates, and no exhaust fan. It does have a microwave and a milkshake maker, storage for irregularly used appliances, and a bench top that can be worked on. We could fit plumbing for a sink later, but can't see a need right now.

Big cost savings can be made with a walk-in pantry. By having a separate room and door, there's absolutely no need for cupboards and cabinet doors within the pantry. Think of the pantry as a cupboard!  Bench tops can be practical and not showy - you don't need Corian or Caeserstone surfaces. A walk-in pantry is a separate room, so soft-close drawers to keep noise down aren't …

Monkey bars!

A few months back we picked up a discounted set of monkey bars (aka horizontal ladders) from Bunnings.  They were reduced from $299 to $80 because the packaging was damaged and the bolts for attaching the bars to wooden posts were missing. There were about four sets of bars on sale.

Last weekend I started assembling them myself, using about an extra $175 worth of materials (bolts, washers, nuts, four cypress pine posts, quick set concrete).  When it came to erecting them I needed a helping hand, which I received yesterday.

In the process of working out how and where to assemble them I found that the recommended height is 1.8 - 2.0 metres, and preferably 1.8m.  Soft fall is also important, to a depth of 250-300mm for up to 2.5m around the bars (Playground Equipment Safety Bulletin, February 2011). The Bulletin provides advice about selecting soft fall materials.

We've generally followed this advice, although without soft fall for a little while. The Bulletin identifies the following…

Review: Bag2Bed - the comfiest bean bag there is?

About a month ago, at the Better Homes and Gardens show in Melbourne, we impulsively splashed out on not one, but three, bean bags.  And not just any - three super large ones from Bag2Bed. As our daughter noted, we now have six bean bags, with three being small children sized ones and three large ones, for a family of four.

At the show, we took two conventional large outdoor beanbags immediately and placed an order for the third - the Queen Size Bag2Bed. Within two weeks we received a call and made arrangements to collect the bag from their factory, which is conveniently close to us in Cheltenham, Melbourne.

The Bag2Bed concept is that instead of a bean bag filled with polystyrene balls, the Bag2Bed is filled with a foam mattress rolled into a ball.  The bean bag cover can be easily slipped off, and the filling unfurls into a mattress.  In our case it is a queen size mattress.

It is easily the most comfortable bean bag we've used, with a firm foam filling.  We 'fight' for …