Hot Water Systems

There’s nothing worse than getting home after a big day, stepping into the shower aloft dreams of refreshing steam, only to be shocked by a cold downpour because your hot water system is not working.

If you are in this position, I’m sure you might have a lot of questions! Here are some of the most common hot water system questions and answers to help you out.


Why is my water flicking between cold and hot?

Experiencing your water intermittently rotating between hot and cold is commonly an indication of a faulty gas meter diaphragm. To replace this, you will have to contact your gas authority.

That being said, if this is occurring only in your shower, this issue may in fact be a matter of your shower head needing replacement. If all else fails, investigate this option.

Why does my pilot light keep going out after relighting?

If your pilot light keeps going out, even after relighting, there could be a few different potential issues to test out.

A common issue could be to do with your thermocouple, which is the probe that sits in the pilot light flame. This may potentially need cleaning or replacing by a qualified gas fitter.

Alternatively, your issue may be related to your hot water systems’ unitrol (thermostat) These tend not to fail so much so as your thermocouple, but can still be the root of your problem.

Finally, this may be caused by a particle floating in your pilot tube, clogging the hole where the gas is. This will require the cleaning of your gas tube.

What should I do about water leaking from my hot water tank?

If you notice a water leak from your hot tank, the first thing to do is to determine the true source of this leak. First of all, make sure you turn off the water at your water meter. This will allow you to identify whether it’s your hot water tank or a pipe that is leaking. With this information, the best course of action is to immediately call a plumber.

If you have an electric hot water system and you experience leaking from the unit or cylinder, you are most likely going to have to replace the unit.

Why am I only getting luke warm water from all of my taps?

This is particularly an issue if you are using a continuous gas hot water system, such as the Bosch and Rheem instantaneous hot water systems.

Alternatively, you may be suffering from a faulty thermostat, or the diaphragm in the water section may need replacing.

All of these issues can be easily fixed by a professional gas fitter, who will have you back up and running with steaming hot water in no time.

Why does my fuse or circuit breaker keep tripping?

If you have an electric hot water system, and your fuse or circuit breaker keeps tripping, you might be suffering from one of two problems.

The first issue may be some sort of faulty item within your hot water system. This issue will need to be fixed by a plumber with a restricted electrical license.

Alternatively, the circuit breaker itself may be faulty. This will have to be replaced by a qualified A-class electrician.

Why is my hot water coming out milky coloured?

While this issue can certainly seem quite alarming, it’s typically not a big deal at all. This is usually the result of air bubbles in the water and is entirely harmless. You can still use this hot water.

This usually happens in storage hot water units. A great way to test this is to take the milky water and leave it to stand in a glass. The water should gradually disperse and become clear.

Why is my hot water only trickling out of the tap?

If you are suffering from a weak hot water trickle, there are a few different potential causes which you can diagnose.

One of the most common is a faulty tempering valve. This is located external to the unit. Another potential cause is a faulty duo or trio valve, located on your hot water unit’s cold water inlet. Alternatively, they may have simply been accidentally switched off or tightened by your children.

Can I make my storage hot water unit last longer?

You absolutely can! The best way to do this is by replacing the sacrificial anode located atop the unit. These are long probes installed into the top of the unit, designed to erode.

Check if your unit actually has a vitreous enamel lined coating and sacrificial anode installed. It’s recommended to replace these every four years.

How can I control how hot my water is?

A lot of people wonder if they can temper the heat of their hot water, particularly if they have young children or babies.

Controlling this will vary depending on the make and design of your hot water unit. Many have a dial at the front which allows you to adjust from cooler to hotter.

Other models have a smaller dial towards the bottom of your system. Sometimes these can be difficult to adjust and you may be best using a gas fitter to help you with this task.

If you have a more modern, electric model, you may have an LED pad located somewhere in your house which controls your hot water system.

With storage hot water systems, there is normally a dial on the unitrol within the front cover. Most units are regulated to 50 degrees Celsius, but can be lowered if necessary.

Be careful when making any adjustments to your hot water system, and always err on the side of safety. It’s usually a good idea to use professional plumbers and electricians to make sure you get the results you need, without damaging your unit or yourself.