It’s a fact of life that for most people their hot water system is pretty much taken for granted until such time that it isn’t working and indeed there’s nothing worse than diving into the shower first thing in the morning only to find that you have no hot water. Common hot water problems can be prevented or fixed before they become more serious, reducing the stress and inconvenience to your household.
We thought that we’d use this blog to give our readers a few tips to help them look out for signs that their hot water system may need a service inspection. Prevention is always better than cure and by recognising these simple signs, you can address your hot water problems sooner than later, and avoid any nasty surprises.
Many homeowners neglect to regularly service their hot water system, only calling on their local plumber in the event of a plumbing emergency. However, simply by having their system inspected on a regular basis, not only will it confirm that it is working efficiently and performing at its optimum level, but it will also extend its working life by being more efficient, meaning that any repair work can be carried out before a crisis occurs.
Signs Of Hot Water Problems
There are tell tale signs of hot water system problems. Here are 12 signs your hot water system need attention:
- The water flowing from your taps is rusty brown in colour
- The water has sediment in it and looks muddy
- There are strange popping and crackling noises coming from the hot water system
- You hear water hammer from pipes when turning hot taps on or off
- The pilot light has gone out yet again, and this happens regularly
- The hot water tastes metallic and has a strange smell
- You seem to be getting less hot water
- Water is leaking out of the system
- The water temperature often fluctuates
- Your hot water pressure is low
- The level of water pressure isn’t constant
- You often run right out of hot water
At Gold Coast Plumbing Experts we encourage our customers to put in place regular service checks which will save them money in the long run. What’s more we can tailor a plan to their particular budget and circumstances.
Causes Of Hot Water Problems
A regular service can spot minor problems and perform hot water system repairs before they lead to your system failing completely. Some of the problems that we uncover during service checks include temperature settings which are set too high, therefore increasing the running costs; and excessive water pressure, which puts additional stress on the cylinder and reduces the system’s life. Other common problems include
- incorrect gas pressure settings
- blocked filters and shower restrictors
- blocked strainers which cause issues with the flow rate
- leaking valves
- power outages
- faulty thermocouples
To maintain your hot water system, the two most important considerations are the sacrificial anode and the temperature and pressure release valve or TPR for short.
What is a sacrificial anode?
The sacrificial anode is what prevents your hot water tank from rusting and as a rule of thumb should be replaced every 5 years. They are basically metal rods attached to the top of the storage tank which react with corrosive materials in the tank, ‘sacrificing itself to prevent the tank from rusting. It’s too dangerous a job for a homeowner to attempt themselves so they should always call a plumber.
What is a temperature and pressure release valve (TPR)?
TPR valves maintain pressure and prevent your heater from exploding. The TPR valve opens to release the pressure and avoid a dangerous situation. To test a TPR valve simply lift it and listen for gurgling as water is released into the drain tube. A faulty TPR valve may leak or become blocked. Being such a critical component, replacing a faulty TPR valve is a job best carried out by your plumber.
If your hot water heating system hasn’t been serviced for a while then you could be looking at replacing it sooner than you would like. Why not call Gold Coast Plumbing Experts to arrange for an inspection, if only for your own peace of mind. Getting in touch is easy by calling us direct on 1300 600 632 or filling in our contact form.