Water Tank Installation In The Home

Plumbing Rainwater Tanks

Many homeowners are having rainwater tanks plumbed into the house to decrease their environmental impact, make water available for the garden in times of water restrictions and simply to enjoy the taste of sparkling clean rainwater! Additionally, in many states it is now mandatory to have rainwater tanks plumbed into newly built houses. For those of you that are facing the task of getting the water from ‘there’ to ‘here’, we have a complete guide to your necessary preparations and the work.

Decide where you’ll be plumbing it to

If you have an open rainwater tank, or live in a heavy industrial area, it is advisable to plumb the rainwater tank only to non-drinking sources inside your home. In these cases you should plumb your rainwater tank to the toilets, hot water service, taps used for the washing machine and irrigation.

Do you need a seamless automatic switching device?

If your rainwater tank was required to be installed by legislation (as in newly built homes), you’ll need to have a seamless automatic switching device between the tank and the ordinary reticulated supply. This ensures that your plumbing isn’t damaged (and you don’t have to run out and manually move an irrigation switch) if the rainwater tank runs dry.

You’ll need a licensed plumber

If your rainwater tank is required to be installed under the law, they’ll usually also be a proviso about using a licensed plumber – for safety’s sake. Even if you aren’t legally required to install a tank, your council may require that you use a licensed plumber for the installation. Besides, who wants the headache?

Special materials must be used

If you’re planning to supply your own installation materials to save a bit of cash, there are often regulations that they’ll need to meet. For example:

• Materials must be Watermark Certified

• Piping must have the words ‘Rain water’ printed on it at 500mm or lower intervals

• Water outlets must be labelled as rain water

• Hot water service inlet pipes must be labelled as rain water

All the labelling will need to be done with approved signs… unfortunately you can’t just get out the permanent marker!

Backflow prevention is a must

Due to the possibility of rainwater from a contaminated roof making it into the house, all rainwater plumbed to outlets shared with the reticulated supply must have backflow prevention devices attached. It’s an extra cost, but the requirement carries pretty hefty fines if you don’t meet it.

You may be able to install a non-testable backflow prevention device if you’ve taken other precautions

Testable devices for backflow prevention are required for buried and partly buried rainwater tanks; however if you have other protective measures installed, you may be able to use a non-testable device. Of course, there’s other advantages to installing these as well… better tasting water is just one of those! They include:

• Gutter guards
• Filters
• First flush devices
• Dry inlets
• Mosquito and vermin guards

There’s little ‘real’ work that homeowners must, or even can, do when it comes to plumbing rain water tanks Melbourne, it is always best to leave such jobs to the experts – but there is a fair bit that you’ll need to know, regulations-wise.

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Solar Hot Water For Energy Efficiency

If you are looking for a great way to save money and help our environment and a more energy efficient way to produce heated water, you owe it to yourself to at least consider a solar water system.

Hot water services are one of the biggest consumers of energy in your home and solar energy is one of the most simple and least expensive ways to heat water.

The sun’s energy directly heats the water so it’s far more efficient than using gas or electricity.

If you think about what the average household pays each month to heat their water, the cost of a solar hot water system works out to be a very cost effective option. In the past 12 months power bills have increased by between 30 and 50% and there are predictions of them going even higher.

A solar water system is one of the easiest and least expensive ways to make a solar upgrade to your home. It’s great for the environment and you’ll see a significant monthly savings on your gas or electric bill.

Another point worth considering is governments realize that cost effective renewable energy is the way of the future and most Federal and State Governments are now offering rebates and incentives to offset the initial cost of installing a solar water system.

Solar hot water contributes significantly to reducing greenhouse emissions, each year conventional water heating systems are responsible for producing up to 3000kg of CO2 greenhouse emissions.

That is the equivalent amount of emissions that a small car would produce over the same period of time. Other than the upfront cost of a solar hot water service and the installation, the ongoing running cost is small compared to annual electricity bills and gas bills.

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