Hot water is a household luxury that we often take for granted until we don’t have it. Problems with your hot water system service can be frustrating and may require a new replacement hot water system service or simply just require maintenance or repairs from a specialist.
What is a hot water system?
A hot water system service will be found in every house and building in Australia. In its most basic form, a hot water system service is a unit that stores and heats water which is then pumped throughout the building’s plumbing system when the hot water tap is turned on. A hot water system service can also be instantaneous (continuous flow) where water is heated (not stored) only when required.
There are 4 main types of hot water system services:
- Electric storage hot water system services – An electric hot water system service heats water with an element in the bottom of the unit and stores it in an insulated tank, ready for use throughout the day. Electric hot water system services are the cheapest to buy but the most expensive to run.
- Gas hot water system services – A high efficiency gas hot water system service is one of the most economical types of water heaters, when operated on natural gas.
- Solar hot water system services– A solar hot water system service is more expensive to buy and install, but the running costs will be significantly lower.
- Heat-pump water heaters – A heat-pump water heater uses heat from the surrounding air to heat water in a storage tank. A heat-pump water heater uses much less electricity than an electric storage hot water system service, but are generally better suited to warmer climates
Components of a hot water system
Hot water system services are made up of several components.
- Tank – The tank of a hot water system service is made of heavy metal. This tank consists of a water protective liner which holds up to 227 litres of water. The exterior part of the tank is mounted with an insulating material such as polyurethane foam.
- Dip Tube – Water enters the hot water system service through this tube and then travels to the bottom of the tank where it’s heated.
- Shut-Off Valve – The shut-off valve can stop the flow of water into the hot water system service. This component is separated from the hot water system service and located outside.
- Heat-Out Pipe – The heat-out pipe is a very essential device of a hot water system service. This device allows hot water to exit from the water heater.
- Thermostat – A thermostat is a temperature-control device. It regulates the temperature automatically.
- Tempering valve – A tempering valve is a temperature activated 3-way mixing valve used to temper a hot water supply by mixing in cold water with the hot water, delivering reduced temperature water, decreased scalding risk and improved safety.
- Drain Valve – The drain valve is usually located near the bottom part of the exterior. This valve helps to empty the tank.
- Pressure Relief Valve – This device can keep and control the pressure inside the hot water system service safely.
- Sacrificial Anode Rod – This rod is generally suspended in the water tank to help prevent corrosion.
All components play a major role and work together to control and operate a hot water system service. They can be easily repaired and replaced. If any problem occurs with your hot water system service then you should opt for a hot water system service repairing expert.
How is a hot water system installed?
The installation process for a hot water system service depends on the type of system you are installing and the space you are installing it in. For example:
- A standard electric hot water system service generally only requires a ground level area to be placed.
- A solar hot water system service requires configuring the job according to the kind of roof you have.
- A solar hot water system service is usually a little more expensive to install because you need to install the tank and the solar panels, as well as the connections between the two.
- A gas hot water system service can be more or less difficult depending on whether you already have an accessible gas supply line.
Regardless of the type of hot water system service you choose, you can follow some simple installation tips that will help you save energy and money.
- Choose the size and type of hot water system service to meet your situation and needs, including family size, climate and roof type, in consultation with your hot water system service specialist.
For instantaneous systems, choose electronic ignition instead of a continuous pilot light to reduce gas consumption.
- Install your hot water system service close to the water outlets where you’ll use it, such as near the kitchen, bathroom and laundry. Keeping the length of connecting pipes as short as possible will minimise heat loss.
- Insulate all pipes using closed-cell rubber to reduce heat loss.
- Ensure all plumbing is carried out by a licensed plumber and request a certificate of compliance.
- Ensure all electrical work for the installation of electric heating elements and pumps is carried out by a registered electrical contractor and request a Certificate of Electrical Safety.
How to maintain a hot water system
It is important to conduct regular inspection and maintenance of your hot water system service as it is crucial for the health and comfort of you and your family.
Here are some maintenance steps you can take to help ensure your hot water system service is running efficiently.
- Regularly inspect your hot water system services for cracks or wearing. Look for cracks, wearing or water leakage. It only takes 5 minutes, but it can save you from wasting costly water and lets you deal with small problems before they get worse.
- Turn your hot water system service off if you’re going to be away for a while. Your hot water system service continues to heat water, even though you aren’t using it. If you’re going away for a few weeks or longer, turn it off. This extends the life of your hot water system service and will save you money in gas or electricity.
- Inspect the relief valve. Use the manual that came with your tank (or Google your system and find it online). The relief valve is designed to relieve excess pressure so it’s vital that it is working properly. Check this every 6 months.
- Be careful with gardening work around your system. If your hot water system service is located on a grass area next to your home, be careful when you’re doing garden maintenance so that you don’t damage the pipes feeding your system.
- Get yearly professional services. A professional will be able to pinpoint any potential issues before they get to be serious problems and will make sure your system is running as efficiently as possible
Common hot water system repairs
Here are a few common hot water system service problems:
- Water leak – If water is spraying or flooding from the hot water system service immediately shut off the water supply and call a plumber.
- Your hot water is cold – This could be a problem with your hot water system service’s circuit breaker. Take a look at your fuse box and switch the hot water breaker back on if it has tripped. Be sure to wait a while to give it a chance to heat up. If you have a gas hot water system service, then perhaps it’s simply a matter of replacing the gas bottle or calling up your gas supplier.
- Your hot water is too hot – If your hot water is too hot you might need to adjust the temperature dial on the front of the hot water system service, wait an hour and then check the temperature again at the tap. If this doesn’t change the temperature at all then there is a problem and you should contact a plumber to investigate.
- You have no water at all – Check the cold water as well to ensure it’s not a problem with your supply. If it’s just the hot water with no flow check near your hot water system service for an isolation valve. Not all installations will be fitted with one, but look for a red or yellow handle near the water intake. If it’s been switched off that might be all you need to do.
- Your hot water system service makes strange noises – Sounds can be caused simply by the expanding and contracting of metal parts. This is increased in older hot water units as mineral and hard water builds up on the inside of the tank. A plumber can help remove buildup by flushing the tank which will extend the life of your hot water system service. If you hear a boiling sound it can indicate dangerous overheating and pressure. In this case call an emergency plumber immediately.
- Faulty tempering valve – Problems with tempering valves can cause a variety of issues including complete loss of hot water supply, a lack of pressure or a reduced hot water temperature. If you suspect the tempering valve could be the problem, contact a plumber.
Hot water system services should only be repaired or replaced by a licensed plumber. If you are experiencing issues with your hot water system service, call a plumber.