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Common hot water system problems

Winter in Melbourne is well and truly here. Now, while we’re not battling sub-zero temperatures like Europe or Canada, we Aussies do show our softer side when we’re faced with single-digit overnight temperatures!

Bring out the beanies and coats, hot soup, and yes, the power of your hot water system to provide you and your family hot water through these chilly months.

As we’ve mentioned before, you never really think too much about your plumbing, and in this case, your hot water system… that is, until it fails.

Has your hot water system been letting you down? Here are the most common problems associated with your system, and most importantly, what you should do about them. Read on to learn more from our Cheltenham plumbers!

shower installation

Unexplainable and odd noises

The most frequent thing is that we hear noises that may signal a fault in the hot water unit. If so, this part will have to be repaired or replaced, something where you will likely need to call an emergency plumber.

Now this one is kind of subjective, as most hot water heaters will make, to some degree, noise. But it’s the unknown of determining whether this noise is “normal” or whether it’s in fact signifying a problem that often requires the expertise of a plumber.

Water leak

A water leak is commonly found at the base of a water tank, and can quickly lead to a more serious problem. More often than not, a leaking water heater can be attributed to a faulty or worn pressure relief valve (PRV), or drain valve.

PTRV valve

The pressure relief valve’s role is, as you might have guessed, to relieve water pressure inside the tank. When the value is under too much pressure, it can fail. This may be a relatively simple fix (replacing the valve), however left untreated, can lead to further damage.

Best to get it fixed quickly!

Drain valve

A leaking drain valve allows water to leak into the bottom of a hot water tank. It’s a simple fix, too, but it’s important you address it promptly.

No water pressure

One of the biggest pet peeves!

This problem can sometimes appear over time, where water flow switches between normal and low, causing frustration for every member of the household.

Low water pressure can be caused by a few things. Some of the most common causes are:

  • Partially closed valves
  • Failing pressure regulator
  • An unidentified leak
  • An outdated or faulty system that needs to be replaced

Sick of putting up with low water pressure? Let the experts help you out!

plumbers in Brighton

Faulty or missing safe tray

A safe tray is a critical component of your hot water system designed to capture water in the event of an unexpected leak.

Without a safe tray, water is not isolated and will lead to extensive internal and structural damage.

This poor client unfortunately found a dodgy plumber to install her hot water system. He did not install a safe tray, and the results are nothing short of disastrous! Read our blog post (and view some shocking pictures!) here.

Is your home in need of a plumbing inspection?

Did you know that you can receive a FREE inspection report in your home from Watermaster?

The truth is that plumbing woes are often hidden to the naked eye, and by the time you do notice something is amiss, extensive damage has already occurred.

How long should a hot water system last?

Most quality hot water systems should last anywhere between 10 and 15 years, however it is important to remember that the hot water systems with the best longevity are those that are not only of sound quality, but that are regularly maintained and inspected.

Hot water systems that are not regularly serviced may take a hit to their lifespan, perhaps lasting 8 or so years.

Should I repair or replace my hot water system?

The age-old debate: should you replace your current hot water system with a newer version, or is it repairable? Nine times out of ten, you will struggle to answer.

Consider its age

If it’s more than 8 years old, you might like to consider replacing rather than repairing. A water heater that is only a few years old, however, may be salvaged through repair.


Corrosion and rust is not unusual on a hot water system. If it’s posing any sort of health risk, it’s best to replace.

Hot water repair from Melbourne’s Watermaster Plumbing

Your hot water system is put under duress every day, and for the most part, it does a great job! But what about those times where it’s simply failing too often? A good hot water system is a quality investment that should last you years. Need hot water replacement or repair?

Contact the friendly team at Watermaster. We offer emergency plumbing services across Melbourne, so call us now!

2023-10-23T01:05:18+00:00 July 6th, 2017|Blog|