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How To Know If Your Hot Water System Is About To Fail, And What To Do If It Does

How To Know If Your Hot Water System Is About To Fail, And What To Do If It Does

Hot water systems are arguably one of the most important plumbing related appliances in your house. Think about your average day, and now think about how much worse it would be if there was no hot water. No hot shower in the morning, no hot water throughout the entire day, it would be terrible. Unfortunately, hot water systems wear down over time, and if you are not careful, the hot water system could burst. Not only will you not have any hot water available, but you will also have to pay for a new hot water system, and repairs to anything that may have gotten damaged when the hot water system burst. So, here are some warning signs that your hot water system may be on its last legs, as well as what you should do, if it does burst. Of course, there are obvious warning signs that do not even need to be mentioned since they are so obvious, such as leaking. Anyone knows that if you see your hot water system leaking, you should call a professional right away.

No hot water

Do you notice that the hot water runs out extremely fast in your house? It may just be a case of someone else using it all. But if that’s not the case, then it may be a good sign your hot water system is failing. Minerals tend to build up in hot water systems over time, these minerals hurt the hot water system in two ways. Firstly, they make it harder for the hot water system to actually heat water (hence why you are running out of hot water quicker than usual). Secondly, if the mineral buildup gets too bad, eventually it can actually physically damage the hot water system which could lead to it leaking or bursting. What’s the solution in this case? Well, there is no way to prevent the minerals from actually forming; but if you know how, you can flush the tank a couple of times a year to prevent the minerals from actually hurting the hot water system.

Rumbling or any other strange noises

This problem is also related to the buildup of minerals in the hot water system. The sediment can lead to water being trapped in small areas, and as this water heats up, it interacts with the mineral buildup which can lead to various strange noises like popping, rumbling, clanking, etc. As with the issue above, the solution is to try and flush the hot water system a couple of times a year in order to prevent a huge amount of mineral buildup. There are a couple reasons why your hot water system may be making noises that may not be related to mineral buildup, so if your hot water system starts making noises, do not panic, it could be something totally harmless, but can keep an eye out for any other potential warning signs.

Rust in the water

This one should be fairly obvious to most people. If you notice that there is rust in your hot water, then it means your hot water system has begun to rust and corrode. The bad news is that once a hot water system has begun to rust, it is too far gone to really fix, and you will need to be replacing it. The good news is that since you caught it early, you can stop using the hot water system, which is a good idea, since a hot water system with a rusty tank is very liable to start leaking.

No water comes out when you lift the pressure relief valve

The pressure relief valve is one of the most important parts on a hot water system; since it prevents the hot water system from essentially exploding (although that may be a tiny bit dramatic). Either way it is important that the pressure relief valve on your hot water system works properly; otherwise you will soon have more than just a defective hot water system on your hands. Thankfully, it is easy to test if the pressure relief valve is working properly. Simply locate the valve on your hot water system, and lift it up. If the pressure relief valve is working correctly, then you will hear water rushing through the pipe. If you do not hear water rushing through the pipe, then turn off your hot water system and get a licenced plumber in to replace the valve as soon as possible.

What to do if the hot water tank bursts

Turn off the water

This is the first thing you should do when your hot water systems bursts. Locate the shutoff point for the water supply in your house. The thing about hot water systems is that when they burst, they will keep trying to fill. So, water keeps filling into the burst water tank, which then leaks out of the water tank and into your home. You should always know where the shutoff point is for your water supply; this way, if a leak ever happens, you can quickly shut off the water and hopefully minimize the damage caused by the leak.

Turn off the electricity

After dealing with the water supply, you should also shut off the electricity to the area of the house that contains the hot water system. Hot water systems have a heating element in them, usually that heating element automatically turns off when the water in the tank is sufficiently heated, but if the tank is burst, then heating element will probably not turn off on its own. If you have a gas powered hot water system, then you will want to find a way to shut off the gas flowing to the hot water system, the same as if it were an electrically powered hot water system.

Call the relevant professionals

After the water and electricity/gas are shut off, then you are going to want to start calling all the relevant professionals. First, call a plumber; we and many other plumbers offer emergency hot water services; if the tank has burst, then it probably is not fixable, but it is still worth it to have a professional come and assess the damage.