Winter is well and truly here, with the first true cold snap of 2019 hitting last week.
And we all know what that means: time to retreat indoors, crank up your heater and break out those thick coats and parkas that have been sitting idle for several months.
Of course, winter isn’t without its perks – including warming up with an extra hot shower or bath.
There’s just one problem: what happens when your hot water heater isn’t up to snuff?
It’s probably the worst possible thing that could happen as we reach mid-May; the official start of winter is mere weeks away!
And unfortunately, these problems are also much more common than you might think!
Today, our hot water plumber in Eltham explain the “how” and the “why”.
Do you need hot water repairs? Best prepare for winter by organising a service today! Call H2-Pro’s team of qualified plumbers, delivering domestic and emergency plumbing services to Eltham, Doncaster, and surrounds.
Call us anytime: (03) 9844 1444.
The usual suspects: why you aren’t getting any hot water
If we’re going to start talking about problems with your hot water system, we might as well start with the most obvious one!
It’s been a long, cold day. The first thing you do when you get home is throw off your shoes and start running the hot water. You stand there, waiting for the showerhead or faucet to warm up. You wait… and wait… and wait…
Sometimes, it’s a case of family members or housemates taking all the hot water and not leaving enough for you.
In others however, it could signal a problem with your water heater – one that requires intervention from your Eltham plumber!
The heating elements are broken or worn-out
The typical hot water system is a tank-storage system, and functions similarly to an oversized kettle.
The water inside is warmed up by heating elements – usually electric coils or gas burners.
As such, it should come as no surprise that these heating elements within often suffer from wear-and-tear.
Throughout the day, your system will be constantly heating up fresh “batches” of cold water and keeping its current tank at a high temperature.
Needless to say, this puts a lot of strain on the heating elements in your hot water system, and can contribute to wear-and-tear.
Problems with your energy supply
As we’ve established, your hot water system relies on electric coils and gas burners.
As such, these are two of the biggest culprits when it comes to hot water systems that don’t provide hot water.
However, they aren’t the only ones – problems with your energy are another common issue.
Say you live in an older home with an electric water heater (not unlikely, given the age of certain homes in Melbourne’s north-east).
Their electrical circuits weren’t designed for today’s energy-usage in mind – your hot water system might be enough to push it over the edge.
In other cases, your gas supply valve might not be at a high-enough gas pressure. It could be a valve is faulty, or worst-case, a gas leak.
Faulty tempering valves
Tempering valves are an underappreciated plumbing invention. It’s thanks to these devices that we’re able to enjoy hot water without accidentally scalding or burning ourselves!
These systems work by mixing the water from your hot water system (which in most cases is too hot to drink or wash with) with cold water until it reaches a safe temperature, at which point it’s piped to your taps.
Like all mechanical devices, however, these valves are not immune from failure. Problems with these valves can lead to water coming out at lower temperatures, or worse, not coming out at all!
You’ve got a faulty thermostat
Most tank heaters keep a reservoir of hot water on standby, ready for (near) instant use whenever you turn the tap.
The key to maintaining that reservoir? A thermostat.
Thermostats help water heaters regulate the temperature in your water heater’s tank. Needless to say, a problem with this thermostat can mean that your hot water isn’t.
If the thermostat is off, you might be left with water that’s too hot (a major problem in itself) or ice-cold.
Other hot water problems
Do you see water running down the side of your tank? Is your hot water system sitting in a puddle of water?
If so, chances are you’ve sprung a leak!
In many cases, a leak is the result of an unexpected burst – in other cases however, it could signify that the pressure in your hot water system is higher than safe levels, causing a vital component to suffer damage, or resulting in water literally boiling over.
Either way, this is a potential safety hazard, which requires an immediate call to your local emergency plumber for hot water repairs.
Your system has died of old age
No hot water system is invincible. While most systems are rated to last 10 years or more, constant usage takes its toll.
Sometimes, the issue isn’t a malfunction with any one particular component or part.
Instead, your system has simply reached the end of its useful life, and ceases to work altogether.
No hot water repairs or upgrades can help in this case – when this happens, your only course of action is to have it replaced altogether.
If you want to avoid being without hot water, we strongly recommend getting your hot water system checked once it starts approaching the end of its useful life.
Your hot water plumber in Eltham can give you an idea of how much longer your system will last. If necessary, we’ll schedule an appointment to get a replacement system installed.
The importance of regular inspections
It’s simple: how many of us get our hot water system inspected on a regular basis?
For most of us, our hot water systems are out of sight, out of mind – as long as its working, we don’t really think too much about them.
Unfortunately, this means that most systems can go for years without an inspection from a professional plumber.
As a result, many water heaters in north-east Melbourne can present with completely avoidable problems.
Hot water systems are complex devices. What’s more, hot water isn’t something to take lightly – hot water puts a lot of pressure on your typical water heater!
That’s why regular hot water inspections are so important. Our hot water plumbers in Eltham see far too many water heaters that suffer from issues that could have been identified – and fixed – years ago.
Fix hot water problems by calling your local plumber in Eltham
Landed yourself in hot water? Don’t worry – you don’t need to go cold this winter, so long as you call a hot water plumber in Eltham!
If you run into hot water problems and live in north-east Melbourne, you need to call H2-Pro.
We fix much more than leaky taps and blocked toilets – our plumbers are also fully-qualified to inspect, maintain and install hot water systems.
And unlike other plumbers, we’re strictly local. We live and work in north-east Melbourne, meaning we can get to you faster – exactly what you want when your hot water gives out in the middle of winter!