Express Plumbing on 26 July 2017

Telltale Signs You Need to Replace your Hot Water Cylinder

You've had a long day at work and nothing would please you more than to have a hot shower, but you're instead met with a thousand stabs of ice-cold water.

If only you saw the signs that your hot water cylinder needed replacing, and better still, knew what those signs were! Good thing this blog is here to teach you how!

Water Isn't Hot

A damaged cylinder can vary in its hot water levels, but if you constantly find yourself reaching for that temperature setting, you can count your lucky stars it's time for a new cylinder.

Rusty Water

If you pour yourself a glass of water and find it's brown and dirty, there's a definite chance you've got rusty water (also don't drink the water).

This is a common sign your hot water cylinder may be about to leak, so the first thing you should do is rule out any other causes.

Rusty water could be caused by galvanised piping, so if you have such a set up installed, run 18 litres of hot water through your sink. After you've finished, see if the water is still rusty. If so, the system is most likely at fault.

Water Leakage

You may also find that your water cylinder is leaking, but you might not be not quite sure where.

Seeing moisture on the surface of the cylinder is a good sign that you've sprung a leak.

If your hot water cylinder is anywhere between six and twelve years of age, it's highly likely that it's deteriorated to an unfixable state through rusting, metal expansion or just plain old age.

If you're unsure about the age of the cylinder, check the date on the serial number. Note that the dates aren't always clear, so you might need to track down the manufacturer's website and do a search.

Either way, if you've got a leak there's nothing to do but bury it and buy a new one.

However, if you wish to prolong the life of your cylinder, the monthly operation of releasing excess pressure through the release valve can save you a lot of headache.

Pipe insulation and Replacement Costs

When replacing your hot water cylinder, you can go down a few routes. Keep in mind each of the price estimates do not include installation costs.

The electrically heated storage tank systems are cheap to install, but tend to be expensive to run. They typically cost up to $1500.

Natural gas is a good idea if you have a connection. It's cheaper than electricity, but gas prices are on the rise. Typical cost is up to $2000.

Solar is expensive short term, but can save you loads in the long term with low operating costs. Can cost up to $7000.

If you haven't already, insulation of the pipes leading into and from the cylinder is a must. Doing so reduces heat loss by 25-45%, which is an annual saving of 4-9% in heating costs.