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Electric Storage vs Electric Instantaneous Commercial Hot Water Systems

Just like your home, having a reliable hot water heater in your business is one of the essential elements you need to have. Electric hot water systems are some of the most popular solutions to meeting water heating demands, but what is the best choice for your business? Let’s compare the two most common types of electric water heaters, which are the traditional electric storage and the electric instantaneous. We will weigh each model’s pros and cons to provide the information you need to decide the best hot water solution for your business.

What is an electric storage system?

Rinnai Hotflo Electric 160 litre hot water heaterAn electric storage system is a hot water heater that runs on electricity and features a hot water storage tank. The storage capacity varies depending on the model. The larger the size, the more people the system can account for. This is one of the most common systems used in Australia due to how long they have existed and their affordability.

Types of businesses that may use this type of system

Electric storage systems are used in a wide range of businesses. Finding the right size for your needs is important, so ask us for further advice on the best system.


More affordable

A traditional electric hot water system will have a lower initial price than some more technologically advanced options. However, they may cost more on a day-to-day basis, depending on the model.

More efficient than other systems

Though it will depend on which products you compare, an electric hot water unit will usually be more efficient than its gas counterpart.

Potentially safer

Professionals should install and service all hot water systems to ensure safety. While it is rare, there is the potential for a poorly installed gas heater to leak.

It comes in a range of sizes

Whenever you purchase a hot water heater, you must select the right size for your needs. Different models have different capacities.


Take up more storage space

Traditional water heaters with storage tanks will take up more space than tankless ones. Depending on the size of your business area, this could take up valuable storage space.

Not as efficient as other options

Storing water requires more reheating and, therefore, energy usage. This can lead to higher ongoing costs compared to a tankless system.

Shorter lifespan

Any hot water system with a storage tank tends to have a shorter lifespan than a tankless system. You can still expect a well-looked-after traditional electric hot water system to last 10–15 years, but this is below the 20+ years we often see from tankless systems.

What is an electric instantaneous system?

Steibel Eltron DHE18 Hot Water HeaerThe most immediate difference between a traditional electric hot water system and an electric instantaneous system is that the latter doesn’t have a tank. Instead, water is heated on a need-to-use basis. These systems are becoming more popular due to their lower energy usage and smaller size.

Types of businesses that may use this type of system

An instantaneous system would work best with a smaller work area. Larger areas may exceed the system’s capabilities.


Faster water

There is a reason the word “instantaneous” is in the name. The major advantage you’ll notice immediately is how fast an electric instantaneous hot water system will deliver water.

Compact design

Instantaneous systems are much smaller and more compact than storage tank systems. This increases the versatility of where you can install. Storage systems, whether gas or electric, will use energy even when you’re not using them to maintain the temperature of the stored water.

Energy saving

One of the key factors of modern instantaneous hot water systems is that they’re designed to be energy efficient. With no need to maintain or reheat stored water, you’re much less likely to waste hot water.


Storage tanks breaking down is often the final nail in the coffin for many hot water systems. As electric instantaneous systems don’t have storage, along with their strong design, they tend to last longer, with an expected lifespan of over 20 years. This is impressive compared to the 15–20 years you can expect to get from a traditional heater. This usually means a better warranty for your hot water product.

Compatible with solar hot water heaters

You can increase your energy efficiency by connecting your instantaneous electric water heater with your solar water system. Not only will this cut down on costs, it will help combat the biggest weakness of an instantaneous hot water heater, which is the lack of a tank (see below).


No storage

Though having no storage tank can be an advantage, it can also be a downside whenever there’s a power outage. During routine maintenance, you also won’t have any stored water to use. This also means you won’t benefit as much from off-peak electricity rates as you would with other systems.

It can be inconsistent with the temperature

Some customers find they have issues with the consistency of certain models of instantaneous water heaters. Stable temperatures are easier to achieve from a unit with storage.

Higher installation costs

The initial costs of these systems are more expensive than traditional water heating systems. This can be attributed to more advanced technology and a more complicated installation process.

Can experience issues with hard water

Hard water can be an issue with any tankless hot water system as it is more taxing. This will be a more prevalent issue in certain parts of Australia than others, so speak to a local plumber or expert to learn more. Installing a water softener is one of the best solutions to this common issue.

Same Day Hot Water Services are here to meet your hot water needs.

Are you still wondering what the best electric hot water system is for your business? Same Day Hot Water Services is here to help with all your hot water needs, from installation to repair to choosing the right units and giving friendly, expert advice. Get in touch today to learn how we can help with your next hot water system purchase.

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