How Long Does a Hot Water System Last & Other FAQs

Is your hot water system producing discoloured or smelly water, starting to rust or have less hot water than normal? This could be a sign that your hot water system is on the way out. But, how long should your system last?

Hot water systems are in every Australian home, however, many of us don’t even know how long our hot water systems should last. We’ve put together this blog in hopes of answering everything you’ve ever wanted to know about the hot water system in your home. Including tips on how to prolong the life of your hot water system and how to spot if your system is at the end of its’ days.

Photo by bruce mars on Unsplash

How long does a hot water system last? 

A well-maintained hot water system, which was properly installed by a professional, should last at least eight to twelve years. If your hot water system lifespan falls short of this by a large amount, get in contact with your installer as it may be a faulty component, which is covered under warranty.

How do you know when your hot water system is dying? 

There are some telltale signs of a hot water system on its last legs. When you do spot any of the signs listed below, it’s highly recommended you get in contact with your local hot water system specialist to ensure you aren’t without hot water in the near future. 

1. Discoloured water or smelly taps. 

One of the most common signs of a failing hot water system is smelly and discoloured water running from your taps — no one wants this. The discolouration is caused by erosion inside the hot water tank itself. The good news is, if you act quickly sometimes the eroding elements can be replaced and you may not need a whole new system.

2. Rusting elements. 

It’s good practice to inspect your hot water system every six months. Check the pipes and joins for rust and/or corrosion. 

If you do spot some, call your hot water system specialist right away as this could be a sign of a failing system. When rust spots are left unattended, they often turn into leaks, which can cause significant damage to your home.

3. Abnormal shortage of hot water. 

Did you unexpectedly run out of hot water in the shower last night? Well that may be a sign of a dying hot water system. The water shortage is caused by a buildup of grim at the base of older systems. 

Who fixes hot water systems?

Hot water systems are fixed by licensed plumbers who are qualified to work on electrical components. When picking a plumber to fix your hot water system, check they are qualified to service and replace systems. Often the brand of hot water system you have in your home will have a preferred plumber, so when in doubt contact the system supplier.

How much do hot water systems cost?

The cost of your hot water system will depend on a few factors, including size, installation location and type. On average, an electrical split system will set you back between $4,000 and $7,000, depending on your preferences.

Are gas, solar or electric hot water systems better? 

A lot of the time, the type of hot water system you get installed in your home is determined by the existing system setup. When looking at the environmental impacts of hot water systems, solar is the clear winner. However, gas performs significantly better than an electric system as they produce less greenhouse gases. Solar systems do tend to be more expensive.

How can you extend the life of your hot water system? 

Extending the life of your hot water system is easier than you may think. There are a few simple steps you can take to maximise the efficiency and life span of your system.

1. Check for damage. 

Ensure you check your hot water system at least every six months for leaks, cracks and rust. If you do find some, ensure you call your plumber immediately as damage can lead to flooding and hinder the life span of your system.

2. Test the pressure-relief valve 

Haven’t heard of the pressure-relief valve on your hot water system? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. 

Essentially, this valve keeps your system from exploding. Testing this valve is easy and checking it regularly can save you a lot of time and money. To check the valve simply:

             1. Locate the lever of the valve. It’s usually on the side or top of the system.
             2. Lift the lever of the valve.
             3. If no water comes out of the pipe attached to the valve, it needs to be replaced and you should call a licensed plumber asap.

Get in contact with your local hot water system specialist for more information.

Find the best Hot water system specialists in your area

I'm located in


      Katrina Stapleton

      Senior Digital Content Specialist

      Katrina Stapleton is a Senior Digital Content Specialist at Localsearch with a background in social media and marketing. Although most of her experience lies in the entertainment sector, Katrina has written content for a vast array of industries including tourism, hospitality, retail and property development. Katrina is an avid dog lover, who finds a way to weave her fur-baby, Mylo, into most conversations. Aside from being a self-confessed bookworm, Katrina can often be found checking out the Gold Coast's latest coffee nook, paddle-boarding or baking up a storm in her free time — all with Mylo by her side, of course! As a Senior Digital Content Specialist, Katrina enjoys sharing her knowledge and passions on the Localsearch Blog.