Posted by Lillan Connors in Home Maintenance

A hot water system is an integral part of a great many homes, accounting for nearly a third of the typical household’s energy use. For this reason alone, you should get acquainted with the basic servicing tips to ensure that your system operates smoothly for many years, saving you significant amounts of money in doing so.


Each hot water system relies on a proper slope. All radiators and pipes have to slope back toward the boiler. If your system fails to heat the water or you hear hammering noises, this indicates an incorrect slope. In order to address these issues, you should check the slope of pipes radiators, and fasten pipes or prop radiators making sure that all the components are properly tilted.

Water Level

The water level in your hot water system’s boiler should be retained at about half full, knowing that a water level that is too low may result in inadequate heating. You should leave an air space between the top of the tank and the surface of the water. For the most part, an automatic filling system will keep the boiler filled with the right amount of water. However, if the water level of your system is constantly low, inspect the pipes for leaks. This can be done by closing the water supply valve and observing the water level for a couple of days. If the level drops dramatically, you’ll be best advised to call out a professional, tell us at a reputable Sydney-based plumbing service.

Expansion Tank

If you want to ensure efficient heating, the water in your hot water system should be heated well above boiling. The water won’t turn to steam since the pressure-reducing valve and expansion tank keep it under pressure. The expansion tank is commonly hung from the basement ceiling, close to the boiler. If you have an older system, the expansion tank could be placed in the attic. If the expansion tank is not filled with enough air, the buildup of pressure will expel the water through the safety relief valve found above the boiler. Without sufficient air in the tank, water will fill it, expanding as it heats up and subsequently escaping through the safety relief valve.

In order to check for air in the tank, you should by lightly touch it. The bottom half of the expansion tank usually feels warmer than the top. If the tank is hot all over, however, it is filled with water and you must drain it. To this end, turn off power to boiler, close the water supply shutoff valve, letting tank cool. Once a combination drain valve is opened, it will let water out and air in. Attach a garden hose to the valve and drain some 10 litres of water. In case you don’t have a combination valve, simply shut off valve between the boiler and expansion tank and then completely drain the tank. Now turn water supply back on, and then turn on power to the boiler to set the system in motion again.

Flushing the System

You should flush the entire hot water system at least once a year to ensure that the water flows freely and keep the pipes clear. Flush the system by opening the blow-off valve and emptying the water into a bucket until it starts to run clear. Watch this video to learn more about it. If the water still appears rusty after the flush, give a professional a call.


Lillan Connors


Lillian Connors is a blogger and home improvement enthusiast ever so keen on doing various DIY projects around her house and passionately writing about them. She is also an online marketing consultant, closely collaborating with a number of companies from all over the globe.

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