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What is the Best Hot Water System for a Large Family?

Homeowners have a lot to weigh up when it comes to hot water systems. Whether your ageing water heater has sprung a leak and you need a replacement, you’re sick of showers where the hot water runs out halfway through, or your energy bills are through the roof – modern households need a constant supply of hot water. This is especially so if you are trying to keep everyone happy in a large family.

Key Takeaways

  • There are pros and cons to each type of hot water system and prices and sizes vary greatly

  • Calculate your household hot water usage to ensure a system will be suitable for your family

  • Government incentives may be available when upgrading to energy-efficient hot water services


Hands washing under a kitchen sink

Best types of hot water systems for a large family

If you have a big family, you probably don’t have the budget to be sending dollars down the drain. While some hot water systems will cost you less to purchase, it’s important to consider the ongoing energy costs and whether they have the capacity to meet your needs.

Storage tank

In a storage tank system, water is heated before being stored in an insulated tank for use when it is needed.

Electric storage water heaters are the most popular systems on the market due to their low purchase price. However, an electric hot water heater has high running costs because it uses a large amount of electricity to heat the water and heat loss from storage tanks can be substantial.

Solar hot water systems also use storage tanks after water is heated by the sun. While they are an eco-friendly option, they will require gas or electric boosters for cloudy days and they can have larger maintenance costs over their lifespan. This is because some types of storage tanks are fitted with anodes that need to be replaced every few years to protect against corrosion. The solar panels themselves may also require maintenance, including cleaning, and you need to have an adequate area on your roof to place the system.

Storage tank hot water systems


A continuous flow system heats water as it’s required, which means you will never run out.  They can operate on natural gas, LPG or electricity and, as there is no water tank, they have the benefit of not suffering from heat loss like a storage tank system.

They are also quite energy efficient in that they are often fitted with temperature controls to allow the desired water temperature at the tap (in the shower, for example), which means water is not being overheated.

Rinnai continuous flow hot water heater on home exterior

Heat pump

Heat pump technology has Australians embracing these renewable energy-reliant systems like never before.

Heat pump systems also use a storage system but they cost considerably less than an electric storage system to operate. This is because they use the heat from the air to heat water for your home, therefore lowering electricity costs and carbon emissions.

Heat pump hot water heaters have plenty of advantages but also have a much higher price tag. Although in some states, government rebates can help to offset the initial cost.

5 Factors a large family should consider for hot water

While you want your hot water system to have enough capacity to make sure everyone in the family can have a hot shower, there are also other things to consider when investing in a hot water system, such as installation and energy use.

Household size

As well as the number of people in your home, you should also consider the impact of your dishwasher and washing machine when it comes to hot water use. How many bathrooms and appliances you have to service and how frequently you use them will all be deciding factors when it comes to how large a system you require. A modern dishwasher uses about 15L per load and one person uses about 50L of hot water each day.

Animation of an entire home's interior

Peak usage times

Think carefully about when your home is using the most hot water. Is it in the evening when the dishwasher is running and several people are showering, or when your washing machine is running all day long?

Keeping power bills low while running your hot water system will depend on what sort of tariff it’s connected to. If you’re using a storage system with a larger tank, consider heating water during off-peak electricity times (usually 10pm-7am) to be used throughout the day.

hot water home insurance

Water usage habits

A large family is likely to use most of their hot water showering. Believe it or not, shower heads with a better flow rate can actually save you hundreds of dollars a year on your energy bills. If you’re not willing to compromise on pressure, look for aerated shower heads which can use up to 50 per cent less water.

The amount of time spent with the shower running and how hot the water temperature is will also affect your hot water usage.

Hot water coming out of faucet

Available space

If you’re installing a new hot water system, you’ll need to consider the available water outlets as well as where each type needs to be located.

For example, a heat pump system requires adequate ventilation and creates a humming sound while running, so it’s best not to place these too close to a neighbouring property.

If you’re looking to install a solar hot water system, you’ll need to have an appropriate place on your roof that catches an adequate amount of sunlight for it to function correctly.

An instantaneous system has the advantage of saving space if you don’t have the room for a large unit with a storage tank.

Clock ticking

Energy efficiency

Regardless of your energy consumption and no matter which type of system you decide to buy for water heating, investing in the most energy-efficient appliance you can afford will save you money in the long run.

Water heaters sold in Australia are not required to carry an energy efficiency rating such as those we are used to seeing on other appliances, so it’s important to talk to your plumber or hot water installer about the most energy-efficient appliances for your household.

In some states, for some types of water heating appliances, government rebates may be available.

a stainless steel faucet leaking hot water

3 Best hot water systems for a large house

If you’re shopping for a new hot water system, Same Day Hot Water Service stocks a huge range of brands including Dux, Rheem, Rinnai, Aquamax, Bosch, Thermann and Solahart.

Here’s a guide to the best hot water heaters for a large family.

  • When it comes to electric hot water systems, if your household has more than 5 family members and your peak usage is high, you will probably require a large 400L storage tank. The Dux Proflo 400L has twin elements that heat water faster and are more energy efficient than a single-element model.
  • If you think a continuous-flow hot water system might be right for your household, the Rinnai Infinity 26 offers superior performance and excellent energy efficiency.
  • There are plenty of options when it comes to heat pumps but the EVO150-1 heat pump is a standout performer. It has built-in smart features which can save you up to 75% on your water heating costs and it comes with a 5-year warranty on the cylinder. Customers have given this brand great reviews. We also offer it with free delivery to Melbourne, Sydney, Newcastle, the Central Coast and Perth.

For more information on any of these models, pricing on any of our other products, or to discuss your hot water needs, visit Same Day Hot Water Service.

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