No-one wants a cold shower, particularly not on a freezing winter’s morning. Whilst the weather is heating up at the moment, your hot water system is probably the last thing on your mind! Even so, now is the best time to be checking if it is in order and if it will make it through the next winter. Just how do you tell if your hot water system is in proper working order, needs a few tweaks or if you need a completely new one? Here are a few things to look out for…
In general, hot water systems are expected to last anywhere between 8 and 12 years. Some hot water systems are built to last longer, you can check the manufacturer’s information if you still have it for a more precise time-frame. If your hot water system has reached 12 years or over and is beginning to fail, it is probably time for a new one. If you are living in an older property and don’t have any information or knowledge on how old your hot water system is, it may be worthwhile to call a professional plumber out, so they can assess the situation.
A big indicator that you may be in need of a new hot water system or a maintenance check as soon as possible is if your system is failing to deliver hot water to your household when you need it. It is a good idea to have a professional check out your system to determine if the cause is due to leaks, faulty thermostats or damaged heating elements. All of these defects can cause problems with hot water, a professional plumber will be able to best advise you on what your next step should be. Even though a repair may be cheaper now, in the long run it may cost you as your system may be near the end of its life.
If your hot water system is making a lot of racket, it may be trying to tell you that it is on its way out. Some noises are normal to hear; however, prolonged or unusual noises are generally a sign that something is wrong. If a sizzling or hissing noise is coming from your system, this may be due to a faulty relief valve or a build-up of sediment. The minerals that naturally build-up in your tank over time can cause noise when bubbles try to escape from underneath it. Any strange noises should be looked at by a professional plumber, so no further problems of overheating or corrosion are made by delaying the call-out.
Leaking hot water systems not only cost you money in the water aspect, it can also damage walls and flooring as well as cause mould and mildew to grow which can create health problems. Leaks can be the result of defects in the inlet or outlet connections, the pressure relief valve or the actual tank itself. If there is any rust around the fittings, your tank may be leaking as a result of corrosion.