Most of us don’t see the need to service a hot water heater until it has some issue.
However, you can avoid common hot water heater problems if you have it serviced occasionally by an expert. One issue you might notice if you don’t service the water heater regularly is that it takes longer to heat the water.
This problem usually occurs when the heating coil has collected dust and sediments over a long period. As such, the coils can not heat efficiently, which reduces the heater’s efficiency.
Keeping this in mind, we have put together this guide to help you understand the importance of servicing a hot water heater at the right time.
Types of Hot Water Systems
1. Gas hot water systems: Gas hot water systems utilize natural gas or propane to heat the water. They are known for their quick heating capability and high efficiency, making them a popular choice for many households. Gas hot water systems require a gas supply and proper ventilation for safe operation.
2. Electric hot water systems: Electric hot water systems use electricity to heat the water. They are relatively easy to install and maintain, making them a convenient option for homes without access to gas. Electric hot water systems can be more expensive than gas systems, but they offer the advantage of precise temperature control and are generally considered safer.
3. Solar hot water systems: Solar hot water systems use energy from the sun to heat the water. They consist of solar panels or collectors that absorb sunlight and transfer the heat to a storage tank. Solar hot water systems are environmentally friendly and can significantly reduce energy costs over time. However, they may require a larger upfront investment and depend on sunlight availability for optimal performance.
Why Should A Hot Water Heater Need To Be Serviced?
Like any home appliance, a hot water system requires regular maintenance and servicing if you want it to run smoothly for an extended period. If you don’t get it serviced by a professional, you might encounter the following problems:
- The heater can stop working and become difficult to repair
- It can overheat and explode
- It can cause severe damage to your property as well as to yourself
- A poorly maintained water heater can cause a spike in the energy bill
- Most water heaters are prone to rust
- The water heater can leak and cause water damage all over your house.
When Does The Hot Water Heater Need Servicing?
1. When The Hot Water System Turns On And Off Frequently
One of the main reasons this problem can happen is when the appliance is old and worn out. Old components have a higher chance of short-circuiting, which can cause the heater to turn off and on constantly, which can be annoying. If you contact a professional, they will replace all worn-out parts with newer ones so that the heater performs more efficiently.
2. When The Hot Water System Is Outdated
The best way to check if the water heater is outdated is by inspecting the side for any labels left by the manufacturer. You can also check the packaging to determine when the heater was manufactured.
An outdated or older water heater typically requires more maintenance and servicing than a newer model. In some cases, you might have to replace the model with the latest unit since there is no point in getting it serviced or repaired.
3. When The Heater Starts Making Strange Noises
If you haven’t serviced or maintained your water heater for a long time, it can start making noises, such as screeching, banging, hissing, rumbling, etc. This can be very annoying for your neighbour and family as they will get disturbed whenever the heater is used.
4. Leak In The Hot Water Heater
Several reasons can cause a hot water heater to leak, such as a damaged tank, defective pressure relief valve, poorly fitted pipes, etc. Thus, you should immediately contact a professional if you notice any leakage because it can cause a lot of damage to your property.
5. When The Water is Not Heating
The biggest giveaway there is a problem with the water heater is if you notice the water is not getting hot or taking sufficiently long to heat. Don’t waste time; contact professional electricians to resolve the issue quickly or install a new model.
Benefits Of Servicing Your Hot Water System
So far, we have discussed negligence problems when maintaining a water heater and when you should service it. In this section, we have listed some of the benefits of servicing a water heater.
1. Fewer Chances Of Overheating And Leaking
If you opt for regular servicing, the water heater is less likely to develop overheating or leakage issues since an expert will change the defective parts on time. This way, you can prevent the appliance from causing damage to your property or disrupting your daily life.
2. Prevents Sediment Build-Up
Another significant benefit of regular servicing is preventing sediments from building up within the heater. When this happens, the chances of noise or system failure decrease significantly.
3. Water Heater Can Last Longer
Unlike regular heaters, a serviced heater lasts longer, and the appliance can perform consistently without causing inconvenience.
4. Makes The Heater More Energy Efficient
A poorly maintained water heater consumes more energy as it takes longer to heat the water. And you can usually tell if there is a problem with the unit by looking at the monthly energy bills.
Servicing Time-Based On Different Water Heater Models
- Electric/gas - 6 months to 5 years
- Heat pump - Annually
- Continuous/instantaneous flow - Every year
- Solar - Every five years
Among these models, electric and gas heaters require a minor servicing twice a year that involves inspecting the drain and releasing the pressure by lifting the pressure or temperature relief valve. The best part is that you can perform minor servicing without professional help.
Servicing Your Hot Water Heater
You should always service the hot water heater frequently to prolong the appliance’s lifespan and prevent it from malfunctioning. If you notice the appliance getting too hot while sitting idle, we recommend turning it off and calling a professional.
Using the heater while it is malfunctioning can cause it to explode and severely damage your property. It could also risk your family and yourself if it triggers a fire.
At Woolf Plumbing & Gas, we offer unmatched water heater repair, installation and maintenance across Perth. So, give us a call to see how we can assist you!
Hot Water Servicing FAQs
What are the signs that my hot water system needs servicing?
Signs that your hot water system needs servicing can range from a lack of hot water, strange noises from the hot water unit, discoloured water, or a significant drop in water temperature. Regular hot water system maintenance can help prevent these issues.
What is involved in a hot water service?
A typical hot water service involves checking the system’s overall functioning, inspecting the hot water tanks for rust or leaks, testing the temperature and pressure relief valve, and cleaning essential components. Always refer to your water heater manual for specific maintenance advice.
How often should I get my hot water system serviced?
Having your hot water system serviced once every one to two years is generally recommended. However, the exact frequency can depend on the type and age of your hot water system, the quality of your water, and the manufacturer’s recommendations in the water heater manual.
Why are temperature and pressure relief valves critical in hot water system maintenance?
The temperature and pressure relief valve (TPR valve) is a safety device on hot water tanks that releases water when the temperature or pressure exceeds safe levels. During a hot water service, a professional will check the TPR valve to ensure it’s functioning correctly to prevent potential accidents.
Is hiring a professional for hot water system maintenance necessary, or can I do it myself?
While some basic checks can be performed at home, hiring a professional for a comprehensive hot water service is generally recommended. Professionals have the training and tools to safely and effectively service the system, ensuring your hot water system needs are fully met.