A hot water system leaking into your home can cause many issues, from higher utility bills to water damage. Unfortunately, many homeowners may be unaware of how to identify if their hot water system is leaking, which can lead to even more damage and costly repairs.

By identifying the problem early on, you can avoid further damage and ensure it’s working efficiently. There are signs to look out for to determine if your heated water unit is leaking, and we look at some of the steps you can take to address the issue. 

6 Signs You Have a Leaking Hot Water System

Understanding the six signs you have a leaking hot water system can help you save money and protect your home. Identifying the problem early allows you to seek professional advice before it worsens.

1. No Hot Water

In Australia, we are spoiled with instant hot water for our daily activities like showering, cooking, and cleaning. 

When there’s a leak, the hot water that’s supposed to be in your tank is likely escaping through it, leaving you with cold water. It will be noticeable when you turn on your tap as the water won’t warm up or even run.

2. Strange Noises

When water leaks from your hot water system, it can create various sounds that may be alarming or even frightening. 

Here are some examples of strange noises that a leak can cause:

  • Gurgling or bubbling sounds: When the water leaks, it can create air pockets in the pipes. Water flowing through these pockets can create gurgling or bubbling sounds.
  • Hissing or whistling sounds: If your hot water system leaks steam, you may hear a hissing or whistling sound. These noises often indicate a more serious issue because condensation contacts a hot surface. You should turn off your hot water system and call a professional immediately.
  • Banging or knocking sounds: A leaking tank can also cause pipes to vibrate, creating banging or knocking sounds. The vibrations are often a sign that your pipes are loose or damaged.
  • Dripping or dripping sounds: Of course, the most obvious sign of a leaking hot water system is the sound of dripping or running water. If you hear this sound, try to locate the source of the leak and have it repaired as soon as possible.

3. Pooling Water

Water pooling around your home or property is a sure sign you have a leaking hot water tank. It can cause serious damage to the structure and foundation of your home and should be managed quickly by a professional team.

4. Change in Utility Bills

A hot water system leaking can cause a change in utility bills. Hot water leaks can result in increased water usage and higher energy bills, especially if the leak goes undetected for a long period of time. 

For example, if your hot water tank leaks, it may continuously use energy to heat water even when you’re not using any hot water.

5. Foul Smells

The presence of water and moisture, especially in warm or hot environments, can create ideal conditions for bacteria growth, mould and other microorganisms. These can produce foul odours that permeate your entire home.

Suppose the leak is caused by malfunctioning hot water system technology, such as a broken temperature relief valve, pressure relief valve, or a corroded anode rod. In that case, it can also lead to a buildup of sediment and rust inside the tank. The buildup can result in bacteria growth, producing a rotten egg-like odour in your hot water.

6. Discoloured or Rusty Water

When hot water systems leak, they can cause discoloured or rusty water because it can allow air to enter the pipes, which can cause rust to form inside the pipes. The result is brown or discoloured water coming out of your taps. Drinking or using rusty water can be harmful to your health, and it can also cause damage to your plumbing system and appliances.

Causes of Your Hot Water Heater Leaking

There are several possible causes of a hot water heater leaking, including those listed below:

  • Corrosion: Over time, the metal components of the water heater tank can corrode, leading to leaks.
  • Loose connections: The fittings, pipes, and pressure relief valves that connect to the water heater can become loose or damaged, causing leaks.
  • Excessive pressure: If the pressure relief valve fails or is set too high, it can cause excess pressure in the tank, which causes a solar, electric or gas hot water system leak.
  • Sediment buildup: Minerals and sediment can accumulate in the tank, causing rust and corrosion, leading to water leaking.
  • Tank damage: A physically damaged tank, such as when a heavy object falls on it, can leak.
  • Faulty drain valve: The drain valve at the bottom of the tank can become loose or damaged. When not functioning correctly, it causes a hot water heater leak.

What To Do When You Have a Hot Water System Leaking

If you have leaking water from your hot water unit, it’s important to take action quickly to prevent more damage and safety hazards. Here are the steps you should take:

  • Turn off the power supply
  • Turn off the water supply
  • Drain the tank
  • Identify the source of the water heater leaks
  • Call a hot water specialist for a hot water service as soon as possible

Choose a Professional Plumber for Leaking Hot Water Systems

Don’t let your solar, gas or electric hot water system faults cause unnecessary stress and damage to your home.  

At Woden Valley Plumbing & Gasfitting, we have the expertise and experience to diagnose and repair any faulty hot water system issue, including leaks. Our licensed and insured plumbers use the latest equipment and techniques to ensure your water heating system functions safely and efficiently.

We understand the importance of an efficient hot water supply in your home, so we offer prompt and reliable service at competitive prices. Plus, we stand behind our work with a satisfaction guarantee.

Don’t let the need for hot water heater repairs disrupt your daily routine. Contact Woden Valley Plumbing & Gasfitting today to schedule an appointment with one of our expert crew.