Are you having a hard time getting hot water at the right pressure? There’s nothing worse than a low-pressure shower to jolt you awake in the morning. On the other hand, if the pressure is too high, it can cause damage, injury, and sky-high water bills.
Many homeowners have difficulty with their hot water system pressure, so how do you get it just right? In this blog post, we’ll discuss some common warning signs indicating your hot water system needs to be replaced and offer tips on troubleshooting your current system. Additionally, we’ll provide tips on keeping your hot water pressure perfectly in check.
So, if you’re experiencing less than ideal water pressure, keep reading! You’ll find the information you need to get your system up and running properly before you have to call in the hot water replacement professionals.
Symptoms of low hot water pressure
Hot water pressure can often be in flux, dropping or rising suddenly; however, you shouldn’t have to deal with water that is continuously getting lower in pressure over time. An ideal amount of pressure is achieved when the same level of hot and cold water passes through the tank simultaneously.
Continuously low hot water pressure can indicate a more significant plumbing problem either with your hot water tank or the home’s entire plumbing system.
Faulty tempering valve
The tempering valve ensures you aren’t scalded with hot water.
The tempering valve combines hot and cold water to create an optimum temperature. If faulty, malfunctioning, or old, it can cause a complete lack of hot water or a noticeable lack of pressure. However, this valve can be easily replaced in most systems.
Incorrect pressure regulator
Check the settings on your pressure regulator. If it is set correctly yet both supply lines have a weak output, it may need replacing. Otherwise, carefully adjust to increase the water pressure, but be mindful not to increase it too much.
Sediment and scale build-up
Accumulation of scale and sediment is a common issue in both electric and gas hot water systems, especially in areas with hard water.
The continuous use of your system leads to corrosion of some layers of the interior of the tank, which can chip off and find their way into the system’s pipes. If this happens to a newer tank, it can be flushed and cleaned, but in an older tank, this may be a sign that the system is ready for replacement.
Closed shut-off valve
A shut-off valve that has been partially closed can reduce the water flow significantly across the entire supply of the home. Open the shut-off valve completely to allow water to flow freely once more.
Symptoms of high hot water pressure
While high water pressure may not be as common or as talked about as low water pressure, it can be a problem that results in the need for expensive repairs and can even cause injury.
Some of the highest risk comes from the problem going so easily undetected. It is often not until the damage is done that people realise their water pressure is too high for their system to handle.
Unfortunately, unlike low water pressure, there isn’t a lot you can do to fix the problem DIY style. The cause is often found with the municipal water supplier or something outside your control, such as living near a high-pressure water main. Knowing what to look out for can give you a leg up on preventing injury and damage to your property.
If your faucets leak while other fixtures are being used, such as the bathroom tap dripping while you’re taking a shower, or if there is excess water spraying out at an angle when the tap is on, there could be too much pressure running through your pipes.
Water hammer is hard to miss, and it can be quite alarming with a loud banging sound coming from behind your walls. This can be a significant sign that your water pressure is too high or that something is wrong with your water system. Water hammer happens when a powerful flow of water is suddenly turned off, causing the water load to bang into the pipes.
This may be one of the most obvious signs that something is wrong with your pipes. Washing machines, dishwashers and water heaters can all spring a leak if the water pressure is too high, or they can wear out well before their expiration date due to the wear and tear of high water pressure.
If you suspect your water pressure is too high, a plumber will be able to diagnose the issue and suggest the best course of action. If you’re in an older home, your hot water system may not have a pressure regulator. In this case, you can have one installed, which may solve your problems. Otherwise, it may be time for a new one if your pressure regulator is between 7-12 years old.
3 Tips for keeping your hot water pressure in check
Good hot water pressure begins with good hot water system maintenance. Many people don’t even know what type of system they have until something goes wrong and they’re forced to search for the manual. Some simple TLC for your hot water system can go a long way in ensuring its long and healthy function.
1. Understand your hot water system
First, figure out what type of system you have, the brand, make, and model, and if you’ve just purchased your home – try to find out when it was installed. Most hot water systems have a lifespan of up to 10 years, so if yours is older, it might be worth looking at a replacement to lower your water bills and improve your water output overall.
2. Test your hot water pressure
Once you’re comfortable with the type of system you have, test the temperature and pressure relief valve to maintain the right level of water pressure inside the tank. If this pressure fluctuates too much, it can unnecessarily strain the interior elements of the tank and weaken the structure over time.
If the temperature relief valve is constantly running or leaking, this could be a warning sign that it is beginning to fail. The temperature & pressure relief valve will need to be replaced every two years or so and can be done during your plumber’s annual hot water system check-up.
3. Call your plumber
Your plumber will likely replace the sacrificial anode, which is responsible for preventing rust in your tank. Without regular maintenance, the elements of your hot water tank won’t be able to function to their full capacity, putting your system, water quality and pressure at risk.
If you’re overdue for a hot water system maintenance check, know your tank is reaching the end of its life expectancy, or simply want to talk about all things hot water pressure, we can help. Give us a call on 1300 256 904 or click here to get in touch.