Everything you should know about installing and maintaining your hot water heater
How annoying would it be to find out you can’t have a nice hot shower to unwind after a long day at work? Hot water issues occur more often than you think. So to best fix your problem we are going to break down all the issues you could have with your hot water system and show you how a qualified plumber like someone from Absolute Plumbing Solutions can help you.
The most common signs you need to fix your hot water system
Even if you are not a plumbing expert, there are some signs you can pay attention to that will tell you if you need to fix your hot water system. Some of them are:
1. No hot water
Having no hot water is an obvious indication of a problem. If you have a gas hot water system, no hot water could mean you have run out of gas. If you have an electrical hot water system, maybe the thermostat has a problem, or the heating element could be broken.
2. Leaks from the hot water tank
If your hot water tank is leaking this could indicate a number of problems.You should check first where the leak is coming from. If it’s from the tank itself you will need it replaced as it could cause a flood or you can end up with no water in the future. If the leak comes from a valve or pipe, you might be able to get that replaced.
3. Hot water frequently running out
If you are frequently running out of hot water mid-shower, you could be using more water than what your hot water tank can supply. This can indicate your hot water tank is not of an adequate size for your household. Frequently running out of hot water can also be caused by minerals accumulating inside your hot water tank. Damaged or broken parts in your hot water heater can also cause this.
4. High water bills
If you have noticed that recently your water bills are getting more and more expensive, there might be a leak on your hot water tank. This issue should be fixed as soon as possible as this could lead to flooding.
5. A noisy tank
A noisy tank usually means there is sediment build up in your heater. This sediment is very corrosive and can cause the heater to fail. You should contact a plumber to check your tank if you notice extra noise coming from it, as you may have to consider replacing the water heater. Unchecked sediment build up can create holes in your tank, leading to a leak.
Common hot water system problems
If you get home and realise you don’t have hot water there are a few things which might have gone wrong. There are slightly different things which could require checking, depending on what type of heating system you have. Get in touch with us immediately and we can provide guidance and a free quote.
Gas hot water systems
If you have a gas heating system and have no hot water at all, the main supply of gas to your home might be interrupted. If other equipment in your home that also uses gas such as your oven, gas barbecue or cooktop are also not working this may be the case. In this case it might be helpful to contact your gas company.
If you don’t have enough hot water or the water is changing temperature constantly, there are a few things that could be causing the problem.
- Heater location. The further away the system is, the longer it can take for the hot water to come through.
- The water flow rate. You need to have a high flow rate as it will ignite the pilot light in your heater. A low flow rate could indicate a sediment build up, a bent pipe or a general low water pressure.
- Your tank size. You should always consider how many people there are in your household when choosing the size of your tank. If you’re frequently running out of hot water this might mean your tank is too small.
- Thermostat setting. Maybe your thermostat isn’t set properly and you just need to adjust it. You can contact us for more help with this.
If you have an electrical hot water system that isn’t working, one of the items below could be the problem.
- The heating element could be broken. This happens when the heating element is either old or faulty, and will usually need to be replaced.
- Thermostat not working. If one of your thermostats is broken you could end up having cold or extremely hot water.
- Leak. You could have a leak in your tank or in the pipes.
- Worn out or damaged electrical parts. The system might have a switch or blown fuse that needs to be replaced.
- The hot water system is too old. Most hot water systems can last up to 10 years, so your system might need to be replaced.
How much does it cost to repair a hot water system?
There are a few different types of hot water systems including electrical, gas and solar-powered systems. The costs to repair your hot water system will depend on which type of system you have and what the issue is.
Some issues require a quick fix while more complex emergencies will cost more to repair. You should also take into consideration the possibility of having to replace the whole hot water system.
A ballpark figure for how much a basic repair to a hot water system costs in Sydney is between $150 – $250, with complex jobs costing more. If you need to replace your whole system, an average sized hot water system can cost approximately $1000 excluding installation costs. Solar hot water systems can cost significantly more to install.
Call or email us at Absolute Plumbing Solutions to get a more accurate quote.
Hot water installation: which is the best type for me?
One of the services we provide at Absolute Plumbing Solutions is installation of hot water systems for new and existing homes.
There are a few types of systems we install and they are:
Solar powered system
Solar hot water systems use solar panels to provide the necessary power. To get solar panels installed, first you should consider where you live and what type of home you have.
The biggest cost in your energy bill comes from hot water usage. That’s why solar panels in the long run can be a good investment, as you can save on your energy bill.
This hot water system is one of the most expensive to install and prices can vary from around $2000 to over $10,000.
A gas hot water system can be a great option if you have access to it. It is cheaper than an electric system and gas rates generally don’t change very much throughout the day.
There are also natural instantaneous gas systems which are more energy efficient.
The prices for both vary depending on size and specification but generally cost somewhere from $800, or over $1000 if you decide to go with a natural instantaneous gas system.
An electric hot water system is usually the cheapest type of system to buy and get installed. But it is usually the most expensive to run because electricity rates can fluctuate throughout the day.
If you choose a system that runs off-peak you would be able to save a bit more. This system would need a bigger tank as you would store the water heated overnight. In some houses this won’t be available.
The price for an electric hot water system installation is very similar to gas prices, varying from $700 to $1000.
Ideally we recommend calling us at Absolute Plumbing Solutions to get an idea of how much this installation will cost.
This type of system is very efficient when compared to a conventional electric hot water system.
It basically works using the same principle as an air conditioner and for that reason it can be noisier than other systems. We recommend installing this system outside but it is not recommended if the temperature where you live drops below 5℃.
A heat pump system is a bit more expensive to buy and install, but cheaper to run. By using this system you could be eligible for a rebate from the government to reduce costs.
A heat pump system can cost from $2700 up to $5200 depending on the size of the tank and the brand you choose.
Frequently asked questions about hot water repairs
Can I still use my hot water if the hot water system is leaking?
We don’t recommend you keep using your hot water system if you notice a leak. This could be coming from the tank or the pipes. If you have a leak, make sure you contact your plumber as soon as possible as this could lead to a bigger problem.
How long do water heaters last? Can they last 20 years?
Usually a hot water system will last up to 10 years, but it will depend on the manufacturer. Some parts like the anode will need to be replaced earlier in 5 to 7 years. Getting your system regularly maintained by a plumber can extend its lifespan.
Do you call a plumber to fix a hot water system?
The answer is yes! Our main focus at Absolute Plumbing Solutions is to make sure our customers are safe, and for that reason we recommend calling to get your hot water system fixed as soon as possible.
How often should I service my hot water system?
To get the best out of your hot water system, we recommend getting it serviced by a plumber every five years. By doing this you will ensure your hot water system will run efficiently for a lot longer.
Hot water systems are an important part of your home. If you have noticed any of the issues we have talked about with your hot water system, feel free to contact us and get a free quote.