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About Vaportec

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Spirex™ and Vaportec NZ Ltd is a privately-owned New Zealand manufacturing company. It has been operating since 1997 and provides many environmentally and economically sensitive heat exchangers. Spirex™ and Vaportec NZ Ltd focuses heavily on the green environment, affordability and being socially responsible.

While operating locally, Spirex™ and Vaportec NZ Ltd also has international coverage. It has a high-volume joint venture in Pudong, Shanghai, China, manufacturing titanium swimming pool heat pump heat exchangers for a Global Corporation OEM under License from Vaportec NZ Ltd. It has Patented New Zealand and Chinese Intellectual Property for various processes and designs. It currently trades under the brands, Vaportec and Spirex™.

Efficiently Forward into the Future with Vaportec's S.A.V.E. Tubes

Spirex and Vaportec Economizer Tubes

Basically, wherever there is a shower used there is savings with S.A.V.E.

Currently, Vaportec / Spirex has several products under its flagship category: S.A.V.E.

The Spirex form is used in all the various models of heat exchangers that Vaportec manufacture and enhances the Coefficient of Thermal Transfer by approximately 300% over straight tubing (Ref: Auckland University Tests).

Vaportec NZ Limited now supplies Vaportec Spirex Heat Exchangers Worldwide through its Global Licensed Partners and its New Zealand Factory. The success of Vaportec cutting edge technology is due to intensive ongoing R & D and has gained a high respect Worldwide for reliability, efficiency and competitiveness. Global Corporations through to local refrigeration Companies and Plumbers are using Vaportec Heat Exchangers daily somewhere in the world!

Heat Transfer Tubes

Enhanced heat transfer tubes, otherwise known as enhanced surface tubes are characterized by changes in shape to effect improvements in heat transfer performance compared with orthodox heat exchanger tubes of circular cross section. In this regard, enhanced heat transfer tubes are different from extended surface tubes. This is achieved by superimposing fins on the inside or outside surfaces, and using additional sections inserted inside the tubes or grooves.

Spirex (IPR: Intellectual Property Right)

The inherent advantages of Spirex tube began with the formation of the spirals. This method increases the surface area over a shorter lineal length, and combined with the induced turbulence, culminates in an enormous increase in overall heat transfer coefficient. Improvements over plain tubing include substantial increase in collapsing strength, reduction in size of heat exchangers and increased heat transfer coefficients.

The new Spirex is a helically corrugated heat transfer tubing system that lies at the heart of every Vaportec tubular heat exchanger. This new technology was developed in 2000 and is the result of ongoing development in heat exchanger manufacturing. These heat exchangers are available in a variety of materials such as copper, stainless steel and Titanium; to name a few. The dynamic properties encouraged by the helical form of SPIREX tube offer new and effective alternatives in:

The Showerex Tube (IPR) - (formerly Energy Drain)

Spirex Patented Tube Form - Shower Hot Water Saver

The Showerex's system is a unique design that utilises the patented tube form known as Spirex tubing. It is a double pipe heat exchanger. The inner tube is a standard copper drain pipe for the waste water. As the shower waste clings to the inside, turbulating as it goes, the heat is transferred through the space between the inner and outer tubes. This means that the waste hot water (grey water) and the potable incoming pre-heating cold water never touch and at the same time cools the grey water down.

There are two lengths of Showerex available:

The lengths of the two Showerex allows for the incoming cold water to start heating immediately and so starts paying for itself almost instantly. Being designed and manufactured in New Zealand we ensure all materials used are compliant to New Zealand and Australia's high standards.

NZ Green Building Council - NZGBC

Vaportec NZ Ltd is a member of The NZGBC which provides green building certification programmes. In response to the rising interest in sustainable building practices, organisations around the world have developed standards, codes and rating systems that allow regulators, building professionals and consumers to embrace green building with confidence. In New Zealand this is facilitated by the New Zealand Green Building Council. NCGBC is a broad-based industry organisation, formed to provide leadership in green building practices in NZ. It was established in July 2005 and in 2006 became a member of the World Green Building Council (WGBC). Today NZGBC is comprised of 440 members including engineers, architects, property owners and investors who are committed to accelerating the development and adoption of market-based green building solutions that help deliver efficient, healthy, innovative buildings for NZ. These solutions are implemented through the NZGBC's Green Star rating tools, education and training for all areas of the building industry value chain, and by providing access to networks, information and resources for its members to actively lead the market.)

Showerex's Long-Term Benefits and Savings

Every building or structure that has a shower or showers should consider installing Showerex. The benefits may not seem too obvious in the short-term for single showers but when calculated over a long period of time it will make substantial savings.

R&D Information

On 1st August 2000, Brendon Bourke of SOUTHCORP WATER HEATERS AUSTRALIA, SOUTHCORP AUTRALIA PTY LTD, presented his scientific research findings on "Shower waste water heat recovery" based on Vaportec's Showerex prototype. The following is an excerpt from his findings:


A significant amount of heat energy disappears down a shower waste. A heat recovery concept, shown in diagram 1, is available through GFX. On request from Product Development, Vaportec NZ, supplied a wastewater heat recovery prototype, based on their helical tube forming technology, for testing purposes.


Test 1 - Vertical with single length

Waste water temp = 39°C

Inlet water temp = 12.8°C

Flow = 12 litres per minute

Primary outlet temp = 20.6°C

Heat recovery = 6kw

Test 2

Test conditions as test 1 except angle varied from 20° to horizontal to 50°.

Heat recovery = 4kw

Test 3

Same conditions as test 1 except 2 modules connected in series.

Heat recovery = 9kw

Test 3

Same conditions as test 1 except flow raised to 16 litres per minute.

Heat recovery = 7.5kw


When installed in the vertical, the overall heat transfer coefficient was 1200 w/m/°k. This surprisingly good result for a plain bore tube can be explained by the fact that in the vertical position the wastewater tracks down the outside of the bore in a spiral motion.


When fitted to a gas heater operating at 80% thermal efficiency, for a heat exchanger with 0.8m2 area, to give a 30% energy saving, is a very useful result. In reality the result will be slightly lower since it's not practical to preheat the heater water as well as the mixing water. For commercial applications this device could complement the Tempest.


Over the years, Vaportec NZ Ltd has received many positively beneficial feedbacks on its S.A.V.E. products. The following are just a few of the examples:


Thanks, so much Rod

I will be telling all my friends about this. We have just installed a 1400mm unit and the difference is amazing.

The price is very reasonable. (I assume this is without GST) The plumbing bill to fit it was higher than the unit itself! The reason I didn't know the price was because we got ours from a work colleague who had had it in his garage for over a year and I didn't know if the price had changed since then.

As we have a low-pressure hot water system, this heat exchanger is allowing us to have much more (now prewarmed) cold water in the shower mix. This means not only less hot water is being drawn from the cylinder, but we get more flow, because we are drawing more high-pressure cold water. This has been a benefit we weren't expecting.

Really, every home should have a shower heat exchanger and they probably should be compulsory in new builds (obviously with a solution that works with plumbing installed in a floor slab). This is the cheapest and simplest way that anyone could reduce their energy bills. Without them, energy and money is literally going down the drain.

Are you selling lots of them? I hope so!

Kind regards



To whom it may concern:

I've been involved with heat transfer for most of my working life. (Over 30yrs) The last 15 years I've been acutely aware of the capabilities of the Vaportec organisation. I'm constantly impressed with their innovation and its application. I've also a major beneficiary or the R&D support they offer to potential customers. I've found the Vaportec products to be efficient & fit for purpose and would recommend them when suited for a particular application.


Brendan Bourke B.E. (Mech)
Special Technologies Manager
Rheem Australia


The two energy Drains I purchased off you last year for my Mt Eden house seem to be working well.

I can feel the temperature change in the shower as the drain pipe warms up and I need to change the position of my mixer.

Baillie Eco-Home


Russell Baillie | Energy Manager
Property Services
The University of Auckland, New Zealand


My family and I live on our rural orchard in Meeanee, Napier. Our shower water pressure was very weak when I was informed about a new product being developed at Vaportec in Napier.

I was told that it could save 25% of hot water energy by passing cold incoming water to the shower mixer through a coil around the warm shower outlet drain. Out house uses a low pressure hot water cylinder in combination with pumped bore water. Therefore, by heating the high pressure bore water we required less low pressure hot water, thus reducing our hot water heating bill and producing a higher pressure shower.

Our other option of installing a high pressure hot water system was prohibitively expresive and would only have resulted in higher pressure with no ongoing cost savings.

The Vaportec Eco Drain was easily installed under our existing timber floor and was completed in a couple of hours with no hidden costs and little or no disruption to our family

We now actively encourage all our clients to install this system. Not only is it easy and relatively inexpensive to install it constantly reduces our hot water heating bills throughout the lifecycle of our building and provides us with very good shower pressure. A pleasure to have!

Kind regards,

Trent Fairey
Director of Design Rationale (Australiasia) Ltd

Consider S.A.V.E.

Vaportec NZ Ltd developed extensive knowledge over the years since 1997, doing extensive research and development; concentrating on the manufacture of Spirex tube and the design, build and installation of various working uses of heat transfer equipment under its S.A.V.E. category.

Vaportec was the first in the world to have the technology and IP to form the helical titanium tube.

Vaportec NZ Ltd's vision is to be socially responsible; to make a difference to our environment and the planet; to save energy; to encourage positively responsible lifestyles; and to achieve all that economically.

Calculate How Much You'll Save
New Zealand Green Building Council Member
New Zealand Green Building Council Member