Hot Water Systems: Troubleshooting Guide

Hot Water//03.12.2018
hot water system troubleshoot

Have you ever jumped out of bed, looking forward to that warm shower to wake you up, only to be met with icy cold water instead? Or maybe your hot water is just running out much quicker than it used to?

No hot water, or regularly running out of hot water, are among the most commonly reported hot water system issues (not surprising really, cold showers are rarely favoured!). 

Sometimes you may have no other option than to call in a qualified plumber, but before you pick up the phone, have a look through this troubleshooting guide – the answer to your problems may be as simple as flicking a switch!

No hot water

If your hot water taps are running stone cold, the first thing to check is the electricity or gas supply to the tank.

For an electric water heater, this means checking the isolation switches and fuses at the switchboard are turned on. It may also be worth contacting Ausgrid to check your off peak relay if you have one. If the issue is not supply related, you will need a technician with restricted electrical qualifications (that’s us!) to inspect and replace the element and/or thermostat.

If you have a gas water heater, check at the tank to see if the burner is still alight. If there is no flame and you are unable to relight the pilot following the manufacturers instructions, check that the isolation valves are open on the gas line both at the meter (for natural gas) and at the tank itself. If you use LPG, check that your gas bottles are not empty. If there are no issues with the gas supply, there may be a faulty unitrol or thermocouple. Due to the dangerous nature of gas, we recommend this be checked by a qualified plumber (again, that’s us!).

No water coming from taps

If you have no water coming from your taps at all, there may be an issue with the water supply. If there is no water at both the hot and cold taps, check that your main isolation tap is turned on at your meter. If the issue is at your hot taps only, check that the isolation (duo) valve on the pipework at your hot water system is also open.

Hot water system is leaking

There are multiple components on a hot water system that can spring leaks. A faulty relief valve may result in excessive water leaks, there may be faulty joins in the connecting pipework, or the tank itself may have split.

Low pressure at hot taps

If your hot water is only dribbling out of your taps, there may be a blockage at either the tempering valve or duo valve. We are able to either flush these out or replace them with new.

Hot water is running out

Are you not getting as many showers out of your tank as you used to? We receive a large amount of calls leading into winter as people are unaware of their steadily increasing usage of their hot water. If there are no changes to usage, there may be either a faulty relief valve or thermostat.

Discoloured or rusty water

Discoloured water may be coming from the tank itself if it is rusted, the anode has corroded or there is scale in the tank. If there is discoloured water coming from both the hot and cold taps, this could be due to old galvanised pipe (if your pipework has not been upgraded to copper) or there may have been recent works to your main water supply.

Hot water is too hot

If your water is too hot, you can try and adjust the temperature control on the tank via the thermostat or unitrol. It may also indicate that there is a faulty thermostat or tempering valve.

If you have read through these troubleshooting tips and require the help of a qualified hot water specialist, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. We provide same day service for all enquiries and have plumbers on call 24/7!

Guaranteed Same Day Service: 4943 9000