How To Avoid A Cold Shower


Winter can be a challenging period for your hot water heater: as the freeze sets in, you’re more and more reliant on that hot shower in the morning to get you going, or a relaxing hot bath when you get home to thaw out and stop the chills.

So if your hot water heater gives up in winter, it can be a real nightmare!

We want you to stay toasty this season, so we’re going to teach you:

  • How to check a sacrificial anode
  • How to inspect your safety relief valve
  • How to investigate general tank condition
  • What to do when your pilot light goes out.

So read on for the Plumber To The Rescue hottest hot water tips in Sydney!


Every kind of hot water heater is fitted with what’s called a sacrificial anode. This metal pole attracts corrosive elements in the water in order to protect the inside lining of the tank itself.

This means your sacrificial anode will need replacing regularly! A replacement and check is super easy. You’ll need a spanner, some gloves, and a minute of your time.

  1. Turn off any heat or power to the hot water heater. This will protect you from scalding steam, or burning your hand on the sides of the heater.
  2. Open a hot water valve near the heater. You’ll release any pressure that’s built up in the tank.
  3. Using your spanner, remove the hexagonal anode head. It’s on the top of the heater. This bit will require some strength; for good reason, the anode will be secured very tightly.
  4. Remove the anode partially or wholly. Depending on the size of your heater, the anode can be quite long (up to 3 ft), and it might be near impossible to remove it safely without bending it. In order to inspect it, you only really need to see the first 6-12 inches that have been inside the water; so pull until you’re clear of the water line for a general picture of the anode’s condition.
  5. Look for signs of corrosion or rust. The anode is designed to rust so that the tank doesn’t. If it looks pristine then lucky you! You don’t need to replace the anode. But if the anode has been eaten away by corrosion to the point where it’s less than half an inch thick (they start out at about an inch wide) then it’s time to replace it.

Calling a plumber is your best bet for a safe, reliable installation of your new anode. As a vital and delicate part of the heater machinery, you’re best off trusting the experts!


Pilot lights are a common cause of annoyance. If you’ve got a gas hot water heater, you’ve probably had to work with one of these before; especially with older heaters.

While newer heaters often have an electric lighting system, where fixing the pilot light is as simple as switching on the gas and turning the burner knob to ignite the light, some older models requiring manual lighting can be more frustrating.

A pilot light not working can lead to a cold shower at best or a serious plumbing failure at worst.

Either way, the process works along pretty similar lines. The first step, once you’ve lost hot water, is to check that the light is on. If it’s not, with a newer model, simply turn the gas on again, and light it with the electric igniter. With an older model or if the ignition system isn’t working, a long handled stove-top lighter can be used safely to ignite the gas.

Once the gas is lit, leave it on full for a solid minute before you walk away. This should ensure you’ve got a proper flame going, and you’ll be back on your way to a nice hot shower. 

Is It Really Easy?

We’ve done out best to make the steps above as simple as possible, but please bear in mind that the above information is general and is by no means a substitute for comprehensive professional advice. Before working on your home plumbing, you should always consult a licensed professional.

The key to keeping costs low on your plumbing is identifying faults whilst they are still minor and easily fixable, before they become larger problems, which cause serious damage to your heater or your property – not to mention the safety risks.

At best, a hot water heater malfunction can be a frustrating nuisance; at worst, it can literally explode, which could spell disaster for your home.

Regular maintenance of your hot water heater is a great way to save in the long run. But there are some jobs that really should be left to the experts; heaters are delicate and temperamental, and can be dangerous if you’re not careful.

A DIY inspection is a great first step; but the expertise of your local superhero plumbers Sydney wide, you’re always in safe hands. We’ve got 30 years of experience saving Sydney from hot water heater disasters!

Check your heater manual; on average, manufacturers recommend a professional investigation every year or two. This investigation will turn up any issues that may be invisible to the untrained eye!

What’s more, with fully stocked vans on the go 24/7, the team at Plumber To The Rescue can repair or replace your heater that day, and get your water back on track.

Your local Plumber To The Rescue Sydney plumber is the plumber Sydney trusts for every hot water job.

With amazing customer care keeping you in the loop the whole way through, you won’t be in the dark; we’ll keep you in the know every step of the job, from the time you call until it comes time to settle the bill, and it comes time for you to enjoy your new hot water heater.

Never fear the cold shower again: Plumber To The Rescue is here! Contact us now, or call 1800 620 227 for more information.