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Introduction: The urgency of restoring your hot water supply

Hot water is essential for daily household tasks, vital for maintaining hygiene and sanitation.

Peakhurst Plumbing provides insightful troubleshooting advice for when your home experiences a lack of hot water. We understand the inconvenience caused by a sudden loss of hot water and the need for prompt resolution.

In this guide, we outline potential causes of hot water system failures and offer clear, actionable steps for optimal water service restoration. We also cover when professional assistance is advisable to get your system’s water coming out restored promptly.

Checking if you have a gas or electric water heater

It’s important to determine whether you have a gas or electric water heater as the troubleshooting process varies between the two types.

Finding your hot water system

Begin by locating your hot water system. Search in laundries, cupboards, attics, basements, and garages. Electric versions generally have an electrical cable and access panel.

In most houses, it will be installed near bathrooms to reduce heat loss from the pipes in your house. The unit is a large tank that will have pipes coming in and out. Gas systems may have a pilot light and chimney with an exterior vent.

Check the energy type

Once located, identify whether your system is gas or electric by looking for these clues:

Gas water heaters will be connected to gas lines and most likely have:

  • A gas control valve/knob and gas piping running in
  • A pilot light assembly on the burner
  • Vents, grilles or chimneys

Electric hot water systems will be connected to electrical wiring and often have:

  • An electrical cord and or an isolating switchbox
  • An element access cover for changing elements
  • No flame or pilot light inside

If you’re unsure of the energy source, consult any available manuals or model numbers. If you still can’t discern the type, contact us for an inspection.

Initial checks you can do yourself

There are a few checks you can perform on your own before seeking professional help to diagnose the hot water issue:

Check power supply

For electric systems, make sure the unit is plugged in and that any isolating switches are turned on. Check your electrical circuit breaker or safety switch has not tripped; that’s all need to do at this stage. Reset if needed.

With gas systems, ensure your gas isolation inlet valve located near the entry is in the open position.

Inspect for leaks

Carefully inspect around the valves, pipes, joints and connections near the top, bottom and sides of your tank. Look for there any drips, rust stains or mineral deposits that may indicate a leak.

Assess the thermostat

Set the thermostat to maximum and wait 20-30 minutes to see if hot water flows; if not, it may be time to adjust or replace the thermostat.

Should these steps not restore your hot water, it may be time to contact us for further investigation.

When to call a professional

While there are some initial troubleshooting steps you can try yourself, it’s important to know when to call in a professional plumber or electrician to assess your hot water system.

You should request emergency assistance if you experience any of the following:

  • A suspected gas leak - evidenced by the smell of gas or hissing sounds. Turn off the gas supply immediately and vacate the area until help arrives.
  • Rapid water leakage or overflow from your heater.
  • No hot water at all for over 48 hours, even after trying reset procedures.
  • Any fault lights, codes or alarms are activated on your hot water system.
  • Issues keep recurring even after attempting repairs.

The expert plumbers at Peakhurst Plumbing offer a reliable 24/7 emergency call out service for urgent hot water problems. We can troubleshoot all the common issues covered in this article and get your hot water flowing again promptly.

During business hours, request a booking for one of our gas or electric hot water repair services by calling 1300 349 338 or emailing jobs@peakhurstplumbingservices.com.au.

Our 25 plus years of experience enables us to service all hot water unit brands, offering comprehensive solutions from inspections and maintenance to new installations.

Troubleshooting gas water heater issues

Gas water heaters can develop a few common issues that prevent hot water from being produced. Here is some troubleshooting advice for the problems you may encounter:

Pilot light won’t ignite or stay lit

First, check if the pilot light has gone out. Look for a small flame near the main burner. If it’s extinguished, follow your heater’s lighting instructions for re-ignition. First, ensure that the gas valves are in the on position.

If the pilot light won’t stay on, you may have a faulty thermocouple sensor or gas control valve. In this case, contact a plumber.

Gas valve or controls not functioning

If your pilot flame appears normal but turning the temperature dial has no effect, then the gas control valve or a connected component may be malfunctioning. Try giving the valve a tap or press to reset it. If there’s still no hot water, you’ll need to schedule a gas valve replacement.

Burner not igniting

No flame from the main burner could indicate a blocked heat exchanger, faulty ignition electrode or tripped safety switches. Do not repeatedly attempt to ignite it yourself. Have a licenced gas fitter inspect and address the underlying issue.

Tankless water heaters can unexpectedly shut off if overheated. Installing a tempering valve helps prevent this. Consult Peakhurst Plumbing if you need this or other gas hot water heater repairs.

Troubleshooting electric water heater problems

Electric hot water systems can malfunction due to a few key components. Here is some troubleshooting guidance for common electric water heating issues:

No power at the unit

Confirm that the circuit breaker or isolating switch is on. Make sure the power cable is securely plugged in and that the unit functions as expected.

If the safety switch has tripped, reset it once.

Thermostat problems

If adjusting the thermostat has no effect, tap the unit gently. If there’s still no hot water, you likely need a thermostat replacement. We recommend getting a licenced electrician to handle this.

Heating element not working

To check if the internal heating element in your hot water heater has failed, turn off power, open the access panel and inspect the element for burnt marks or scale build-up. Replacing heating elements requires care to avoid scalding or shocks. Our technicians can promptly replace faulty elements.

When to upgrade your electric system

If your electric hot water unit is over 10 years old and needing frequent repairs, a new hot water replacement may be your most cost-effective option long-term. New heat pump or solar electric water heaters have improved efficiency and performance too.

Contact Peakhurst Plumbing at 1300 349 338 for professional repairs, installations, and replacements of electric or solar hot water systems by our qualified team.

Inspecting your water heater and plumbing for issues

Inspecting your hot water system and connected plumbing regularly is crucial to help identify issues before they cause complete failure. This preventative maintenance helps maximise performance and lifespan.

Check the water heater tank

Inspect the exterior of your hot water tank, including the shell, base, and pipes. Check for leaks, rust, bulges or dents, signs of internal corrosion and possible tank failure. Leaking tanks waste water and energy, which can cause unnecessary costs, so need replacement.

Examine Plumbing Fixtures

Dripping taps, flexible hoses or isolation valves indicate worn fixtures that need replacing. Loose, damaged or heavily corroded fittings can leak and restrict water flow. Examine all water and gas connections to your hot water unit.

Test pressure relief valve

Lift the pressure relief valve lever to ensure water is released as intended, preventing hazardous pressure build-up. Replace the valve if it leaks constantly, fails to discharge, or releases water forcefully.

For professional installation of pressure relief valves or full hot water unit replacements, Peakhurst Plumbing’s licenced technicians can help. Contact us online or call 1300 349 338 to book.

Maintenance tips to prevent future hot water outages

Regular maintenance on your hot water system can enhance its longevity and forestall unexpected malfunctions. Here are essential tasks to perform:

Flush the water heater tank

Annually, to prevent sediment buildup that undermines efficiency and capacity, switch off power/gas, close inlet valves, open the drain valve, and flush until water runs clear, capturing discharged water safely.

Check for leaks and corrosion

Annually check pipes, valves, fittings, and seals for leaks or corrosion. Quickly replace any faulty parts to conserve water and energy, and address rust promptly to ensure household safety and system efficiency.

Test valves and safety features

Ensure you regularly test relief valves, backflow prevention devices, isolation valves and other safety mechanisms. Repair or replace if faulty.

Following these simple maintenance steps can add years to your hot water system’s life. For professional assistance with any plumbing repairs or scheduled servicing, contact our team at Peakhurst Plumbing on 1300 349 338.

Your legal rights and responsibilities with no hot water

Lacking hot water is highly inconvenient and stressful, notably for tenants dependent on landlords for repairs. Knowing your legal rights in these scenarios is crucial.

Landlord responsibilities

Under most state Residential Tenancies Acts in Australia, landlords are legally responsible for ensuring that gas electric essential services, like hot water systems, are maintained and repaired promptly.

Specifically in NSW, if a hot water system in a rental property breaks down, landlords are obligated to arrange repairs to restore hot water supply within 2 working days. In urgent situations, 24 hours should be the maximum timeframe.

Tenant rights

As a tenant, if your rental has had no hot water for over 48 hours, you have the right to arrange emergency repairs (by a licenced tradesperson) and deduct the reasonable costs from future rent.

Make sure to keep copies of paid invoices and photographs documenting the issue. We advise checking if your landlord has a preferred repairer before using your own.

Seeking assistance

If you are a tenant without hot water, contact your property manager or landlord immediately to report the issue emphasising the urgent nature. Provide access for repairs and inspection within 1 day.

If delays continue beyond the maximum legal time limit or you dispute any refusal to repair, contact NSW Fair Trading to launch an official complaint and receive guidance on next steps.

For timely hot water repairs by skilled plumbers, Peakhurst Plumbing offers 24/7 assistance. Dial 1300 349 338 for appointments or emergencies.

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