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Common electric hot water system faults

5 common electric hot water issues

Is your electric hot water system not working properly? The hot water system can develop faults over time, the most common issues are related to leaks, odour, noise, or water temperature. In this article, we will discuss the most common electric hot water system faults. 

Important note - all repairs to hot water systems must be carried out by a licenced plumber or licenced hot water specialist.

Electric hot water system

Age related electric hot water problems

The electric hot water systems can last up to 15 years. However, if your appliance is over 10 years old (or approaching this age), it could be breaking down frequently. The cost of ongoing repairs and also the increase your energy bills due to it's inefficient operation could mean its more cost effective to consider replacing the system. It is definitely cheaper than getting it repaired again and again.

No hot water?

Lack of hot water could be due to many reasons:

  • Blown fuse or frequently tripping safety switch
  • A leak in the hot water tank
  • Damaged heating elements and coils

Blown Fuse or Frequently Tripping Safety Switch - Lack of hot water can arise from a blown fuse or tripped circuit breaker. You can check the switchboard to see if the hot water circuit breaker or the safety switch fitted to the hot water circuit is on or off. 

  • If the safety switch is on, the problem could be due to a blown fuse.
  • If the safety switch keeps tripping frequently, you need to get it assessed by a licensed electrician. Electricity and water can be extremely hazardous to your safety, so do not attempt to repair it yourself. Contact a professional plumber or electricians to take a look at it.

 A leak in the hot water tank - Leak could arise due to faulty pipes or broken pressure/temperature release valves. Usually, these valves release water to release pressure if the water gets too hot. If there is small amount of water, it is normal. However, if there’s a puddle of water, you would need to get it checked by your plumber. Don’t forget to turn off the hot water system at the switchboard as water and electricity can be hazardous. Call your hot water specialist for specific instructions.

Damaged heating elements and coils - The coils and heating elements heat up the cold water inside the unit. If they are broken or worn out, the water won’t be heated and you will get cold water. 

Your water is too hot or cold

This problem could arise because of a faulty thermostat. Ask your plumber to check the temperature of your thermostat and adjust it, if needed.

Your electric storage hot water system is noisy

If your storage electric hot water system is making odd sounds that resemble boiling, popping, or hissing noises, it could indicate overheating in the system or the accumulation of sediment in the tank. Get the problem checked with your local plumber.

The hot water smells like rotten eggs or is dirty

If your hot water is dirty or smelly, the culprit could be rust in the tank or decaying anode rod. To resolve this problem, you need to speak to your plumber or hot water specialists.

Temporary solutions can resolve the problem but for a long term solution, you might need to replace the anode rods or have the tank checked for rust. Contact your local plumber for electric hot water system repairs.

Contact reliable and experienced plumbers for hot water system repairs

Electric hot water systems can develop a range of faults over time. If you are experiencing ongoing issues, contact Brisbane Plumbing and Drainage at {{ context.constants.company_info | parse_json | dig: 'primary_phone' }} for a no-obligation quote. Our experienced plumbers can install, repair and replace your electric hot water system.


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