Hot water cylinders have a shelf-life – it’s probably not something you think about until your current one is on the blink and needs a replacement. It can be stressful and frustrating to try and work out what the problem is when hot water cylinders are not operating as they should. In most cases your system probably just requires a service or repair, however, every system will eventually reach a place where it will need to be replaced. So how do you know whether a repair or a replacement is in order? Here are a few things to think about.
The age of the system
Hot water cylinders generally have a life expectancy of around 8 to 12 years. If you still have the manufacturer’s information and instructions on hand a more exact timeline will probably be given. If your system is more than 15 years old you likely notice that it has started to get noisy or that your heated water supply has been impacted – this is a clear sign that it’s time for a replacement. If you don’t know what the age of your system is then it’s a good idea to get a plumber in to take a look.
Your water isn’t getting hot enough
One of the earliest signs that there is an issue with hot water cylinder is that the water has not heated up enough. If your showers never quite get hot enough or the water turns cool half way through then you might be up for a repair or replacement. Faulty heating elements or thermostats can cause heating issues – a plumber will be able to diagnose the issue.
There’s noises coming from your hot water cylinders
If you’re hearing sizzling or hissing noises coming from your tank then that could be an indicator that there is a problem and that your system has a problem. Often hissing and sizzling can be a sign of an issue with the relief valve on hot water cylinders, and the component may need a replacement. There may also be a leak that will require a replacement.
There’s rust around the fittings
If you’re noticing rust and corrosion around the fittings on your tank then that’s a sign that you have a leak. The first thing to do it to try and tighten up the fittings but if that doesn’t resolve the issue then it might be time for replacement parts. Leaky hot water cylinders can be hard to repair so it’s a good idea to contact a professional to perform the work.
What to avoid when replacing hot water cylinders
If it’s time to replace your system, then there are a few things you should keep in mind and some mistakes that you should avoid. The first thing you should think about when purchasing a new system is whether or not you want it to be powered by electricity, gas or solar power. Each heating method has a number of different benefits and drawbacks. It’s important to think about what type of system best suits your household needs and budget. Different systems will have different upfront purchase cost, installation costs and ongoing running costs.
You’ll also need to think about the size of the tank that you need. Will your system need to service an entire family or just one single person? Having a tank that is larger than you need can be expensive as you’ll be paying the cost to heat a tank of water that you don’t need. Make sure you get a tank that suits your needs.