The breakdown of a hot water system is something many people dread. While they can be fixed, they also require replacing from time to time. So, how long do hot water systems last? How long should they last?
In this article, we are going to answer your questions about the lifespans of various hot water systems, the factors that affect their lifespan, and some general tips to get the most out of your heated water system.
Hot water systems use various processes and materials to deliver hot water to your household or property. The variations in models and materials will also affect the lifespan of the system. When considering “How long do hot water systems last?”, it is important to distinguish between the two types of hot water systems in most homes and properties:
Storage tank hot water systems are the most popular water heating system in Australian homes. Storage systems work by heating and holding water in a storage tank, so it is ready to use when you require hot water. These tanks can vary in sizes from 50L- 400L, catering to households of various sizes. When you turn on your tap, hot water travels out of the top of the tank and into your plumbing. The water can be heated using various energy sources such as gas, electricity, and solar.
Unlike storage tank hot water systems, tankless water systems heat the water on demand. Only using energy and heating water when you turn on your tap. When a tap is turned on, cold water travels through a heated burner or coils before traveling through your plumbing and out the tap. Tankless systems are also known as instant hot water heaters.
While there may be differences between various models, the average electric hot water should last between 10-15 years.
Gas systems tend to have slightly shorter lifespans than electric systems, at roughly 10 years. Although, with maintenance and care you can extend this by a few more years.
Traditional hot water systems with storage tanks last roughly 8-15 years depending on the make and model. If you are looking at an instant hot water heater, these typically last a few years longer.
If you are a little confused about what a heat pump hot water system is, here is a little clarification: a heat pump is an energy-efficient system that absorbs the heat from the surrounding outside air and uses it to the water in the tank.
So, how long do heat pump hot water systems last? You can expect a heat pump hot water system to last for an average of 15 years. Although if you live in a particularly cold climate, you might want to consider a different type of hot water system.
Using a solar hot water system is a great way to supply your property with hot water, while keeping your overall energy bills down. There are various solar hot water systems including Flat Plate, Evacuated Tube, Roof-Mount, Split System and Heat Pump. Although the lifespan of your solar hot water system will differ depending on the system it uses, you can expect a solar hot water system to last well over 10 years. As the technology improves and manufacturers are bringing out new and improved models, these systems will soon easily operate for 20 years or more.
While we have put approximate estimates for the life spans of various makes of models of hot water systems, there are some simple practices you can implement to extend the working life of your own system. The main one being, routine maintenance.
Routine Maintenance of your hot water system is the best way to extend its life expectancy. Having a qualified plumber routinely checking the integrity and operation of your hot water system could significantly increase the hot water system life expectancy. When they conduct their checks, a plumber will look for the tell-tale sales of wear and tear and be able to identify if any replacements or checks need to be done before a major problem arises.
Your plumber will cover things such as:
• Checking the TPR Valve
• Conducting a maintenance flush to remove sediment
• Checking and replacing the Anode rod
It is also important that you use a qualified plumber for hot water installation to ensure your system is correctly fitted and functioning right from the start.
While hot water system lifespan can be extended with routine maintenance, there are some tell-tale signs that your system has come to the end of its working life. These include:
If your water feels colder than average and starts running out quicker, it could be a sign that the heating element has worn out. You may be able to replace the heating element but if the issue persists, it could be time to replace your unit.
As many units age and begin to wear they can become increasingly noisy. Small noise issues may arise due to the valve wearing out; however, it could also mean a much more significant problem.
As these systems age, the signs of wear and tear become more evident. Over time rust can build up around the external fittings. If you suspect your hot water system is starting to wear or displaying any of the signs above, it is best to call your plumber to recommend the next step.
So, there you have it, hopefully we have provided you with answers to the question of “How long do hot water systems last?”
CDL Plumbing, are the experts in installing, maintaining, and replacing hot water systems for households and properties across the Newcastle and Lake Macquarie region. We pride ourselves on delivering quality work and leaving our customers satisfied with their hot water systems. If you have any questions about a new, gas hot water services, or servicing your existing hot water systems, do not hesitate to call our team today on 0499 192 821.