Lack of hot water can be annoying and frustrating. It can also lead to a plumbing emergency, especially if there are infants or elderly individuals residing in the household.

It is important to know the signs a hot water system is not working properly so you can prevent further damage, keep the members of your household safe, and avoid costly problems.

Here, we’ll cover 11 signs that a hot water system is not working properly so you know what to look for and what to do if you have no hot water.

What Are Some Common Types of Hot Water Systems?

A hot water system is typically composed of a heating element to warm the water when it enters the tank and an insulated tank for storing the heated water.

Hot water systems come in various types, including:

  • Electric Hot Water Systems — Electric hot water systems heat water using electric resistance elements. This is a convenient option for areas lacking a supply of natural gas.
  • Heat Pump Hot Water Systems — Heat pump hot water systems are considered an energy-efficient form of water heating. They work by capturing heat from the ground or air to heat your water.
  • Solar Hot Water Systems — Solar hot water systems capture light from the sun using solar panels. This sunlight is then converted into usable energy that can heat the water.
  • Tankless Water Heaters — Continuous flow or tankless water heaters produce hot water on demand, negating the need for a tank to store the hot water.

The most common sign of a failing water heater is a lack of sufficient hot water.

11 Indicators A Hot Water System Is Not Working Properly

Read on to learn 11 indicators your hot water system is not working properly and what to watch for.

1. Discoloured Water

If you notice discoloured or rusty water, it could be an indication that the interior portion of the tank is deteriorating or corroding. This likely indicates the system is failing and will need to be replaced.

2. Insufficient or Decreased Hot Water Supply

If you notice a significant reduction in the amount of hot water available, it could indicate a failing water heater. This can be caused by a malfunctioning heating element, sediment buildup, or other internal issues.

A complete lack of hot water is a clear indicator that your hot water system needs immediate attention. It may require repair or replacement and needs to be evaluated by a licensed plumbing professional as soon as possible.

3. Unusually High Energy Bills

Did your energy bills suddenly spike without explanation? A sudden, unexplained jump in your energy bills may indicate a failing water heater.

4. Leaks

If there are signs of leaks or water pooling around your water heater, call an emergency plumber right away. Leaks require prompt attention to prevent significant damage or major repairs.

5. Sediment Buildup

The bottom of a water heater tank can accumulate sediment and debris over time. This build-up can reduce heating efficiency, create inconsistencies with your hot water, and potentially damage the tank.

The more the sediment builds up, the harder your tank’s heating element has to work.

6. Odd Noises

If you hear rumbling sounds or popping, banging, or other odd noises coming from your water heater, it may be a sign your water heater is failing or needs repair.

7. Fluctuating Water Temperatures

If you notice unexpected fluctuations in your water temperature, the thermostat or heating element may be failing. Contact an emergency plumber immediately to have it assessed and repaired if needed.

8. Solar Hot Water Systems

Certain hot water problems pertain to particular hot water systems. For instance, solar hot water systems are susceptible to failure or lack of efficiency during periods of low sunlight. Issues with the heat exchanger or solar panels can also lead to solar hot water system problems.

Our licensed technicians at Expand Group are familiar with all types of hot water system problems, regardless of the specific type of hot water system you have.

Call us right away if you are experiencing an issue with your solar, tankless, electric, or heat pump water system and we’ll get you the prompt, affordable help you need.

9. Tankless Water Heaters

If your tankless water heater is struggling to keep up with the hot water demand, it can lead to a total lack of hot water or fluctuating water temperatures.

10. Electric Hot Water Systems

Electric hot water system problems, such as insufficient heat or no hot water, can be a result of thermostat issues, a faulty heating element, or other internal problems that need immediate assessment.

11. Heat Pump Hot Water Systems

Strange noises, insufficient hot water, or decreased heating capacity can all indicate a problem with your heat pump hot water system.

Besides getting caught without hot water, ignoring signs of failure from your hot water heater can cause MAJOR damage to your home.

What To Do If There’s No Hot Water?

If you aren’t getting hot water out of your taps, check to see if you get cold water. If your cold water is running fine, it indicates a hot water system-related problem. Call a plumber to have your hot water system assessed.

While some hot water system repairs are minor, hot water system problems are best left to a professional. There may be a problem with low water pressure, valves that aren’t fully open, issues with your home’s thermostat, or a power cut. Or there could be a leak that cannot be seen without advanced leak detection equipment.

If you notice any of the signs of hot water system problems or are worried your water heater is failing, please reach out to us. It is crucial to contact an emergency plumber immediately as DIY plumbing hacks or DIY water heater fixes could make the situation worse and cause further damage.

Consistent maintenance and preventive plumbing can help prevent hot water system issues. Contact Expand Group and we can discuss a maintenance schedule that can help prevent hot water problems and maximise your water heater’s lifespan.

Contact Expand Group If You Notice Signs Your Hot Water System Is Failing

We know how important it is to have reliable hot water for making tea or coffee, doing laundry, or taking a hot bath or shower. If your water heater is failing or not working properly, give Expand Group a call and we’ll get your hot water system up and running smoothly again.

Our emergency plumbing service in Perth is available 24/7. Whether it’s the middle of the night or the weekend, our licensed plumbers are always ready to respond to your call. Our friendly, experienced technicians will assess the problem, decide if your hot water system needs to be replaced or repaired, and promptly provide a solution so you can enjoy reliable hot water again.

If you are noticing unusual noises, varying water temperatures, rusty coloured water, or other signs your water heater is failing, contact Expand Group and we’ll send a technician right away to help.