If you are familiar with hot water you can understand how the smallest leak can become problematic if not attended to promptly. It is very common that homeowners don’t usually discover a leak at their hot water system until they investigate as to why there is insufficient hot water or none at all.
What to do in case of a leak?
If you find yourself in this situation, the first thing to do is to stay calm. However, you can only stay calm if you know how to best deal with the situation. Below are some helpful tips for such circumstances from our Bayside plumbers in Melbourne.
1. Know the source of the leak
The first step is to know where the leak is coming from. Take a closer look at the tank or pipes near the system to see if they are leaking. In rare cases, the pipework close by may be the culprit. If this is the case there is a different issue entirely.
2. Call your Local Plumber
After identifying the source of the leak, call a local plumber. They should have the appropriate licences for your type of hot water system whether it’s gas or electric. Don’t try to work on the problem yourself, listen to the plumbers advise and take these next steps before they arrive.
3. Turn off your water mains
It is best that you turn off your water at the mains if the leak is serious. This minimises the damage until your plumber arrives to work on the leak. Your water mains will most likely be in the front yard of your house. If you live in a unit or apartment they may also be located on the side of the building or even in a hallway cupboard. Switch off the mains by turning the tap handle clockwise. Make sure to keep some water in a bottle for drinking which will keep you going until your local plumber can fix the issue.
4. Turn off the power source
An electric hot water system will have a switch in your home’s switchboard. A switchboard is usually located at the front of houses mounted on the exterior wall. Live in a unit or apartment? It’s likely in a small cabinet near the entrance. To turn off the gas supply to a hot water system locate the gas pipe connecting to the unit and turn off the gas isolation valve. If you can’t find the hot water unit isolation valve you can also turn off the supply at your gas meter.
Why is your Hot Water System Leaking?
Water heater leaks when unattended usually get worse over time. Here are the possible causes of a leaking hot water heater system.
1. Leaking Hot Water Tank
The most common cause of a hot water system leak is from the top or bottom of the tank. If you have a leaking tank then one of the internal components of the tank has most likely failed. This is more likely to happen with an older unit near or at the end of its life.
2. Leaking Pressure Relief Valve
You may have a leaking pressure and temperature relief valve. This will normally lead to the occasional escape of a few drops of water but should stop over time. However, you may need a replacement in the case of a constant running of water or a puddle forming.
3. Loose Connections
It is not uncommon for fittings to loosen up due to harsh weather or non-environmental conditions. In this case, your plumber will be able to make the necessary repairs.
Deciding on whether to replace or repair a Leaking Hot Water System
The most important determinant factor here is the extent or cause of the leak. In most cases, a leaking hot water heater can be repaired, and in others, the only or best option is a replacement. In the case of the latter, most homeowners end up replacing the broken system with an identical unit. While this may solve the issue, it may not be the best solution. With constant upgrades to hot water system technology, there are more economical and modern options available rather than sticking to a system manufactured a decade or two ago.
If you look closely, you will definitely see a lot of good options that suit your home and lifestyle. While at it, you may be faced with some questions – like going for heat or solar pump system; tank or tankless system; gas or electric system? These questions can be quite tricky, and you will need to do extensive research to find all this information.
Fortunately, you can save yourself all this stress by bringing in a professional to fix or replace hot water systems for you. The team at Ezy-Plumb are the experts you can rely on whether you need a repair for your leaking hot water system or a total replacement. Do not hesitate to contact them today!