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If you ask any Australian homeowner what’s the one thing they can’t do without in their homes, a common answer will be – hot water. Whether you need it for cooking, cleaning or showering, hot water is a necessity in modern living!
For most people, hot water comes from their trusted hot water system. When it doesn’t seem to be functioning properly, it’s time to call the plumbing services Melbourne and other Australian cities rely on. But should you wait till your hot water system is completely cold or are there a few clues to help you detect problems earlier?
Look Out For The Small Signs
Many homeowners are aware of the cost of repairing and replacing a hot water system. Perhaps preferring to live in denial, many people ignore the small leaks and signs of a faulty system.
The reality, however, is that if you ignore the little tell-tale signs for too long, it could lead to the whole water heater system needing replacement. Our experts have compiled a list of the most common signs that will indicate a faulty unit.
1. Leaks From the Tank
The golden rule with water heaters is that they should never leak. The easiest way to detect a leak in the tank is to look for pools of water around or under the heater. The bad news here is that it’s very seldom possible to repair a leaking tank – it will need replacing.
However, if the leak is coming from old valves, it’s possible to have those replaced before the leak does any further damage. Fortunately, your plumber will check all connections as well as the overflow pipe before simply replacing the tank.
2. A Noisy Tank
As water heaters age, they start making the occasional noise. However, if you regularly hear banging, gurgling or even rumbling sounds, it might be an indication that the unit is reaching the end of its lifespan. This is common in units that are between 8 and 12 years old.
The strange noises you’re hearing are usually because of sediment that has built up around the heater. As the sediment corrodes the heating element it also creates a layer of scale that makes it difficult for the unit to function efficiently. Leaving this problem untreated will eventually result in a leak.
3. Metallic Smells Or Taste
Another simple way to tell if your hot water system needs attention is by tasting the water from one of your taps. If the water has a metallic taste or even smells funny, it’s an indication that your heater is breaking down.
This metallic taste usually stems from rust inside the hot water tank. As the heating element starts getting worn, it starts creating rust. Note that these rusty elements in the water can be harmful to your health. You should consult with your plumber as soon as possible to avoid consuming too much of this water.
4. Cold Water
Anyone will agree that the most obvious sign of a faulty water heater is no hot water. If your water heater is functioning at its 100% capacity, it will always provide hot water based on the setting of the thermostat. A faulty hot water system will give you cold water no matter how long you let the water run. If adjusting the thermostat doesn’t make any difference to the water temperature, then it’s a sure sign that you need to call your plumber.
Note: when you suspect that this is the problem, also ask the plumber to check if the heater capacity is right for your water demand. It might be time for a larger water heater!
5. Faulty Drain Valve
Over time, some of the components in the heater system will wear out and cause leaking. One of the components that usually fail first is the drain valve that becomes clogged with sediment.
Here your first course of action should be to flush out the water and check if it doesn’t clear the drain valve. This is also the first thing your plumber will check when he starts the hot water system repair.
6. Constant Heater Repairs
If you’ve already had several components repaired on your hot water system but you still continue to experience problems, it might be time to upgrade your water heater system. Regular repairs might just lead to frustration and additional costs which might not do much to keep the heater running effectively.
It might also be a great time to upgrade your water heater to handle a larger water capacity. Your plumber will advise you on the best option to consider.
Doing regular checks on your hot water system and keeping an eye out for the signs we’ve mentioned will help you know when it’s time to repair your hot water system. You should also deal with the small leaks before they become larger problems that will cost a fortune. Ensure everyone in your home stays happy by keeping the hot water on!