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Hot water systems are generally very reliable and last a long time. However, like all other appliances, they can break down, and do eventually come to the end of their useful life. So how do you know when it’s time to replace the hot water system? Here we will discuss the 7 common signs that can predict breakdown in your hot water system.

1. Your hot water system is old

Do you know how old your hot water system is? The lifespan of storage electric hot water systems is usually 10-12 years but it can depend on how well you have maintained the system and water quality in your area. Hard water deteriorates the internal components of the system and reduces the lifespan. If it is getting closer to the 10-12 years mark, it might be the perfect time to get it replaced.

How to check the age of your hot water system?‍

Check the manufacturer’s label on your hot water system. The label would include the manufacturing date and serial number. If you can’t see the label, contact a professional plumber who can recommend the best solution to you.

2. It makes strange noises

When the hot water system is noisy, i.e, makes boiling, popping or hissing noises, it could indicate overheating in the tank or the buildup of sediment. Popping or hissing noises are good indicators of sediment accumulation. In this case, you would need to flush the tank and get it cleaned.

If it makes a boiling noise, it could indicate overheating of the water and high pressure in the tank. It is best to contact a hot water system technician for assistance.

3. Keeps breaking down

If it keeps breaking down and you are getting it repaired constantly, consider replacing your system. Research your options before you buy a hot water system and make an informed decision.

4. Can’t keep up with your demand

If you aren’t getting enough hot water, your demand might be higher than the capability of the water heater. The number of people living in your house might have increased creating additional demand. Replace your hot water system with a larger system equipped to handle the demands of your household.

5. Water is dirty or smelly

If your hot water is dirty, it could be due to corrosion in the tank or pipes. If it is due to corroded pipes, replacing the pipes could fix the problem. However, if it is due to corrosion in the tank, it would need to be addressed immediately. Smelly water is caused by degrading anode rods. Depending on the extent of the problem, the anode rods could be replaced.

The odour can be treated by flushing the water and treating it with hydrogen peroxide. However, it is a short-term solution and you should consider replacing the system.

6. Your hot water system is leaking

A leaking hot water system is difficult to fix. Leaks can cause corrosion and build-up of mould. They can also damage the floors, walls, and fixtures around the unit. The leaks could arise due to faulty pipes, pressure/temperature release valves, or a fault or damage to the storage tank. Get the leaks checked by your local plumber.

7. Your power bills are too high

If your power bills are too high, the decreased efficiency of your hot water system might be the culprit. The accumulation of sediments or leakages in the system can make the system work harder to heat water. It is a sure shot sign that replacement is crucial.


If your hot water system is old or keeps demanding repairs, get it replaced immediately. Before you get it replaced, ensure you decide on the type of hot water system and its size. Call your local hot water system experts at 1300 616 203. Brisbane Plumbing and Drainage offers hot water system installation, repairs, and maintenance services across Brisbane.