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Vulcan Freeloader Gas Hot Water System

Vulcan Freeloader Gas Hot Water System

135L (648135), 170L (648170)
3.8 from 24 reviews

See the Best Gas Hot Water Storage Systems in 2019 as rated by Australians on ProductReview.com.au.


  • Incentivised Review Yes (0%) · No (100%)


GRAEMESouthwest, VIC

Lack of quality


Lasted just on 5 years who can afford $2000 hot water system replacement every 5 years
Will be telling everyone lack of longevity with Vulcan product - lack of respect for consumers

Peter Kothstein

Peter KothsteinPerth, WA

  • 2 reviews

Cheap Hot Water


Purchased for $820.00.

Davo 767

Davo 767Southwest, VIC

  • 9 reviews

Never stopped working.


My HWS started dripping rusty water and thought "that's it" time for a new HWS. Discovered from documents left by previous house owner that my HWS was over 18 years old and not once did it falter. Installed a new one the same as before Vulcan 135L and am delighted with it. Have had to turn the temp control down to 4 (old one previously 6-7) as the water was too hot. Great feature of "Vacation" setting where you can turn the system off and leave the pilot light on and it doesn't keep reheating whilst you are away. When you return home, the reheat time for the tank is about 45 mins. My plumber Nigel says they are the best and installs around 5-8 per week. Thank you Vulcan for a great & reliable product.

Date PurchasedAug 2018


Vulcan Freeloader Lasted 23 Years


Our Vulcan Freeloader 260 has finally died after serving us loyally for 23 years without a problem (july 1995). Other than regularly releasing the relief valve, no maintenance carried out during its life. Provided reliable service to family of 4 and its daily demands. Certainly cant complain about its performance and longevity of service.

Date PurchasedJul 1998


RobbieGippsland, VIC

  • 24 reviews
  • 1 like

Excellent for price


Had this model installed in 2014 and it has been an excellent and efficient water heater. On half setting and my total 2 monthly gas bill is only around $80 to $90 to run it and my gas cooking as well. I will update the post if something goes wrong but as for the performance and efficiency I am very happy with it.

Date PurchasedSep 2014



  • 2 reviews

Vulcan Freeloader Hot Water Service


I recently downsized to a unit and the hot water system there kept going out and I was forever relighting the pilot. Although it was only 4 years old I decided to replace it with a Vulcan Freeloader as I have never had any problems with them in the past. I have had 18 years out of my last one with only 1 anode replacement and my hot water was always hot. In summer I always turn the temp down, I think it is senseless having water so hot that you have to use that much cold to use it, apart from using less gas and water I feel that it saves wear and tear on the unit.

Date PurchasedJul 2017

Vulcan freeloader 170 swap with old one no pipe work required. 1 hr job . total price $1700 dollars


Old model lasted 13 years without anode change out. Went with storage system again for extra heat up to 70 degC - continuous gas heaters cheeper to run but was told only good for 50 deg C . Not hot enough for washing greasy dishers. I hope this new model last as long as the old. As it cost twice as much i am hoping it will last twice as long. Bunbury Hot Water and Gas - bunbury WA

Date PurchasedApr 2017

Twenty One Years Old and Still Going Strong!

Date PurchasedJan 1997



  • 4 reviews
  • 1 like

So far so great!!


Our Dux Sun Pro finally died.
Our plumber recommended the Vulcan. Had it for a few weeks and it's been excellent so far. it was a quick changeover for the plumber and the water has been beautifully hot and ever so reliable. Made by Rheem now but because it is badged as Vulcan at the Rheem factory it's s little less expensive.

Date PurchasedFeb 2017


Vulcan Tough? Not mine!


The Vulcan website blurb states that Vulcan is "tough and built with the best".
Well, not the one I have!
After only 2 1/2 years the pilot light went out and would not re-light. Called the plumber who installed it and it was a failed thermocouple. Very poor quality to fail after such a short time - and of course warranty on parts is only 12 months. From other reviews this seems a common problem. Our old hot water service lasted over 12 years. I wouldn't buy Vulcan again.

Date PurchasedJul 2014

Poor Vulcan Quality


I've had the product 2 years. Recently had the issue where the pilot light would not stay alight. Had to call Vulcan maintenance who installed a new thermocouple.
Website proudly displays "5 year warranty" but surprise....this only covers the cylinder.
Repair cost me $170. This is poor after just 2 years of use.
The maintenance guy said this was "very unusual" but reviews on this website indicate otherwise.



  • 2 reviews

Vulcan vs Vulcan Rheem


Our 2000 Vulcan 135 Freeloader has worked brilliantly. Now showing signs we need to have it replaced. Suggested to us were Rheem Stellar and Rheem Aquamax but I was unimpressed with reviews. Thought I should stick with what has worked well for us, namely Vulcan. Discovered that Vulcan has been bought out by Rheem. Interestingly, the reviews of Vulcan Freeloader have been excellent (as is my experience too), but only for people who have had them many, many years (as have I). I notice that the more recently-purchased reviews, presumably since having been bought out by Rheem, are not consistently positive. Could this be a coincidence?

Goodbye, farewell ...


After 20 grateful years, our Vulcan Freeloader 260 has finally given up the ghost. No pilot light that would or could be relit. The only issue a gas line one 2 years ago. I hope we have as much luck with the new one. Reviews sound rather debatable since Vulcan were bought out by Rheem...


MikeSydney Surrounds, NSW

  • 13 reviews

Inferior Trash




Vulcan gas hot water failed after only 3 years


The pilot light won't stay on plus Rheen can't respond for 4 days to fix it and want to charge $132 just to attend. This is a quality issue with the pilot light on newer Vulcan systems. Also I wonder if anyone working at Rheem would like to go without hot water for 4 days (tell my 4 daughters)! Totally unacceptable!!!!

Poor quality, pathetic service



  • 2 reviews
  • 1 like

All fixed!


As an update to my previous review. Had the pilot light serviced and now it is no longer blowing out daily. Still going strong!!! I love it!!!

1 comment

Now 2018 - still roaring away!


HassGreater Melbourne (Metropolitan), VIC

  • 2 reviews

13 months installed and now broken out of warranty


We have been in our brand new house for 13 months and now our Vulcan 135l water system is broken, I called the Vulcan Rheem service warranty line and spoke to a lady to find out I have to pay $132 just for them to come out! As it only has a 1 year warranty, Then I have to fork out for parts!!!!! I explained what the problem was (pilot light switching off every day) to the lady and asked what she might think is wrong with it, she was very unhelpful and just wanted to hang up, I work for a leading retail company and I will definitely NOT be recommending this product to anyone!!!!

Bad warranty service, broken in 13 months




  • 6 reviews



It is now 16.5 yrs old and had a 10 yr warranty. Still going strong but looking to replace as it must be nearly time to retire.
It always worked and we never had a problem
nothing to dislike



I don't see any reason to look to another product when this has served us so well. Price is very reasonable approx $950 for a 135L unit. $32/yr is fine by me.
Thanks Vulcan for making a great product.
Look forward to another thirty years.
Our Vulcan Freeloader 110L is about to celebrate it's 30th Birthday. Still going like a true champion, recently the pilot light is going out,slight water leak and rust is starting to take over. So its time for a new Vulcan. Extremely happy with quality and performance servicing a family of five. Highly recommended.
No cons for Vulcan Freeloader.
No problems to report.
My experience has been excellent.



  • 11 reviews



this was a good unit that served us well for almost 12 years.
the pilot light is at the base of the unit and if it went out for any reason you would only find out about it when the water ran cold.
towards the end of its life it tried to let us know that there was a problem. whenever you turned the hot water on it would run rusty for a few seconds. after about a month of this, on a saturday evening, it just started leaking hot water everywhere!!
lucky it was an outdoor unit.
these units came with either a 7 or a 10 year warranty and I think ours was a 7 year warranty.
worked well for 12 years.
gas pilot cut out once or twice and left us with cold water.

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Questions & Answers

Mal P.

Mal P.asked

To get hot water does the pilot light stay on

No answers

Irish Kev

Irish Kevasked

Pilot light on but no hot water.
I checked the relief valve and water coming out of pipe is hot.

No answers

mark delmege

mark delmegeasked

Hi, can I/ should I flush out the tank and or replace the anode after 5 years? thanks

No answers

Get an answer from our members and Vulcan representatives

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