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How often does my hot water system need servicing?

The importance of hot water system maintenance cannot be understated.

As a society we’re collectively very reliant of hot water. A vital part of our hygiene routines, household appliance function and more, it’s easy to take the role of hot water in our lives for granted.

If our hot water systems cease to work all of a sudden, fixing the issue can become a matter of urgency considering the inconvenience.

Sure, it’s easily understood that this essential household mechanism requires occasional servicing, though its frequency is often lost on those uninitiated.


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Hot water service frequency

The main types of hot water systems are continuous/instantaneous flow, solar, heat pump, and electric/gas storage.

Generally speaking, the mentioned systems have maintenance period guidelines as follows:

  • Continuous/instantaneous flow: annual service
  • Electric/gas storage: every 5 years
  • Heat pump
  • Solar: every 5 years

Depending on your system’s operation, you will need to keep an eye on its sacrificial anode and TPR valves.

The longevity of your hot water system is highly dependent on a mechanism named the sacrificial node. A key facet of your system, the anode is a metal rod constructed from aluminium or magnesium, and coated in zinc. Found hanging down inside your hot water tank, it attracts impurities and minerals in the channeling water which can potentially cause rusting and/or deterioration.

Hot water maintenance is simplified if the sacrificial anode is replaced often enough. Pure Plumbing Professionals advise your sacrificial anode be replaced every 5 years at the least. Not doing so is a common cause of hot water system failure.

Temperature and pressure relief valves (TPR) are fitted to hot water tanks as a secondary safety measure. They’re designed to relieve pressure increases due to the expansion of water in the system’s heating cycle. Automatically venting hot water if the temperature and/or pressure in the tank gets too great, the TPR is essential to hot water systems.

TPR valves require biannual checkups, and fortunately it can perform them by yourself. The process goes as follows - beware of hot water and wear protective gloves and shoes if possible:

  • Locate the TPR valve. It is usually located on the top or side of the heater. Assure it’s unobstructed.
  • Lift the handle gently. As you do so, hot water should flow from the outlet pipe.
  • After doing this, close off the valve carefully.

If the valve is stuck and won’t move, doesn’t release water, or fails to turn off, it’s a sure sign that it needs replacing urgently.

Signs that your hot water system needs servicing

As the owner if a hot water system, it’s a given responsibility that you have it serviced regularly. Occasionally between services, hot water systems can suddenly stop functioning as they should be.

Common symptoms of a dysfunctional hot water system are:

  • Consistently fickle temperatures
  • Continuous changes in water pressure
  • Leakage of water out of the hot water system
  • Pilot light issues (not working or regularly turning off)
  • Rumbling sounds coming from the system
  • Presence of sediment in water

Refer to your water heater manual for specific brand and model advice.

Book your next hot water system service with our Sydney plumbing team on (02) 9191 7374 or complete our booking request form today.

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  • Cassandra whitfield from
    Services: Blocked Drains

    Just a note to acknowledge the amazing service provided to us recently by Jeremy and his team. Following on from the unfortunate experience of a blocked sewerage pipe we were informed by another company that we required a boundary trap replacement and, accordingly, were provided with a quote of i...

  • Graeme jones from
    Services: Blocked Drains, Services: Emergency Plumber

    Was not having a Good Friday with a seriously blocked drain problem. Called Pure Plumbing and extremely pleased with the service provided. In the first instance the public holiday call out fee was much more reasonable than others we had called. The plumber arrived within an hour - and even called...

  • Greg hill from
    Services: Plumber, Services: Hot Water

    Thank you for your fast service fixing our leaking shower taps.

  • Gregg from
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    Perfect. Thank you once again for all of your great work. The attention to details and quality of craftsmanship shows in your work. I’m truly grateful that you guys are my plumbing team.

  • Heather from
    Services: Plumber

    Hi Jerram A massive thank you for sending Michael to fix our toilet and main bathroom taps - it is a huge change to have working plumbing!!! Can’t thank you guys enough. Have a great day Heather 😊

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