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The 5 Most Common Instant Gas Hot Water System Problems

If you're suddenly on the market for a reliable and affordable and environmentally-minded source of steaming hot water, why not jump aboard the gas instantaneous water heater train?

You may be used to your traditional storage tank-based unit, or considering the big 'green' jump to heat pump or even solar, but the facts don't lie: and an instantaneous hot water service is the big seller of the moment.

Hot problems? Let's start with the hot benefits:

  • Power: Why fill a big tank when you can pay only for the water you need?
  • Sleek: You're pretty limited as to where you can install a big and unwieldy tank system, and the same is true of solar setups too. A continuous flow heater, though, can be neatly tucked away just about everywhere.
  • Continuous: They're called 'instant' and 'continuous' for every good reason. As soon as you turn on the tap, your unit heats the water instantly and keeps heating it for as long as you need it.
  • Durable: Expect your storage tank to last 10 years, and your instantaneous hot water service to at least double that.
  • Options: The gas instantaneous water heater is more efficient and 'green', but if you need one powered by electric - go for it.
  • Maintenance: Tank systems need flushing, regular valve operation, and new sacrificial anodes. Instantaneous? None of the above.

But just because they're great doesn't mean you won't necessarily grapple with instant gas hot water system problems from time to time. The key is knowing what to spot, what it means, and what to do about it.

Instant gas hot water problems? Watch out for these ones:

Problem #1: Turns off

It's a common gas instantaneous water heater system feature that mineral deposits in the heat exchanger could trigger a full system shutdown. The need for a flush is nowhere near as common as with a tank, but it still can happen.

However, the reason your unit just shut off could be because of:

  • A dirty burner or faulty ignitor
  • Bad installation
  • Loose power connections
  • Dirty filter or faulty flow sensor
  • System overload.

Problem #2: No hot water

Remember, because that water isn't pre-heated, you'll need to wait a few seconds for the water out of your tap to be hot. But you may be overloading your system by asking too much of it. In that case, consider your hot water size and see if whether a larger capacity unit is required for your multiple hot outlets.

The problem might also be caused by:

  • Running multiple appliances
  • A blocked gas vent
  • Temperature set too low
  • No supply of gas

Problem #3: Intermittent hot water

Another common issue is a shower that feels hot-cold-hot-cold-hot-cold (you get the picture). This might be because someone else is using (or has recently used) a hot outlet and there's some stored hot & cold water in the pipes. If the flow isn't intermittent but simply not hot enough, this is likely to be a faulty diaphragm or thermostat.

It could also be:

  • Water flow restrictor sensor
  • Insufficient gas supply
  • Ageing system

Problem #4: Low pressure

If you're used to a more intense blast of hot water from your shower, and it isn't the fault of the water-saving head, bear in mind that an instantaneous hot water system can often produce hot water at a lower pressure than a tank system. It could also be:

  • A blocked strainer valve
  • A faulty thermostat

Problem #5: Pilot light's out

The most common reason for a pilot light flame-out is simply because all the gas has run out - either the bottle's empty or perhaps the mains gas valves are partially closed. Also possible is that you have a fault with the mechanism that lights the pilot on some systems only when a hot tap is on.

It could also be:

  • A broken ignition switch

Hot water problems? In Deep Plumbing can help

Need help with your hot water problems? In Deep Plumbing are the Gold Coast's experienced masters at the full range of hot water system repairs, replacements and fast installations. Don't suffer under that cold shower one second longer and call In Deep Plumbing's friendly Gold Coast plumbing team today - we'll be there in a flash!