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It is important not to ignore any signs you have of a leaking hot water system. With a hot water system, even the smallest of leaks can quickly develop into larger and more serious ones. Corrosion is sometimes the reason for a leak and that only worsens over time. While the average warranty for a hot water system is around five to seven years, the lifespan is typically longer, around ten to twelve years. If you do not know how old your system is check for the manufacturer’s plate and on it there should be the date for when it was manufactured. It might have a plastic cover over it. When you know how old your system is you can have a better idea of potential problems developing.

1. First, you need to identify the leak

Before calling in an expert service it helps to have some information about the problem and to identify the leak and where it is coming from. Whether the leak is from the top or if you have a hot water system leaking from the bottom. It might even be leaking from the pressure relief valve (PRV). If the leak is coming from piping close to the system that is a different plumbing problem completely. If the hot water system is leaking from the PRV,  it is not something to worry about if it is occasional, if it is more than that, then this is an issue to look at.

A hot water system leaking does not necessarily mean the system needs replacing. First, find that relief valve and lift the lever up 3 or 4 times to clear possible blockages. This might fix it then and there. If the leak continues then the valve needs replacing. This is not expensive and can add a good amount of lifespan to the system. It also reduces the water you are wasting. If you are dealing with a solar-powered system or an electric one, turn off the power to the hot water heater.

2. Next turn off the water

Next, you will turn off the water, whatever type of hot water system you have. There should be a small level valve or tap on pipework that enters the bottom of the system to turn. If you cannot see it, turn off the mains usually found at the front or side of a home, or in an apartment under the kitchen sink or laundry tub. When the hot water system leaking from release valve has the water turned off you will have no water anywhere so fill a bucket, your bathtub and your kettle!

3. Decide on whether to repair the problem or replace the system

Depending on the severity of the leak it makes sense at this point to have a hot water plumbing expert take over. People sometimes mess around with their heater trying to save money and end up making it worse. Or they use a quick fix and that works in the short term but leads to larger problems in the long term.

With a trusted professional, they can help you fix any hot water problems you may encounter and can help you better decide with their advice on whether the heater needs replacing or repairs are possible. Often when people have a leaking hot water system and it needs replacing they will get the same unit again. But consider whether this is the best time to make an upgrade. You might want to get something energy efficient, water efficient or something more suited to your hot water needs. What you had put in 10 years ago is not the best anymore. Things are changing all the time.

Using a plumbing expert

Make sure you find a reliable and reputable local Gold Coast plumbing company with good customer service, good reviews, and a good amount of experience.

Make sure if you have gas rather than electric, or solar, that the plumber you choose has training and licences to work on it. A plumber must have gas fitting qualifications to work on gas systems.

Not all plumbers are licenced to connect and disconnect electric hot water systems. Whether your hot water system leaking from the top, bottom or elsewhere a good plumber can help get it fixed with fast, compliant work.