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Vulcan Freeloader 135L (648135)

Vulcan Freeloader 135L (648135)

3.7 from 10 reviews

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


Review distribution

5 star
4 star
3 star
2 star
1 star

Peter Kothstein

Peter KothsteinPerth, WA

  • 2 reviews

Cheap Hot Water


Purchased for $820.00.

Davo 767

Davo 767Southwest, VIC

  • 8 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
  • Verified purchase

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 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

  • 11 reviews

Inferior Trash


See all Vulcan Freeloader Gas Hot Water System reviews

Questions & Answers

Tony C

Tony Casked

How do I ensure that no hot water leaks when I turn off the cold water main to replace washers in a leaking hot water tap in the shower recess? The water heater is a Vulcan freeloader Gas 648135 NO. Reply to [email removed]

Regards. Tony. I rent

No answers



My Vulcan 135lt gas mains pressure HWS shuts off the flame before the water is really hot. I suspect it needs a new thermostat. Can I replace it myself?

2 answers

The 'Servicing' of storage HWS Thermostats etc. should only be done by Licensed Plumbers. It is not for the Home Hobbyist or D.I.Y handyman. There are rubber diapragms which may need replacing.


Thank you for your input Geoff



Does the Vulcan 4star use a gas bottle or through the normal gas that the oven would use? we have just moved into a new home and really need a shower.never used gas hot water before and can't even smell gas!!hope you can help

2 answers

Please check with a licensed plumber but I think for us, I don't see any gas bottle so I assume it is through the normal gas that the oven would use. You might also want to phone Vulcan, as they would probably be able to confirm.

Niki J
Niki J

Hi there. As 157b said, you should go to a licensed gas plumber, but our Vulcan cylinder ran on gas and we only had gas bottles (no plumbed gas to our suburb). Unfortunately, although the cook top used gas (and we loved it!), the actual oven was electric. All our hot water ran off the gas and was brilliant. Only once ran out in about 13 years and that was with lots of visitors. Stick with it if you can!

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CategoryGas Storage
Release dateAug 2008
Compare all Vulcan Freeloader Gas Hot Water System

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