How Long Do Hot Water Systems Last? 5 Essential Tips

How Long Do Hot Water Systems Last? 5 Essential Tips

We’re all Aussie homeowners. And one of our constant worries is about how long do hot water systems last. After all, a hot shower or bath or a steaming pile of dishes is a crucial part of our happy daily life, but we only ever take it for granted once something goes BANG! Cold showers as the cold season approaches? No thanks! Massive unexpected bills amid a cost of living crisis! No way!

How long does a hot water system last, really?

How long do solar hot water systems last? No, take a deep breath because it doesn’t matter what type of hot water system you have. How often do you wonder how long do electric hot water systems last? Or gas. Or solar. Or heat pump? No matter the technology, age or type, there are plenty of factors that are relevant here. Usage. Maintenance. Environmental conditions in Sydney and beyond. Because no, it’s not just a simple question of time. That’s why we’ve diving deeper into understanding how long do gas hot water systems last – and the rest of them! We use all sorts of hot water systems in Sydney and beyond, so let’s seek both peace of mind and a plan for the future:

1. What type of system do you have?

This factor can be a big deal, because while electric and gas systems typically last 10-15 years, solar and heat pump models can last a little longer. So make yours long as long as it can, regularly check and clean the components specific to your system type – and by that, we mean clearing those solar panels or checking the anode in electric models. Need help? Jump to the bottom of this blog!

2. What’s your water quality?

You should also know about the quality of your tap water. If you live in a region with particularly hard water, that can really start to build up scale in your system. What does that mean? We’re talking about reduced efficiency and lifespan. To help things, install a water softener or get your system regularly descaled to mitigate the effects.

3. How often is that system used?

If you’re really stressing your hot water system, be aware that wear and tear is only being accelerated. So watch that hot water usage, and before you do that make sure that the size of your hot water system is enough to accommodate your household’s needs.

4. What’s your maintenance routine?

A bit lazy with maintenance? We all are, but if you keep up with that upkeep, you keep total system failure at bay. Schedule an annual inspection, get that maintenance done, and flush the tank. And check the pressure relief valves!

5. Are there environmental factors?

Yes, there are definitely environmental factors! It could be harsh weather or heavy hail, but no matter how cold or hot it gets, it matters when it comes to the system’s durability. Are your external components protected by insulation or weatherproof covers? Have you asked a local Sydney plumber about adequate ventilation for the indoor and outdoor units?

DIY VS professional hot water system maintenance

Understand these factors deeply, and homeowners are on the way to extending the life of their hot water systems. From a complex issue to regular maintenance, seeking affordable and professional help is the most obvious answer here. Rapid Service Plumbing offers comprehensive plumbing services in Sydney, including emergency plumbing, blocked drain solutions, gas fitting, hot water systems and more. Give us a call today.

How Long Does A Hot Water System Take To Heat Up?

How Long Does A Hot Water System Take To Heat Up?

So, how long does a hot water system take to heat up? We know it’s frustrating to wait – especially if you think something might have gone wrong with your expensive unit that you rely on each day for showers and baths. But perhaps you’re browsing for a new system and want to know what to expect – like if you’re tossing up between a tankless vs a traditional tank system or perhaps even a state-of-the-art heat pump. Or maybe you’re just curious.

How long does it take for a hot water tank to heat up?

First, let’s do some troubleshooting! We know you’re shivering in the bathroom waiting for that freezing cold water to heat up, so let’s see what’s going on whilst pondering the question: How long does it take for hot water to heat up?:

Troubleshooting hot water system heat-up delays

1. Check power sources

Is your system even connected to its power source? If it’s electric, that means checking the circuit breakers. And for gas systems? How long does a gas water heater take to heat up? A bit faster than electric, but let’s start with peering into the system to look for the presence of that pilot light.

2. Inspect thermostat settings

Next, let’s verify that the thermostat is set to an appropriate temperature – because if it’s set too low, it’s not going to be hot enough! However, your system should be set to a standard, regulatory-compliant temperature.

3. Evaluate tank capacity vs. usage

Do you have a tank-based system? If you do, perhaps you’ve just run out of water! If the stored water is all gone, your system won’t be able to catch up as you stand there waiting for it. This leads to the question, “How long does it take for a hot water tank to heat up?” Understanding this can help you manage your expectations and plan accordingly for your hot water needs.

4. Look for leaks

Put your clothes back on and head outside to your system. Do you see your hot water system badly leaking? A few drops here and there are fine, but something very soggy could be a major problem.

5. Could it be sediment build-up?

In storage systems, sediment accumulation at the bottom of that tank is something that can act as a barrier to heat transfer. It could be time for a flush.

6. Check for faulty heating elements

You might also need to look into whether your hot water system has a faulty heat element, especially if you’re asking, ‘How long does an electric hot water system take to heat up?’ This could be a key factor affecting the heating time of your system.

7. How old is your system?

If your system is past its prime, it may be struggling for heating efficiency. Maybe that means waiting a little longer for water – or maybe it’s time to call the plumber!

Quick or slow?: Unpacking the factors behind water heat-up

So, you’ve run through 1 to 7 and there’s nothing obviously wrong? Maybe you’ve just run into a few of the major factors that impact how quickly your hot water system can heat up. Remember, it’s not always just about patience, but a complex mix of science and system specifics.

  • System type: If it’s a fully-functioning tankless (or instantaneous) hot water system, that should give you hot water very quickly – we’re talking within a few seconds. A tank system, though, can take a while for the hot water to reach your tap.
  • Tank capacity: What is the size of your hot water system? Is it a particularly big one? It should be chock-full of hot water, but if you’re waiting for it to heat up, that’s going to take quite a bit longer.
  • Energy type: Gas or electric? If electric, it can take longer to heat up than gas. But it’s not going to make a huge difference, to be honest.
  • Initial water temperature: How cold is the weather out there? If it’s the dead of winter, it’s time to be patient because you’re asking your system to work a lot harder to reach the desired temperature.
  • Thermostat setting: Your thermostat should be at a fixed temperature, but if you’ve cranked it all up to something particularly hot, that will take longer once you turn that hot tap.
  • System efficiency: Is your system brand new or quite old? If the latter, expect a longer wait time – or start looking into a repair, some maintenance, or something brand new.
  • Maintenance history: When was the last time you had a professional out to service your hot water system?
  • Usage patterns: Do you have two or even three showers or baths? If so, if you’re trying to churn out hot water at the same time, that could mean seriously extended heating times.

Rapid Service Plumbing: Tailored solutions for your hot water needs

Think of your hot water system like a living, breathing piece of technology. Does it need a little TLC? From installation to repairs, maintenance, regular servicing and beyond, the friendly team at Rapid Service Plumbing offers expert guidance and a range of services tailored to your needs around the clock. Why not give the team a shout today for an obligation-free quote? We can’t wait to hear from you!

Electric Hot Water System Not Working? Here’s 9 Simple Fixes

Electric Hot Water System Not Working? Here’s 9 Simple Fixes

Electric hot water system not working like it used to – or at all? It’s a tale as old as hot water systems themselves: you’re ready for a relaxing shower, only to be greeted by an icy torrent that sends shivers down your spine. Yes, hot water system issues are not just annoying – they can seriously disrupt the daily routine and trigger temper-tantrums all across the household. But here’s a little-known fact: when it comes to hot water system woes, electric models take the cake for causing more headaches than their counterparts. Why, you ask? Well, it’s a combination of their widespread use, intricate electrical components, and the need for regular maintenance that often goes unnoticed.

But let’s stop fretting, because we’re about to dive into the ultimate troubleshooting guide for those pesky electric hot water system problems. So, grab your notepad and keep that dry towel and body wash handy – because help is on the way!

Why is my electric hot water system not working? A progressive troubleshooting guide

Let’s take a progressive approach to resolving your electric hot water issue. Though it might seem daunting, especially when you’re faced with something like your hot water system not heating, there’s a chance it could be a simpler fix than you think, one you might be able to handle yourself. Of course, it could also indicate a need for a plumber or a new system, but let’s not jump to conclusions just yet.

1. Have you run out of water?

If you’ve got a storage-based system, the problem could be as simple as an empty tank! You might have a ‘boost’ button that can start to heat a new batch immediately, but you might also need to wait until the morning.

2. Check the power source

Your electric system isn’t going to do much without electricity! It’s frustrating when you encounter something like your electric hot water not working, but with a bit of luck, it’s not a serious power issue or a deeper wiring problem. Rather, it could be something as simple as a tripped breaker or a blown fuse that needs dealing with.

3. Can you adjust the thermostat?

Across the country, hot water systems are basically set at a pre-determined level in compliance with regulations. However, if you’re facing an issue with an electric hot water system not heating up, it could be as simple as the thermostat settings being set too low for a satisfying shower.

4. Is it a high-temperature cut-off?

Similarly, if you’re dealing with your electric hot water system not heating, it could be that the upper thermostat on your unit has a cut-off switch that has tripped due to excessive heat. Simply hitting the reset button might be the quick solution you need. After resetting, give the system some time to get going again.

5. Is your hot water system leaking?

When you notice moisture or water pooling around your hot water system, it’s a clear sign of a leak – and potentially a big problem waiting to unfold. Leaking hot water systems can range from simple issues like loose connections to more serious problems such as a cracked tank.

6. Low hot water pressure

Experiencing a disappointing trickle when you were hoping for a powerful, hot shower is not only frustrating but could indicate a problem with your hot water system or the plumbing. Here are steps to diagnose and potentially fix low hot water pressure

7. Check the heating elements

It’s very common for the heating elements to become coated with mineral deposits – or simply burn out. It’s possible to test them with a multimeter, but you may need help with that – especially if you find you need a replacement.

8. Is it time for a flush?

Part of your system’s normal maintenance regimen is a simple tank flush – which basically involves emptying the tank completely so that it can re-fill with fresh water.

9. The thermostat could need replacing

If you’re sure all the settings are right and your unit has power, it might be the thermostat that has seen better days. Replacing it will require a call to a licenced plumber near you.

10. Corrosion or tank damage

Perhaps you haven’t kept up to date with checking (and replacing) and sacrificial anode rod – the component that sits inside your tank with the express task of attracting corrosion away from your precious tank. Unfortunately, if the tank is badly corroded or otherwise damaged, the entire system will probably need to be replaced.

11. Which brand is your system?

We have some detailed guides for different hot water brands. So if you’re troubleshooting a Rinnai hot water system or trying to fix a Rheem hot water system dive deeper there.

12. Call a hot water plumber

Have you run through the steps? No success? Don’t panic: because Sydney’s favourite 24-hour hot water plumbing service is always just around the corner. Perhaps it’s an internal blockage, maybe it’s a complex mechanical failure, or perhaps it’s a super-easy fix – or maybe it’s simply time to explore your options for a shiny, brand-new hot water system.

Expert advice for an electric hot water system not working

Remember, while some hot water fixes are straightforward, electrical systems can be dangerous – and there are plenty of regulations restricting what you’re allowed to do with your hot water system. If in doubt, give the friendly team at Rapid Service Plumbing a call – we’ll be right there! Inner West hot water, Sutherland Shire hot water, North Shore hot water and Sydney wide.


You’re 6 Steps Away From Fixing A Leaking Toilet Cistern

You’re 6 Steps Away From Fixing A Leaking Toilet Cistern

Is that the dreaded sound of a leaking toilet cistern – that ‘trickle, trickle, trickle’ is a never-ending, irritating symphony in your home’s smallest and most hard-working room. But even if you can cope with the annoying dribble, it can quickly escalate into a seriously watery nightmare, hiking up your water bills and threatening water, plumbing and other damage.

Mastering the art of fixing a leaking toilet cistern

But don’t worry, because you don’t need to be a toilet plumbing specialist to start to get your head around this. Our easy, step-by-step diagnostic guide is here to help you pinpoint the problem with a toilet cistern leaking and guide you towards the next steps to fix it. So, together, let’s dive into the porcelain throne and fix that drip!:

Step 1: Confirm the leak

You’ve already heard that trickle, trickle, trickle, but let’s also give that entire toilet a decent visual inspection too to check for any obvious cistern leaking in and around the tank but also the base and the supply lines too. And is the whole toilet loose? Simply tightening the base bolts could fix that.

Step 2: Check the cistern water level

If you have a dripping toilet cistern, let’s see what’s going on inside. Remember, the cistern is the tank that holds the water ready for the next flush. The lid of the cistern should be easy enough to remove, but be careful not to break it as they can be difficult to replace.

Look at the water level – is the top of the water a few centimetres or so below the overflow tube? If it’s too high, make an adjustment to the float mechanism to lower it a little. With a bit of luck, that will stop the system from its constantly toilet cistern dripping state.

Step 3: Test the flapper valve

The flapper valve is a fairly basic rubber seal that controls the release of water from the tank into the bowl when you hit the flush button – and it’s critical for maintaining the proper water level, especially when dealing with a leaking cistern.

  • Inspect it: Check the flapper for signs of wear, warping or damage, especially if you suspect toilet cistern leaking into the bowl. If you think that could be the culprit, you can try to replace it yourself – as long as you’re confident you’re not going to make your misbehaving toilet problem even worse!
  • The food colour test: By adding a few drops of food colouring to the cistern water, you can test the performance of your old (or new!) flapper valve when dealing with toilet flush leaking. Simply wait 30 minutes after adding the colour – and if the water in the bowl starts to become colourful, the flapper valve may well be leaking.

Step 4: Inspect the fill valve

Toilet system leaking? Look for a metal or plastic cylindrical body called the fill valve – a crucial component for regulating the way water is supplied to the cistern.

  • Listen for hissing: Is it hissing? That’s the classic sign of a fill valve on the way out.
  • Adjust or replace: Look for an adjustment screw or knob, and turn it clockwise to increase the water level or anti-clockwise to decrease it until you find the sweet spot. If the valve is damaged, though, it will need replacing.

Step 5: Check the flush valve and flush mechanism

Next up, let’s zoom into the flush valve seal and the flush mechanism. The seal is just a rubber/silicone ring to create a watertight seal during the flush, while the mechanism itself is what you press in order to flush the toilet.

  • Seal: Give it a good once-over for signs of wear or damage.
  • Mechanism: Is the button or handle sticking or loose?

Step 6: Can you DIY or do you need a plumber?

Sometimes, you can get away with a quick DIY fix, with minor toilet issues among the few plumbing tasks you are allowed to try for yourself without a plumbing license. But for major water leaks, cracks or more complex problems, it may be best to get professional help right from the start:

  • Simple fix: If you’ve traced your toilet problem to the flapper, fill valve or the need for a minor adjustment, go for it if you’ve got the basic skills, knowledge, tools and confidence.
  • Call a plumber: For everything else, or if you’re just not sure, don’t worry – because a top plumber in Sydney is only ever just around the corner.

Decision time: DIY or professional help?

A misbehaving toilet can sometimes feel like a big problem, but thankfully it’s one of those household problems that can be resolved with a bit of DIY grit and know-how. But even when that leaky throne overwhelms you, Rapid Service Plumbing will be there for you. Across Sydney and beyond including Canterbury-Bankstown, City of Sydney, Eastern Suburbs, Hills District, Inner West, Sutherland Shire, North Shore and Northern Beaches, we offer 24/7 service, obligation-free quotes, guaranteed workmanship and no call-out fees. Flush all of your worries away by giving the friendly team at Rapid Service Plumbing a shout today.

Mastering DIY Plumbing: 7 Easy Steps To Replace Your Toilet Cistern

Mastering DIY Plumbing: 7 Easy Steps To Replace Your Toilet Cistern

You may sit on the bowl itself, but without the cistern – the tank that holds the water ready to flush – it’s not going to be a very satisfying experience! If it’s time to replace toilet cistern due to it being cracked, otherwise significantly damaged or it’s just time for a modern upgrade, a full replacement is something that isn’t too tricky to do.

Is replacing toilet cistern even legal?

First, a warning: In NSW, like most other jurisdictions across Australia, plumbing codes will require you to hold a valid plumber’s license for any significant plumbing work other than changing a washer, swapping out a showerhead or fitting a comfy new toilet seat. This includes the replacement of a toilet cistern only. So check with your local authorities before you repair or replace a toilet.

What may surprise you, however, is that while it’s the critical component of the hardest-working seat in your home, replacing the cistern actually isn’t too hard if you have the confidence and basic skills. How to change a cistern?

First, you’ll need:

  • New cistern (including bolts)
  • Adjustable wrench
  • Screwdrivers
  • Sponge, towels & bucket
  • Plumber’s tape
  • Rubber gaskets & sealant.

How to replace a toilet cistern in 7 simple steps

Step 1: Prepare

Turn off the water supply both at the mains and at the valve located behind or next to the toilet itself. Now flush the toilet to get rid of the stored water in the cistern, and use the sponge and bucket to get the last races out too before you replace cistern.

Step 2: Disconnect the water supply

At the bottom of the cistern, you’ll find the water supply line. Remove it with the wrench and be ready for the release of a little more water with the bucket and towels.

Step 3: Remove the old cistern

It’s done by unscrewing the nuts that attach the cistern to the bowl – find them at the bottom of the tank. If they’re corroded or stuck, try using some penetrating lubricant before trying again. Once they’re off, just lift the cistern off the bowl.

Step 4: Prepare the new cistern

Hopefully you’ve already ensured the replacement toilet cistern is compatible with your existing bowl and toilet configuration, so unpack it and follow the instructions to see if any mechanisms need to be assembled before you try to install it. Place new rubber gaskets on the new cistern bolts so you’ll have a nice, watertight seal.

Step 5: Position the new cistern

The new cistern and the top of the toilet bowl should perfectly align with the mounting holes so that you can easily secure the installation with the nuts. When replacing a cistern, be careful not to over-tighten as it can not only damage the cistern but even crack the porcelain.

Step 6: Re-connect the water supply

Wrap the threads of the inlet valve with Teflon plumber’s tape, which is critical for a tight and permanent seal when replacing the cistern. Now it’s just a matter of re-connecting the water supply line to the bottom of the cistern with the wrench – and remember, don’t over-tighten!

Step 7: Test, seal & you’re done!

Fully restore the water supply, and you’ll know you’ve done it correctly because you’ll hear the cistern start to fill up. Carefully check if the cistern is leaking while this happens, and once you’re sure and the tank is completely full, do a test flush. If everything’s working perfectly, add a bead of sealant around the base of the cistern to ensure it’s all watertight for good. And now pat yourself on the shoulder for a job well done. You’ve learned how to change toilet cistern parts and it all works perfectly!

Toilet cistern replacement – The easy way!

But don’t forget, fiddly DIY jobs – especially on your home’s critical plumbing functions – aren’t for everyone, because they can turn a minor issue into a big, watery, expensive disaster! And in NSW as well as most other Aussie jurisdictions, work like this can only be carried out by a licensed local plumber – like Rapid Service Plumbing right here in Sydney and beyond.

No matter what TLC your home’s hard-working throne needs, we do it all with obligation-free quotes, $0 call-out, a price match guarantee and fully guaranteed workmanship for life. Give Rapid Service Plumbing a call today – 24/7.

Rinnai Hot Water Troubleshooting: 9 Problems & Solutions

Rinnai Hot Water Troubleshooting: 9 Problems & Solutions

Rinnai is a household name for hot water in Australia, for a very good reason – a trusted brand for keeping that hot water absolutely steaming hot! But that doesn’t mean your Rinnai won’t break down, or at least run into the odd problem – because in the typical life of a Rinnai, it will keep literally tens of thousands of showers and baths hot per household. And while there are numerous Rinnai hot water system troubleshooting guides out there, many are just for marketing, or the information is too generic. Put simply, they’re guides that are mainly compiled by flicking through a Rinnai manual rather than the actual, real-life queries plumbers like us receive just about every day about their real-life, hard-working Rinnai hot water systems.

The real-world guide to Rinnai hot water problems

Rinnai hot water not working? This Rinnai troubleshooting guide is different. It’s perhaps the only faithful compilation of real-world questions and problems specific to Rinnai systems, put together and answered by real-world plumbers who get their hands dirty with Rinnai systems of every age and type every day.

Together, we’ll help end your Rinnai problems:

1. No water at all from my Rinnai system

If your Rinnai is churning out cold rather than hot water, the most common reason is that it’s a gas system that isn’t getting gas! Error code 11 is super-common, indicating a problem with the igniter – although the gas could simply be turned off as well. In the absence of an error code, look into whether the system’s temperature settings have been accidentally changed.

2. How do you reset a Rinnai water heater?

Perhaps there’s been a power outage, you want to clear an error code, or things just aren’t running right. To reset your Rinnai, find the control panel, and restart it – by turning off the power supply, waiting a minute or two, and restoring the power. If your particular Rinnai model has an actual reset button though, that’s even better.

3. Why is my Rinnai hot water heater not working and showing Error Code 11?

As we implied in Q1, it’s a very common one! But it doesn’t necessarily result in you having no hot water at all. However, something has gone wrong with the ignition. It could be no gas, it could be a faulty, dirty or misaligned igniter, or it could be a flame rod issue.

4. Why is my Rinnai water system not working while it’s leaking?

While the odd release of a small amount of water indicates normal valve function, a steady or excessive release of water could mean those valves have actually gone wrong. Then again, the tank could be corroded – which is very bad news. But perhaps it’s just a loose fitting or connection rather than a clear sign that your Rinnai’s useful days are over.

5. What does error code 12 mean on a Rinnai?

Error Code 11 is common, and so is Error Code 12! Basically, it’s just telling you about a flame failure, although the actual reason for that can vary. The gas supply could be low, venting may not be happening properly, or the flame rod might be faling. So check that gas, check the vent system – or call a plumber.

6. How do I re-light a Rinnai pilot light?

If your Rinnai is fairly new, it perhaps doesn’t have a traditional pilot light at all but electronic ignition instead – which would definitely explain why it’s proving hard to re-light! If your older Rinnai definitely has a normal pilot light, you’ll need to pull out that manual and follow the specific steps, but it’s usually just turning the gas control knob to ‘pilot’ and igniting the pilot whilst holding down the reset button.

7. Why is my Rinnai producing lukewarm water?

You want a satisfying steamer, but instead you’re getting a lukewarm fizzer. It could be the thermostat that’s on the way out, but then again it might be something as simple as a half-closed gas valve. Then again, the heat exchanger might be clogged or hard water might have caused scaling, in which case you’ll need a good hot water repair plumber.

8. How do I increase the temperature on a Rinnai electric hot water system?

It seems like a similar question to #7, but the solution is probably simpler – find that control panel and send the temperature in the upwards direction. You might even have a new model with a remote, which can be used – but bear in mind that most hot water temperature in Australia is restricted due to the scalding risk.

9. Why did my Rinnai gas hot water system just suddenly turn off?

The main cause of a sudden but apparently-routine shutdown is overheating – so you might be seeing Error Code 16. Then again, it could be a ventilation issue (Error 10) or an unspecified system fault (Errors 70, 71 & 72) – and for these you’ll need a plumber or technician.

Your Rinnai rescue team at Rapid Service Plumbing

Rinnai hot water system not working? The solutions and insights you see above are all courtesy of the real-world customers and plumbers of Rapid Service Plumbing. Our friendly plumbers Sydney wide are serious experts in dealing with Rinnai hot water systems of every kind, age and condition, offering expert guidance and fast, affordable solutions. Rapid Service Plumbing stand out from the crowd with our lifetime workmanship guarantee and a range of other service goodies, so for fast help 24/7, don’t hesitate to give us a shout day or night.

Rheem Hot Water System Not Working? Try This Guide

Rheem Hot Water System Not Working? Try This Guide

Did you listen to the marketing cry and decide to “Install a Rheem”? It’s always a solid choice to keep that hot water coming on “Steady, hot and strong” – but what happens when yours goes wrong and you’re left with freezing cold water after a long, muggy day? Well, don’t fret, because like any sophisticated appliance, they aren’t infallible. But what do you do when your Rheem is no longer going steady, hot and strong? Answer: Do some Rheem hot water system troubleshooting!

1. Do you see an error code?

Particularly if you have a continuous flow Rheem, it’s time to familiarise yourself with the various helpful error codes that your system flashes up when something’s gone wrong. Look up the Rheem code, and follow the recommended actions. Some common fault codes for Rheem continuous flow systems are below.

  • 11 Ignition failure at start up
  • 12 Flame failure during operation
  • 16 Outlet water temp too high
  • 31 Inlet thermistor open circuit
  • 33 Outlet thermistor open circuit
  • 90 Decrease in fan motor ventilation

2. Do you have a heat pump?

Are you benefitting from the superior energy efficiency and smaller carbon footprint of a Rheem heat pump? You’ll also helpfully see fault codes indicated through the flashing lights on the controller, and they will vary depending on the model – for instance, the codes for the 310L model are different from the 325L model because of the specific operational issues they face.

3. Do some general troubleshooting

Have you explored the Rheem-supplied general troubleshooting guide for all the most typical issues with Rheem hot water systems? It explores the wide range of problems across the full Rheem HWS range, rather than specific issues related to a particular model or type. Don’t have enough hot water, the temperature is wrong, you’ve got a hot water leak, you hear a noise? It’s definitely worth a look.

4. Could it be the pilot light?

With a little bit of luck, if your gas-powered Rheem hot water heater is not working, it might just be the pilot light that’s gone out for whatever reason. Rheem has created a video guide to relighting a piolet light for your convenience.

5. Do you have a water leak?

How much do you know about the function of your system’s temperature relief and expansion control valves? If your system has them, they’ll allow a little bit of water to escape during the heating cycle – because water expands as it gets hotter. Test to see if it’s more than a bucket-full of water over 24 hours, because if it’s less than that, stop worrying.

6. Is your temperature up-and-down?

Temperature fluctuation is a common issue with Rheem systems, so check if your heater is being affected by any water flow restrictors or water-saving low-flow taps. If you don’t know what to do about them, call your friendly plumber. And if the problem is simply that the water is not quite hot enough, or a little bit too hot, you’ll need a hot water plumber to do any modifications or to check the tempering valve.

7. Check your warranty information

If you’re having clear and obvious major problems with your Rheem, let’s troubleshoot your Rheem hot water system by seeing if it’s still under warranty. Get your model number, jot down your specific system’s serial number, and give Rheem a call on 1300 556 036 to verify your warranty status.

8. Have you kept up with maintenance?

There are few things Rheem expects you to get done either by a plumber or all by yourself. These involve:

  • Checking and exercising the relief valve
  • Inspecting the condition of the anode rod
  • Keeping the area around your system clear of debris & obstructions
  • Occasionally draining water (a flush) to get rid of sediment.

Rapid Service Plumbing: Your friend for hot water health

Your Rheem may be reliable, but it’s still a very complex bit of technology. Hopefully, our exclusive Rheem hot water systems troubleshooting guide has resolved your issue, but if not or you’re sure something more serious is going wrong, give the friendly team at Rapid Service Plumbing a call. We’re available 24/7 in emergencies, we always offer no-obligation quotes and upfront pricing, and we’ll also guarantee the quality of our workmanship – forever! Our plumbers serve the greater Sydney regions including Canterbury-Bankstown, City of Sydney, Eastern Suburbs, Hills District, Inner West, Sutherland Shire, North Shore, and Northern Beaches. Not only that, our Melburnian neighbours can now experience high-quality plumbing services as we have expanded to Melbourne! Rapid Service Plumbing is only ever a single call away for advice and a rapid response, so don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Is Connecting Downpipes To Stormwater Compulsory in NSW?

Is Connecting Downpipes To Stormwater Compulsory in NSW?

It’s a question we hear all the time – Do downpipes have to be connected to stormwater by law or regulation? We all know that local rules can be complicated and strict, so we want to do the right thing – but unfortunately, the answer is a little muddy and depends on specific council bylaws and circumstances. Generally, the answer is yes – connecting downpipe to stormwater is required, so that your stormwater is effectively managed and flooding and damage to your and neighbouring properties is minimised.

Do downpipes have to be connected to stormwater NSW?

As for the specific regulations, permits or approvals that apply to your particular circumstances, that’s something your local Sydney plumber can help you with.

But if you’re asking whether downpipes connecting to stormwater is a good idea, the answer is easy – most definitely yes!:

1. It’s just proper stormwater management

If that water has nowhere to go except into your stormwater drainage system, you won’t ever need to worry about water damage, flooding, erosion, and foundation damage.

2. Your property won’t be damaged

The primary reason for connecting downpipes to stormwater drains directly is to look after your foundation or other vulnerable areas of your own and surrounding properties.

3. Your landscaping won’t be damaged

You love your gardens, lawns and plant beds, right? Well, to look after them and keep them looking great, a direct downpipe connection is the ideal solution.

4. You won’t deal with soil erosion

When stormwater runoff is uncontrolled, the soil has no chance to get washed away and creating deep and serious erosion issues. The stability and quality of the soil surrounding your property are effectively guaranteed with a direct stormwater connection.

5. It’s safer

Pooling water is a major problem for various reasons, but one of them is to prevent slips and falls.

6. It makes rainwater harvesting easy

Why not direct your stormwater from the roof to your gutters, downpipes and straight into a rainwater tank – with all of the various and numerous benefits?

7. It’s just the responsible thing to do

You like being a responsible member of your community, don’t you? Ensuring your stormwater is impeccably managed protects local waterways, reduces the risk of pollution, and contributes to the overall well-being of the entire local community.

So how’s it done? Bear in mind that the specific installation process suitable for your particular building structure, materials, local regulations and preferences may differ – but your plumber will basically:

  • Plan & prepare by looking at the downpipe outlet locations and desired path
  • Cut the outlet on the fascia/eaves
  • Install the downpipe, connect the various sections, and fasten for stability
  • Create the stormwater connection by locating the connection point, determining the connection type, and ensuring a watertight connection
  • Test and adjust the final product by checking for leaks, adjusting the alignment, making modifications, and securing the fasteners/brackets.

Connecting a downpipe to stormwater with our help

Just want Rapid Service Plumbing to do all that difficult connecting downpipe to stormwater work for you? Our fully-licensed plumbers are ready to solve this and all other plumbing, drainage and stormwater system problems for you 24/7 – and we always offer no-obligation quotes, fixed upfront pricing and 100% guaranteed workmanship on every job big and small. Call the friendly team at Rapid Service Plumbing today.

Hot Water Temperature NSW – Your Questions Answered

Hot Water Temperature NSW – Your Questions Answered

Do you love your daily hot shower or bath? You’re not alone – and there’s no need to be embarrassed about it because we all feel the same! Steaming hot water feels like just as much of a human right as anything else that is essential for a comfortable, convenient life. Although entirely subjective, most people report that the loveliest temperature for that daily wash & relax is somewhere in the region of 38 to 43 degrees – but there are definitely some regulations to know about here in New South Wales as well. So let’s take a deep dive into the rules surrounding hot water temperature NSW-wide. But before we do, you may be wondering about it because:

In these cases it could be a problem with your hot water system leaking or otherwise in need of repair. Maybe your hot water system size is inadequate or there’s another issue with settings or pipes.

Regardless, you don’t need to put up with it when there’s a Sydney emergency plumber at Rapid Service Plumbing standing by! So, what temperature should your hot water be and why?

Hot water temperature regulations NSW

In part, the ideal hot water temperature is about looking after your hot water system and preventing the growth of harmful Salmonella and Legionella – which is why your system stores that hot water at least at 60-65°C.

But at that temperature, children, the elderly and other vulnerable people – and even the rest of us – are at an unacceptable risk of scalding. That’s where thermostatic mixing valves come in, which automatically blend that searing hot water with cold water to achieve a safe and still-comfortable temperature whilst still minimising bacteria growth.

Temperature of hot water full Q&A

So what do you really need to know about the rules regarding hot water system temperature in NSW? We’ve heard all your questions, and here are all the answers:

Q: What is the maximum recommended temperature for residential settings?

To keep it simple, the hot water tap temperature needs to be 50C for most run-of-the-mill residential settings.

Q: Is this the same for everywhere in Australia?

Basically, yes. But, you should definitely check what the specific rules are in your particular state, although 50°C is a basic standard country-wide.

Q: Why is 50°C the ideal temperature for hot water from taps?

Well, at 65-70°C, a full-thickness scald occurs in less than one second – and hot water burns are considered some of the worst possible. At 60°C, it takes 5 seconds to similarly harm yourself with a third-degree burn, which can result in:

  • Extensive tissue damage that will not heal on its own
  • Loss of sensation/nerve damage
  • Scarring & disfigurement requiring skin grafts or surgery
  • Heightened infection risk
  • Long-term impairments & need for rehabilitation

But at 50°C, it takes five minutes of constant exposure to produce the same kind of damage.

Q: Are there any hot water temperature standards other than 50°C?

Yes – for child care centres and preschools in NSW, as well as primary and secondary schools, nursing homes and other facilities like that, the maximum is actually 43.5°C.

Q: How are these precise temperatures achieved?

We’ve referred already to thermostatic mixing valves, but there are other tempering valves that can do the job. Also, some hot water systems are pre-manufactured with max temperatures of 50°C.

Q: Who can install these devices for me?

To comply with the domestic hot water temperature regulations across NSW and beyond, as well as building codes and all other rules, you’ll need a licensed and qualified hot water plumber. They’ll ensure the installation adheres to all relevant state and local rules as well as Australian Standards, local building codes, and the guidelines set out by the NSW Department of Fair Trading.

Let us deal with hot water temperature for you

Just need a friendly, local Sydney plumber to handle all of those complex hot water temperature regulations NSW-wide for you? No matter your plumbing problem, the highly experienced team right here at Rapid Service Plumbing is always just around the corner – and available 24/7 with fixed pricing and fully-guaranteed workmanship. For a chat or obligation-free quote, get in touch right now.

11 Small Bathroom Ideas That Really Do Work

11 Small Bathroom Ideas That Really Do Work

3 metres x 2 metres – that’s the average size for a bathroom in Sydney. At 6 square metres, that may sound small, but it’s actually enough to fit in a toilet, shower, vanity and cabinetry – and even a bath as well if you really need it! But it’s very possible that you have a bathroom space that is actually quite a bit smaller than that – and it can most definitely feel extremely squeezy without some of the smartest small bathroom ideas incorporated into the design.

The best small bathroom ideas in Sydney

But without even throwing out any of the basic amenities, fixtures and luxurious features you need in there, a small bathroom design can actually feel a lot roomier simply by renovating in adherence to some basic techniques for a real-life illusion of space. Here’s how:

1. Light colours

Stay away from the dark and bold colours that draw attention to the confined size and create a cramped atmosphere, and instead and make your tiny bathroom designs light, neutral, bright and open all around.

2. Natural light

You don’t need extra room to add a bigger window or a big, bright skylight, with all that extra natural light creating an airy and open atmosphere. For the window coverings, make them sheer or translucent if possible.

3. Artificial light

Light, light, light – the best small bathroom designs have a lot of light, whether natural or artificial. Get rid of the dark shadows and create an illusion of depth with targeted, task and accent lighting – with recessed lights adding extra space.

4. Mirrors

For a true illusion of space, you can never go wrong with mirrors. Make them large, multiple, and near the light sources as they magically open up space beyond the walls and bounce light all over the place.

5. Wall-mounted fixtures

In every way you can, opt for wall-mounted bathroom fixtures if possible. That goes for the toilets, the vanities, the cabinets and everything else – because it frees up floor space, creates a sense of openness, and eliminates the feeling of clutter.

6. Glass or open showers

For the shower, go for glass rather than frosted or a curtain. But an even better solution among these bathroom ideas for small bathrooms is to consider an open or doorless shower, which if designed well doesn’t need a screen at all.

7. Minimalism

If you can live without a bath, give it a miss. In fact, get rid of as much as you can as a general principle, including accessories, storage, furniture and purely decorative or luxury elements – because pure stylish functionality and open and clear sightlines are much better than an overwhelmed and cluttered space.

8. Smart storage

For the storage you will have, stay away from bulky cabinets or vanities and opt for open shelving or recessed storage niches.

9. Vertical design

Wherever you can add tall, vertical lines to your small bathroom ideas to draw the eyes upwards and create an illusion of height – like vertical stripes in the wall art or tall, slender fixtures such as floor-to-ceiling storage.

10. Continuity

Consider the same design for both the floors, walls and even the ceiling – a simple, seamless and visually-striking trick that tricks the eyes into thinking they’re looking at a much bigger space thanks to the elimination of boundaries.

11. Sliding doors

Create extra usable space by installing sliding rather than the usual swinging doors.

Ask us about tiny bathroom ideas that deliver

Have you asked an experienced bathroom plumber about the small bathroom design of your dreams? At Rapid Service Plumbing, we’ve helped to devise and implement dozens of tiny bathroom designs all over Sydney including Bankstown, Potts Point, Rushcutters Bay, North Rocks, Dulwich Hill, Kirrawee and beyond, by:

  • Optimising the plumbing layout & infrastructure
  • Helping to select bathroom fixtures & features
  • Modifying plumbing modifications & more.

Is your bathroom tiny – and do you need us to help implement some of the best small bathroom ideas Sydney-wide & beyond with stress-free upfront pricing and a 100% workmanship guarantee for life? Give Rapid Service Plumbing a call today.

The 6 Major Causes Of Roof Damage

The 6 Major Causes Of Roof Damage

People all over the world need a roof over their heads. But that’s doubly true for your beloved and valuable home, as that roof keeps the harsh elements out, maintains the structural integrity of the building, and contributes to its energy efficiency, security, privacy and look. Even well-designed, high quality and perfectly installed roofs, however, are subject to roof damage over time.

Is your roofing damage getting to the point where it definitely needs to be taken care of? If you notice any of the following signs, it’s time to get a professional to give it a proper check and promplty address leaking roof repairs.

  • Got a leak or see water stains?
  • Roof elements missing, cracked or corroded?
  • Noticing mould, mildew or rot?
  • Finding tile fragments in the gutters?
  • Roof flashing loose or damaged?
  • Roof visibly uneven or sagging?
  • Is your roof more than 20 years old?

Are you dealing with a damaged roof?

If your roof is on the old side, it’s likely wear & tear has simply caught up with it – although even an older roof that’s still performing may be due for an aesthetic or energy-efficient update. But, unfortunately, there’s a lot more than simple ageing that batters your all-important roof including:

1. The weather

Every roof in New South Wales or elsewhere in this sunburned land gets blasted with heat and UV light year-round – but colder temperatures, heavy rain, wind and hail also batter our roofs each and every year.

2. Poor maintenance

How often have you had a professional roof inspection? These sorts of checks are designed to address minor issues before they can actually materially damage your roof, clog your gutters, or disturb the ventilation systems – and the end result can be the exposure of the overall integrity of your roof.

3. Poor installation

It’s also possible that your roof was extra susceptible to damage from the get-go, as proper installation is a must for that roof’s effectiveness and longevity. Perhaps the seals weren’t done right or other roof components were badly installed – and that led to water infiltration, leaks and premature damage.

4. Trees & storms

Do trees overhang your roof? If so, a flow of falling branches – even little ones – can damage it, while all the debris clogs up gutters and drainage systems. But in a major storm, these damaging effects are supercharged.

5. Wildlife

Did you know that simply having trees close to your roof can accelerate the growth of damaging moss, mould and algae – and damage your roof surface? Animals also threaten your roof’s integrity, from birds to rodents to possums to insects, all of which nibble, nest and chew and damage those roof materials.

6. Bad ventilation

Are you sure your roof ventilation systems are working well? If not, heat, moisture and condensation can build up in the roof space and wreak havoc on the roof structure and materials – as well as your insulation.

We’ll deal with your roof problems for you

But wait – there is some good news! All of these issues can be minimised with regular roof inspections, proper maintenance, prompt repairs of minor issues, well-devised ventilation, quality installation and regular cleaning. And the even better news is that Rapid Service Plumbing is your friendly Sydney roof plumber who can handle it all and even more including:

We’re even available 24/7 for emergency plumbing and storm damage repairs, making us your one-stop shop for all of your plumbing, hot water, gas fitting, roof services and other general household and commercial plumbing needs and more. Get in touch with Rapid Service Plumbing today for a no-obligation quote.,

Gas Leak What To Do – Our Exclusive 10-Step Guide

Gas Leak What To Do – Our Exclusive 10-Step Guide

Spotting a huge spider or a menacing-looking rat is pretty scary, but so too is a sudden blackout or a light fitting crashing to the flood in the dead of the night. But do you know what’s even scarier when you’re at home? The whiff of gas. If your home is experiencing a gas leak, do you know what to do?

Gas leak – What to do

  • Do you smell rotten eggs?: That could be the additive called mercaptan, which is deliberately added to LPG and natural gas to make you worried.
  • Do you hear hissing or whistling or see hazy air?: That could be the alarming sounds and sights of escaping gas from a gas appliance, pipe or connection.
  • Has part of your garden died?: That could be an underground gas line experiencing a leak, causing discolouration or death of vegetation and plants.
  • Do you feel unwell?: A very slow gas leak can be impossible to detect until there’s enough in the air and your lungs to cause physical symptoms like headaches, dizziness, nausea or even difficulty breathing – and worse.

Gas leak in house what to do – 10 steps to follow

If you’ve got even a sneaking suspicion that gas could be leaking, it’s important not to panic – but you absolutely must act urgently and immediately. Do the right things and you, your home or building, and your family or clients will be just fine:

1. Act quickly & calmly

While you absolutely must not panic, that doesn’t mean you don’t have to act quickly and with purpose. So tell yourself that everything will be ok – and then let’s urgently proceed.

2. Evacuate

It’s important to get out of there – now. If you have time, open every door and window for ventilation, but otherwise, just make sure that all the people and pets leave as soon as humanly possible.

3. No flames or sparks

The absolutely worst thing you can do around leaking gas is to create even a single spark – because the next thing that could happen is a giant ‘KABOOM!’ That means not even turning on a switch, using any electrical equipment – even a phone.

4. Turn off the power

If you have time, turn off the mains electrical power. But if you don’t have time, just get to a safe location away from the property and wait for help.

Gas leak – Who to call in a gas leak

Now that you’re away from the property at a safe distance, and clear of any potential explosions, flames or gas fumes that may harm you and others, it’s time to call for professional help. Want to know what numbers to call?

5. Call emergency services

If you need police, fire or medical assistance right now, there’s no number to call except 000.

6. Non-emergency police assistance

If you still think the police need to know about your situation but no one’s life is in immediate peril, the number to call is 131 444.

7. 1800 GAS LEAK

You should also report a gas leak, especially if you can still smell it in the street or beyond your own home, by calling 1800 GAS LEAK (1800 427 532). Don’t worry, you can call 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

8. Call your gas provider

There are multiple gas providers in and around Sydney, so whip out a gas bill and call the one that is relevant to your property. If they have a customer service or emergency contact number, that’s the one to call.

9. Call local authorities

If you’re at a loss or need help from your local authorities or government agencies to report a gas problem, try the New South Wales Department of Planning, Industry, and Environment – or the Energy and Water Ombudsman NSW.

10. Call your neighbours

It’s also a good idea to give your neighbours a courtesy call to let them know what’s going on, or your property management authorities or landlord if you’re in a shared or rented property.

Gas leak what to do – Call Rapid Service Plumbing

Gas emergency all sorted? Remember, Rapid Service Plumbing also offer 24 hour Sydney emergency plumbers & gas fitting services – so if you detect that familiar and foul whiff of gas, give our friendly, licensed and attentive team a call and we’ll know exactly what to do instantly. Once any emergency is sorted, we’ll professionally inspect your entire gas system and all appliances to get to the bottom of what’s wrong and put it right or replace it.

Need a Sydney gas fitter? For 24/7 services, advice, obligation-free quotes and fully-guaranteed workmanship for life, Rapid Service Plumbing will know what to do if you have a gas leak. Never hesitate to give us a shout.