Our review compares hot water systems on customer satisfaction, so you can find out what other Aussies think about the compared brands before you go ahead with a purchase. Think of it as like asking hundreds of your closest mates which hot water system they think is best!
Canstar Blue surveyed 763 Australians for their feedback on the hot water system(s) they’ve purchased for their home in the last five years.
The winning brand is the one that receives the highest Overall satisfaction rating once all the scores from the Overall satisfaction criteria are combined and averaged.
Brands must have received at least 30 responses to be included, so not all brands available in the market have been compared in this survey. The brands rated in this survey are listed below in order of best overall satisfaction.
Find more detailed information on our Most Satisfied Customer methodology.
Solahart was rated five stars for features & functionality, performance, design and overall satisfaction, with four stars for value for money.
As you would guess from the name, Solahart is a provider of hot water systems that use the heat of the sun as their energy source, which is arguably better for your home, bank balance, and the planet. ‘Going solar’ can also help you save big on energy use, and even increase the value of your home.
Solahart’s main range is its rooftop solar hot water systems, which capture heat from the sun. There’s also a line of split system solar hot water heaters, which require the solar collector panel to be attached to the roof while the tank remains on the ground. If you don’t think solar power is the best option for your home, there are alternatively heat pump water heaters to choose from. For pricing, Solahart invites enquiries via its website and also offers free on-site solar assessments.
Chromagen was rated five stars for value for money, with four stars for all other categories, including design, performance, features & functionality and overall satisfaction.
Offering a range of gas hot water systems, heat pumps and solar hot water systems, Chromagen offers plenty for households to choose from. Its gas continuous range has capacities ranging from 20L to 26L, with all models over a 6-star energy rating, with the heat pump range ranges from 170L to 280L capacities. Those looking to be a bit more environmentally-conscious may be more interested in the solar range, with both roof and split systems available to purchase, with capacities available in either 200L or 300L units.
Rinnai was rated four stars for features & functionality, performance, design and overall satisfaction, with three stars for value for money.
Rinnai offers several continuous flow hot water systems and solar hot water systems, plus hot water storage systems. For those looking for an electronic gas flow hot water system, the Infinity range contains several units with an equivalent energy efficiency rating of between six to seven stars, depending on the model. The Instantaneous line also offers the Flowmaster 10, a compact unit that doesn’t require a power point and is typically ideal for people with only a small demand for hot water.
AquaMAX was rated four stars across all categories, including features & functionality, value for money, performance, design and overall satisfaction.
AquaMAX produces gas storage and electric storage hot water systems. The company also has a ‘premium’ range of stainless steel water gas storage systems that are supposedly lighter, more energy-efficient and easier to maintain than some other steel systems. This can be useful if you’re looking to save money on maintenance costs since you won’t need to replace the anodes or get them checked out. However, this type of unit isn’t recommended for hard water or bore water.
As an alternative, you can check out AquaMAX’s Electric Vitreous Enamel (VE) water heaters. These units contain vitreous enamel lining for protection, apparently making them compatible with most water quality types, such as hard water found in regional areas.
Rheem was rated three stars for value for money, with four stars for features & functionality, performance, design and overall satisfaction.
Rheem produces all kinds of water heaters, including electric, gas continuous flow, heat pump and solar, as well as gas storage systems. The brand has steel systems for extra durability, compact systems for those tight on space, plus extra-large models, and plenty more. If you live in an area that doesn’t always attract much sun, Rheem has a couple of heat pumps that use heat from surrounding air, rather than direct sunlight, to warm water as well as reduce energy consumption. These include the Rheem MPi-325 Series II Heat Pump and the Rheem Ambiheat HDc270 Heat Pump. They’re said to feature a wrap-around heating technology that makes them suitable for cooler climates. You can grab a quote by visiting the Rheem website.
Dux was rated four stars for performance and overall satisfaction, with three stars for design, value for money and features & functionality.
Dux has a huge range of hot water systems, including heat pump, continuous flow, electric solar, gas water heaters, as well as electric and gas storage systems. Dux’s storage systems come in a wide variety of sizes, usually between 25L and 400L. But if a continuous flow system is more your style, you might be interested to know that Dux systems have up to a 6.7-star energy-efficiency rating – higher than most similar models on the market. You can head to the website to book, apply for rebates and register your new water heater.
Vulcan was rated four stars for performance, with three stars for design, value for money, features & functionality and overall satisfaction.
While it might not have the range of some other brands, Vulcan offers both gas and electric hot water systems for households to choose from, with multiple capacities additionally available to suit household sizes and water usages. Capacities range between 50L up to 400L, with select models also built to be indoor/outdoor models, allowing you to slot in the unit where you can.
Thermann was rated three stars for value for money and overall satisfaction, with four stars for features & functionality, performance and design.
Thermann offers several hot water systems, including continuous flow, heat pump, solar as well as storage hot water systems to give you plenty of options to choose from. Its entire range caters for capacities from 16L through to 400L, with its Performance Pack model even boasting a capacity of 1,150L in the first hour, and as such is suitably labelled as a commercial-grade model. Some residential models feature a 7-star energy rating, with pricing available online.
Bosch was rated three stars across all categories, including design, performance, value for money, features & functionality and overall satisfaction.
Bosch holds a modest range of hot water systems, all of which have a continuous flow technology structure and don’t require a power point to use. Each type of water system is available in 10L, 13L and 16L capacities, with models additionally coming with a few customisable features, such as user controls to adjust temperature and flow. Uniquely, Bosch alternatively offers the Internal Compact model which is designed to be installed inside the home. Unlike larger capacity hot water systems, this particular unit is said to be suitable for households with limited space.
Most of us probably don’t give the hot water system much thought, that is until you don’t have any hot water! With so many brands and models available, it’s easy to get turned around in an industry that looks to cater to plenty of different households and climates. So what should you consider when buying a hot water system? Find out below!
Hot water systems come in two fundamental designs – ‘storage’ and ‘continuous flow’ (also known as instantaneous):
You’ll find these two types of systems available in electric, gas, solar and heat pump varieties – each with pros and cons to their energy source – but giving you more options to choose from.
The size of your hot water system will be entirely dependent on how much hot water you’re likely to need, which is impacted by factors such as how many people you have in your household, their water usage habits, what appliances in your house use hot water and what fuel type your hot water system will use.
As a general rule of thumb, if you have a larger household, you’ll need a larger hot water system, with our guide giving you a better rundown of hot water system sizes and capacities.
Hot water systems range in cost from $400 to over $5,000 depending on the model, brand, size and fuel type, with larger models and models that use solar power often costing more. It’s also worth mentioning that in addition to the cost of the system itself, you’ll have to pay for the installation of the hot water system itself, as you’ll need a licensed plumber and/or electrician to install the system for you.
If you’re interested in learning about the running costs of hot water systems, check out our guides on solar hot water system usage costs and gas hot water system usage costs to give you an idea of what to expect on your bill.
Hot water systems are generally built to last between 10-20 years, depending on the brand, model and usage, along with where it’s placed in your house and the climate you live in. It’s always best to check your hot water system every few months to see if there’s any leaks or noise to avoid any surprises, with most retailers and suppliers offering long warranty periods to cater for the longer lifespans.
This report was written by Canstar Blue’s Site Editor, Dean Heckscher. He’s our resident expert on all things automotive, health & fitness, streaming and more. Dean is also one of Canstar Blue’s customer research report producers, helping to turn complicated subjects into easily-digestible information for our readers. He’s passionate about helping consumers make better-informed purchase decisions on all manner of consumer goods and services.
Samantha Howse is Canstar Blue’s Consumer Research Specialist, coordinating the consumer research program behind our customer satisfaction awards across Canstar and Canstar Blue in Australia and New Zealand. Sam has earned a Bachelor of Business (Marketing) from Griffith University and, with seven years in market research and 2 years in marketing, she is experienced in survey design, implementation and analysis, coupled with an understanding of marketing principles and best practice.
Here are the past winners from Canstar Blue’s hot water system ratings:
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