Do I need to replace my hot water system?

Do I need to replace my hot water system?


A faulty hot water system is pretty much the last thing we all want to spend our hard-earned income on, however none of us really enjoy having cold showers in the middle of winter either!

A hot water system will usually pick the most inappropriate time to stop working and can choose to torment you with either an annoying trickle or a startling burst. Sign’s your system may be nearing its end of days can include one or more of the following:

  • The system is over 7 years old
  • Your water isn’t getting as hot as it used to be
  • There is a hissing noise coming from your tank
  • Corrosion around the tank or fittings
  • You have no hot water at all

The first thing our plumbers at David McCarthy Plumbing will do to determine whether or not your hot water system needs replacing or simply repairing is ask the age of the system. If the system is under 5 years old, and the problem is with the tank itself, the tank should be replaced under warranty. If the tank is over 5 years old and is out of warranty, a new hot water service will need to be installed (we can check your make and model for exact warranty details).

If the problem is with one of the hot water service’s parts or fittings, you may get away with repairing and replacing with new parts (parts often only carry a 1 year warranty).

Now for the uncomfortable part, how much is it going to hurt your wallet? Well firstly, its always completely the client’s choice whether or not they choose to repair or replace their hot water service. A unit repair can cost up to approximately $500, and a replacement can cost up to approximately $1,500. Repairing is obviously quite a bit cheaper. However the client needs to weigh up if their system is over 5 years old, its over half its lifespan anyway, and repairing with parts may only get them another year or two before having to replace the entire hot water unit. It’s all about the risk they want to take, and obviously about their budget.

There are four different hot water system types in Australia. Gas, Solar, Heat Pump and electric hot water systems. These generally work in two different ways; water storage and ‘instantaneous’ or continuous flow systems.

Instantaneous hot water systems are perhaps wrongly termed; when you think about something that is ‘instant’ you expect it straight away. So when you turn the tap on in the shower in the bathroom situated furthest from the hot water unit and expect instant hot water you may blame your plumber for installing a faulty system. The fault however lies with the term ‘instantaneous’. There’s no such thing. Industry has now renamed the term to ‘continuous flow’ to give a more realistic title to rapid hot water.

If you would like to discuss either repairing or replacing a hot water system that may be playing up, please call the DMP team on 0477 035 473.