How to Tell If Your Hot Water System Is Working Properly

How to Tell If Your Hot Water System Is Working Properly

The Importance of a Functioning Hot Water System

Think about the luxury we have when we turn on the tap in the bathroom to find hot water for that hot shower or bath you have been craving. How comforting is it to wash your dishes with hot water when you feel like it? Many people can enjoy these luxuries as benefits of having a functioning hot water system.

A hot water system typically comprises a storage tank that keeps heated water. The system heats water as it enters the tank. Hot water systems seem seamless, but like any other part of the house, these systems require attention and regular maintenance.

When a hot water system starts to malfunction, it is not only your convenience that can be disrupted. A malfunctioning hot water system can have potentially dangerous consequences as well. When the temperature of a hot water system malfunctions, your water can go from cold to hot and sometimes to the hottest setting without your knowing.

A leak in your hot water system that is not quickly identified and fixed may also become a burst that can rupture and send a mess of water into the house.

Many unpleasant consequences can come from your hot water system not working. Did you know that if your hot water system leaks, the water inside comes into contact with rust and outside bacteria, ultimately contaminating the water?

Maintaining a functioning hot water system is a healthy habit for the home; not only will it save you from inconvenience but any unwanted trouble.

Is your Hot Water System working properly?

There are ways to tell if your hot water system is not working correctly.

Here are some signs to look out for:

A Lack of Hot Water

A lack of hot water indicates problems with a hot water system. When you turn the tap to its hottest function, you expect hot water to run. If the water is consistently lukewarm or cold, it can indicate that your hot water system needs to be checked.

Inconsistent Water Temperature

Which type of hot water system is best?

A thermostat regulates the temperature of a hot water system. It is usually found on the top or bottom of the tank. A thermostat monitors the water temperature and heats it every time it drops below a selected set point.

If you notice that your water is cold one minute and hot another, it is a sign that your hot water system is starting to fail. This can also be the case if you must constantly set the thermostat. The inconsistent temperature can be due to a faulty thermostat or another heating element.

It is recommended that these elements be checked and repaired consistently before they become a nuisance that might require costly solutions.

Unexpected Noises Coming from the System

If you hear noises like rattling or banging from the hot water system, it could be due to a mineral build-up. Although a hot water system is not expected to be constantly silent, look out for repeated or loud noises. Regular check-ups of the system can help identify issues and attend to them before they become something that might require you to overhaul your entire system.

Dusty and Discoloured Water

Water from your taps should be a transparent colour. If your water is cloudy, murky, or looks like there is rust or dust present, this is an issue you need to attend to. Water tanks are usually made of metal. Metal rusts over time, so water tanks have a sacrificial anode to protect the actual storage tank from rusting. The anode is a metal rod made from materials such as magnesium. The rod is there to attract impurities in the water. The impurities attract to the anode instead of eroding the inside of the tank with rust.

However, the anodes will also deteriorate over time and can contaminate the water. It is recommended that the anodes be replaced every 5 years.

If you notice water that looks different from a standard clear colour, it could signal that you need a hot water system repair.

hot water system replacement

Water Leaking from the Pressure Valve

Take a look at your water heater (generally found behind the hot water system). The system can leak from various places. One place to check for a leak is in the pressure relief valve. A pressure relief valve exists to relieve pressure from the tank and prevent excess pressure. If the valve is leaking, you can repair the leak yourself if you know where to adjust, tighten or replace the valve. However, you can call a professional to help if you are uncomfortable with this.

How to Maintain Your Hot Water System

There are things you can do to maintain your hot water system. It is best to do these things to avoid a hot water system replacement. These simple steps can also be tried before calling a professional for help.

Firstly, turn off the power. This will also help you check if the circuit breaker in your switch box is functioning.

Check the Thermostat Settings

Check your thermostat to see if that is working. Cold or erratic water temperatures can be due to faulty thermostats. You can replace the thermostat if it is the problem and it still isn’t working.

Visual Checks

What do you see when the water comes out of your tap? Do you see sediment and dust? Another checkup you can perform is draining your hot water system for sediment. If there is a sediment build-up, you can refer to your hot water systems manual for removing it. It can be as normal as using your hose to let out the sediment.

Do you see discolored water? If your water is cloudy or discolored, this is something that should be looked at by a plumber.

hot water system

When to Call a Plumber

You can test and check up on your hot water system regularly before calling a plumber. However, they may come a time when you need an expert’s help. Depending on the issue, you can contact an electrician or plumber.

Perform testing necessary functions like the pressure release valve and checking the circuit breaker is working. If you still have problems after that, you should call a professional.

A plumber will be helpful if you can’t find the source of the hot water problem yourself. They are trained and will know what to look for and how to fix it. This will save you time trying to diagnose your hot water system.

Finding a professional is also helpful if you need help to do the repairs yourself. Some of us are uncomfortable fixing things. Sometimes it is best to get expert help to save you from getting it wrong or causing further complications.

Maintain Your Hot Water System and Find The Help For Your Hot Water System

It is essential that you regularly maintain and check your hot water system. A malfunctioning hot water system is a nuisance and can be dangerous. Perform regular tests, and if you cannot solve an issue, don’t hesitate to contact a professional to help you. That’s what they’re there for! They can make sure you have a hot water system that will allow you to have a hot shower when you want.