Tips & Advice

11 tips to prepare your hot water heater for cold weather

Now is the time to pay attention to your household water heater to ensure that you’re both ready to get through the winter.

Living through the coldest months of the year without consistent, lovely, really hot water doesn’t bear thinking about.

To avoid a frosty reception this winter, identify potential water heater problems that you and your plumber can work through – well before the big chill sets in.

Beating the big chill

Cooling temperatures make your hot water heater more work, as it must compensate for the cold exterior while heating up your water supply. This can put a strain on how it functions, just when you really depend on constant hot water in your home.

It’s a good idea to book one of our plumbers to ‘stress test’ your water heater and pipes now.

Common hot water heater problems and solutions

  1. Check your pilot light
    If thegas water heater flame keeps going out, you will need to call a plumber as there may be a defective thermocouple in the control gas valve.The thermocouple requires regular maintenance, so book a service call to get it checked if you have concerns.

  2. Test the water heater element on an electric water heater
    Your plumber needs to do this using a multimeter. A reading will indicate if the element needs replacing.

  3. Test the temperature and pressure relief valve
    Before checking the TPR valve, your plumber will shut off the property’s water and power supply. The TPR valve is a safety feature designed to control the water pressure. It can sometimes leak or become sticky. Your plumber can check the pressure and replace the TPR valve if required.

  4. Check the anode rod
    Inside your tank is a magnesium or aluminium anode rod that will need to be replaced every 3 to 5 years. The rod attracts corrosive elements that will eventually rust the tank if the replacement isn’t regular.

  5. Remove accumulated sediment with a tank flush
    Symptoms of sediment build-up include popping noises when your hot water is on. To flush out the sediment, which could be an accumulation of sand or dirt, you could attach a hose to the drain valve. First, turn off the water and power supply, then open the drain valve near the tank’s base. Fix one end of the hose to the valve and position the other end, so it drains away outside. Turn the water supply back on to disturb and drain off sediment. Keep flushing it until the water runs clear. Or book a service call for $59*, and our plumber will flush the tank.

  6. Adjust the thermostat
    In hot water systems, the thermostat might need adjustment. For electric systems, you need to turn off the power and remove the unit’s access panel before using a screwdriver to raise or lower temperatures. For gas systems, twist the dial at the water heater’s base. Or it could be time for a plumber to replace the thermostat.

  7. Insulate frozen pipes
    In colder parts of Australia, pipes are susceptible to freezing. Check accessible pipes and wrap them with insulation or a pipe sleeve. Ask our team to provide additional insulation.

  8. Get the hot water heater placed in the right area
    In colder areas, the best option is for your plumber to locate tanks somewhere warm indoors that will reduce the impact of frosty outdoor temperatures.

  9. Vent your system for clear oxygen supply and exhausts
    The water heater needs clear vents to take in oxygen efficiently and unblocked exhausts to expel Co2Remove any blockages caused by leaves, dust, dirt or animals and ask our plumber to install metal mesh guards/coverings if the heater doesn’t have them.

  10. Fix tankless hot water system problems
    If your instant hot water system is not delivering, you need a plumber. The problem could be with the cold-water flow or a defect in the gas supply with gas systems.

  11. Fix solar hot water system problems
    To maximise the productivity of your solar heating system, clean your panels. Also, get our plumber to install a gas or electric booster, so it is more efficient during cloudy weather.

Our offer to you:

We can test your plumbing system, including your water heater parts.

Curran Plumbing has a special $59 water heater tune-up and flush offer, which has a value of $323.  (* offer applies to tanks that are located at ground level only)

Sometimes the longer we put off the inevitable, the worse it is. If you decide to replace your old hot water system, Curran Plumbing can recommend new models that are up to code and will suit your location and install the replacement model you choose.

Enter our giveaway

Does your hot water heater need replacing? Why not enter our fab new competition. Find out how to enter here.

Call us on 1300 781 636 or book a Curran Plumber technician online.

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Gordon M
July 18, 2022
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Currans supplied us with constant updating of the project and when completed arranged for an inspection of the completed works.
Mitchell F
July 16, 2022
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From the first phone call Curran plumbing services were professional, showed up on time for scheduled quote , then me updated when the job was going to be completed . On the day of install all of the staff were well trained , well spoken and installed my new instantaneous gas hot water system like they were installing it in their own home . The quality in detail to make sure I was satisfied didn’t go unnoticed. At the end of the day I feel like I have gained a plumber for life . 100% recommend.
InJect A Joint V
July 13, 2022
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Luke was a Complete Gentleman and he explained every detail to my wife and i!! On this basis we excepted his Quote on the Spot and told him to go ahead and install our Brand New Australian made Hot Water System!! It was all Done that afternoon with Expert Precision d we had Hot water by 4pm!! Absolutely Marvellous Well Done! Sid you should be Very Proud of the Workmanship that Luke Performed!!
Brian D
July 13, 2022
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From my first contact with your company to completion of the job was only a few days tree roots in the sewer pipes gone, big thanks to your team.
David Collins
July 11, 2022
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Hi it's Dave from Dapto for Block drain problem, Part of Sewer drain renewal and ground was leveled nice & looks good, kitchen drain came apart and was reconnected all services where friendly and good communication excellent work. Thank you
Kingfisher Maritime
July 10, 2022
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I found Josh from Curren Plumbing to be very honest and trustworthy in the work he carried out at my home. Josh communicated everything he was going to do and the results of these actions in a manner I was able to understand. I was happy with the work Josh did at my home.
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