During winter, the team at Kennedy Plumbing & Gas gets many callouts in relation to faulty hot water systems. Many of the problems are caused by thermal expansion and contraction – a consequence of Canberra’s chilly winters. In this blog post, we answer common questions about hot water problems and repairs in Canberra.

Why do hot water systems often break down in winter?

Canberra’s sub-zero winter mornings cause many pipes and tank liners to freeze, expand and split. Splitting also occurs when pipes and tank liners revert back to their original shape (once the day warms up). Not surprisingly, older pipes and tank liners (that have lost their strength) are more likely to split; in other words, the cold weather exacerbates existing weaknesses.

What are the signs of a faulty hot water system?

There are a number of signs that indicate your hot water system might need professional attention:-

  • Your water tank or piping leaks (probable signs of a split or rust).
  • There’s rust-coloured water around the base of your water tank.
  • There’s a distinct lack of water pressure when you turn on a hot water tap.
  • Cold water flows from your hot water taps.
  • Your hot water doesn’t last very long (or runs out very quickly).
  • The pilot light on your gas hot water system has stopped working.
  • Your hot water is discoloured (typically rust-coloured).
  • There’s a strong smell of gas coming from your gas hot water system.
  • Your water tank makes strange noises.

What should I do if my water tank starts to leak serious amounts of water?

You should turn off your water mains tap straight away, then call a Canberra plumber. The water mains tap is usually located at the front of your property (next to the water meter).

Why do so many outdoor hot water tanks rust at the base?

Many older outdoor hot water tanks are situated directly on concrete slabs – meaning that rainwater gets under them and sits there. Nowadays, hot water tanks are generally placed on a “pizza tray” to provide a 5mm drainage / air gap between the tank and concrete slab. A “pizza tray” is simply an elevated plastic tray with holes in it.

Does Kennedy Plumbing & Gas fix both gas and electric hot water systems?

Yes. We conduct both gas and electric hot water system repairs in Canberra. Our experienced plumbers repair the following system types: continuous flow gas hot water systems; gas storage hot water systems; electric storage hot water systems, and heat pump hot water systems.

As an experienced hot water plumber in Canberra, Kennedy Plumbing & Gas is certified to repair tempering valves (keeps maximum water temperature to 50°C) and replace DUO valves / pressure limiting valves. These are plumbing components that tend to fail over time.

If your hot water system requires an electrician, Kennedy Plumbing & Gas can take care of this too. We work with a number of quality electricians in Canberra and Queanbeyan. Common electrical problems include a faulty power supply, heating element, thermostat or electronic ignition (on gas systems).

For further information on hot water systems, or to organise emergency hot water system repairs in Canberra, please call Kennedy Plumbing & Gas on 0422 751 560.