Knowing when to replace your hot water heater

There are two main prompts that get people thinking about replacing a hot water cylinder:

  • Your hot water heater is not working properly
  • You’re paying too much for hot water

Let’s take a closer look at these and share some helpful information about figuring out when is the best time to replace your water heater.

Your hot water heater is faulty – is it time to replace it?

The most obvious sign that there’s a problem with your water heater is if you’re not getting as much hot water as you should be. You run the water and it never quite gets hot enough. Or worse, you’re not getting any hot water at all. If either of these is happening, there is probably an issue with your hot water heating system.

There may also be a problem with your hot water heater if you hear strange sounds when you turn on the hot water, or you’re seeing discoloured water coming from the tap or shower when you turn on the hot water.

If you have a continuous flow hot water system

It’s extremely unlikely that you would run out of hot water if you’re using a gas continuous flow system to heat your water. They’re designed to heat water as you use it, therefore providing essentially unlimited hot water. So if you run out of hot water with a gas continuous flow hot water heating system, you’ll need to contact us to see where the problem lies. Only a qualified gas fitter can work on a continuous flow hot water heating system, and the team at Sumich Plumbing & Drainage are professional licensed plumbers and gasfitters who can help with your gas hot water system.

Similarly, if you hear any strange sounds or detect any discolouration when you turn on the hot water, this is a sign that something isn’t right in your plumbing system or set up. Give us a call and we can help.

If you have a hot water cylinder

A hot water cylinder is made up of several parts which all need to work together properly for you to have clean, hot water. If you’re not getting any hot water, or you’re running out sooner than you should, there may be a problem with the thermostat or the element of your hot water cylinder. Your hot water cylinder may not be heating water properly because of a fault with one of these parts.

If you hear strange noises or see water leaking from your hot water cylinder, that is also an indication that you need to call in a licensed plumber. We may be able to repair or replace the faulty parts or valves. The problem doesn’t automatically mean you need to replace the entire hot water cylinder system. We generally only recommend a new hot water cylinder replacement after considering a number of factors.

Reviewing whether you need a new hot water cylinder, we look at:

  • the age of your current hot water cylinder – on average, a hot water cylinder should last at least ten years
  • the size of your current hot water cylinder – we look at whether your household has outgrown the cylinder you have and need a larger one
  • whether it’s best to change from low pressure to mains, from electric to gas, or from inside to outside

You can read more about replacing your hot water cylinder here.

If you’re experiencing any of these issues with your hot water heating system, or you have another type of hot water system, give Sumich a call on 0508786424. We can help diagnose the problem (sometimes just by how you describe it on the phone) and help determine whether repairs or a replacement are needed.

You’re paying too much for hot water – is it time to replace your water heater?

The other main reason that people will consider replacing their water heating system is if they are paying too much for their hot water. If you believe your water, electricity or gas bills are higher than they should be – or the amounts have noticeably increased recently – it is probably a good time to consider replacing your hot water system.

Get in touch with the experienced team at Sumich and we can review your water usage, your hot water heating system and the condition of your plumbing and drainage systems. You may be running the water for longer than necessary because you spend too long waiting for the water to heat up. You may take longer showers than necessary because the water temperature or pressure isn’t ideal.

Often, we see households run out of hot water because they have “outgrown” their current hot water cylinder. The water cylinder itself may be working properly, but the hot water needs of the household have changed. This happens through different stages of life.

A household with flatmates will use water differently than singles or a married couple. A couple will use water differently than a family with babies or infants. Needs will change again through the teenage years, and then again through the empty nest years.

When we consider what heating system is best, we look at the water use habits of the household and determine what is most appropriate. For some households, staying with a hot water cylinder might be the best decision. Changing to a different size cylinder may be one way to save on water heating bills if that is an option you want to consider.

For example, once all of your children have moved out, it may no longer be necessary to keep a 250 litre cylinder of water heated, and it may be time to move to a smaller option.

We sometimes find that another way of reducing water and power bills is by switching from a hot water cylinder to a gas continuous flow system, which means you’ll never run out of hot water. For most households, an instantaneous gas hot water system is the most cost-effective system for water heating.

If you’re interested in upgrading to a gas continuous flow system or would like to know whether it’s time to replace your water heater for any other reason, please get in touch and we can discuss what’s best for you.