Express Plumbing on 25 January 2017

Get the Most from your Hot Water System in 2017

Each time you relax in a steaming hot bath, you should say a quiet thanks to your hot water system for working efficiently and smoothly.

But don't take it for granted. When they go wrong, they tend to go 'Bang!' and leave you not only with a cold shower, but potentially a flood to clean up.

With this in mind, it's amazing that most Australians don't even know how to look after their hot water system. So here are some tips about what to do:

1. Call in a Pro

While there are things you can do yourself, the first thing to do is to open that 2017 calendar and pick a date to get your system checked by a professional.

They may need to check it complies with regulations, replace parts, or simply make sure it's running efficiently for the environment and your power bill.

2. Check the Valve

Your hot water system will almost certainly have a pressure valve, so check it's not affected by corrosion and then operate it at least a couple of times a year. If it needs repairs, call in the experts.

3. Check for Leaks

If it's leaking, you may not only be running out of water, causing water damage and driving up your power bill, but you could be on a fast track to a major hot water system failure.

Be on the lookout for something dripping, a pool of water, or new rust stains.

4. Drain the Tank

After prolonged filling up and emptying, sediment will collect in your tank, affecting its operations. To drain it completely, it may be necessary to refer back to point 1 and call in a pro.

Get the most from your Hot Water System

If your system is working properly but you're still running out of water, you may need some tips for getting the most out of what you have installed:

1. Consider the Shower

Most hot water use occurs in the shower, so consider installing a water-saving head which can slash your water use in half. Or just take shorter showers and only half-fill the bath.

2. Consider the Washing

Can your washing machine or dishwater be used on a cold water setting?

3. Don't ignore Leaks

As we've said, ignoring a leak is a really bad idea, but over the course of a day, it adds up to plenty of water - and real dollars on your bill!

4. Insulate the Pipes

Check if the pipes leading from the system to your house are insulated. If not, the water will simply not be as hot, meaning you have to run it for longer until it warms up.

5. Consider Buying a new Hot Water System

If you're doing everything to save water and you're sure your existing system is working properly, it might simply be time to upgrade.

There are many options, so talking to an expert like Express Plumbing and Gas can help you navigate them.

Here's a quick run-down:

* Solar: Considering climate change, solar is a great option for helping the planet and your power bill. Many state governments offer rebates, so be sure to check if you're eligible.

* Gas: Gas is another more environmentally friendly option than electricity, with the added bonus of fast water heating.

* Electric: The modern way to use electric hot water is a heat pump system, which efficiently takes heat out of the air and puts it in your water.