We often get calls from people trying to work out if they need a plumber or electrician to fix a hot water system when their hot water is not so hot. Run through this checklist to help you decide.
- Check the circuit breaker in your switch box. If it has tripped, test to see if you can turn it back on.
- Check the pressure relief valve at your hot water system. There is a little lever at the top of the valve designed to test the system. See if you can lift the lever to let some water flow through the overflow pipe. You may find that your tank simply needed to be topped up (keep the valve lifted until the water flows through the overflow pipe).
Call an electrician when:
- The circuit breaker for your hot water system has tripped and will not stay on.
- Your water is warm but not cold. It is possible that the thermostat, off-peak relay switch or booster may be playing up.
- You can heat the water by using the manual override, but it doesn't come on automatically.
Call a plumber when:
- You see water leaking from the base of your hot water tank.
- There is no water coming from taps in your house.
- The base of the water tank is rusty. It’s likely that the inner tank has also rusted out and you will need to replace your system.
- There is water constantly running out of the pressure relief overflow pipe, and lifting then releasing the test lever does not stop the water running from the pipe.
If you need your hot water system replaced, your plumber is the person who will do that for you. Some plumbers are licensed to disconnect and reconnect the wiring to hot water systems but if you are changing the size or styles of your hot water tank, you need an electrician to check that the wiring is up to standard and able to cope with the changed load.