How to Maintain Your Hot Water System
For a lot of us, the first time we notice the hot water system is when things have gone wrong. From waking up to an icy shower to hearing neighbours screaming as we flood the apartment below us, a failed hot water system opens up a whole host of problems.
Instead of waiting for flooded dwellings, smelly family members and ruined carpets, why not take control? With some basic maintenance you can keep your hot water system in a better condition for longer, as well as spot a problem before it becomes a catastrophe.
Check the temperature pressure relief valve
Your hot water system’s temperature pressure relief valve (TPR) prevents the system from exploding – and, as a result, it’s important to check that the TPR is in good working order every three to six months.
The TPR is located at the top of most hot water systems. Lift the valve lever and hold it for about 10 to 15 seconds (or as instructed by your manual) and see what happens. A small amount of water should flow while you hold the lever out of the discharge overflow pipe at the bottom, but it should stop as soon as you release the TPR, with no sign of drips or traces of water.
If you find that the TPR continues to dribble and/or there is a large amount of flowing water, call your property manager or a plumber.
What else to check – gas hot water system
- Smell for a gas leak - there may be a larger issue than just your hot water system. A gas leak can mean that there is a problem elsewhere in the property. If you think there is a leak it is important to turn the gas off to the entire property and set up an maintenance request.
- Check if the gas in the rest of the house is working - if all gas in the property isn’t working, it may not be an issue with the hot water system, it could be a gas problem.
- Check for a water leak from the unit - try to identify exactly where the leak is coming from. It could be the tank or the pipes, or there could be a leak elsewhere in your property that may affect the unit. A leak may turn into a burst hot water system, which can flood the property, so it is important to catch this before it gets worse.
- Check if the pilot light has gone out - the pilot light is a small flame that ignites the gas burner on your water heater.
What else to check – electric hot water system
- Safety first - before you attempt anything, make sure the power is off to the unit. You can do this by turning off the fuse or circuit breaker connected to the heater unit.
- Check if your electricity is working in the rest of the house or if the power issue is isolated to the hot water system - there may be a larger power issue if the rest of the house has no power
- Check to see if electricity is being delivered to the unit - Check the main switch on the water heater and the circuit breaker (or fuse) that serves the water heater.
NOTE - If the circuit breaker has tripped, and you feel comfortable doing so, you can reset it by flipping the main switch all the way to OFF and then back to ON. Please note that resetting an electric unit can take up to 24 hours to re heat.
Have you tried all the above and still don't have hot water? Send me a message HERE to let me know the issue to give you some assistance, or if you are a tenant of ours, call the emergency maintenance number on 0434 409 921.