Rheem Australia offers a few important tips to homeowners to help them look out for signs that their water heater system may need a service inspection.

According to Rheem, Australia’s leading producer of hot water systems, recognising these simple signs will ensure the homeowner is able to address the associated problems sooner rather than later, and is not surprised by a sudden failure of the hot water system when it’s needed the most.

Many homeowners tend to neglect the servicing aspect of hot water systems with plumbers called in only during an emergency.

Rheem Service Manager Keith Dawber observes that a hot water system is ‘out of sight out of mind’ for most people until the point of failure. However, if the system is inspected on a regular basis to confirm it is operating and performing as designed, its working life can be extended with improved efficiency, and any repair work can be carried out in a timely way.

10 signs your hot water system might be in need of attention:

1. Is the water flowing from the tap rusty or brown in colour?

2. Is the water muddy or does it have sediment in it?

3. Is the hot water system making strange sounds such as cracking or popping noises?

4. Has the pilot light gone out? Does this happen often?

5. Does the hot water have a strange smell or metallic taste?

6. Are you getting less hot water?

7. Is water leaking out of the system?

8. Do you often experience fluctuations in temperature?

9. Does the water pressure or flow rate vary?

10. Are you running out of hot water?

Rheem Service undertakes regular checks of Rheem’s domestic hot water systems with customers offered a range of services including six-monthly minor maintenance, an annual service and a major five-year service. The major service includes replacing the system’s sacrificial anode, temperature and pressure relief valves, checking correct operation of the gas, electric or solar control, and checking solar heat transfer fluid (for solar hot water systems).

Some of the problems discovered by Rheem Service during service checks included pilot light outages; leaking valves; installation issues; temperature settings set too high (increasing running costs); excessive water pressure (adding stress on the cylinder, thus reducing system life); incorrect gas pressure settings; stuck relief valves that leak constantly due to homeowner not operating the valves every six months in accordance with manufacturer’s instructions; blocked strainers, causing flow rate issues; blocked filters and shower restrictors; and faulty thermocouples, igniters, elements and thermostats.

Dawber recommends having domestic water heaters checked, on average, every three years for gas and electric systems, bi-annually for solar systems, or whenever any warning sign is noticed.