Your hot water heater is a crucial part of your home's fixture and fitting ecosystem. It's responsible for everything from ensuring you can clean your dishes in the kitchen sink to giving you a hot bath or shower when you're getting ready in the mornings – and in some homes, it can play a key role in keeping your home heated, too. So when it goes wrong, it can wreak havoc on your life. But what are the main ways to stop problems arising with this crucial piece of kit? This blog post will find out.
Fortunately, your hot water supply is almost always in use – meaning that if something is going wrong, you'll be able to pick up on it quite quickly before the problem is able to get any worse. Things can get a little complex, though, when it comes to use in the summer months. You'll still need hot water during this time, but you might not be using your heating system – during which time problems can emerge. And a similar problem can also arise if you're away from your property for an extended period of time, during which perhaps no hot water is being called up at all. In either of these instances, you may find that the unused part of the system develops issues – and you'll need to act to fix them. To reduce the likelihood of this happening, it's essential that you test your hot water supply on a regular basis. If you're at home during the summer, try turning on your heating briefly every couple of weeks just to check everything is in order. And if you're away for long periods, why not ask a trusted friend or neighbour to call in and see if everything is OK?
When hot water heaters break down, it's not necessarily just the heater itself that could be to blame. The control panel for the system, such as the thermostat, could also be at fault. Many thermostats, including those which are wall mounted, are battery powered – so keeping a stack of batteries on hand in case yours runs flat might be wise. Some boilers will also have an internal or hidden thermostat as well as the user-friendly one that is easy to reach – so familiarising yourself with the boiler's hidden thermostat could help you if you get caught short with a broken external one.
A very common complaint in the water heater plumbing world is that a leak has sprung. This can vary in severity, with some leaks staying in the "small drip" category for a long while – with others morphing into a much worse flood risk quite quickly. Luckily, there are some steps you can take to prevent your hot water heating leaking. First off, it's a good idea to check that your heating element bolts are tightly screwed in. And it's also wise to keep an eye on how old your heater is, too, and consider getting a new one – or a tankless one – if leaks become a regular occurrence.
Finally, it's worth remembering that sometimes you won't be able to prevent problems with your hot water heater. These are complex devices, and it's natural that from time to time they will undergo a process of wear and tear or develop other, more specific issues. When this happens, the only solution will be to call for the assistance of a qualified plumber.
When you do this, you need to make sure that you're transmitting accurate information to the plumber you book when you first speak to them. It's only by giving them the full picture that you can prevent the issue of misdiagnosis – so it's wise to keep notes about what's happening. Are you getting hot water out of your kitchen tap but not in your bathroom, for example? If so, write that down. Are you experiencing issues with your heating but not with your taps? Note that down too.
This is all useful information for your plumber to know – and can help you ensure that you don't end up shelling out more than once due to misdiagnosis or the plumber taking more time than necessary to get to the bottom of it.
It's prudent to make sure you keep your hot water heather in a decent condition. If you don't, you could well end up finding yourself with no hot water in the middle of a cold snap – and that's not something anyone wants to have to deal with. Fortunately, it's possible to raise the chances of your hot water heater working well by following the top tips outlined in this article. Got an issue with your hot water heating? Here at Endpoint Plumbing, we're one of Melbourne's top plumbing companies – and we can help you out if you've got a problem. Just get in touch with us today.