Hot Water System Problems & How To Fix It
Waking up on a winter day with cold water coming out of the shower taps can be frustrating for anyone. The problems are usually fixable but you may need help.
Hot water systems are an essential appliance in every household with the majority of it being used in the bathroom, a third of it for laundry, and the rest in the kitchen. These systems can either be gas, electric, or solar-powered or it can be a combination of all three.
Gas-powered water heater systems work as a geyser system. When switched on, the gas is fired up to heat the cold water.
Hot water systems powered by electricity work by warming the elements or rods that are inserted or submerged in the water storage tank. Though they work a little slower than the gas-powered system, the electricity bill however is heavier in the pocket.
Solar-powered water heaters use the sun’s rays to heat the water and are also less costly on the electricity bill. These systems use renewable energy to heat water by collecting solar power and storing it for later use.
Usually, hot water systems in the house can be easily fixed by you. However, you may require professional help from plumbing technicians for serious damage or hot water repairs that may look complicated for you to fix.
Diagnosing Hot Water Problems & Fixing it
No Hot Water
If you wake up to find that no hot water is coming from any of your taps but only cold water, then the first thing you need to do is check if the isolation valve of your hot water system is turned on or not. You will find that the valve is either yellow or red colored located at the side of the water tank. If it is turned off, simply turn it on to enjoy the hot water.
In cases of an electric hot water system, it has a fuse box where you need to check if it’s functioning properly and the cord is connected correctly to the power outlet.
In the case of a gas-powered hot water system, check to see if there is enough gas in the gas chamber or if you’re having problems with your gas line. If it’s the latter, be sure to call in a professional for help.
No water at all
You suddenly wake up to find that neither hot nor cold water is flowing out of the taps. If this is the case, check the main water meter to see if the valve is turned on or not. If a specific water fixture is being affected, again make sure that the isolation valve is not turned off.
If you notice water leaking from your hot water tank, be sure to find out the source of the leakage. Usually, a small amount of leak during heating the water is considered normal, however, if the leak continues and fills up a bucket within 24 hours and the leak is located at the side or bottom or overflowing from the tank, you need to call up a technician to help you out. Be sure to turn off the water supply and drain the water tank before calling the plumber.
Leakage can also be a sign of damage at home and needs to be fixed immediately. It can also occur due to loose heating elements or tank corrosion. Loose heating elements can be fixed by tightening them with an element wrench however, there is no solution besides replacement if the tank is corroded.
In any case, if you ever face a situation where the leaks are almost everywhere and you have pipes bursting, call professionals or water damage cleanup experts to resolve the situation.
No Increase in Temperature
If your hot water system provides water that is not hot enough, be sure to check the temperature settings located at the tank. Let it heat the water for about an hour and then check to see if the taps are supplying the required temperature you’re looking for. In cases of the electric hot water system, adjust the thermostat to increase the temperature to your liking.
The same can be done to reduce the temperature when the water is too hot.
Rust-colored Water or Bad Smell
If the water running from your faucet comes out yellow, red, or brown, you can be sure that there is corrosion in your water heater tank or pipes and therefore, needs to be replaced.
If the water dispensed smells bad like rotten eggs, then there may be bacteria in your water system. You may need to replace the anode rod in your tank.
Tank making Noises
Do you hear low rumbling, popping sounds, or a high-pitched whine? Those sounds are of boiling water due to excessive sediments residing at the bottom of the tank that overheats the water and hence starts boiling it. The best way to fix this problem is to drain the tank completely to get rid of the sediments and if it doesn’t help, replacement may be needed.
Apart from the above problems, if you are facing a new issue with the heater system for which you have no idea how to solve, do not risk leaving it as is. Call for professional technicians as they will know what steps are necessary and provide you with a solution. If the problem resides in one particular room such as in the bathroom where the pipes on the walls are bursting, or there are cracked walls or tiles, then you can decide to have your bathroom fixtures remodeled to reduce the risk of in-home flood and water damage.
Hot water systems have become not only an essential element in every household but also something that requires constant maintenance to get that relaxing hot showers in the morning. Therefore, it is necessary to diagnose problems early to avoid more damage.