If your hot water system has stopped working, you may want to test things out for yourself to see if there is an obvious problem or a quick fix to the issue. In this post, we give you some of the most common reasons your HWS is no longer working, and the best guidance to deal with these matters in the right way.
#1 A Faulty Tempering Valve (storage hot water systems)
A tempering valve is a safety valve to prevent scalding/burns by blending hot water and cold water to a preset temperature (generally 50 degrees). Over time the valve can become faulty allowing more cold water into the hot water pipes than cold. The tempering valve can be tested by holding open the hot relief pipe (top valve) and checking the water temperature, if the water comes out of this valve hot and the water at your taps are cold, this indicates you have a faulty tempering valve (call a licensed plumber to replace the valve). If the water is cold you have another faulty with your hot water system.
#2 An Electronic Failure or Fault (electric hot water systems)
A relatively typical reason for a HWS to stop working is due to a blown fuse. It’s something that takes no time at all to check, and if found to be the fault, it’s another easy fix. It’s always worth a quick check to see if this has been accidentally turned off or if a switch has tripped; Just take a look at the switchboard in your property, and it will be apparent if this is the case. You will usually find the hot water system switch tagged by a ‘hot water’ or ‘HWS’ label.
If the switch is off, and you are certain that nobody has done this manually, then you might want to consider getting a licensed electrician out to test the circuit board to avoid any danger. If the switch is on, then a fuse could have blown. The remedy is the same as above; call a professional and avoid any risk of faulty electrics.
#3 A Leak is Present (how to check for a water leak)
It’s not all that uncommon for there to be a leak in the hot water system tank or in the hot water supply pipes that surround it. If this is the case, it could be the reason for the limited hot water as the tank can be being drained due to the water leak. It will need a professional to fix, Calling a local plumber is the only way you can truly find out the extent of the damage and find out what’s needed to put things right.
Please note: If you notice a lot of water around your HWS, then you should immediately switch this off at the switchboard for electric hot water systems or the gas meter for gas hot water systems.
#4 Your HWS is Old
This could be something you’ve been expecting for a while now, but you’d hoped it might last just a little bit longer. Old appliances, sometimes, can just stop working out of the blue. With the average household appliance expected to last between 10-15 years at most, you should expect to see a noticeable decrease in performance before it breaks down completely. If this is the first time something has gone wrong, there is always a chance it could be repaired. However, it could be the start of a succession of failures that will just cost you time and money. If the upfront cost of buying a new hot water system is of concern, then there are plenty of affordable solutions now on offer. When you weigh up the cost of having to make repairs and the reduced efficiency of the hot water system, it might make more financial sense to replace your HWS now.
Speaking with a local Perth plumbing company about your current hot water system is your first port of call. They can offer practical advice and provide you with an outlook for your current hot water system, along with a cost to replace it.
If you have concerns about the cost of a new hot water system, then the team at Ember Plumbing and Gas have now partnered with ZIP and offer a buy now pay later plumbing service.
#5 Issues with The Heating Elements
The majority of hot water systems we see in Perth are cylindrical tanks that are insulated, and which use a number of elements in order to keep the water heated. They work in a similar way to the elements in an oven or a kettle. If the hot water is used, the tank gets refilled, and the elements will reheat the new water.
So, if there is a problem with a faulty or broken element in your HWS, then your system will not be able to heat the water up properly. This is another instance where you will need to call a professional plumber.
If you have started to experience issues with your hot water system, and you suspect there is a problem or fault, then it’s important to contact us as soon as possible. We can help you quickly establish whether the fault requires urgent attention from a plumber or whether you might need to contact an electrician.
Whatever the issue with your hot water system, you can depend on the team at Ember to help you put things right.