The Average Lifespan of a Hot Water System

Do you suspect that the Hot Water System (HWS) in your home or commercial property is on its last legs? Or, perhaps you’re just curious how long your type of system might last? Read on to find out the average lifespan of a Hot Water System and how you can extend the average life span.

How Long Do Water Heaters Last?

On average, it is generally considered that a vitreous enamel storage HWS will last for up to 10 years. Stainless steel and continuous flow units will generally last longer than this.  

The life of any HWS will be extended by regular servicing and by controlling the hot and cold water pressures. This is done by fitting a pressure reduction or limit valve on most units and a cold expansion valve on a storage unit. This will greatly reduce the pressure inside the HWS and help extend the life of the unit.

Regular changing of the anode in a vitreous enamel HWS will generally extend the lifespan. How often the anode needs to be changed will depend on the quality and deterioration of the vitreous enamel coating on the inside of the HWS. So generally, it’s best to remove the anode every 4 to 5 years and check to see how much of the anode has worn away. If it is badly worn, then replace the anode, and shorten the time between checking it to a shorter time span. If it is not very worn away, then lengthen the time span between checking. The life of some Hot Water Units have been extended by 20+ years thanks to regular replacement of the anode. On some HWS, removing some of the insulation is required to access the anode. This insulation may not be able to be replaced as well as the original, so there may be some trade-off between extending the life of the HWU and a possible reduction of efficiency of the unit. Stainless steel Hot Water Systems do not have an anode.

Continuous flow Hot Water Systems will last – especially if they are regularly serviced – and are more efficient, are much more compact, and will not run out of hot water. They are a more modern option and a popular choice for new installations.

If a Hot Water System repair is needed and the system is getting on in years, it is generally a very good idea to consider whether spending the money on the repair is a good investment, or whether the installation of a new more high efficient unit with a manufacturer’s warranty would be a better choice.

O’Shea Plumbing are specialists in Hot Water services, repairs and installations across Melbourne. We offer repair and replacement systems across leading brands including Rheem, Aquamax, Rinnai, Stiebel Eltron and Vulcan. Call us on (03) 9888 2887 today – the plumbers Melbourne can rely on!

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