Hot water systems are known for being reliable and lasting around 10-15 years. However, as with all household fixtures, your system may occasionally need repair or maintenance.
Early signs of hot water system failure
There’s nothing worse than waking up in the morning to find stone cold water because your hot water system has failed completely. Let’s take a look at some signs your hot water system may need repair before that point.
Hot water systems should be serviced every 5 years. If you suspect your system is over 5 years old, (most units have a sticker with installation date on the side) it’s worth requesting a professional inspection just to ensure everything is still working as it should.
Irregular water temperature
When you turn on a hot tap, the water should quickly warm to a consistent temperature. If the water temperature fluctuates during the flow, or only gets to lukewarm it’s time for some help.
In this situation, a professional clean or heating element replacement may be required. You should never adjust the temperature of your hot water system yourself.
Hot water runs out quickly
Most modern hot water systems are designed to constantly refresh hot water as it is used to supply busy households. Hot water running cold with normal use is a sign that the heating elements may need servicing.
If your hot water use has increased significantly you may be exceeding the capacity of your system and require an upgrade.
Check the outside and underneath of your tank. Use a torch if required, but do not insert your hands or any other objects into any part of the tank.
If your tank is leaking water, this is not only going to increase your water and utility bills, but means your tank needs professional care. Leaking can be a result of weakened walls, mineral build-up, or clogged drainage.
Hot water systems do make some noise, but they should be quiet and generally unobtrusive. If you notice your tank making a continual buzzing, loud pops, crackles or rumbling it is worth organising an inspection as soon as possible.
Hot water systems rarely burst, and you and your family are still safe, however a loud hot water service can indicate mineral build up, inefficient heating, or hot and cold water being mixed rapidly.
Signs of corrosion
Discoloured water, or a metallic or coppery taste in your mouth could indicate that the tank is experiencing internal corrosion and requires a professional repair.
External rust on the tank itself should also be inspected. It is normal for water to appear slightly hazy in the first few seconds after a tap is turned on as the water pressure stabilises but should very quickly run clear.
If the water discolouration or unpleasant taste occurs through cold tap usage, you should still speak with a plumbing professional.
Need Hot Water System Repairs? Contact TJM Plumbing
TJM Plumbing offers gas, electric and solar hot water system repairs, maintenance and installation to Lismore and the surrounding region.
If you’re wondering if a gas or electric hot water system is best, read our previous blog to determine the pros and cons of each.