Hot water is something we often take for granted, and as a result, hot water systems often go unnoticed until something goes wrong, and we’re forced to consider whether they need replacement or repair. Most hot water systems last longer than a decade and if you know what to look for, you can catch any potential issues before they become detrimental. It’s always best to be prepared. By knowing the warning signs of your hot water system failing, you’ll have time to research and ensure your next hot water system is the best size for your household and daily water usage.
A hot water system failure can often be a blessing in disguise, especially if your system is over ten years old. The world of hot water system technology moves quickly, and there’s a good chance that your system isn’t as efficient as some newer models. This means you may have to consider choosing a new hot water system for your home.
So, what are the signs that your hot water system is beginning to fail? Is it time to invest in a more modern model with all the perks of recent innovation? Read on for more information.
7 hot water system warning signs
Nobody enjoys stepping into a shower and waiting for the water to warm up, only to realise it’s not going to. Keep an eye out for the following warning signs so you don’t have to find yourself shivering.
1. Water discolouring
Is the water coming from your hot tap a different shade from that of your cold tap? This could indicate a problem, particularly if you have a storage tank that uses sacrificial anodes. These anodes should be replaced every five years or so by a professional plumber, and if they aren’t replaced when worn out, the rust and deterioration from your tank can find its way into your water. At this point, you’ll need a replacement hot water system as soon as possible.
2. Old age
Like any appliance, your hot water system has an expiry date. Knowing the make, model, and type of hot water heater you have will give you a good indication of when you should start budgeting for a new one. More so, this can tell you whether a replacement is necessary or if it’s worth repairing any concerns to get a longer life from your current hot water system.
3. Strange noises when in use
Generally speaking, your hot water heater should not make noise. A low hum is okay, or even some sounds when kicking off on a cold evening; however, if you’re hearing continuous hissing, banging, knocking, or squealing, this can be a sign that your water heater is in serious trouble. The problem can be from water hammer in your pipes, deterioration in your tank or even a loose gas fitting, so getting a professional out to take a look urgently is the best course of action.
4. Hot water leaks
Not all leaks are scary, nor are they equal. Some leaks, such as those released from the Tempering Pressure Relief Valve are normal and a sign that things are working as they should. On the other hand, if your system is leaking with bursts, boiling water or from the connections and pipes, you may have a larger issue on your hands.
5. Unpredictable water temperature
An inconsistent water temperature is one of the most obvious signs that your hot water system is on its way out. If it’s hot one minute and freezing the next, or if you need to reset the thermostat frequently, there could be something wrong with your heating element or a range of other components. Unfortunately, if you let this issue sit for too long, you will likely be up for a replacement rather than a repair.
6. A rotten egg smell
This is one for the gas systems. A rotten egg smell emanating from your hot water system is a huge warning sign that something is awry. A gas leak can be dangerous and expensive, and if you suspect your hot water system is the source of the stink, a call to a plumber or gas fitter is essential.
7. A yellow pilot light flame
Another nod to gas systems, a yellow pilot light flame is a sign that the flame is not receiving enough oxygen to combust properly. This is one of the most urgent signs that something is seriously wrong with your gas hot water system, as it can mean carbon monoxide is being released into the air. This can result in carbon monoxide poisoning, which can have catastrophic results.
As you can tell, there are some more urgent warning signs than others regarding your hot water system. Ultimately, you should budget for a new hot water system every decade or so, with regular repairs and maintenance in the meantime. Any hot water system issues should be addressed quickly and ideally by a professional, as problems can quickly escalate if left to chance.
Choosing a new hot water system
A broken hot water heater or system can provide a great opportunity to make your water use more efficient, reliable, and affordable, especially if your family has grown since the original system was installed. Consider the size and type of system that will best suit your home and lifestyle. Perhaps you can switch to gas or solar to protect your outgoings and the planet, or maybe you need a tank with a larger capacity to support your growing family.
Ready for replacement? We can help…
As Australia’s largest online retailer for all things hot water systems, we are dedicated to delivering the best products to your door for the best prices. We have efficient systems with a wide range of capacities, sizes, and types, so you’re guaranteed to find the best solution for your replacement.