Oh no! The hot water ran out for the shower, sinks and the washing machine! What now? Here are some troubleshooting tips to get that hot water flowing again as soon as possible.
Firstly, the problem is probably with your hot water system. Once you confirm your hot water system is big enough for your household, consider these tips:
Before anything else, bump up the temperature on the thermostat. A system trying to run below 60C or so risks a hot water deficit. Then, in half to three-quarters of an hour, expect the hot water back. If you find your hot water tank is on the highest temperature possible, and the water in the tank is hot but still no hot water you could have a faulty tempering valve.
Tempering valve’s are a safety device installed on hot water systems to prevent scolding water temperatures. The temperature should be set to 50 degrees but over time the device can fail, causing the valve to limit the hot water flow. This means the temperature can slowly decrease resulting in cold water. Tempering valves can either be repaired or replaced by a licensed plumber.
If the pilot light is out from a downdraft or breeze, relight it following the instructions affixed on the unit. Sometimes you might need to call us to relight it. If you smell gas, get out of the house immediately and call the gas company here in Perth!
If you successfully relight the pilot light, but the flame goes out once you release the control knob, the thermocouple could be the problem. This safety device shuts off gas flow when it senses the pilot light is out. The tip of the copper tube should align with the pilot light flame. When it is out of alignment, it needs an adjustment or replacement. Thermocouples are required to be replaced by a licenced tradesman, call the team at Ember Plumbing and Gas if you suspect your hot water system has a faulty thermocouple.
If your pilot light flame burns yellow instead of blue, this is a gas-to-air ratio issue. Note that yellow flames may be the boiler releasing carbon monoxide, a colourless, odourless, toxic gas. Check for drafts that might cause the inefficient burn, and close off the breeze. If the pilot does not return to a crisp, blue flame, call us to check the unit.
In the meantime, watch for signs of carbon monoxide poisoning like dizziness, nausea, or faintness. And immediately leave the house to seek medical assistance.
If you neither see the pilot light nor smell gas, check the fuel source. Check if the gas valve is open look for kinks in the line. If nothing improves, check with the gas company to be sure there is no interruption of service. If the gas company says you should have gas, contact us.
Just like your computer, turn it off for a few minutes and then back on. Check after half an hour. If you still have no hot water, turn the unit off. Electrocution could be fatal, so if in doubt, call us, your Perth plumber.
Flip the dedicated breaker off, then wait for 20 seconds. Flip it back on. If it does not stay on call a professional electrician to replace the breaker.
Call your Perth plumber – Ember Plumbing.
To be safe and deal with the technical aspects of hot water system repairs, it is best to work with qualified professionals.