First of all, breathe a sigh of relief – because modern hot water systems are extremely reliable and protected by some of the best warranties in the industrial world. But while that is definitely true, it’s important to remember that even when technology is useful and amazing – take modern passenger planes, for example – it’s still a fact that they sometimes crash. Luckily, when your hot water system ‘crashes’, the solution can be as simple as a quick call to your trusty, local and affordable plumber.

Is your hot water system not working properly? If you have a hunch that something’s not right, read through our list of the most common hot water system problems to find out just how worried you should be – and what to do next:

1. No hot water

Clients tell us all the time: ‘My hot water is not working’. Normally, that means they’re not getting any hot water at all out of it.

A range of things could have gone wrong:

  • Does it have power?
  • Has a circuit breaker tripped?
  • Has a temperature cut-off activated?
  • Has the element gone kaput?
  • Has the pilot gone out?

2. Not enough hot water

The second most annoying of all hot water system problems is hot water … sometimes. Again, there are plenty of reasons why that might be the case:

  • Is your tank simply not big enough?
  • Is the heating element on the way out?
  • Is the thermostat turned up high enough?
  • Is your tankless system not coping with multiple hot water outlets?
  • Is your tankless system not powerful enough to cope with very cold weather?

3. The water is too hot

In most cases, this is actually an easy fix – simply turn the temperature setting down. But it could also be a faulty hot water tempering valve, which is designed to keep your water at the correct and safe temperature.

4. The water takes a long time to heat up

While this could be a faulty element, it could also be due to a build-up of sediment, a misbehaving thermostat, or a bad gas burner. And also bear in mind that new instantaneous system users need to get used to slightly longer heat-up times in comparison to tank systems holding pre-heated water.

5. Not enough water

Bad or low hot water pressure is definitely one of the common hot water problems, but it may not actually be your hot water system to blame. In many cases, it could be a mismatch in plumbing pipe sizes, especially in older homes, or simply that your hot water system size isn’t coping with usage.

6. Hot water leaks

Again, there are a few reasons why your hot water unit may be leaking water:

  • Loose connections
  • Faulty valves
  • Corroded tank.

In the latter case, you’ll definitely need to ask about hot water system replacement.

7. Dirty hot water

If your hot water has changed colour, you’re probably looking at some fairly advanced signs of tank corrosion. In the best cases, it could be a failing sacrificial anode rod, which can be replaced. A system flush might also do the trick.

8. Smelly hot water

Dirty water is probably corrosion, but stinky water is probably bacteria. Ask your hot water plumber about a flush.

9. Noisy hot water system

If your hot water production is accompanied by rumbling, banging and popping, that’s almost certain a scaly build-up on the heating elements. It might be fixed with a flush and de-scaling routine, but in many cases your hot water system is beyond help.

Bonus read: Instant gas hot water troubleshooting

Ryan Old Plumbing will fix your hot water problems!

A broken hot water system is not only a pain in the backside, they aren’t exactly cheap as chips, either. The key to a hot water system not working properly is to catch that problem early, so keep an eye and ear out for normal function and consider getting it professionally checked by an expert who will let you know if it can be repaired or if you need a hot water system replacement. For more information visit the links below:

Who can do that for you? How about the friendly guys right here at Ryan Old Plumbing? We won’t just do your maintenance, we do fast and affordable repairs, system replacements of all the best and latest brands and models, and we’ll get it fully installed and up and running in a single visit.

Sick of hot water problems? Give the local plumbers at Ryan Old Plumbing a call today.