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Common questions on Hot Water Systems

Can hot water pipes sweat?

Not normally, pipe sweating occurs when the water inside of the pipe is much colder than the air surrounding the pipe. The result is the formation of moisture on the outside of the pipe making it appear as though the pipe is sweating.

What hot water system do i have?

There are a few ways to tell what type of hot water system you have.

Method 1: If you remove the access panel from the side of the water heater and check inside for a blue flame. If you have one this means that you have a gas system.

Method 2: Look on the top of your water heater for an extension type cord. It is usually thick and is either black or grey. This indicates that your system is electric.

Method 3: If you see a black pipe going into the bottom of the tank that is about 25mm thick, this generally indicates that you have a gas system.

Method 4: If you see a copper pipe going into the bottom of the tank that is approximately 6mm thick, this means that you have a gas system.

Method 5: Look around your water heater for a vent on the top of the heater. Because electric hot water systems don't require a vent you have a gas hot water system.

If in doubt it is always wise to consult your local plumber to determine what type of hot water system you have.


What hot water tank do i need?
This will completely depend on your need for the hot water system. If you have a large family you will most probably require a larger tank than what you would if you lived by yourself. This would be determined on a case by case basis so having a chat with your local plumber should help you make a more educated decision on what size you would need.
What types of hot water systems are there?

The main types of water heaters in Australia are:

  • Electric - Storage or instantaneous
  • Gas (Natural or LPG) - Storage, instantaneous and continuous
  • Solar - Electric or Gas (Both Natural and LPG) boosted
  • Heat Pump

The pilot light is generally located underneath your water heater. There will usually be a removable panel at the bottom of your water heater and once removed the pilot light can be accessed and ignited from there.

Where is the hot water thermostat?

If you don't have a newer system with a digital thermostat in either your bathroom or laundry then your thermostat will be located on your hot water system. It is advised that you get a licenced plumber to adjust your thermostat.

Where to turn hot water supply off?

On nearly every hot water heater there will be a dedicated shut off valved which should be located on the cold inlet pipes. This is generally a gate style valve that is either on or off and should rarely be in between. Simply turn the valve clockwise as far as you can and that should shut off any new hot water into your system. As for the inside of your home, you should have stop valves that connect to water supply tubes. You will generally find you kitchen one underneath the sink. Turn the handles clockwise to turn them off.


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For more in depth hot water information visit our Hot water Information page