Is your hot water system playing up? It might just blow your mind, but the average Australian plumber will work on literally hundreds of misbehaving hot water systems each and every year – because it’s one of the most common call-outs. Systems that produce only cold showers, noisy units that churn out discoloured water, strange noises, gas or electricity supply issues – they’re all super-common. But perhaps the most alarming and serious of all the common problems is a leaking hot water system.
A hot water system leak is a big deal
So what should you do if you notice your hot water system leaking? It may seem like just a few drops, or that a more serious leak of harmless is not really a big deal, but bear in mind that a hot water cylinder leaking water can cause:
- Water damage: Leaking water anywhere in or near your home can damage your floors, walls, ceilings, promote the growth of harmful mould and bacteria – and even damage your building’s very foundations.
- Big bills: It’s not just that extra water you’ll have to pay for, but also more gas or electricity as your system works overtime to compensate for the constantly-leaking water. And if you just stand back and ignore a minor leak, it could become a much bigger one – costing you even more in repairs or full system replacement.
- Electrocution risk: Remember, your hot water system is also an electronic device – and we all know that water and power can have fatal consequences if they get together in an unintended way. If that leak gets near the heating element or the thermostat, the next problem could be a deadly ‘zap!’
- Risk of explosion: If the leak – or the underlying cause – is extreme, immense pressure can build up inside the tank to such an extent that it can even explode.
It is therefore critical to recognise that a hot water system needs to be dealt with straight away, and by none other than you – even before your emergency plumber in Sydney can get to your place. Is your hot water service leaking? If you’re wondering how to fix a leaking hot water system, here’s what to do:
1. Turn off the power
Sure, a leaking hot water system is a soggy problem – but let’s not start mixing that water with its energy source or any nearby electronics and wiring, shall we? So no matter what its type is – gas, electricity or solar – it’s time to switch it off. You can do this even without touching it at your home’s main switchboard, and if it’s powered by gas, turn off the supply at the main valve.
2. Turn off the water
Let’s not make the problem any worse by adding more water to the system. So, to be extra careful, turn off the water supply valve at the actual hot water system as well as at the mains control.
3. Turn on the hot taps
If it’s a slow leak, it’s going to keep happening in an uncontrolled and potentially very damaging way until that tank is completely empty. You can therefore fast-forward the process and control where most of the stored water goes by turning on the hot taps inside your home. Once it’s all gone down the drain, there’s nothing left to leak.
4. Identify the problem
You could and probably should, of course, leave this step to your friendly licensed plumber, who will know exactly how to diagnose and hopefully repair the problem. But while you’re waiting for them to arrive, consider that the culprit could be:
- Faulty valves
- Tank corrosion
- Plumbing connection leak
- Loose element bolts
- Worn gasket.
5. Document the damage
If you think you might be needing to lodge an insurance or warranty claim, also take the opportunity to take as many photos as you can both of the misbehaving hot water system and any damage it may already have caused.
Hot water service leaking? Call the Pros
Has your friendly local hot water plumber arrived yet to deal with your hot water leak? Here at Rapid Service Plumbing, we’ll rapidly diagnose the problem, replace a part to implement a hot water repair, or recommend full system replacement from one of the most trusted hot water brands across Sydney & beyond. It may be the perfect opportunity to make the switch to an instantaneous hot water system, which obviously will have no tank at all that can start leaking in the future, or you could switch energy source or upgrade to the latest and most energy-efficient technology with all the modern bells and whistles.
Is your hot water leaking? Remember, the most trusted local fast response Sydney plumbers team here at Rapid Service Plumbing is on duty 24/7, so don’t ignore it, give us a shout today – and we’ll do the rest.