Do You Have a Burst Hot Water System?
Having a burst hot water system can result in potential flooding in your home, causing damage to your floors.
Before you attempt to make the repairs yourself, you should consider calling a professional hot water installer and repairer.
What to do when your Hot Water System Bursts
When your hot water system bursts and you are left without any hot water, you need to act quickly in order to both prevent unnecessary flooding of your property and to get the hot water back on.
Without quick action on your part, a burst water heater can flood the inside of your home within as little as 20 minutes. Some of the damage that can occur includes ruined carpet, damaged floor tiles or lyno, and buckled kitchen or laundry cupboards / cabinets.
Not only can this happen from the continuous flow of water through your home, but also the rust and sediment that will eventually leave the water heater’s cylinder during this event of a burst tank. So, not only should one be concerned about the thought of getting their hot water back on via the replacement of the burst system, but also the focus on preventing the above damage to the home occurring.
Your water heater will normally burst around the ten year mark (on average), and when it does, this of course means, and it is equally important to know, that it will need to be suitably replaced by a new hot water system.
The replacement hot water unit may not necessarily be a like for like, depending on the individual’s circumstances. One should therefore take the following into consideration when selecting that new hot water system : size of property, number of people living in the property, the gas and or electric set up, and also the cost (in general). So, the things you should do, in the event of a burst hot water tank, are as follows:
1) Don’t panic
First and foremost, it is imperative that you do not panic, as this will not help the situation at all, and would only make matters worse. This “burst tank” situation can be very easily rectified, simply by sequentially following a few important steps.
This article outlines (step by step) those important points to consider, to help get you through, what could otherwise become a rather traumatic experience, at the best of times. Remember that it is also very important to remain patient, during the entire change over process, right up until the completion of your new installation and removal of your old tank.
If one were to follow the correct procedures, there should be no reason as to why a professional and positive result will not be achieved.
2) Turn off the isolation tap to the hot water system
By turning off the isolation tap to the hot water system, this will automatically reduce the pressure build up in the hot water system by immediately stopping the flow of water to it. It should be noted that it will still take between one and two hours for the water to stop leaking from the tank. So you only need to take this very necessary precaution (turning off the isolation tap), to ensure that you are able to limit the amount of damage done to your property. Remembering all the while, that you need to be patient even when it comes to waiting for the tank to stop leaking.
3) Turn off your hot water
a) Turn off the hot water switch at the switchboard (if an electric water heater)
If you have an electric hot water system, you should also turn off the hot water switch at the switchboard. This will immediately stop the supply of electricity to your water heater and prevent any possible electrocution from happening.
b) Turn off the hot water gas tap at the hot water system (if a gas water heater)
If you have a gas hot water system, you should turn off the hot water gas tap at the hot water system. This will immediately stop the supply of gas to your water heater, gas being potentially dangerous if a gas leak was to occur.
4) Phone a reputable hot water installer for a quote (preferably one that also supplies)
Once you have completed the above steps, you need to phone a reputable hot water installer to ask for a quote for the supply and installation of your new hot water system. You are fast tracking things by getting one company to deal with the whole supply and installation, rather than having to wait for the delivery of the water heater from one company, and then organising a time for an installer from another company. It is hard to co-ordinate two different parties to achieve the times that you require, so it is advisable to simply deal with one company – less waiting, less hassle.
5) Make sure the installer is fully licensed with plumbing (and electrical if electric water heater)
Whether you have an electric or gas hot water system, you should ensure, when you phone for a quote, that the installer has a full “plumbing” license. Additionally, if you have an electric hot water system, make sure the installer is fully licensed to cover the electrical side of things.
6) Make sure the installer is able to remove the old water heater from the premises
At the same time of phoning the installer, you could also find out whether or not your old existing hot water system can be removed from site by the same company. Similarly, this will further fast track things to a final and complete result, and is a cost effective way of the whole job done (all in a short space of time, with just one company to deal with).
One such company renowned for their professionalism in doing the whole job, from an accurate free over the phone quote, to the supply and installation of the new water heater promptly, and subsequently removal of the old tank, is Anytime Holt Water.
They provide this service in the whole of Sydney, Central Coast, Newcastle, Campbelltown, Wollongong, Byron Bay and the Gold Coast, with plans to expand nationwide.
7) Ensure you give accurate information to the prospective installer over the phone, so that the quote given to you is accurate
What Information do I need to Provide for a Quote?
Listed below is a checklist of the information you need to give the installer, in order for him to be able to give you an accurate quote over the phone:
- Location – let the prospective installer know of the tank’s precise location (i.e. indoor or outdoor).
If the water heater is outdoor, also tell the installer that it is at the side of the house (if indeed that is the case). Alternatively, if the water heater is indoor, let the installer know which room it is in and whether or not it sits directly on the floor or is wall mounted on brackets, or in a cupboard, by way of example.
If the hot water system is high up on brackets, it is also good for the installer to know the distance from the underside of the tank to the floor. This will allow the installer to arrive on site prepared, to perform what would be a more difficult installation.
- Access (steps / anything in the way) :
If there are any steps to go up or down to get to the hot water system, then this is very relevant. This information should be noted and passed onto the installer, as well as the number of steps involved. Indeed, if there is anything else obstructing, on route to the water heater, for example an air conditioning unit, this would be also very useful to know for the installer.
The reason being is the installer could then make the necessary preparation to deal with this obstruction, prior to arriving on site. Sometimes, if a large item is blocking the route to the water heater outside, then the job may require two or more people, which will have an impact on the final price quoted.
So, the final quote will be higher if there are many steps to get to the water heater, or if there is something in the way obstructing access to the water heater, as this may require more than one man.
- Existing details of the hot water system (i.e. brand, capacity, model #, and date of manufacture or date of installation) :
Prior to phoning your installer, you should write down the brand of the hot water system (e.g. Rheem or Dux or Rinnai), the capacity of the tank (i.e. it could be a 250 litre electric tank or a 135 litre gas tank). You should also write down the model number. Now, if it is say a 250 litre electric tank, then the number 250 will usually appear in the model number.
So, if you have a 250 litre tank with Dux being the brand, then your model number may be 250S1 (the current model) or 250F1 (an older model). Sometimes, the model number on its own is sufficient information for the installer to be able to provide a quote.
However, the more information you are able to provide, the better. As a matter of interest, the S1 in the above model number stands for “7 year warranty with a single element”. So this example is a Dux 250 litre electric storage tank with a single element, covered by a seven year cylinder warranty.
By the way, with the Dux 250S1 example, you are only covered with a 1 year parts warranty, something standard throughout the hot water industry.
All the information above provides a thorough guideline in dealing with an event that is likely to occur once every ten years. However, during that ten year period, you are likely to require a service or two. For example, with an electric hot water tank, you may suddenly run out of hot water (after anywhere from two to 6 years). Generally, this will mean that you need a repairman to attend promptly.
More often than not, a part or two will need to be replaced within your water heater, in order for it to start working again. To avoid the disruption of a “no hot water” event occurring, a regular service is a good idea.