Question: “How long do hot water systems last?” Answer: “Hopefully forever!” Indeed, while a great Melbourne plumber can fix you up with a brand-spanking-new system for a great price, let’s be honest – money doesn’t grow on trees. We’ve all got enough to pay for along with our mortgages and our bills and a little on the side for fun, so it’s probably wise to know how long that investment in your current hot water system is going to be good for.
So how long do hot water systems last? It’s not quite a question like “How long is a piece of string”, but the truth is that the answer remains quite tricky – as it depends on a number of factors.
What are these factors? Ezy-Plumb’s Melbourne hot water plumbers give the answer:
1. The quality
When you go to the best plumbers and hot water specialists in town, you can rest pretty easy that you’re going to get one of the best systems made by the best brands installed at your place. As with anything, you tend to get what you pay for, so beware of ultra-cheap brands promising the earth. The cheaper systems, after all, are the ones that are more likely to corrode. The best brands include Rinnai, Rheem, Aquamax and Thermann.
2. The material
Another reason the cheaper hot water systems are cheaper is because they’re made of cheaper materials. A good quality glass or enamel-lined system, however, should last a good ten years or more, while you’ll get a few more years than that if you go for a premium stainless steel model. Remember, the number 1 cause of hot water system failure is corrosion, so the better the material, the longer it will last.
3. The type
Don’t forget, ‘hot water system’ is a catch-all phrase, a little like the word ‘sport’ is – meaning there are different types of hot water systems. “How long do electric hot water systems last” is, therefore, a different question to “how long do gas hot water systems last” – and the same is true for your instantaneous, heat pump and solar options, too. Generally, though, a storage electric hot water system should last marginally longer than a gas equivalent, while you’ll get more life out of an instant gas hot water system (and save on bills) – because it’s simple and doesn’t store corrosion-causing water.
4. Your usage
How you use your system will also make a difference – because a family of 5 each having two showers a day will obviously stress the most vulnerable parts of your unit – the element, for example – more than a bachelor or bachelorette who stays over at friends’ houses quite often.
5. The water quality
It’s also important to note that the water being pumped in and out of your system isn’t exactly pure H2O. When the water is less pure, hot water experts refer to it as ‘hard water’ – with a higher concentration of dissolved calcium, magnesium and other minerals. And when hard water is heated up, those dissolved minerals can carbonate, becoming solid and damaging your system. The good news is that regular professional maintenance helps with this.
The verdict: How long do hot water systems really last?
So if you want to take a number to the bank, you can basically expect your new hot water system to last between 7 and 15 years – which, unsurprisingly, is broadly in line with the standard warranties offered by the manufacturers. To try to push your system’s lifespan up, we recommend regular checks and servicing.
If your hot water system is already showing signs of old age, or you think a professional check is overdue, why not give our Bayside Melbourne plumbing company a call today? Living without hot water even for a day or two isn’t something you want to endure, so always stay on the safe side by trusting the guys at Ezy-Plumb.