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When To Replace Your Hot Water System

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A hot water system is a part of your property that you normally do not take any notice of unless it begins to malfunction. When you start to have colder showers or your kitchen tap takes forever to heat up, that is when you think 'how long have I had this tank?' or 'is it time for a new hot water system?'

Replacing your hot water unit is a straightforward task that should only be carried out by a licensed plumber or hot water professional. Attempting to change a water tank on your own can lead to complications that may cost you more to rectify. 

Keep reading for tips and suggestions on when is the best time to replace your water system. As well as indicators of a tank that is failing. 

How Do You Know If You Need A New Hot Water Tank?

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A faulty water heater can be hard to spot if you don't know what to look for. The general rule of thumb is you need to replace your hot water unit every 8-12 years. You can check for the installation date which will be located on the hot water system. If the date states it's been over 5 years, it may be time to look at a replacement. 

Even though your water system seems to be working fine, the age of the unit may affect its functionality. With anything in life, wear and tear and regular use can start to hinder its performance. 

Older hot water systems can affect the quality and delivery of heating and even though you carry out regular servicing on the tank, you may need to look at an upgraded heater. 

Changes in lifestyle, for example, a growing family, will impact your heating needs. More family members mean more showers and an increase in heating. Your hot water system needs to be able to work effectively and provide adequate heating. 

A larger household typically consumes a greater amount of energy, therefore, the size of the system is important to be able to service heating water effectively. A small water system will be limited to the liters it can produce. 

What Are The Signs Of A Hot Water Heater Going Bad?


Rusty pipes and tanks are a sign of a sacrificial anode rod that needs to be replaced. The anode rod will rust so your heater doesn't have to. This can make the water in your house turn a brown colour and change the taste. Rust around the hot water system could be an indicator of the environment it is in. For instance, if your water system is located in a damp area, rust could form at the bottom of the tank. 


Noisy water heaters can be caused by various reasons. The most common cause is sediment and minerals floating around inside the water. The sediment can get trapped underneath the heater and form a blockage. Steam bubbles will form if the water has reduced inside the heater. 

Noises are an indication of issues with the heating element or something that is loose internally. 


A leaking water heater can be an indication of a burst valve or pipe connection. If water is leaking at the top of the hot water heater, it may be a faulty water supply pipe. Water coming from fittings and pipework and a rapid pace is dangerous as the water heater could burst. 

A water leak at the base of the hot water system is a sign of a broken heating element. Corrosion can form at the base of the system which weakens the fittings and valves connected to the hot water heater.

Another cause is a build-up of pressure. When you have hot water, steam will be present

Dirty Water

If you notice cloudy or dirty water coming out of your taps, sediment may be floating inside the water system. You could also have corroded pipework that is contaminating your water. 


Your hot water system is made up of various valves such as a pressure relief valve and tempering valve. These are important as they regulate the temperature and pressure at a safe level. These valves do fail and need to be replaced regularly or repaired. 

Water Temperature is Low

Hot water systems suffer from low-temperature issues if there is a leak in the valves, fittings, or pipework. The heating element in an electrical system may be burnt or the thermostat could be faulty.

Low water pressure

Low water pressure is a problem that can originate from faulty plumbing and pipework, or your hot water system cannot keep up with the heated water demands of your household. 

You will need to replace faulty valves and ensure that all fittings are running at optimal capacity. 

Also, the position of the heater in the house will determine the time it takes for hot water to reach your shower and taps. 

Should I Repair or Replace My Hot Water System?

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The choice is up to you. There are many factors to consider. It may be more cost-effective to upgrade to a new system. Repairs are fine for short term solutions. But if your water system is over 10 years old, installing a new tank can save you from costly minor repairs and services.

Alternatively, if your hot water system is less than 5 years old, replacing a valve or repairing a fitting may do the trick. 

Get in touch with a licensed plumber. They will be able to provide advice on a new hot water system that is perfect for your needs. 

Whether it is maintenance and regular services carried out on your system, or a new hot water system installation, call a professional plumbing team to help you out. 


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