Hot Water Repairs


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Hot Water

Repairs and Inspections

There is nothing worse than a cold shower! We put a priority on fixing hot water systems, because the last thing you want at the end of a hard day’s work is a cold shower. There are a couple of aspects to a hot water system that could be broken, most require an electrician but one of the items will require a plumber. So what trade do you need?

Electrical Faults in Hot Water Systems


The Thermostat will control the electricity flow depending on the temperature of the tank. It will switch off the power to the element when the set temp is reached, and then turn back on when the temp of the tank goes below the threshold.

This item can fail in a couple of ways. First, the silver plated terminals can wear out over time or become carbonized resulting in Thermostat failure.

Second, the Thermostat housing can start to fall apart due to the heat from the hot water and in turn not heat the water to the correct temperature. Replacement is required in both instances, and must be completed by a licensed electrician.

Hot Water Element

The Hot Water Element heats the water due to the flow of current through the device when the Thermostat closes its contacts. The construction of an element is made up of a single resistive wire, surrounded by an insulating mineral which is all encased within a copper jacket combining the components into one package. Faults that can arise with elements include open circuiting, and failure of the outer jacket resulting in a short to earth.

The remedy is replacement of the hot water element by a licensed electrician, as repair is not possible. The element can be tested using a multi-meter to get a correct Ohm reading to verify the Element’s condition. As the hot water system is usually cold when we arrive to check it,  we are able to replace the element without draining the system.

The sacrificial anode stops electrolysis from eating away the outer jacket on the element which results in failure. So if your hot water is around 5 years old, have the sacrificial anode checked by a licensed plumber to make sure your hot water keeps hot for many more years to come.

Circuit Breakers and Control Equipment

The control and Protective Equipment in your switch board are other systems that could have a fault that will affect the hot water system. The wiring will normally remain unaffected during normal operation but sometimes, with the repeated heating and cooling due to the current involved with powering a hot water system, the resulting expansion and contraction, cables could become loose in their terminals.

This would cause what is called a hot Joint, and could melt the Circuit breaker, or terminals in the hot water system.

The solution would be to first repair the damage then check that all connections in line with the Hot water are correctly tightened.

If you have Off Peak hot water, Energex will control the power availability from between 8 and 18 hours per day. Energex equipment on the switchboard called a relay switches off and on the electricity to chosen appliances like the water heater. This equipment has a possibility of failure. In such a case, the remedy is to ask us to call in and bypass this relay switch, and request Energex to come and replace this relay in your switchboard. This is normally at no cost from Energex to repair their equipment.

Tempering Valve

The Tempering Valve regulates the temperature of the water coming out of the hot taps in your house. This should not be more than 50° C. This valve can become defective when it no longer mixes hot and cold, and just puts cold water out.

To test the Tempering Valve, pull the Relief valve to see if the Hot Water is hot. Be careful as the water coming out the Relief pipe could be hotter than 70° C. If the water coming out the relief pipe is cold, the electrical components are most likely at fault, if the water is hot, the tempering valve will most likely be the cause of the fault. The Tempering Valve will need to be replaced by a licensed Plumber.

The Tempering Valve above has the BLUE Cap, and the Pressure Relief Valve is at the top right of the picture.

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