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What to Check if Your Hot Water Service is Not Working Properly

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Hot water is essential to any Australian household, providing comfort and convenience for daily tasks like washing dishes, doing laundry, and taking showers. When your hot water is not working properly (or not functioning at all), it can lead to frustration and inconvenience for all household members.

Keep reading to learn more about the possible causes of hot water failure in residential households, the steps to diagnosing the issue, the repair options available, and maintenance tips for a consistent supply of hot water.

No Hot Water In The House: Common Problems & Causes

If you’re currently experiencing issues with your hot water system, we have provided a list of the most common hot water problems and their potential causes.

Not Enough Hot Water

Are you filling up a bath or your kitchen sink, and you’ve noticed that your water is nowhere near as hot as you expected it to be? A common issue that homeowners and tenants face is running out of hot water too quickly.

This could be due to an undersized tank, a malfunctioning thermostat, or a buildup of sediment in the tank that reduces its capacity to store hot water. According to Australian plumbing regulations, hot water should be delivered to your taps at an average temperature of 50°C.

Hot Water Tank or Plumbing Leaking

A leaky tank or pipes from your water heater can be indicative of a serious issue that may require attention as soon as possible. The culprit could be a faulty valve, a cracked tank, or a damaged pipe. If left untreated, a leaking hot water tank or pipe can cause significant water damage to your home. We recommend hiring professional help to fix the issue before it turns into a serious problem.

Low Water Pressure

Low water pressure can be caused by a range of issues, including a clogged shower head, a malfunctioning pressure relief valve, or a broken pipe. Low water pressure can also be a potential side effect of plumbing work being done within your household or your local area. This can make it difficult to take a comfortable shower or fill a bathtub or sink at an efficient rate.

The Water is Heating Up Too Slowly

If your hot water system is slow to heat up, several potential causes exist. It could be due to a malfunctioning heating element, a buildup of sediment (also known as scaling) in the tank, or a faulty thermostat. A slow-heating water system can be frustrating and may lead to a lack of hot water or slow hot water flowing when you need it most.

Solutions For Hot Water Not Working

You have a few options for fixing your hot water system problems, but always keep in mind that certain issues require professional services to remedy them. Otherwise, you run the risk of causing further damage to your water heater and being faced with an even bigger problem.

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Professional Repair Services

Hiring professional plumbing services to repair your hot water problems is a highly recommended and straightforward solution. A licensed and experienced professional can diagnose and solve your hot water system or plumbing issues.

Some causes for your water system not working correctly may be too dangerous to attempt to fix yourself. For this reason, we advise you to hire professional help to prevent further issues and ensure that your hot water system continues running safely, efficiently, and effectively.

DIY Repairs

Attempting to repair your hot water unit yourself is not recommended unless you are a licensed plumber or have experience with hot water systems. Certain systems can be dangerous to work with if you’re not trained adequately. A DIY fix can also void your warranty or potentially cause further damage to your hot water unit.

If the issue is relatively minor and you believe that you can fix the problem yourself, here are some tips to keep in mind:

  • Always turn off the power supply or gas source before attempting any repairs.
  • Follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully and use the correct tools and materials for the job.
  • Consider consulting online resources or tutorials, but be wary of unreliable or inaccurate information. Stick to verified sources like experienced plumbing services.
  • Wear protective clothing and equipment, such as gloves and safety goggles, to prevent injury.
  • If you encounter a problem that you are unsure how to fix or if the repair seems beyond your ability, stop and call a licensed plumber for assistance.

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Hot Water System Maintenance Tips

Regular Inspections and Cleaning

Performing regular inspections and cleanings of your hot water system is important to ensure its longevity and efficiency. It’s recommended that you get your hot water unit inspected every 6-12 months.

The system’s components, such as the storage tank and heating element, should also be cleaned to remove sediment buildup, which can reduce the unit’s efficiency and shorten its lifespan.

Flushing The Tank

Flushing the tank of your hot water unit is an important maintenance task that can extend your system’s longevity. Either a licensed plumber or you can flush the tank by draining the water from the system and flushing the tank with fresh water.

This should be done at least once a year to remove sediment buildup and debris that can accumulate over time, which can reduce the amount of hot water the tank can hold or keep the system from working properly.

Testing The Water Pressure

Testing the water pressure of your hot water system is a great way to identify any issues that may be affecting the unit’s performance. We recommend testing the water pressure regularly, once a year for functioning systems or more often if you notice instances of high or low pressure.

High pressure can cause damage to the system’s components over time, while low pressure can result in reduced efficiency or inadequate hot water supply. Fixes include installing a pressure-reducing valve or booster pump or adjusting the system’s pressure regulator.

Replacement of Hot Water System

If your hot water system has stopped working altogether or is quite old, replacing it may be the best solution. The average lifespan for electric hot water systems is between 10-15 years, whereas gas water heaters typically last for 8-12 years. Solar hot systems tend to function for 10-20 years.

When choosing a new hot water system, you should consider factors such as your household’s typical hot water needs, desired energy consumption, and solar or natural gas availability in your area. Most importantly, you should hire licensed plumbing services for the installation to ensure that your new system complies with your state’s plumbing standards.

Contact a Professional

When your hot water system malfunctions, it can be an extremely frustrating experience. Depending on the specific problem that you’re facing, there are a few potential causes and ways to remedy the situation.

If you’re looking to replace or repair your hot water unit, we recommend consulting with professionals before making a decision. If the problem is significant, it’s important to hire a professional plumber as soon as possible to prevent long-term damage.

Whether it’s time for a replacement or you’ve got a hot water emergency, contact us for all your professional plumbing help.

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