In this article, we look at how long hot water systems last, and the various factors that can affect their longevity. 

When winter creeps around, the importance of a functional hot water system in our homes becomes evident – no one likes a cold shower, especially after an already chilly day! Yet we usually forget about our hot water system until it stops working (and yes, hot water systems do need servicing). 

So just how long do our trusted hot water systems last, and how can we prolong their life? Let’s dive in and explore these pressing concerns.

DCM Plumbing is the best plumber on the Gold Coast. We are available 24/7 for all your plumbing needs. With over 900 5* Google reviews and 35 years of experience, we are known as the best for a reason. Want some help with your hot water system? Need some leak detection? We can help.

So, Just How Long Does a Hot Water System Last?

The longevity of a hot water system is determined by several factors, including the quality, materials used, type of system, usage, and water quality. That being said, a typical hot water system should last roughly 7 to 15 years (a hot water system service can help determine what condition yours is in and whether you might need a replacement). 

For tankless or instantaneous/continuous flow hot water systems, the lifespan can be a few years longer. Higher-quality systems, which are also often pricier, tend to last longer, primarily due to more durable components that resist corrosion, a common cause of system failure. Let’s look more closely at some of the factors that influence how long a water system lasts. 


The material of the water tank significantly impacts its lifespan. Copper tanks in low-pressure gravity-fed systems can last up to 25 years or more, glass or enamel-lined tanks about 5 to 10 years, and stainless steel tanks fall in the range of 8 to 12 years. 

The Types

The type of hot water system also plays a crucial role. Storage hot water systems typically have a shorter lifespan due to continual water storage that causes tank corrosion. Conversely, instant hot water systems generally last longer due to their simple mechanism and lack of water storage. Check out our blog on the different types of hot water systems to find out more!

Gas vs Electric

On average, electric hot water systems tend to last between 10 and 15 years, while gas systems have a slightly shorter lifespan, averaging between 8 and 12 years. These estimates take into account not only the longevity of the tank but also the wear and tear on the system’s heating components.


Solar hot water systems can last 10+ years (up to 20 with proper maintenance), making them economical in the long run (but expensive to install at first). 

Heat Pumps

Heat pump systems usually have a lifespan of approximately 10-15 years if maintained well. Combined with their higher energy efficiency, they are also an economical choice in the long run despite higher upfront costs. 


The usage and the water quality processed by the system can also affect its lifespan. More frequent use strains the system components, potentially shortening the system’s life. Additionally, the presence of ‘hard water’ – water with higher mineral content – can expedite corrosion and thereby reduce the system’s lifespan. Regular maintenance can help counteract the effects of hard water and potentially extend the system’s life.

Keep Your Water Hot this Winter with DCM Plumbing

Understanding the lifespan of your hot water system is an essential part of home maintenance, and the good news is that there are steps you can take to extend it. The materials, the type of system, and how it’s used, along with the water quality, all play a role in how long your hot water system will last. Regular maintenance is key to ensuring the longevity of your system and catching any potential problems early.

Remember, at DCM Plumbing, we’re always here to assist with all your hot water system needs. From helping you choose the right system for your home to providing regular servicing, we’re just a call away. Our 35 years of experience and our reputation as the best plumber on the Gold Coast will keep your hot showers running, especially during those colder months. Let us help you ensure that your hot water system serves you well for years to come.