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We’re officially into the cooler months, and there’s nothing better than a good hot shower with high pressure after a day out in the cooler elements. One of the most annoying things that can happen to hot water is when your hot water pressure is lacking, and you receive a trickle of water instead of the hot blast you were hoping for. Don’t despair; it’s a widespread problem and could be caused by a variety of reasons.

POSSIBLE TOP 5 CAUSES OF LOW HOT WATER PRESSURE ARE:

The build-up of scale and sediment in the hot water system

It doesn’t matter if you’ve got an electric or a gas hot water system as sediment and scale can build up in both systems over time. The corroding particles of your tank’s interior will eventually settle on the bottom of the tank and find their way into your hot water pipes and can block the pipes.

Showerhead and taps

Sometimes it can have nothing to do with your pipes or hot water tank, and the low pressure could just be as simple as a blocked showerhead. If the pressure from other taps is ok, but not from your shower head, it could just be the showerhead that needs replacing. If you have suspected low pressure from one tap, it could be a tap washer that needs replacing. You can read about how to change a tap washer here.

Water leak

A hidden leak is definitely more of a concern. If you suspect a water leak, you’ll need to get a plumber out quickly, so your bills don’t skyrocket. Firstly, check if your water meter numbers are still spinning even when all the taps are off in the house. Check to see if the cause of the leak is the actual hot water system. The hot water system tank may be leaking or leaking in the pipes’ joints to the unit. Contact a leak detection service quickly to prevent further damage and expensive bills.

Shut off valve

If a shut-off valve is not entirely closed, there can be a reduction in water flow. Low water pressure could be due to one or more partially shut off valves that reduce the flow of water to your home’s outlets. These are usually located close to taps and other water outlets, and there is also a pressure release valve and a main water valve that can become lodged half open as well. Locating the faulty valve and rectifying the problem is a job for an experienced plumber.

HOW DO YOU FIX LOW HOT WATER PRESSURE?

The first step is to know the extent of the problem and try and locate what the exact issue is and where.

Read more about hot water maintenance tips.

If it’s a matter of changing a tap washer or a showerhead, you can most likely do this yourself with a few easy tips. However, if you suspect it has something more to do with a leak you can’t find, a blocked pipe or your hot water tank, you’ll need to contact the experts.

Causes of low hot water pressure may differ from one house to another, and specific plumbing configurations can vary in different types of house designs and house ages.

A professional plumber will be able to detect if your hot water pressure problem can be fixed or whether it is time for a completely new hot water unit to be installed.

Regardless of the make and model of your hot water system, DCM Plumbing Gold Coast can repair or replace a unit to keep your hot water running uninterrupted throughout all seasons and has upfront pricing for all hot water maintenance and repairs.

Services include:

  • Hot water service and maintenance
  • Repair of electric and gas hot water systems
  • Hot water system replacement
  • Diagnose the cause of brown water coming from the hot tap
  • Salvage the hot water unit where possible

Whether it’s a fix or a complete replacement, contact DCM Plumbing Gold Coast for the best service on the Gold Coast and get your hot showers back up and running today!

Summer has officially ended for another year and while it’s still warm outside, now is the time to start thinking about your hot water maintenance. Hot water is crucial for our health and comfort, and the last thing you want once the weather gets cooler is to run out of hot water or have your hot water system fail on you unexpectedly.

We’re sharing with you our top 5 Hot Water System maintenance tips so you can show your system a bit of love, and it not only works more efficiently but also prolongs its life.

5 Hot Water System maintenance tips

CHECK FOR CRACKS AND LEAKS

The problem with most hot water systems is that they are usually tucked away in a cupboard or outside the house somewhere, so you’ll tend to not check on them too frequently. Pick a date once a month on the calendar and make it a monthly inspection to check for cracks, erosion or water leaks. You’ll be able to see a small crack or small water leak and pick up on it before it becomes a disaster and costs you a lot more once it’s worse.

TURN YOUR TANK SYSTEM OFF IF YOU’RE GOING TO BE AWAY FOR A WHILE

If you’re only going away for a weekend or a week, it’s not something to be concerned with. But if you’re going away for several weeks, turning off the system can save your system some extra work and save your power bill. If the system isn’t turned off while you’re away, your system will continue to reheat even if the hot water taps are not being used.

INSPECT THE RELIEF VALVE

A relief valve is a small valve on the hot water tank that prevents excess pressure build-up that has the potential to cause a tank to burst and flood your home. Because it’s designed to relieve pressure, it’s essential that it’s working correctly. It’s a good idea to check this every six months by following the manufacturer’s guidelines and lifting the relief valve lever to relieve the build up of pressure.

BE CAREFUL WITH GARDENING WORK AROUND YOUR SYSTEM

If your system is on or near the lawn next to your home, be careful your whipper snipper or lawnmower doesn’t damage the pipes around your system. Even a bump from a lawnmower can cause cracks and dents and lead to leaks in the system and pipework.

GET YEARLY PROFESSIONAL SERVICES

People’s biggest mistake with plumbing is waiting until something goes wrong or breaks before they ring a plumber. Having a plumber come to your home for a regular maintenance check up every 6-12 months can save you in the long run. A professional plumber will be able to pinpoint any potential problems that could occur down the track.

They can also make sure your hot water system is running efficiently to increase the longevity of it. It’s a good idea to replace the sacrificial anode every five years because this can corrode and cause issues with your hot water cylinder. While the plumber is out, they can also check on filters for replacements and taps and shower heads for signs of wear and tear.

Running out of hot water in winter can be a complete disaster that no one wants to encounter. If you’re not sure about what condition your hot water system is in or would like some information about installing new hot water systems, give us a call so we can make sure your water continues to be hot all year round.

You rely on your hot water for cooking, bathing and washing so when it’s not working properly, it can be quite inconvenient. That’s when it’s time to call our professionals at DCM Plumbing and Drainage for help.

We can diagnose the problem and provide the repairs you need so that your life can get back to normal. So how do you know it’s time to call? These signs are an indication that you need hot water repairs.

Water that is Only Lukewarm

If you aren’t getting water that is hot enough, that’s a definite sign that your hot water system might need to be fixed.

Most hot water systems have a temperature control valve fitted, when this becomes faulty it’s common to have fluctuations in water temperature. If this is your issue it’s time to call us to fix this for you.

If the water is never getting hot, the element or thermostat in your system could be faulty and will need to be replaced.

This is a job for a qualified electrician.

You Run Out of Hot Water

Have you noticed that you’re suddenly running out of hot water more quickly than you’re used to? This could indicate that one of the elements responsible for heating your water isn’t working as it should, so there isn’t as much hot water at one time.

Running out of hot water also happens during the colder months when you mix less cold water with the hot water in the shower to get the perfect temperature, causing the hot water to run out quicker than usual.

You Notice Rust in the Hot Water

Obviously, your hot water should be clear, so if you start to notice a rusty colour, you have a problem. This could mean that your hot water tank is degrading and wearing down and is rusting on the inside, which is transferring to your water.

This very visible sign means that your hot water unit is very close to the end of it’s useful life and should be replaced as soon as possible.

There’s a Leak

A leaking hot water heater is never a good sign. Minor leaks can likely be repaired, but if you let them get out of hand, you could have bigger and more costly problems.

Clean up the water and watch to see if it comes back. If it does, contact us for help immediately.

Strange Sounds Coming from the System

Your hot water system is designed to be very quiet so if it’s making a noise, there could be an issue. If you hear a rumbling or popping sound, you probably have sediment build up in the tank, which can cause problems over time by causing damage to the walls of the heater.

If the noise you hear is more like a banging noise it could be due to water hammer. This is usually caused by one of the valves attached to the heater and we can identify and repair this for you.

If you think you need hot water repairs, call us at DCM Plumbing and Drainage today to set up an appointment.

Let’s delve into the costs of a hot water system here on the Gold Coast.

Costs—as with everything else in the marketplace—go up and down. But we’ll do our best, as always, to provide helpful advice to help you choose.

A hot water system for a new build will be guided by your needs and your budget and, sometimes by your concerns for the environment. When replacing an existing unit, many people simply keep to the same power set-up and swap new for old. The replacement might even come with improved technology.

It’s an opportunity, however, to consider replacing your old HWS, moving from say electric to gas, or to a solar-assisted unit.

Gas Hot Water Heater

HOT WATER SYSTEM PRICE COMPARISONS

  • An instant gas hot water heater system price typically range from $1000 to $1575, depending on the system and flow rate required.
  • Gas hot water systems cost between $1000 to $1475 for 135L to 360L systems.
  • Electric hot water systems installation costs around $1500 depending on the model and requirements. This type of unit is subject to Government rebates that vary. Heat pumps are usually bought directly from the supplier who handle the rebates and we install them only.
Type of SystemPrice Range
Gas Hot Water System$1400 to $12000
Electric Hot Water System$1500 to $2400
Solar Water Heater$2000 to $7000
Heat Pump Installation$1000 to $1500

What is the cost of a new hot water system?

With a new hot water system, you can expect to pay around $1000 to $5000, depending on the type of hot water system you need.

WHICH HOT WATER UNIT IS BEST?

Electric hot water systems are the most straightforward to install. Costs start at around $1350 for a newly installed unit—as they do with gas systems.

An electric HWS with a tank capacity over 300 litres, wired to the T33 electricity tariff, can be fairly economical to run.

Energy consumption of a smaller HWS on the T31 tariff would not be so economical. The downside with smaller units is that the tank’s hot water is likely to be emptied more often. More hot water will then take 20 to 30 minutes of heating.

Gas hot water units are more economical to run.

Connecting gas HWS units to the natural gas supply requires the services of a licensed gas fitter. But for many homes on the Gold Coast, this type of HWS is not an option because natural gas is not piped to all areas.

Instant Gas Hot Water does what it says on the tin—they heat water in an instant, on-demand. You’ll get hot water for as long as you run water through it.

LPG instantaneous hot water is an option where natural gas is not available. Bottled (LPG) gas, however, comes with strict regulations as to how and where such HWS can be installed. Safety is a big concern. For example, water under low pressure would not be heated safely. Your home would need good water pressure.

LPG systems are also less economical.

Heat pump hot water systems use surrounding air to heat water and around a quarter of the power used by a regular electric HWS. Like a refrigerator in reverse, the refrigerant in a heat pump turns from liquid to gas, which is then compressed to produce heat.

The downside with a heat pump is its initial cost (upwards of $3,000), as well as higher maintenance costs. Add to that, the unit’s shorter lifespan and a heat pump system soon looks less attractive.

A roof-mounted solar HWS, with electricity for the booster set to the T33 tariff, is the most economical, long-term. For this option, you’d need to afford the initial outlay and your plan should be to stay in your home for at least 7 years.

Initial outlay of around $3,000–$5,000 aside, the downside with this set-up would only become apparent when the hot water is used up and there’s insufficient sun for re-heating. It could be next morning before more hot water is available, after the booster has kicked in overnight.

Highly Recommended

At DCM Plumbing, we’ve been installing hot water systems for years. We can recommend Aquamax vitreous enamel electric hot water units, with their 10 year cylinder warranty. However, we can install Rheem, Dux and Vulcan—any brand HWS you prefer.

Don’t hesitate to call us for further information and advice.

When you need a new hot water system what do you choose?

You could ring DCM Plumbing to ask what is considered the best type of hot water system on the Gold Coast, but it is best to do some in depth research to understand the different types of systems and their advantages and disadvantages.

Although solar powered hot water systems are growing in popularity, most people choose either electric or gas systems. Here’s a comparison to help you out.

ELECTRIC HOT WATER SYSTEMS

Pros

• Convenient and easy to use
• Installation is easier and costs less
• Do not require additional ventilation for exhaust gases
• Power source is readily available

Cons

• More expensive in the long term
• No hot water in the event of a power cut
• Takes longer to heat up as water is used

GAS HOT WATER SYSTEMS

Pros

• Heat water more quickly
• Designs are compact and save on space
• Lower operating costs make them cheaper in the long term
• Can work even when there is no electricity

Cons

• Initial installation is more expensive
• Installation is more complex (and extremely expensive if there is no gas supply to the property)
• Risk of gas explosion

How to Choose?

Power source

Sometimes the decision is made for you. If you are not connected to a gas supply, it might be cost prohibitive to arrange a connection. There could also be a considerable time delay while this happens cz-lekarna.com. In this case, an electric hot water system is the optimum choice because all homes are connected to the electrical grid.

Cost

There are two aspects to the cost – installation and running costs. The installation costs are a one-off so you can budget for this. The main concern though is how much it is going to cost you to have hot water on demand throughout the year. Gas is currently much cheaper in the long run so you may find that even though installation costs are higher, the payback is quicker due to operating savings.

Usage

This depends on the size of your household/family. If you use a lot of hot water, especially at peak times, you should opt for a gas system.

This is because gas systems have a much quicker recovery rate – this is the time it takes to heat up the water that has replaced the used water.

We are very happy to discuss the best hot water system for Gold Coast homes to help you decide. Give us a call, use our online enquiry form, or drop into our office.

Keep in touch with the latest plumbing news! Read our previous blog on how to turn water off during emergencies.

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