Hot water systems can be tricky.
While they’re working, they barely enter your mind. But as soon as they start playing up, it’s stressful and frustrating.
Often, all a hot water system needs is a service to repair it and get it back to functioning perfectly. But eventually, there comes a point in every hot water system’s life where it needs to be replaced.
How do you tell the difference between a hot water system that just needs to be fixed and one that’s at the end of its life?
The following factors are all signs that your hot water system might be on its way out. If you check each of them as soon as your hot water system starts playing up, you’ll have a better idea of whether it’s time to start looking at repair work or replacement options.
The age of the hot water system
Hot water systems are generally expected to last around 8 to 12 years. If you have the original manufacturer’s information, you should be able to find out a more exact time frame.
If your hot water system has reached 15-20 years old and has started being noisy and failing to give you the hot water you need consistently, it’s probably at the end of its life.
If you’re in an older property without any information about when the hot water system was installed, it’s a good idea to get a professional plumber to come and take a look to determine whether it can be repaired.
The water isn’t hot enough
One of the first signs you might notice is your showers often turning cold halfway through or failing to heat up enough at all.
Before you rush into replacing the whole system, this problem can be caused by a faulty thermostat or a broken heating element. Sometimes, resetting the thermostat can improve the situation almost immediately. Replacing the thermostat might be the only replacement you need.
A hissing or sizzling noise coming from the tank
When your hot water system makes a lot of noise, it’s often a sign that it’s on the way out. However, a hissing or sizzling noise might just be a faulty relief valve discharging to waste, which will probably need replacement
If you plan to do this yourself, make sure you get the correct type of valve with the correct pressure rating. If there is a leak evident, it may need replacement. It’s best to call an expert to check for you.
There’s sludge or rust around the fittings
Corrosion around your hot water system’s fittings means you probably have a leak. Try tightening the fittings. If this doesn’t seem to fix the problem, you might need to replace the fittings. Hot water system leaks are often difficult to fix, so it’s best to call a professional plumber to take a look at it for you and assess what needs to be done.
Pitfalls to avoid when replacing your hot water system
If it turns out that the best option is completely replacing your hot water system, there are some common mistakes people make that you need to avoid.
The first decision you’ll need to make when choosing your new hot water system is the heating method: electricity, gas, or solar?
There are a wide range of hot water systems available that could lower your energy bill plus reduce the amount of greenhouse gas you produce. Both the heating method and the size of your hot water system could have an effect on how much you pay each quarter.
For example, you can save a substantial amount of money by not buying a hot water system that is larger than what your household needs. The initial cost plus the ongoing running costs are likely to be reduced.
If you’re set on replacing your old system with a similar one, make sure you check the government regulations in your area. Some older systems now have restrictions on them due to green initiatives.
The professional plumbers at Mott Plumbing are experts in helping Adelaide families get access to reliable hot water from hot water systems that last.