How does instantaneous hot water work?

Instantaneous hot water systems are rapidly becoming the go-to choice for homes in Australia. They have huge advantages such as the space required, which is exponentially less than traditional water tanks and the unlimited hot water on tap!

How does an instantaneous hot water system heat the water?

Instantaneous hot water systems don’t have storage tanks and heat water only when it’s required. The water passes through a coiled copper pipe called a heat exchanger, which heats it by either an electric element or a gas burner. The heated water is immediately heated as it flows through the system and goes directly to your tap; giving you instant hot water.

As there is no storage of the hot water, the instant system doesn’t waste energy keeping large amounts of water hot when it is not in use. This makes the instantaneous system more energy efficient and produces cost savings.

Types of instantaneous hot water systems

There are 2 types of instantaneous hot water systems: electricity powered and gas powered (natural or LPG). The principles are the same but the method of heating the water is slightly different. Let us explain how…

Electric instantaneous hot water systems

An electric instant hot water system has an element inside made from copper, or nickel alloy, with a wire running through it. When it has an electric current flowing through the wire, friction is created and, consequently, heat too. This hot element heats the water as it travels through the system. There are usually 2 elements in an electric system.

how an electric instant hot water system works

Gas instantaneous hot water systems

A gas instant hot water system has a gas burner inside which ignites the gas as it enters the system. When the hot water tap is turned on, the gas burner is lit. The  water travels through a coiled pipe, called a heat exchanger, as the gas burner heats it and provides you with instant hot water.

how an instant hot water system works

Instant hot water system installation

When it comes to the installation of an instantaneous hot water system, you need to determine whether a gas or an electric system will be best for your home. If you choose a gas system, you will need to have access to gas piping or gas reticulation as well as larger piping to suit the fuel requirements. However, if you choose an electric system, you will need one or two power outlets and it will usually be installed near to the tap which will be supplied with the hot water.

Pros and cons of instant hot water systems


  • Instant hot water
  • Take up less space
  • Saves you money on your energy bill
  • Endless supply of hot water


  • Cost more to purchase and install
  • Not designed for high demands of a large home
  • Can take a while to get up to temperature
  • More wasted water due to waiting for it to heat up

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Things to know before purchasing an instantaneous hot water system

If you’re considering installing an instant hot water system, there are a few things you should contemplate before purchasing. Such as:

  • Size of the unit required to cater for the size of your home
  • Power of the unit is enough to meet your needs
  • Additional features – options for a timer and auto shut off
  • Price of the unit

Instant hot water system specialists

Switch to instantaneous hot water heating today and save money on your household bills. Fallon Solutions provides the best instant hot water system installation, repair and maintenance so contact our friendly team today on 1300 762 260 for more information.