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Introduction to Water Heater Failures

Balmain households depend on consistent hot water supply for everyday activities. Despite their crucial role, water heaters may at times experience malfunctions or failures.

Balmain Plumbing has prepared a troubleshooting guide for homeowners to navigate common water heater issues. We’ll provide useful tips on diagnosing issues and determining whether a repair requires a plumber or electrician.

Some of the most common water heater failures include:

  • No hot water
  • Not enough hot water
  • Leaking water heater
  • Strange smells or water coming out with unusual sounds

Accurately pinpointing the cause is key to fixing hot water problems and reinstating proper function. Following the straightforward troubleshooting advice in this article, and guidance on heat pump water heaters, will clarify whether a plumber or electrician is needed for repairs or replacement.

Signs Your Water Heater is Failing

There are several common signs that may indicate your water heater is failing and needs repair or replacement:

  • Fluctuating water temperatures - If your shower moves from scalding to icy unexpectedly, your thermostat could be set too high or you may have faulty heating elements.
  • Strange noises - Clanging, rumbling, or popping sounds coming out hot from your water heater could signal problems.
  • Small puddles of water or signs water damage around the base - This may be caused by a leaky tank or connections.
  • Rusty or discoloured water - Flush out your hot water system to remove any sediment or corrosion and ensure clean hot water.
  • Running out of hot water too fast - A prolonged wait for hot water after using taps often indicates inadequate heater capacity.
  • Higher utility bills - An inefficient electric hot water system can impact your cylinder’s performance, failing to save money by causing wasted energy and spiking your electricity bills.

Such hot water issues can occur in gas, electric, and solar units, usually requiring professional plumbing solutions. Catching problems early allows homeowners to fix minor issues or budget for a replacement if needed. Always call plumber professionals or electrician for any water heater repairs.

Lack of Hot Water

Several issues requiring hot water system repairs can cause a water heater to stop producing hot water. Ensure no leaks are present in the tank and lines. Resetting the thermostat on your hot water heater may restore hot water temporarily.

For electric models, troubleshooting often involves identifying circuit faults or issues with heating elements or thermostats. Homeowners can check the power supply to see if a fuse blown or circuit breaker has tripped.

Natural gas hot water heater units can fail to ignite if there is an issue with the pilot light, thermocouple, gas control valve or ignitor. Homeowners should avoid relighting the pilot light on their own due to the risk of gas leaks or explosions, and instead seek professional service.

Check that the gas line valve is open and operating pressure is adequate.

If your new water heater fails to supply hot water after installation or servicing, it could be incorrectly sized, resulting in inadequate supply. Contact a licenced plumber to verify when your hot water heater is correctly matched to the household’s hot water demand, which should be around 75% of total tank capacity.

Contact Balmain Plumbing for comprehensive repairs and reliable diagnostics if your system fails to provide hot water. We’ll ensure your hot water working correctly again in no time, safely and efficiently.

Leaking Water Heater

A leaking electric water heater constitutes a significant concern and needs immediate attention, often requiring you to turn off power and call electrician experts. Water leaks can lead to mould, water damage, electrical hazards, and even flooding if left unchecked. Water heater leaks can originate from several potential sources:

  • Corroded pipes or loose fittings
  • Cracks in the tank
  • Faulty pressure relief valve
  • Damaged drain valve
  • Deteriorated tank seals

If you detect a leak, promptly turn off your water heater’s water and power supply, provided it’s safe.

Water around your unit poses a risk of electrocution if it comes into contact with electricity.

Note any manufacturer warranties that may cover the costs of hot water replacement if the tank is split leaking prematurely. Our technicians can advise if claiming a warranty is advised over patching a deteriorated storage tank. Allow our water heater specialists to handle all diagnoses and servicing to keep your home safe.

Inconsistent Water Temperature

There are several contributory factors for experiencing any fluctuations or inconsistencies in the hot water temperatures, which can indeed be frustrating. There are a few potential causes:

  • Faulty thermostat - If your water heater thermostat is broken, it may fail to properly regulate water temperature.
  • Sediment buildup - Over time, mineral deposits and sediment can accumulate inside the tank, affecting the efficiency of your heated water.
  • Insufficient capacity - During peak usage times, an undersized water heater may not be able to maintain the continuous flow required to meet hot water demand.
  • Low water pressure - Restricted flow from clogged pipes or issues with your home’s water pressure can also lead to varying hot water temperature.

To prevent scalding, set the thermostat no higher than 49°C. Contact our team at Balmain Plumbing to troubleshoot inconsistent hot water temperature issues. Our licenced technicians can inspect your water heater, make any necessary repairs, and ensure optimal performance.

When To Call A Professional Plumber

Call a professional plumber or electrician when hot water problems are too complicated or unsafe for DIY, or if they persist after personal troubleshooting.

Situations where Balmain Plumbing’s licenced plumber electrician experts can help include:

  • If inspections of power supplies, gas lines, valves, heating elements, and thermostats don’t restore your hot water, it’s time to call in the professionals.
  • Leaking water heaters risking water damage or electric shocks
  • Faulty pilot lights, thermocouples or gas valves on gas water heaters
  • Tank corrosion, sediment build-up, or potential warranty coverage assessments
  • Insufficient hot water capacity indicating improper sizing
  • Ongoing fluctuating water temperatures
  • Strange noises signalling internal water heater failures

Our experienced plumbers and gas fitters can safely inspect, diagnose, and repair your hot water system’s problems, or replace faulty water heaters. We handle all makes and models while providing upfront quotes. Receive our best service offer by emailing jobs@balmainplumbingservices.com.au or calling 1300 349 338 to book an appointment.

Trust our Sydney plumbing team at Balmain Plumbing for professional repairs ensuring safe, consistent hot water supply in your house.

Gas Water Heater Issues

Gas and electric water heaters can develop unique problems that require a qualified technician to troubleshoot and repair. Some of the common gas water heater-specific issues include:

  • Pilot light won’t stay lit - If the pilot light repeatedly goes out, there may be problems with the thermocouple, gas control valve, or oxidation buildup on the ignitor or burner.
  • Insufficient hot water - In addition to heating element issues that affect all water heaters, gas models can have problems with the pilot assembly, gas valve, or circulation pump (for tankless heaters).
  • Gas leaks - Any signs of a gas leak like the smell of rotten eggs, visible sparks near water heater, or pilot outage indicate an immediate need to turn off gas supply and call Balmain Plumbing.
  • Backdrafting - Improper venting can allow exhaust gases back down the flue. This dangerous issue requires urgent professional repair.

Despite abundant online tutorials, entrust licensed technicians such as those at Balmain Plumbing with lighting pilot lights. If your gas hot water issues become complex or pose safety risks, give a call to our hot water specialists on 1300 349 338 for reliable assistance. We offer complete gas water heater repair services for Balmain locals.

Electric Water Heater Issues

Electric water heaters can develop some unique problems like a breaker tripped, different from gas models. Common electric water heater issues include:

  • No hot water due to a tripped breaker - Examine the electrical panel for a tripped circuit breaker that may have cut power to the water heater.
  • Heating element failure - If the internal metal heating rods corrode or break, they will no longer heat properly.
  • Faulty thermostats - Like all water heaters, broken temperature regulators lead to inconsistent hot water.
  • Sediment buildup - Mineral deposits left by hard water reduce heating efficiency over time.

While homeowners can safely inspect a circuit breaker, internal repairs or heating element replacements may require professional electrician services, available through Balmain Plumbing. Our qualified electricians offer comprehensive troubleshooting and maintenance for water heaters.

Trust our electrical expertise for your system installation needs whenever your electric water heater in Balmain stops delivering hot water. Call 1300 349 338 or email jobs@balmainplumbingservices.com.au to book an appointment.

DIY Troubleshooting Tips

  1. Ensure the water tap is fully open as partially closed taps can restrict flow.
  2. Inspect your water heater’s power supply or gas line. Ensure circuit breakers or gas valves are not switched off and that all components are working properly.
  3. Reset the water heater and allow 10-15 minutes for it to turn back on and reheat if there was a temporary issue.
  4. Flush out a new replacement water heater thoroughly per the manufacturer’s directions before use.
  5. Keep the system maintained by having a licenced plumber or gasfitter inspect it annually.
  6. Contact Balmain Plumbing on 1300 349 338 if problems persist for professional repairs.

Preventative Maintenance

Consistent maintenance is essential for prolonging your water heater’s lifespan and ensuring efficient operation. Routine steps such as annual tank flushing can eliminate sediment buildup which may otherwise diminish the heater’s capacity to effectively heat water.

Balmain Plumbing offers comprehensive preventative maintenance services that can fix your water heater to keep it working optimally. Our expert technicians can:

  • Inspect components and test functioning
  • Flush the tank to clear sediment
  • Check thermostat settings as part of your regular hot water service
  • Clean heating elements and drain valves
  • Verify proper gas or water pressure
  • Evaluate age, corrosion and replacement needs

Contact Balmain Plumbing on 1300 349 338 to discuss tailoring an annual service plan for your hot water unit in Balmain.

Stay ahead of problems and maximise the operating life of your hot water unit with regular maintenance from our licenced technicians.

Deciding To Repair or Replace

When faced with the grim reality that theres no hot water, homeowners must weigh up whether to repair or replace the unit. There are several key factors to consider:

  • Age - If your water heater tank is more than 10 years old, it may be time to consider replacement as most tank water heaters have a lifespan of 8-12 years, whereas tankless water heaters can often exceed 15 years. Replacement may sometimes be the better option for your heater if it’s reaching the end of its operational lifespan.
  • Condition - If corrosion or leaks are causing significant issues, replacement is often the best long-term option.
  • Efficiency - Newer heaters tend to be more energy efficient. Upgrading can save on energy bills.
  • Cost - Compare repair expenses to replacement quotes. New hot water heaters qualify for rebates to offset costs.

The Balmain Plumbing team can inspect water your heater and advise whether repairs or replacement make the most economic sense. We provide upfront quotes for fixes or new hot water installation. With regular maintenance, newer models can last over 15 years.

Call 1300 349 338 or email jobs@balmainplumbingservices.com.au to book a consultation if you need help deciding whether to repair or replace your hot water tank.


Having a reliable supply of hot water is essential in every Balmain home. As this article outlined, there are various problems that can cause water heater failures.

When you need hot water restored quickly and basic troubleshooting steps aren’t sufficient, it’s important to call in a professional plumber or electrician if issues persist or pose safety risks. Our experienced technicians at Balmain Plumbing can accurately assess whether repairs or replacement are needed to restore your hot water.

Get in touch with us for comprehensive repairs and new installations for all gas electric makes and models. Our upfront quotes allow you to make informed decisions on cost-effective solutions. With regular maintenance, today’s water heaters can provide over 15 years of reliable service.

Don’t tolerate fluctuating temperatures or faulting systems. For professional repairs or replacements, call Balmain Plumbing on 1300 349 338 or email jobs@balmainplumbingservices.com.au to book an appointment. Trust our licenced expertise to get your hot water flowing properly again.

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