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How to install an electric water tank in a unit

Installing a hot water tank into a small one bedroom unit has to be done correctly to avoid issues with neighbouring properties above or below.


Hot Water system installed in a unit

A licensed plumber in Sydney can make sure that a water tank replacement, repair or installation is done properly, legally and to Australian Standards. This is particularly important for units or apartments where space is typically limited & you have to consider the potential risks of effecting adjoining properties with shared walls and floors.

Why do electric water tank quotes for a unit differ so much?

Getting an electric how water tank installed in Sydney is becoming more common for licensed plumbers in Sydney like Nu-Trend. We are getting close to one million units in Sydney with development expanding all the time. For most units, there is not really a large amount of space available for an electric water tank and in this example, the building didn’t have gas or even 3 Phase Electricity to provide an Instantaneous Boiler option.

When you get a quote to install an electric water tank the quotations will vary greatly depending on the scope of work. So for example who is supplying the water tank & what brand/model? Is it a straight replacement of an existing unit or is specific work required to install the unit etc. You also have to ensure the plumbers in Sydney that you are asking to provide quotes have experience doing this type of work.

Is it possible to have an electric water tank that is installed illegally?

As an experienced plumber in Sydney, both Rob and I have come across many different ways that either builders, renovators or other plumbers have installed water tanks that are either illegal or not to Australian Standards. You don’t hear about it in the news, but with such confined spaces they can be prone to causing issues and potentially, major damage to a building. 

So any professional plumber that is contracted to install an electric hot water tank must abide by all the relevant codes and safety standards. This will minimise any safety risk to you as the property owner & of course the people living around you.

What is the cost for a plumber to install an electric water tank in Sydney?

You can get lots of cheap quotes over the phone to install an electric water tank. We have written about some of the typical plumber sales gimmicks you will come across. We know that many people will get quoted over the phone to install a 50-litre electric hot water tank in a one-bedroom unit will be less than $1,000. 

What happens in a lot of cases though is that shortcuts are taken to do the job quickly without applying the correct legal or safety requirements. This can cause problems later if the unit leaks water or worse, water gets into floors or walls of the neighbour. 

To get a unit installed correctly you will be paying between $2500 to $3500 ex gst in Sydney.

How does a plumber install an electric water tank?

Nu-Trend has qualified, licensed and experienced plumbers in Sydney that install electric hot water tanks into units, apartment blocks or houses. Here are the things that make this electric hot water tank installation pictured above the correct way for it to be done to ensure it meets Australian Standards;


  1. The heater is sitting in a small safe waste tray. This tray protects the surrounding kitchen cupboards from any small leaks which may lead to water damage.


  2. A terminating valve has been installed on the main water. This valve is necessary for this type of install as the safe waste tray is unable to be connected to any close by drainage, as it is too low. The terminating valve has a sensor, which detects any water leak inside the safe waste tray, this will then automatically shut off the main water feed to the heater, preventing any flooding or further damage.


  3. There is a tempering valve installed. This regulates the hot water to a safe working temperature of usually 50 degrees Celsius, which is safe for children and adults. It can also be adjusted to lower temperatures too.


  4. There is a duo valve installed on the cold water inlet. This valve allows water to move in one direction and prevents any cross water flow.


  5. The copper relief piping has been installed with gradient fall allowing for relief water to drain away without any blockages or water traps.


  6. The Copper pipe work has been installed neat and secure making it easy for maintenance and repairs, this also adds to the longevity of the heater and fittings.


  7. The heaters electrical box is in a safe position, facing the front of the cupboard for easy to access for any future maintenance, repairs or heater diagnosis.


  8. The tempering valve has been installed facing downwards, allowing for relief water to drain away with no disturbances.


We hope this provides a detailed explanation on the correct steps to install a hot water unit. You can see why the quotations you get may vary so much as not all plumbers will go to such detail to do it properly. It is important to double check so that you don’t get caught out.

Can you install a hot water tank yourself in Sydney?

While some people might like to try changing a tap washer themselves, doing DIY jobs when it comes to installing things like hot water tanks isn’t a good idea. You are dealing with either electricity or gas, combined with water held at high temperatures & at high pressure. So it is a recipe for disaster if not done correctly and can cause damage to your property or harm people. Installing a hot water tank should be done by a licensed plumber in Sydney who has experience with this type of specific installation service.

You should always opt to use a fully certified and licensed hot water system installer like Nu-Trend


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All the work carried out by Nu-Trend is AS/NZ3500:2018 compliant. It is the Australian Standard for Plumbing and Drainage in NSW as set down by Standards Australia and the Australian Building Codes Board. They give the plumbing industry technical direction to enable compliance with required regulatory frameworks.

15 years experience with a written commitment.

Rick and Rob are the hands-on directors for Nu-Trend. Rather than hire sub-contractors and manage their business from a distant office, they are on the tools, at your site & working towards delivering your bathroom renovation or plumbing service. It means you are talking directly to the owners of the business, the guys who are accountable and responsible rather than via email or through customer service teams.

It is why they are able to provide a written guarantee that demonstrates their confidence in standing by the quality of their workmanship and the service they deliver to every single client.

They have a very single minded commitment to deliver a high level of professionalism and quality, they’ve been doing renovation contracting in Sydney for 15+ years.

We are a bathroom renovator in Sydney that has completed thousands of bathroom renovations.

Nu-Trend has been operating since 2009 as an independent bathroom renovation and plumbing contractor in Sydney. Rick and his team provide a wide range of services for home owners in houses, units, apartments or businesses.

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