Often never thought about, a broken hot water unit is one of the few household items that can cause headaches if left unattended. This is especially true in winter.
Sometimes, units may only need servicing to get it back to working order. But like most things, eventually all hot water units break down and need replacing.
Unsurprisingly, many homeowners struggle to identify the difference between a hot water unit that needs repairing and one that needs replacing. Fortunately, the team here at RTL Plumbing are here to help.
We’ve put together an in-depth guide to help you identify when your hot water unit may be nearing its end. The best time to start checking your hot water unit is when it starts to play up. Regularly checking on the following factors below will give you an idea on whether to fix or replace your hot water unit.
HOT WATER UNIT AGE
Generally, hot water units have a life of around 8-12 years. If you still have your manufacturers guide on-hand, you will more than likely get a proper indication of its life expectancy. If your hot water system is older and is showing signs of wear (not enough hot water, noisy), it’s probably best to look at other hot water units.
Sometimes, hot water unit records may be absent (especially true if you are living in an older property). If this is the case and your hot water system is playing up, get your plumber to inspect.
MY WATER ISN’T HOT ENOUGH
One of the first signs of an ageing hot water system is a lack of hot water or water taking longer to heat up.
Just because there’s a slight issue with the delivery of hot water, it does not mean that your hot water system needs to be replaced. Before you rush into replacing the whole system, this problem can be caused by a faulty thermostat or a broken heating element. Get a plumber in to check out the hot water unit as it can save a lot of time and money if it just needs servicing.
MY HOT WATER UNIT IS NOISY
A loud hot water unit is a problematic hot water unit. When your hot water system starts making noise, it’s often a sign that it’s on the way out. However, not all noises are the same. Hissing noises can be a faulty relief valve discharging to waste, which will probably need replacement.
Whether you decide to replace yourself or call in a plumber, make sure you get the correct type of valve with the correct pressure rating.
SLUDGE OR RUSTED FITTINGS
Unless your hot water unit is located in a humid or moisture-rich area (which we hope it isn’t), sludge and/or rusted fittings is a sign that your hot water unit may be suffering from a leak. Your best bet is to get a professional plumbing to tighten any existing fittings
Corrosion around your hot water system’s fittings means you probably have a leak. Call in a plumber to get this fixed.
PITFALLS TO AVOID WHEN REPLACING YOUR HOT WATER UNIT
If replacing your hot water unit is unavoidable, there are some mistakes that you need to avoid to ensure the replacement goes as smoothly as possible.
Electric, gas or solar? That is one of the first decisions you’ll need to make when choosing your new hot water system. There are a wide range of units available for purchase that can be used that can lower your energy bill and reduce the greenhouse gas you produce. Both the heating method and hot water unit size can drastically affect how much you pay each quarter so it pays to pick the right sized hot water unit for your needs.
If you think you have hot water unit issues, please do not hesitate to call the team at RTL Plumbing. We provide a wide range of maintenance services including hot water servicing, we have a team of qualified and experienced technicians to get the job done. Give RTL Plumbing a call on 07 3399 2203 or drop a line here and we’ll be sure to help.