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On a cold winter’s day, there is truly nothing better than a nice, hot shower to warm up. That is until you are standing there shivering after being suddenly interrupted by freezing cold water – ‘!#@%!’. When the temperature drops, the number of calls plumbers receive about hot water issues go up. Read on to find out 4 common winter woes when it comes to hot water.

Sediment and Mineral Build-up

It is common for dissolved minerals, small amounts of sand and other miscellaneous debris to enter water heaters when new water flows into the tank. The debris naturally settles to the bottom of the tank as the water sits idle while being heated. Water heater burners are often placed at the base of tanks, so the accumulation of debris can cause your heater to become inefficient and only produce water that is lukewarm or even cause low hot water pressure.

Water Leaks

Even if you don’t suspect hot water problems, it’s a good idea to regularly inspect your system. Is the hot water system leaking from the top of the tank or pipe fittings? The stress of larger temperature differences in winter can cause leaks in older systems.

If the tank is leaking you’ll most likely need a hot water system replacement. Best to call a local emergency plumber as the leak will only get worse. You can turn off the water at your meter to stop wastage and water damage before your plumber arrives.

Worn out or Broken Heating Elements

In winter, there is a tendency for hot water usage to rise and heaters must work harder to warm up the water. This puts more pressure on your water system and can be the tipping point for certain elements or the heating coils to wear out or break. Like any machine or piece of equipment, it is important that hot water heaters are well maintained. If you have neglected getting your water system checked, we recommend booking a plumber for an inspection.

Frozen pipes

Pipes that are overly exposed can be the source of cold-water issues when the seasons change, especially in the southern states of Australia. Your water won’t be coming out at an optimal temperature if the pipes from your water heater travel for a long length externally to reach your home. Properly insulating your pipes, particularly the first three feet entering and exiting your hot water heater is the best way to prevent some of the heat from dissipating. Foam and fibreglass insulation are popular insulation materials, depending on if you have an electric or gas hot water heater. Contact our team of experts who can assist you with the installation.

Faulty parts

Similar as to what was mentioned above, when the cooler weather starts, faulty parts can often not cope. There are numerous components in every hot water system, and they all do different jobs to keep the system working. If anyone of these fails, it can compromise the whole system, resulting in less effective heating and higher running costs. If you notice your water heater is playing up, we recommend having a plumber inspect some of the key parts. For gas hot water systems, check the pilot light, pilot control valve and thermocouple. For electric hot water systems check the thermostat and heating elements which can fail but are easily replaced. Call a plumber who can take a closer look if you notice anything out of the ordinary.

If you have noticed any of the issues mentioned above, please don’t hesitate to get in contact with the team at Ezy Plumb by calling 0402 169 096 or filling in our online enquiry form today. Routine maintenance on your hot water heater is important to prevent these problems from occurring and will save you money in the long run.