Why is water leaking from my hot water system?

If you have noticed some water dribbling from your hot water system, don’t call emergency plumbers just yet. In the summer heat the valves in your hot water system can leak, they are designed to release a small amount of water – especially on hot days – to regulate the pressure in the water tank. If, however, the release is a little more than the occasional drip, you may have a leak on your hands, this means you’ll be paying to heat water, only to see it go to waste.

In Summary; If your hot water system is dripping it could be the normal releasing of pressure or a leak.

Two things to keep an eye on –

If your system is leaking every now and then, and only in small amounts it’s likely to be the pressure relief valves. There are two safety valves on a hot water cylinder.

  • A Pressure and temperature relief valve – during heating the valve discharges hot water to the drain line to relieve the pressure generated by overheating, it can also occur on hot summer days when the temperature rises, it’s designed to prevent your tank from over pressurising.
  • An expansion control valve – this opens and releases water if the pressure from your water supply exceeds the pressure of the ECV valve. Unlike the PTR Valve the water it releases is cold, which is less energy consuming and expands the PTR’s life span.

Both valves are designed to allow small amounts of water to drip from your tank to ensure the pressure doesn’t build up. However, this loss should be minor and happen intermittently, if your tank is constantly dripping water it has developed a leak and you should hire emergency plumber on 1300 896 508.

There are several reasons why a water tank leaks.

  • There could be tiny particles of grit caught in the valve, the seal is probably damaged and isn’t sealing properly. It’s worth noting that these valve seals don’t last forever, so, it’s a good idea to have them inspected once or twice a year to ensure they are sealing properly.
  • If you have high water pressure at your home, it can cause your system to leak. If this is the problem, you’ll probably just need a pressure limiting valve installed.
  • The easiest way to tell if your system is relieving pressure, or, leaking is to put an empty ice cream container under the pipe for an hour and see how much water it collects. When you know roughly how much water you are losing give your emergency plumber a call, they’ll help you determine the leak and fix the problem.

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