Why your hot water system could be catastrophic if not properly managed

Several Aussie households are sitting on hidden time bombs that could destroy their lives. Hot water systems are one of the most overlooked appliances because they are usually out of sight. They either sit outside, under the house, in the house in a cupboard, or in the roof.

People don’t even think about their hot water system until their hot water runs out and then they call a plumber. The problem is that hot water systems can cause significant issues for householders, including some very dangerous ones. I strongly urge these Australian households to take action this year and find the time to check their hot water system.

How your hot water system could spell doom

Here are some of the dangers of hot water systems that can go unchecked;

Water leaks

While the average electric hot water system has an average life span of 10-15 years, water leaks can occur at any time and they can be very dangerous. There are a number of reasons why a hot water system can spring a leak. These include loose pipe fittings, high water pressure, faulty parts such as a faulty relief pressure valve, and damage to the system itself.

Water leaks not only increase the use and cost of water in the household they can also cause severe building problems and health issues. Leaking water can create structural issues if it is seeping into wood, walls, or the foundations of a property. It can also cause the growth of mould which can spread throughout the property and find its way into areas where people live through vents and cracks in floor and wall joins. Mould can be a serious health issue.

Gas leaks

One of the most serious issues with gas water heaters is gas leaks. Most people are not aware but gas hot water systems have shorter life spans than electric hot water systems.

Gas leaks happen when the water heater has a faulty gas line. They can also occur if the water heater is fitted or maintained poorly. We all know how dangerous gas can be especially in a confined environment. Leaky gas hot water systems have caused explosions in the past.

Faulty components

Hot water systems range in quality, durability and longevity which is why it is important to ensure that when you install a new hot water system you opt for a reliable brand. Component failure is common in poor quality systems. This can cause problems with water temperature including no hot water to inadequate hot water to water that is way too hot.  

This is dangerous for all householders, especially kids as hot water can scald and cause lifelong injuries and scarring. When there is no hot water, the problem can stem from lack of power, a faulty electric thermostat or a faulty upper electric heating element.

Unsafe water pressure

Hot water systems can explode due to issues with water pressure. An exploding water heater can cause catastrophic damage, not only to your your home, but it can also be deadly. The sheer force of the released pressure and the shards of shredded metal and gallons of scalding hot water could be devastating for anyone close to when the tank pops.

Outdated technology

There are plenty of old hot water systems still in use across the country operating old technology that have not been serviced, and that could cause an issue at any moment.

Not only are they dangerous, they are also expensive to run. Hot water systems account for up to 70 percent of a household’s power bill. Old technology and systems which are not properly serviced are energy guzzlers and quite frankly, a danger to households.

I strongly urge households to replace them with new safe energy saving hot water systems. Many state and territory governments offer incredible incentives to households that virtually fully fund the replacement cost of old hot water systems with new technology. Not only will you save money, you may even save yourself and your family from a catastrophic event.

Daniel Clark is Head of Commercial for Chromagen. Chromagen is an approved solar retailer and an international leader in thermal solar energy systems. Chromagen is a pioneer in energy-efficient hot water systems and as an international award-winning company, has been entrusted with the installation of household heating appliances in over 40 countries.