It is important to state right away that when it comes to your hot water system and any repairs that need to happen, these must be left to qualified professionals. Most, after all, are connected to electrical mains or gas mains and the ones with tanks have a huge volume of dangerously hot water.
This is not something for you to mess around with. While there are a few general steps you might carefully take in certain situations, and you can look at the manual for troubleshooting help, you should always defer to a professional.
TIPS ON COMMON HOT WATER PROBLEMS
- A leaking hot water tank
If you have a hot water tank that is leaking this is definitely not something you can fix yourself unless you happen to be a professional in the business! DIY-ing a leaking hot water unit is not the same as plunging a drain or changing tap washers. What you can do is shut off the hot water system until the person you have called arrives. If you have a gas hot water system there should be a small tap or gas cock close to it that can be turned off. If you have an electric system then you can turn off the power at the switchboard. If you can tell that the water leaking is coming from the temperature and pressure valve then you can also turn off the water cock.
- There is water coming from the tap but it is not hot
First of all, if you have other gas appliances like a cooker or heater, you can go check to see if they still work and have a gas supply. If not then you will need to call your gas supplier. If there is gas elsewhere then look to see if the pilot light is lit on your hot water system. If not, look in the manual for how to relight it. If that is not the issue or does not fix then you need to call in some expert hot water plumbers to assist.
If you have an electric system make sure your circuit breaker has not been tripped. If needed, replace the fuse or reset the breaker. Leave the heater on for 60 minutes to see if the water is heating once more. If not, call in your technician.
- There is no water coming from the hot tap at all
First, look to see if there is hot water anywhere or if it is a problem in one location. Also, check to see if you have cold water still. Check the tank for leaks and any visible pipes for the same. If you do not have hot or cold water check the mains tap is on. If there is still no water at all call your water mains supplier. If there is just a problem with hot water, call your plumber.
- The outlet valve has water flowing from it
Some water will come out from the outlet valve now and then, that is normal. But there should not be a constant flow and it should not happen often or all the time. On the lever is a valve that allows you to flush, do so three or four times in case there is a blockage of some kind. If that does not fix it, call your plumber.
- The tank has odd noises coming from it
Noises can be from a number of things but commonly it is because of sediment building up in the tank. It means the tank needs flushing. There are likely instructions in the manual for this process but this is safer to leave to the pros, and they can get it done more efficiently and effectively.
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