Category Archives: Buying Guide

  • Things to Consider When Choosing a New Hot Water System

    In the market for a new hot water system or looking to replace your inefficient old hot water unit? Hot water systems are available in many different types, specifications and capacities. At Budget Plumbing Centre, we are the leading choice for high quality and affordable plumbing supplies Perth locals trust. Choosing the best hot water system for your home depends on various factors, let’s take a look at a few things to keep in mind when selecting a hot water system for your property.

    The Different Types of Hot Water Systems

    Gas – known as an efficient energy source, so if you have a natural gas connection, that may be a good option for you. Great for large families because of their high recovery rate or rapid heating. The amount of water that they can heat to a certain temperature is higher compared to an electric water heater.

    Electric – usually relatively cheap to buy and install, however, can be expensive to run on a continuous rate. Electric systems use a heating element located inside a tank to heat water, similar to the way an electric kettle works. Water is heated and stored in the tank, available in various sizes, where it is kept hot and ready to be used.

    Solar – An eco-friendly solution, this system is powered by solar energy that is freely available and renewable. In order for a solar hot water system to be efficient, it needs to be installed in the sunniest spot. Most solar systems are equipped with a gas or electric booster element to maintain heat on less sunny days. While initially more expensive to purchase and install, over time, the low running costs of a well-chosen solar hot water system should make up for the time-consuming and comparatively expensive installation costs.

    Instant –Often referred to as “instantaneous”, an instant or continuous flow hot water system heats only as much water as you need, when you need it. They aren’t truly instantaneous – it can take a few seconds before hot water starts flowing from the tap, especially when there’s a fair distance of pipe between the hot water system and the tap. Compact in size, there are no heat losses as with water stored in a tank, so they’re often cheaper to run than storage systems and hot water continuously flows, so it won’t ‘run out’ while you are in the middle of a shower.

    Energy Efficiency

    You might also consider how your choice relates to energy consumption. Second to space heating and cooling, water heating is the largest source of energy use. It is also the main source of greenhouse gas emissions in the average Australian home. The most efficient systems available are solar boosted systems as they get most of their energy from the sun. A solar water system may provide as much as 90% of your hot water needs for free, without any greenhouse gas emissions Continuous flow gas hot water systems rated at 5 stars or above are the next best option to solar. Electric tank systems running on electricity from non-renewable sources are inefficient. Each one in Australia puts out, on average, over four tonnes of greenhouse gas per year. These systems are currently the target of a federal phase-out.


    Storage hot water heaters are sized according to household size. The more people, the larger the storage tank will need to be. A storage heater that is too small will continually run out of hot water, while one that is too large will be more expensive to run because it will maintain the water temperature even when it’s not being used. Continuous flow or instantaneous systems are sized according to the number of hot water outlets in the home, rather than the number of people. A continuous flow system that’s too small may not be able to keep up with your hot water demands when multiple hot water outlets are being used at the same time. Solar water heaters are sized according to the number of people in the household. The more people, the larger the storage tank and the more solar collectors required. If you are building or renovating or your current hot water service has stopped working, get in touch with the team at Budget Plumbing Centre today. With an experienced team ready to give you expert advice and a huge of plumbing supplies at Perth’s best prices, pop in to one of our conveniently located showrooms in Belmont or Bibra Lake or browse our range online now.

  • How to identify the right stainless steel kitchen sink for your kitchen

    Are you interested in installing a stainless steel sink in your kitchen? There are many benefits that are associated with this. Stainless steel looks elegant in almost any setting. It’s also very easy to clean as well. However, does this mean that you can simply go out there and buy any sink? No! Doing this is easy, but it could have disastrous consequences both aesthetically and functionally. The key to getting the right sink is examining your circumstances and current needs, and then identifying a sink that can satisfy these needs. Here’s what you need to do:

    Take into account the dimensions of your counter top

    The size of the sink is one of the most obvious variables you need to look out for. Getting a sink that is far too large will make it difficult to install, and the large defect on the counter could result in cracking. Before you go shopping for the sink, find out the dimensions of the counter you will install it in. If you have a small kitchen or counter top, consider investing in a single basin rather than a double basin sink.

    Consider how heavily you use the kitchen

    People who cook a lot tend to need more resources in the kitchen. If you happen to be one of these, it would be wise to get a sink that is voluminous enough to hold cutlery and other utensils in the kitchen. If you have the space, a double basin sink would be ideal in this setting.

    Explore the various types of finishes out there

    Ideally, you should not buy a stainless steel sink before being certain of the variety in designs available out there. Some manufacturers will offer other types of finishing including copper, weathered, hammered and antique. Going through these options might make you find a finish that will look even better in your kitchen. Some of the ways to do this include going through online catalogues as well as seeing what your vendor has to offer. In the latter case, go try to see as much as you can of their inventory before deciding on the sink that you want.

    Consider getting a polished sink

    Stainless steel sinks can either be polished or unpolished. The former tend to look more brilliant, and are therefore more useful in environments where a wow factor is needed.

    Other opinions can help

    In most cases, getting opinions from other parties can help particularly if you are not sure about which type of sink to get. You could consult your vendor, telling them what you expect out of the sink and they will then guide you in choosing the best sink. Consulting an interior designer will cost you, but they can be very helpful in this regard as well. In most cases, going shopping with family members can also help since they can provide useful input during the process. This often makes it easier for one to make the right decision.