The Ultimate Guide to Hot Water Systems: Lifespan, Size, and Replacement
Hot water is an essential component of our day-to-day lives, whether for washing up after mealtimes, taking a long relaxing shower at the end of a big day or simply doing our laundry. Although it’s tempting to overlook the inner workings of our reliable hot water supply, not all hot water systems are created equal. Selecting and maintaining the right system can ultimately save you time, money, and future headaches.
So, stick with us, and we will cover how to determine the lifespan of your hot water system, what size system you need for your house and how to tell when it might be time for a replacement. We will also compare gas, electric, and solar hot water systems, and provide tips on up-keeping them.
What is the lifespan of a hot water system?
There isn’t a one-size-fits-all answer to the average lifespan of a hot water system, every system is different, and it depends on the water quality, and regularity of maintenance. However, a gas storage hot water system, electric storage hot water system or instant electric hot water system will last between 10-15 years. On the other hand, an instant gas hot water system or solar hot water system can last up to 20 years. By regularly maintaining a hot water system, including flushing the tank, checking the pressure relief valve and replacing the anode rod, you can significantly increase the lifespan of a hot water system.
How to determine the appropriate size hot water system for your needs?
Every household is different, with differing hot water needs and usage patterns, so naturally, the size of your hot water system will be dependent on these circumstances. Usually, when purchasing a hot water system, you will need to take into consideration the number of occupants in your home, how many bathrooms you have and how many appliances you have that regularly use hot water. With this information, a professional plumber can help you to calculate the right size hot water system for your needs.
Signs that it's time to replace your hot water system
Has your trusty hot water system seen better days? If you are worried about your hot water heater or fear your hot water system lifespan is coming to an end, there are a few signs that you may be right.
If you notice any of the below signs, it may be time to replace your hot water system:
- Age: If your hot water system is more than 10-15 years old, it’s likely coming to the end of its healthy lifespan, and the future could be full of repairs and problems if you don’t replace it soon.
- Inefficiency: If your hot water system is not providing consistently hot water or taking a long time to heat up, it’s possible you are dealing with a malfunctioning thermostat, heating element, or sediment buildup. In any of these cases, it’s best to call in the professionals to determine if you need maintenance or a replacement.
- Leaks: If you have been noticing water pooling around your hot water system, then you are likely experiencing a leaking hot water system. This is important to get on top of as it can cause both water damage and a hefty utility bill.
- Strange noises: If you hear rumbling, popping, or banging noises coming from your hot water system, chances are something is not quite right, and it may indicate that your heating system has sediment buildup or a faulty heating element.
Gas vs solar vs electric hot water systems
There are advantages and disadvantages to gas, solar, and electric hot water systems. Which option is best for you will depend on where you live, the climate, energy costs and personal preferences. For example, gas hot water systems are a popular option as they provide fast heating and low operating costs.
However, they require a gas connection and regular maintenance. Solar hot water systems, on the other hand, are a planet-friendly and cost-effective solution, but only in sunny areas; they will be less efficient in cloudy or rainy climates. Electric hot water systems are both easy to install and maintain, but they can sometimes be expensive to run and may not be able to provide enough hot water for large families or businesses.
Tips for maintaining your hot water system
If you are looking for tips to help maintain your hot water system and troubleshoot common issues, take a look at our advice below:
- Remember to book regular maintenance with a hot water system plumber to keep your system in good condition.
- Consider insulating your hot water pipes to reduce heat loss and improve the function of your hot water system.
- Remember to regularly check the temperature and pressure relief valve to ensure proper function and prevent future problems like overheating or leaks.
- Keep an eye on your hot water usage and adjust the thermostat setting as needed to help you to save both energy and money.
How a new efficient hot water system can save you money and improve your daily life
If you have been experiencing frustration with your hot water system being slow, your household running out of water long before your shower or inconsistent temperature, you will likely benefit a great deal from a new hot water system.
As well as providing you with steamy hot showers, a new hot water system can provide you with the following benefits:
- Cheaper utility bills: A new hot water system with a higher energy efficiency rating can save you up to 50% on your energy bills in comparison to an older, inefficient system. With the price of living at the moment, every dollar counts, and this investment will pay dividends.
- Consistent hot water: A new hot water system can shower you with consistent hot water at the right temperature without fluctuations or delays. So say goodbye to on-and-off comfort in the shower, and say hello to a luxuriously warm and steamy wash.
- Decreased downtime: A new hot water system is less likely to cause problems, break down or require repairs, reducing the frustration and cost of downtime.
- Increased property value: A new hot water system can increase the value of your home; renters and buyers alike will benefit from a new hot water system.
Get in touch with our team of expert plumbers and gas fitters
By making informed decisions about the ideal hot water system for your requirements, diligently maintaining it, and proactively replacing it as needed, you can enjoy significant cost and time savings while avoiding reactive problem-solving. If you’re seeking expert guidance on the optimal hot water system for your home, as well as reliable installation services, Proud Plumbing & Gas is your trusted partner. Serving Perth, WA, we offer comprehensive hot water system maintenance to extend its lifespan, professional installation by skilled plumbers for new systems, and everything in between.