Mon to Fri:

7:00AM to 5:00PM

Customer Reviews Graphic

Hot Water Systems and Dodgy Tradies – Buyers Beware!

13 November

When replacing your old hot water heaters with a new hot water system, whether solar, gas, or other types of storage tank units or heat pumps, there’s a genuine problem that has the potential to cost you thousands of dollars and unnecessary heartache. It’s the dodgy tradie epidemic that is getting worse, not better.

I follow several Facebook plumbing-related pages to stay abreast of industry updates and news. While scrolling through the most recent posts, I saw some pictures and comments that instantly made me angry and angry with the customer. A dodgy tradesperson was getting away with illegal and dangerous work on hot water systems or water heaters.

A highly recommended plumber on the Gold Coast posted a picture on Facebook of a man who was asked to repair a hot water system. Another tradesperson had installed the new hot water system two months prior. The plumber was no longer answering or returning the calls of the upset homeowner.

Hot Water Heater

A dodgy tradie had installed the existing hot water system in question, and it was a ticking time bomb. The significant faults were as follows:

  1. It had been connected so that if the thermostat failed and the water continued to boil, a blocked relief valve discharge pipe would likely cause the hot water supply to explode.
  2. A tempering valve had not been installed. This vital component prevents children and the elderly from scalding burns by blending hot water with cool water to 50 degrees Celsius.
  3. The non-return isolating valve was not installed. This component aims to prevent hot water from returning through the cold supply. For example, it prevents melting hot water tap washers and plastic components like toilet cistern filling valves.
  4. The cold water expansion valve discharges water to prevent damage to isolating valves, and other pipework was missing.
  5. There was no safe tray under the unit to prevent water from flooding the house if there was a leak from the hot water system.
  6. There was zero insulation on the pipework to prevent heat loss.

The installation did not comply with Australian standards for hot water systems, and the pipework looked like my dog had fabricated it (no offence intended, Ebony, my lovely kelpie).

Most hot water systems or hot water cylinders, when installed correctly, will provide hot water on demand without further thought and are energy efficient (since we all know and care about greenhouse gas emissions), whether it’s electric hot water systems, continuous flow systems, solar hot water systems, or electric instantaneous water heaters. They (natural gas storage systems, electric systems and instantaneous hot water heater systems) require a minor service every few years to ensure the relief valve is operational. And replace the sacrificial anode, usually every five years. However, when certain unfavourable conditions align, a hot water system can turn into a dangerous bomb inside your home and can even skyrocket your energy bills. How much more if you have gas systems? Such a water heater system, installed or fixed incorrectly, threatens your home and family. Never mind the running costs, you should consider calling fast a fully licensed professional for a hot water system replacement.

The television show Mythbusters experimented by removing all safety valves from a hot water system and pressurising the unit. The subsequent explosion launched the tank over a hundred meters and peppered the surrounding area with dangerous shrapnel.

I’m a business owner, a tradesman and an employer, but foremost, I’m a person who wants to help people with plumbing problems and provide quality solutions and efficient service.

As a business owner, I believe it’s my duty to prevent consumers from having a similar experience to the poor customer mentioned above. It is the responsibility of reputable business owners to call out dodgy tradies who should not be in business. Consider the risk in your pocket and life when dodgy tradies take care of your hot water repairs and maintenance for your gas hot water system or gas water heaters, solar hot water system, instantaneous system and electric models. You deserve expert advice on trusted brands and peace of mind, and everything will run smoothly and safely.

In my opinion, there has been a severe decline in the standard of workmanship and gaps in the fundamental knowledge of tradespeople. Furthermore, I regularly see a blatant disregard for the law and regulations from dodgy tradespeople.

With that in mind, you should ask the following when choosing hot water system experts to repair supply and install your hot water system:
  1. Will you visit my home to discuss the best hot water system type? What suits my water heating needs — electric hot water systems or gas hot water systems? Will you consider the number of people in the house, the energy efficiency of the system, my budget and any plans I have for my home?
  2. Do you hold the correct plumbing license to install hot water systems?
  3. Do you hold the necessary electrical licence? If there were ever an insurance claim at the property due to an electrical surge, the insurer would require that a licenced tradesperson had installed your hot water system.
  4. Will the system be installed per the Australian Standards and local authority requirements?
  5. Do you offer a lifetime warranty on your work, as the system and its components have been thoroughly tested?
  6. Will the system and its components be brand new and not ex-showroom floor stock?
  7. Does the system have a minimum 10-year manufacturer’s warranty?
  8. Will indoor installations have the required safe tray and automatic shut-off valve to prevent flooding in my home?
  9. Do you submit the legally required Notifiable Work form to the Queensland Building and Construction Commission?

Getting a sense of trustworthiness from the trade business would be best. Many customer reviews should support the satisfaction of others who have tried the highly recommended company before you.

The size of the business is also an important consideration. If there is a problem with the hot water system in the future, the company you chose should have the personnel available to attend and perform a warranty repair.

The following picture is a hot water system we installed inside a customer’s home the day before I wrote this article.

Rheem Hot Water System

The customer left a 5-star Google review stating the following:

“All the guys are friendly and professional. I had my Hot Water System replaced within 24 hours of my call. They arrived on time, did a professional job, and cleaned up after themselves. Made the whole trauma of dealing with tradesmen a pleasant experience.”

I hope this helps you decide whether to repair or replace your hot water system with the best one recommended by experts and prevents you from having a potentially dangerous and costly experience.

Don’t hesitate to contact us to discuss your needs, whether for your old hot water system and existing system or a cost-effective new hot water unit on 1300 792 041. From continuous flow systems to an electric hot water system, heat pumps, and other hot water systems run through solar panels for low running costs— you can rely on us to provide you with a complete range of plumbing services with many benefits aside from a great price.

We’re the cheaper price, and our excellent job will speak for itself. Our highly trained team with many years of industry experience is always ready to provide Australian households with exceptional service at the best price, regardless of household size or hot water tank problem! We can even help you formulate an informed decision about choosing from the leading hot water system brands.

Owner of Gold Coast Plumbing Company