A hot water tank in your property is great for heating your home and business. When it fails, it can put a hold on washing, cleaning and cooking. It can be extremely frustrating to be left with cold water especially in the colder months of the year.
When you have issues with your hot water heater, it can be difficult to determine if your tank is repairable or if you are in need of a full replacement. There are certain indicators to keep an eye on that are clear signs you need a new hot water tank.
Hot water systems are built to be durable but with normal wear and tear, old age and underlying issues, it can play a part in your tanks life span.
What are the signs your hot water heater is going out?
The age of your current tank
This is usually the number one sign that you need to upgrade your hot water system. A tank has a life span of 8-12 years. You can find out from the manufacturer when exactly the tank was installed.
If you know that your unit is well over 15 years old, and is displaying signs such as not producing hot water or is noisy, it is probably time to start looking into a replacement.
A professional and licensed plumber will be able to thoroughly inspect your current tank and find a suitable replacement for you and your home or business.
Weak or low temperature
If you are in the middle of a shower and your water suddenly goes cold or the water takes a while to heat up, then you may have an issue with the heating element or faulty thermostat.
You could also be needing a new tank to keep up with your water usage if your household has increased.
Banging or hissing sounds could mean trouble from the heating element or could be a build up of sediment from the water inside the tank.
A buildup of minerals may start to grow and act like rocks floating around inside of your unit. When they hit the pipework you will be able to hear banging or other sounds.
Heating elements may become loose over time or valves have failed and are not opening and closing as they should.
Rusty tank or discoloured water
Leaks in and around you hot water system could be coming from fittings. Such as pipework or the valves. A leaking unit can cause corrosion and that is where you find rust and discoloured water.
Annual maintenance of your current water heater is recommended if it is under 5 years old. This includes flushing and sediment inside the tank.
Ask your trusted plumbing company about regular maintenance of your hot water unit.
When should I replace my hot water system?
Upgrading to a newer hot water heater is a decision that should be made clear for you by a professional hot water specialist. Depending on the age of the current tank and any underlying issues, perhaps repairs won't be enough and a full upgrade is needed.
You can either replace a like for like where you are getting the same system as the one you are using, or you can go for a different brand and model.
Replacing your tank should be done after 15 years of the first installation. You can find the details of the date of install from you the tank itself.
A fully licensed plumber will take into account your water usage, property and household size as well as your budget to find the perfect hot water tank for your needs.
How long does a hot water system take to heat up?
This depends on what energy source you are using, the size of the tank and the condition it is currently in. These can all affect the efficiency of the heating mechanism. The average gas unit takes about 30-40 minutes to fully heat up.
An electrical heater takes roughly twice as long. The same goes for a solar system as it is usually connected to an electrical heater. A cloudy day can obviously affect the heating time as it needs the suns rays.
For expert advice on whether you should buy a continuous flow tank, storage water heater, gas or electric hot water unit, contact your local plumber. They will have the knowledge and experience to help you make a decision on your new system.
They can also make necessary repair and carry out regular maintenance on your current model.