Why do you run out of hot water? What can go wrong with your water heater? When should you repair or replace your hot water heater? How can you avoid running out of hot water?

We have no hot water – what’s wrong?

The first sign of trouble with your water heater is usually a lack of hot water. If you turn on your hot water tap and, even after letting it run for a short while, you have no hot water, chances are there’s an issue with your water heater system.

Other signs of a fault with your hot water heating are a short supply of hot water – you have hot water when you turn the tap on, but you’re running out of hot water faster than usual. Alternatively, you might still have hot water, but you may notice strange noises – hissing or banging – coming from your hot water system or cylinder. Lastly, you might notice water leaking from your hot water cylinder (more than the usual small amount of water that gets released from the cylinder).

These are all signs that something’s not quite right with your water heating system. There are a few reasons why your hot water heater might fail. But first we need to know what type of hot water system you have.

The three most common methods of heating water for your household are:

  1. Hot water cylinder – gas
  2. Hot water cylinder – electric
  3. Continuous flow hot water – gas

What causes a hot water system to fail and what should you do?

If you have an electric hot water cylinder, the first and easiest thing to check is whether or not there has been a power outage at your home. It might sound obvious, but often people turn the shower on first thing to let it warm up, before even turning on the bathroom light. So turn on the light to check whether there is a problem with your power.

If there’s no power outage, then give the team at Regency Plumbing a call on 800 758 623. We’ll run through a few questions with you and see if we can help over the phone. If not, our 24/7 emergency team can help get your hot water back up and running.

If you have a gas hot water cylinder or a continuous flow hot water heating system that isn’t working, there could be a number reasons causing it to fail.

Similar to problems with an electric system, the first thing to check is whether there is a power source failure. This is rare with gas, but it’s worth checking. If you’re using LPG bottles, check whether you’ve run out of gas.

If there is no problem with the gas supply, there may be faults with the thermostat, valves, or other components of your hot water cylinder. In fact, when a gas hot water cylinder system fails, it’s usually the components that fail, not the cylinder itself.

If this is the case, you’ll need to give us a call. You should only trust a qualified gas fitter to look at your gas hot water heating system. Please do not attempt to fix it yourself, as this could be extremely dangerous (and it’s not actually legal to do your own repairs on a gas system).

How long should my hot water system last?

Most hot water cylinders – whether they’re gas or electric – come with a manufacturer’s 10-year guarantee. They should, however, last for about 15 years. So as a general rule of thumb, if your hot water cylinder is over 15 years old and it fails, it’s probably time to replace it.

A continuous flow system should also last approximately 10 to 15 years. These also come with a manufacturer’s guarantee of about 10 years, depending on the brand. We supply both Rinnai and Rheem, and trust them both to provide long-lasting service. 

The team at Regency Plumbing are experienced in maintaining, repairing and installing hot water cylinders, so give us a call for some options. Whenever possible we’ll look to repair your system before replacing it – but if you’re interested in upgrading to a continuous flow system, we’d be more than happy to help.

How can we make sure we never run out of hot water?

As they say, never say never. But there are definitely things you can do to minimise the chances of running out of hot water.

The most important thing you can do is to have regular maintenance done on your water heating system. Many of us take our hot water for granted. We have a water heating system and we don’t think about it – until something goes wrong.

At Regency Plumbing we urge you to make the time to have us come and look at your water heating system when there’s nothing wrong. This will greatly reduce the likelihood of us having to come out for an urgent or emergency call when something goes wrong. You can book a time here and our friendly team will come out and make sure everything is running as it should.

A regular maintenance check includes:

  • checking for rust or corrosion
  • checking for faulting parts
  • checking for leaks (water leaks or gas leaks)
  • checking all valves, components, thermostat
  • listening for unusual sounds
  • checking how long it takes for your water to heat up

There are many issues that go unseen to the trained eye (and ears). The team at Regency Plumbing has been working with hot water heating systems for over two decades. We can instantly spot any issues before they become costly repairs (and before they lead to expensive water damage to your property).

Is it better to repair or replace our hot water system?

This depends on what problem there are with your hot water heater system and how old it is. Generally, if you have a water heating system that is close to 15 years old, replacing will be more cost-effective. We can either replace your hot water cylinder and its components, or switch you over to a continuous flow hot water heater system. We’ll talk through the benefits of each and see what’s best for your household and your water use.

If your hot water heater system is less than 10 years old – either a gas or electric hot water cylinder, or a continuous flow system – it’s definitely worth checking if we can repair it first. Most systems that are less than 10 years old will still be under the manufacturers guarantee, so it worth us checking to see if the problem you’re having is covered by that.

Over the years we’ve seen lots of different issues with hot water heater systems as they age – sometimes all that is needed is a replacement of the thermostat or the valves. We’ll come out and have a look and see what the way to fix the problem is in the most cost-effective way for you.

Give the experienced team at Regency Plumbing a call.

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