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Signs Your Hot Water System Needs Servicing

15 March

Hws Taps

Having hot water available at the turn of a tap is an essential convenience we often take for granted. However, when your hot water system starts to fail, you quickly realise how much you rely on it. If left unchecked, an aging or faulty hot water system can become an expensive hassle and even a safety hazard. As a homeowner, it is important to inspect your hot water system periodically and watch for signs needing maintenance or replacement.

This guide from the expert plumbers at Gold Coast Plumbing Company provides homeowners with the key signs indicating your hot water system needs servicing. We outline common problems to look for and explain when repairs may be sufficient versus when replacement is likely the better option. We also discuss the importance of preventative maintenance and what our professional plumbers check during an inspection. 

Read on to learn how to identify issues with your hot water heater and determine the best solution. Properly maintaining your system means fewer costly surprises and the confidence of always having hot water available for your household needs.

When To Get Your Hot Water System Serviced 

Several noticeable signs can indicate your hot water system is due for maintenance or repairs. Our experienced plumbers recommend watching for the following common issues:


One of the most obvious red flags is a visible leak from the water heater or related plumbing. Small drips may go unnoticed at first. Check around the bottom of the tank, valves, and nearby pipes and connections. Catching leaks early prevents more significant water damage.

Rust Accumulation

Check the tank exterior and valves for rust spots or corroded areas. Some surface rust is normal over time. However, excessive rust indicates the tank walls are thinning and at risk of developing a leak. Rusty water from the hot taps also signifies rusting inside the tank.

Strange Noises

Clanging, banging, or rumbling noises can signal a problem. Loud ticks as the system heats up are normal, but new or louder noises usually mean an issue like sediment buildup. Knocking after the burner switches off needs immediate attention to prevent damage.

Fluctuating Temperature & Pressure

The system may fail if you experience varying hot water temperatures, reduced pressure at taps, or the system takes longer to reheat. Declining performance indicates wear, mineral deposits or a bigger underlying problem.

Old Age

The average water heater lifespan is 8-12 years. Beyond this age, systems become prone to leakage and other problems. Older systems also tend to be less energy efficient. Use the manufacturing date to determine the system’s age.

Sediment Buildup

Mineral deposits and sediment accumulate over time, reducing efficiency and leading to overheating issues. Warning signs are rumbling noises and foul odour when hot water runs. Draining the tank yearly helps remove sediment.

Servicing Hot Water Heater

By carefully watching for these common hot water system problems, homeowners can identify maintenance needs before more severe failures occur. 

When To Repair vs. Replace Hot Water Systems

When your hot water system shows signs of trouble, one of the first questions is whether repairing or replacing the hot water unit is the right solution. There are several factors our professional plumbers consider when advising customers on this decision:

Age of the System

As noted previously, the typical lifespan of a water heater is 8-12 years. Once past this age, the risk of rust, leakage and other problems rises. Replacement often makes more sense for systems over ten years old.

Repair Cost vs. Replacement Cost

Compare the repair parts and labour price to the cost of purchasing a new, more efficient water heating system. Extensive repairs nearing or exceeding replacement cost signal it’s time for an upgrade.

Energy Efficiency

Newer systems are much more energy efficient, providing notable cost savings over older heaters. Upgrading from an old unit can pay for itself within a few years through lower energy bills.

Condition of Existing System

If corrosion and component failure are already advancing, repairs may be short-lived. Replacement is the better option for severely rusted hot water tanks or damaged valves.

Warranty Coverage

Most new systems come with 5-10 year warranties. Opting for a new tank means you’ll be covered if defects arise. Repairs don’t extend the original warranty.

Water Quality Issues

Certain water chemistry factors like high sediment or corrosion accelerate system wear. In hard water areas, replacement may outperform further repairs.

Our Gold Coast plumbers consider all of these criteria when advising if repair or replacement is the most suitable solution for your situation. We want to provide lasting value and avoid unnecessary costs. Contact us for a professional assessment tailored to your needs.

Regular Maintenance Prevents Problems

Regular maintenance is crucial to maximise the lifespan of gas hot water systems, an electrical hot water system and solar hot water system alike and to avoid unexpected breakdowns. Annual inspections and service allow our plumbers to spot minor problems before they become major issues.

Screwing Wall Hws

We recommend all households have their hot water system professionally inspected each year. Annual maintenance helps reduce the risk of leaks, corrosion, inefficient operation, and other headaches.

During scheduled maintenance appointments, our technicians will:

  • Visually inspect the unit for leaks, rust and damage
  • Check water connections and valves for wear and leaks
  • Monitor water temperature and pressure for optimal performance
  • Flush the tank to remove sediment buildup
  • Inspect burner assembly and related parts
  • Check safety features like pressure relief valves
  • Clean and adjust components if needed
  • Evaluate system efficiency and capacity for the household

Proactive maintenance lets us spot potential problems early and recommend repairs or upgrades before inconveniences arise. Through regular upkeep, common repairs like replacing anodes, valves and heat pump elements can often be avoided.

Risks of an Aging Hot Water System

Allowing your aging gas, electric hot water system or solar hot water systems to continue deteriorating can lead to costly and dangerous consequences if problems are ignored. Some key risks include:

  • Leaks – Slow leaks easily go undetected, resulting in mould issues or rotting floorboards before you realise a problem. Unattended leaks from a severely corroded tank can also cause catastrophic flooding.
  • Burst Hot Water System Tank – Once a storage hot water tank ruptures, the results are disastrous. Flooding damages flooring, walls, and furnishings. You’re also left with no hot water until the unit is replaced.
  • Scalding Risk – Failing thermostats and lack of temperature regulation in deteriorating units can lead to uncontrolled super-heated water, posing a scalding danger.
  • Mould Concerns – Small leaks often create favourable conditions for mould growth in surrounding areas. Mould remediation is expensive and harmful if left unchecked.
  • Higher Energy Bills – Outdated systems operate less efficiently, increasing energy usage and costs. Newer units can provide 20-30% better efficiency.

These worst-case risks can be avoided with routine maintenance and promptly addressing any repairs needed. However, neglecting an aging hot water system inevitably leads to breakdowns that proper care could have prevented. Contact our Gold Coast plumbers today if your system shows any concerning signs it may need replacement.

Gas Hws Wall Connection

Professional Hot Water System Inspections Provide Peace of Mind

Having a skilled plumber thoroughly inspect your electric or gas hot water system can identify issues before they cause serious disruptions. Our licensed Gold Coast plumbers have extensive training and experience maintaining all makes and models of hot water heaters.

During a professional inspection, we will:

  • Check all components for wear, leaks or damage
  • Monitor water temperature and pressure
  • Test safety valves and other fail-safes
  • Evaluate efficiency compared to newer systems
  • Drain and flush sediment from the tank
  • Determine if repairs or replacements are recommended

Our plumbers take a comprehensive approach to inspecting your entire hot water system. We want to ensure it continues operating safely and reliably.

Trust Gold Coast Plumbing Company for expert hot water system maintenance. Contact us online or call 1300 792 041 to schedule annual hot water service. Preventative maintenance saves money over costly emergency repairs down the road. Our skilled technicians have a solution for any hot water issues your household is experiencing.