A geyser remains the primary source of hot water in South African households today. The geyser (or geysers) is responsible for the highest electricity consumption in most households – sometimes using between 40% and up to 60% or more of your monthly electricity bill.
This section concentrates specifically on electric-powered geyser hot water systems but be well aware that the new South African standard requirements for all new building specifies “a minimum of 50% by volume of the annual average hot water heating requirement shall be provided by means other than electrical resistance heating including, but not limited to, solar heating, heat pumps, heat recovery from other systems or processes” (from SANS204 clause 188.8.131.52).
What you need to know:
- Geyser’s come in a range of sizes. A 200 litre geyser is considered the standard size for a household of four people.
- A new geyser will cost you anything from R2500.00 upwards depending on size.
- A geyser temperature should ideally be set to a maximum of 60 degrees to ensure optimal economy.
- There are a number of energy-saving products available to those homeowners who do not wish to go the solar route or where the existing lifespan of the current geyser still has some years to run. These products include Load Control Units (Relay or Timer) and Geyser Blankets.
- South Africa has many reputable geyser manufacturers. Most manufacturers do not deal with the public directly. For example, a manufacturer like Kwikot does not sell directly to the homeowner. Instead, geyser manufacturers rely on various middlemen including wholesalers, retailers and intermediaries like accredited plumbing companies.
- New regulations specify that geysers and tanks shall be insulated with a material achieving a minimum R-value of 2.0 (the R-value is a measure of thermal resistance). Note: to achieve this value, additional insulation in the form of a geyser blanket may be necessary.
- The new regulations stipulate that all new installations also require the piping to and from the geyser to be insulated