If you’re like most people, you don’t pay much attention to your hot water system. But you really should keep an eye on this vital part of your house, as it is relied upon every single day. You should also do the required hot water system maintenance of your particular system, including checking the very important relief valve every six months. On one of these regular checks, you might notice something alarming: your hot water system leaking.
You may have discovered a leak inspecting your system or investigating a plumbing problem like low hot water pressure. In any case, you need to know what to do next. In this article, we want to layout in 4 simple steps what to do if you do find yourself with a leaking hot water system.
1. Don’t panic!
While it’s true that even a small leak can be a big problem, there is rarely the need to panic. With a bit of luck, a hot water leak is probably covered by a manufacturer’s warranty of up to 10 years.
2. Where’s the leak?
Is your hot water service leaking? Step two is identifying where that water is coming from. It might be the pipes attached to the system, the tank itself, or a different source altogether. If it’s the latter, you have a different problem. If it’s the hot water leaking, move on to step 3.
3. Be proactive
It might be tempting to either get out a spanner or call the plumber at this point. But err on the side of safety and go and turn your water off at the mains. And to be doubly safe, cut the supply of power to your leaking hot water system as well.
4. Call the plumber
If you’re really sure that it’s your hot water cylinder leaking, it’s time to call in the professionals. DIY plumbing can be dangerous, illegal, or against the manufacturer’s warranties and insurance policies. And that’s not to mention that hot water systems are expensive and complex, so it’s not a great idea to fiddle with them.
Leaking hot water system – What’s the problem?
While you’re waiting for your plumber, let’s explore some of the things that might have gone wrong to cause a hot water leak.
1. Tank damage
A hot water system leaking from the tank itself is unfortunately quite common for these hard-working household appliances. In these cases, a brand new system is usually the best or the only remedy.
2. Relief valve
As we mentioned earlier, the pressure valve is a vital part of your hot water system. They are designed to relieve pressure when required, but they also go wrong – and the best sign of that is water that is constantly coming out of the valve. With a bit of luck, the valve can simply be replaced.
Connecting the hot water system to your household plumbing is a range of fittings and pipes, and over long periods of use and exposure, they wear out or become loose. As with the relief valve, with some luck, your plumber may be able to replace the fittings rather than the entire system.
Hot water service leaking – Repair or replace?
Depending on the age of your hot water system, and the severity of the fault or the replacement cost, it might make more sense to simply replace the entire unit rather than attempt to fix it. The hot water system technology is constantly marching ahead, meaning that if you do replace it, you could claw back that cost over a relatively short space of time in terms of running costs, environmental friendliness, and efficiency.
So while a like-for-like replacement can be popular, looking into your options can be a great way to better match your lifestyle and budget with the growing list of great products on the market. Is it time to make the switch from an electric to gas hot water system? How about going from a tank storage solution an instant hot water system? Or will you take the ‘green’ plunge into heat pump or solar technology?
Our Gold Coast hot water plumbers not only repair, maintain and replace hot water systems, they give the very best advice to those people unsure about how to react to their unexpected hot water leak. Call 1300 390 361 today for fast, friendly, hassle-free service.