Hot Water Issues During Winter Answered


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Winter in Australia is the busiest season for your hot water system.

The water coming from your pipes is colder than normal along with the outside air temperature. This makes your hot water service work harder to produce sufficient hot water for your household. Have you noticed a decline in the performance of your hot water system?

Here are the most common problems with your water heater during winter.

1. Hot water is not hot enough.

Your hot water heater seems to be getting colder quickly. The temperature is simply not the way it used to be. Here are some causes that may contribute to this problem:

  • Defective thermostat in electric hot water systems or defective gas control valve in gas storage hot water systems. If any of these are parts is causing the hot water problem, contact a hot water plumber immediately for an emergency hot water parts replacement. 
  • Uninsulated pipes connecting to your hot water system. Ambient temperature around the pipes, especially the hot water pipes cause heat loss as water travels to your taps and showers. Wrap these frozen pipes with the proper insulation. 
  • Cold temperature in the area where your hot water heater is located. If your hot water tank is located outside your home, you can place a hot water heater blanket around the tank. This would prevent heat loss and help your hot water system to produce hot water at your desired temperature. If the hot water heater unit is inside your laundry room, it might be necessary to seal the room and not allow cold air to pass through.

If the above causes seem not to be the issue with your hot water heater, try adjusting the temperature higher by 5-10 degrees. To avoid scalding, test if the hot water temperature is to your liking by opening the farthest tap from your hot water system.

Example of bad plumbing - exposed uninsulated pipes of an instant water heater.

2. There is no hot water.

This hot water system problem is probably the most unpleasant. Literally no one would like to endure a cold shower especially at the height of winter. Below are the most common causes:
  • Broken heating element. Your hot water plumber will use a multimeter to check the resistance of your heating element. If you have a twin element electric hot water system, he needs to check both. If there is no resistance or unsteady resistance reading from your hot water element. It is time for a hot water element replacement.
  • The pilot light is not on. A defective thermocouple in the control gas valve is the most likely culprit. The thermocouple should be checked every 4 years as part of your hot water heater maintenance. When something is wrong with this part, it is better to call a gas hot water plumber to test and possibly replace it.
Hot Water Tank Element Repair in New South Wales

3. Sediment buildup inside the tank.

It is easy to determine when there are sediments inside your storage hot water systems. You might hear some popping noises every time your hot water unit is running. Your hot water heater needs thorough flushing to get rid of these sediments before this causes a major leak in your hot water tank.

4. Tankless water heaters are not giving the endless supply of hot water that they promise.

There are several reasons why this may be the case. First, there is an issue with the cold water flow to or from your instant hot water system. The second reason is that there is a defect with the gas supply, that enough gas or gas pressure is being provided to the unit. On both occasions, a licensed gas fitter will be required to troubleshoot and fix the issue.

5. Solar hot water heater problems.

If you are concerned that your solar hot water system is not giving off as much hot water during this season, you are not alone. Solar hot water heaters are great energy savers and you need to maximise the solar energy that it gets by doing the following:

  • Make sure that a gas or electric booster is available during cloudy days.
  • Installation of insulation/lagging  to exposed pipes
  • Clean your solar panels, the cleaner the panels the better efficiency you will get.

Do you have a special hot water issue or hot water system repair jobs that you need to consult with our hot water heater specialists?

The Plumbing and Electrical Doctor represents a team of licensed plumbers and gas fitters available locally to cater to your hot water systems repair and installation. We service hot water systems to keep up with warranty conditions and provide emergency hot water repairs in Canberra and its neighbouring suburbs like Queanbeyan and areas in New South Wales. Give us a call at 131091 or reach out to us through our website’s contact form. 

Get $100 OFF* on your new hot water installation TODAY.

*Contact us for more information about this promo.

Joe Evers

Joe Evers

Joe is the director of the Plumbing and Electrical Doctor. He has committed the past 23 years to the plumbing and electrical industry. From his humble beginnings as an apprentice to now being a respected tradesman with his own sphere of influence, he aims to support the industry and the people involved in it. Joe and his young family have so much to be grateful for and appreciate everything that the industry and the customers have given him.

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