Hot water systems are an essential part of our daily lives, and having a functional hot water system is necessary for our comfort (and sanity!).

Let’s face it, taking cold showers in the morning and putting the kids to bed without a warm bath is never fun. Sadly, most homeowners take their hot water systems for granted and don’t realise how heavily they rely on them until an emergency. Before completely breaking down, your hot water systems usually show several signs of needing replacement. Recognising these looming signs beforehand allows you to take the necessary steps to repair or replace them.

So how do you tell if your hot water system needs a replacement? Here are five key signs to look out for.



Most hot water systems have a lifespan of 8 to 15 years, and the age of your hot water is the first and clearest indicator of when it should be replaced. This is mainly because over time, the internal parts of our hot water systems tend to break down, decreasing their efficiency in your home.

There are also other factors that can speed up the ageing process of your hot water system, like using hard water and not servicing your hot water systems regularly. A problematic hot water system can cause sludge and slit that break down to flow into your shower, bath, basin, sink and appliances. If your system is around 8 to 15 years old, it’s probably time to replace it.


Producing discoloured or smelly water.

Your taps and showers may emit funky water that no one needs to see or smell. If you notice your water producing brown, red, or rusty-coloured water, it could be another sign that your hot water system is breaking down.

How water systems produce a discoloured taste and smell if corroded from the storage tank inside. While this is a natural occurrence that happens over time, rusted water is a source of bacteria and can harm your and your family’s health. So it’s important to act immediately once you notice the water discolouration.



If you notice droplets or water pooling around your hot water system, it is an obvious sign of a breakdown, and your system needs urgent service or replacement. Unfortunately, leaking tanks cannot be repaired and can only be replaced.

Unattended leaks can cause mildew or mould to grow, which can cause significant health problems. Additionally, using a leaking tank may cause flooding and, in rare instances, explosions. So it’s best not to take any chances if you notice a leak.


Noisy or making strange noises.

Most hot water systems do make minor noise as it heats up the water in your home. However, strange, loud noises such as hissing, popping, cracking or banging are uncommon.

If you hear a hissing sound coming out from your hot water system, it most likely means the tank has burst. A system that constantly emits loud banging or rumbling sounds can indicate the inner lining breaking down in its storage.

Besides that, continuous rumbling may cause it to leak in time, and it probably means that your hot water system is nearing the end of its life. If the noise is persistent, consider getting your hot water system replaced.


Ongoing issues.

If you are having constant issues with your hot water system or find it doesn’t work as well as before, it might be time to consider an upgrade. At some point, repairs won’t do much to solve your water problems, and it may cost you more than actually getting a replacement. Replacing your hot water system will not only provide you with a brand-new system that works well, but it can also be an excellent opportunity to install a more energy-efficient water heater. This could potentially save you more money and time, along with helping the environment.



Our expert plumbing technicians at Seaview Plumbing can get you sorted with a new hot water system without fuss! We are Adelaide’s local trusted plumbers that can help you install, replace, and repair your water heater systems.

Whatever your water heater needs are, we are just a call away. Alternatively, you can also send us an email or reach out to us on Facebook.