Is No Hot Water A Plumbing Emergency? 1

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Is No Hot Water A Plumbing Emergency? 2

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Is No Hot Water A Plumbing Emergency?

Is No Hot Water A Plumbing Emergency?

If you are reading this because you have no hot water and wondering if having no hot water is a plumbing emergency, read on.
Generally speaking if you have time to look a problem up on a website it’s probably not a plumbing emergency (yet) so technically speaking, having no hot water isn’t exactly a plumbing emergency, but still……

Having no hot water is considered a same day guarantee situation for our plumbing business, but this may not be the case for other local plumbing companies.

Even though no hot water usually isn’t an emergency, at our Gold Coast business, Whywait Plumbing, we made the decision many years ago that we don’t consider hot water to be a luxury, so for this reason we offer a same day guarantee for situation where a household is without hot water.

So why haven’t you got hot water?

In our 40 year history at Whywait Plumbing,  we have found the most common causes of having no hot water are:

  • Faulty element or thermostat (possibly both)
  • Relief valve constantly leaking
  • Faulty tempering valve
  • Off-Peak relay switch failing to activate
  • Insufficient sunlight to heat solar hot water
  • Demand exceeds capacity
  • Leaking hot water service

Hot Water Troubleshooting Checklist

Follow the DIY check list below before calling for help

Locate your hot water service and check the following:

  • Check for any leaks at the tank especially around the electrical box. (Do not remove the cover as doing this will expose live wires)
  • If the relief valve is leaking activate lever until water runs out in a continuous flow, then return lever to original position and see if the leak stops.
  • A faulty tempering valve usually results in tepid water rather than no hot water, you can test this by activating the relief valve and checking if the water in the tank is hotter than the water delivered at the taps.
  • If your hot water service is connected to off- peak electricity check with your energy supplier to see if there has been any problems, in your suburb, with transmitting to the relay switch at your home.
  • For solar hot water check for foliage blocking sunlight to panels, that panels are clean and if cloudy or wet that the booster switch is on.

Locate the meter board and check the following:

  • Check the hot water switch is in the on position.
  • Check for a tripped circuit breaker or blown fuse.

 Emergency or not, having hot water that is not hot enough, or no hot water, can be unpleasant and inconvenient, however you will be happy to hear in most instances it is a simple fix.

If you’re thinking about replacing your hot water service and not sure what is best to suit your family then look out for next weeks Blog – Choosing a New Hot Water Service – How do I know what’s right for me?

 Handy Tips

Whywait Plumbing recommends that all adults residing in a household should at a bare minimum know:

  • Where the main water isolation valve for the property is located.
  • How to turn off the water at the water meter (usually located in a turf box on the property boundary).
  • How to turn off the water at the hot water service.
  • How to isolate the power to the house at the meter board.

Should an emergency arise where any of the above is required having this prior knowledge will allow the situation to be handled quickly and calmly allowing you to make the situation safe and minimising damage to the property.

Is a Plumber and a Gas Fitter the Same Thing?

Is a Plumber and a Gas Fitter the Same Thing?

Gas Fitter or plumber? There is a difference.

Here at Whywait Plumbing we are often asked if we do gas fitting?

While some plumbers offer gas fitting services, individuals qualified solely as gasfitters can’t offer plumbing services and in case you’re wondering YES Whywait Plumbing does do gas fitting work.

Find this a tad confusing then let us explain:

What is plumbing work?

Plumbing work is defined in the Australian Standards (AS3500) Regulations 2013 and refers to any operation, work or process in connection with installation, removal, demolition, replacement, alteration, maintenance or repair to the system of pipes and fixtures that conveys clean water into and liquid waste out of a building.

To become a licensed plumber a four year apprenticeship (Certificate III in Plumbing) is required.
As part of this course, instruction in the basics of gas fitting will be undertaken. Upon completion these basics in gas fitting will allow the plumber to not only apply for his plumbing licence but also an interim gas licence and carry out gas work under the supervision of a fully qualified gas fitter.

To obtain a full gas licence from the Department of Mines and Energy the plumber will need to have worked on an interim gas licence for a minimum period of twelve months and successfully completed a Certificate IV in Plumbing.

What is gasfitting work?

Gasfitting work is defined in the Gas Standards (AG5601 Gas Installations) Regulations 2013 as to any operation, work, or process in connection with installation, removal, demolition, replacement, alteration, maintenance or repair of a gas installation.

To train as a gasfitter and gain an interim gas licence it is necessary to complete Certificate III in Gasfitting which once achieved will allow the recipient to work under the supervision of a fully qualified gas fitter.  This course is much shorter and does not cover plumbing works.

The course can be completed by non-tradespersons or tradespersons within electrical, mechanical, electronics and other fields who are required to work on and install, commission and service Type A gas appliance and reticulated gas supplies.

Once again to obtain a full gas licence from the Department of Mines and Energy the recipient will need to have worked on an interim gas licence for a minimum period of twelve months and successfully completed the relevant Certificate IV qualification.

Now that we have clarified the difference between plumbing and gas fitting works we would like to give you some tips to ensure you choose the right person with the right qualifications for the job.

Important Differences between Plumber and Gasfitters

Consumer Safeguard

  • A Gas Certificate & Compliance Plate should be issued by the fully qualified as fitter for all gas work.

Excludes servicing & fault finding.

So now you know the difference whether you need plumbing work or gas fitting work Whywait Plumbing has you covered. We’re here to help and just a telephone call away.

Do Solar Hot Water Systems Work In Winter?

Do Solar Hot Water Systems Work In Winter?

Ever wondered if solar hot water systems work in winter? The short answer is Yes, solar hot water systems do work in winter, it’s not that simple though so let us explain.

Solar Hot Water Collectors

The heart of a solar hot water system is its hot water collectors.  Solar hot water collectors capture and retain heat from the sun then transfer this heat to the water stored inside the tank.

So how do solar hot water collectors work?

Put simply, heat and infrared radiation are produced when short wave radiation light hits the reflective surface of the collector’s absorber, which is then trapped inside the collector.
Fluid, usually water, in contact with the absorber collects the trapped heat and transfers it to storage.

A common misconception is that your solar hot water system does not operate as well in the winter due to the cooler temperatures when in fact the real reason is the fewer hours of sunlight.

Solar Hot Water Collector Efficiency

The design of your solar hot water service has incorporated some technical factors to make the collector as efficient as possible.

Flat Panel Solar Collectors

The most common flat panel collector has a large surface area to maximise exposure to the sun. The coating used for the absorber has been formulated to absorb as much heat as possible and the glass is specially designed to allow as much light energy through as possible. Read more about Flat Panel Collectors.

A common misconception is that your solar hot water system does not operate as well in the winter due to the cooler temperatures when in fact the real reason is the fewer hours of sunlight.

Evacuated Tube Collectors

If your system has evacuated tube collectors then they will have long, skinny absorbers inside the glass tube and all the air will have been sucked out, which makes it highly insulated. Read more about Evacuated Tube Collectors.

Solar in a Warmer Climate

Here in Queensland we have a great climate for using Solar Hot Water and in most areas do not need to worry about pipes freezing. So when Queenslanders, or people living in a tropical climate, ask if solar hot water systems work well in winter, there is little to be concerned about. We still need to take some simple steps to ensure our solar hot water system is operating at its best during these cooler months though.

Handy Solar Hot Water Tips

Listed below are some handy tips to ensure your solar hot water system is operating to maximum efficiency and you don’t run out of hot water:

  • Cut back any foliage casting shadows or blocking sunlight from the panels.
  • Ensure there is no built up dirt or grime on the panels and clean with soapy water as required.
  • Check that the relief valve is operating correctly and not leaking.
  • If you run your dishwasher at night check it is connected to cold water only.
  • Any laundry loads done at night are cold water washes.
  • Review you evening hot water usage as remember any hot water used after dark won’t be reheated until the sunlight hits the panels the next morning.
  • Use the electric booster on wet, cloudy or days of heavy demand.

Help Is On Hand

Here at Whywait Plumbing we understand that not everybody has a ladder or is able to climb up on their roof.  Remember we are only a call away and happy to help!

Why Is My Hot Water Not Hot Enough?

Why Is My Hot Water Not Hot Enough?

A common question we get asked this time of year concerning hot water repairs is “Why is my hot water not hot enough?

We find our clients tend to notice this problem predominately when showering and in most instances, the temperature of the water hasn’t suddenly changed. It’s more than when the weather is fresher, and we tend to increase the ratio of hot to cold water, and therefore, any fault that affects the hot water becomes more apparent.

Hot Water Not Hot Enough, Common Causes

When customers ask “why is my hot water not hot enough” we always provide as much information as possible.

In our 42 years of plumbing experience and as hot water specialists, we have found the most common causes of this problem are:

Let’s take a closer look at each of these possible problems.

Malfunctioning tempering valve

Tempering valves are designed to blend hot and cold water to deliver water at a constant temperature that does not exceed 50’C. If water entering the tempering valve contains small amounts of sand or other debris, this can become lodged in the filters of the tempering valve and affect the operation of the valve resulting in lukewarm rather than hot water.  Read more about tempering valves.

Faulty hot water service

If your hot water service is older (usually 10-15 years) or you have overlooked regular maintenance, it could result in a problem with the heating system.

A hot water system fails most commonly at these points:

The element is the mechanism within the hot water service that heats the water with the thermostat being responsible for switching the element on and off. Any problem with either of these parts can result in disruption to your hot water.

The relief valve is responsible for releasing built-up pressure as the water heats. If this valve is continuously leaking, then you will lose hot water which in turn is replaced with cold water that cools the hot water stored in the tank.

Hot water demand exceeds the capacity

Typically if a tanks capacity is over 125L, then you would connect to one of the off-peak tariffs, which means that electricity used by the hot water system will be charged at a lower rate. While this makes for a cost-effective solution, it does come with some limitations as you do not have an unlimited supply and if for any reason your demand for hot water increases there is always the possibility that you could run out of hot water.

If you are finding the hot water in your household is consistently not hot enough, and repairs are not required, then seriously consider a more substantial capacity, new hot water system.

Help Is On Hand

Here at Whywait Plumbing, we don’t consider hot water a luxury, it is a necessity. So if you are experiencing a cold shower and asking yourself why is my hot water not hot enough, call us now for Same Day Service.

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