Hot water heater in Belgium: is it available and how to turn on

You might want to travel to Belgium and wonder if they have hot water. It will be a relief to know that they use hot water heaters in most parts of Belgium. In more remote parts of this country, it is possible that they don’t have this.

Do they have hot water in Belgium?

Yes, most houses in Belgium have hot water. They often use natural gas to warm this water. Water heaters are pretty advanced and they can often indicate what is going wrong as they have special sensors. Check the display on the water heater to see if there is an error code if you don’t have hot water. You can check the manual to see what the error code means.

There is often a button to reset the water heater or to turn it on. You might have to open up a shutter to get access to this.

Ensure the device has electricity and the natural gas valve is open. The water valve should also be open so that the water can flow through the water heater.

Older water heaters might be harder to turn on as you might have to ignite the flame by pressing two buttons at the same time.

Check the video below for more troubleshooting steps.
  It is important to check that the water heater has been maintained well. It should be checked at least every 2 years by a plumber to ensure it works properly.

If they have a tankless system, it is possible that the hot water runs out before your shower ends. This can limit the amount of time that you can spend in the shower. The system will be able to heat the water again after a while.

It is important that you have one that exhausts the dirty air outside. The water heater should be installed quite far away from the bath as they use electricity.

In most cities, the water is supplied from a centralized water supply, often from a nearby river. In more remote areas the water can come from a well. Check if the pump is working properly.

The water can be quite hard and leave stains on the shower walls if they don’t have a descaler. This is generally not a problem if you are taking a shower.

These water heaters work the same way as water boilers in the U.S., heating water as it is used. If you have a water heater that uses electricity, you will need to make sure you have a separate electrical circuit for it. Check the error display as well. Sometimes resetting the water heater can fix the problem. See the video below for more information:

How to turn on a water heater in  Belgium

Warm water can make your life comfier. Before turning on the water heater, we will have to know what type it is: electric or gas-based heater.

-An electric water heater just has to be plugged in. The water supply should be turned open as well. Check if the valves on the pipes near that water heater are open so that the water can flow. It can take some time before the water is heated. Check if you see error codes on the display. These can be fixed by looking in the manual of your water heater or entering the error code in Google.

-A Gas based water heater takes more work. To start it, make sure that the device is plugged in. The water valves near the water heater should be open. Once this is done, we can check the gas pipe. This pipe is generally yellow. Inspect it to see if it is in good condition.

The gas will smell so it should be quite easy to detect a leak. Don’t start the water heater if there is a gas leak! If you are sure that there is no leak, you can open the valve on the gas pipe as well.

The water heater should start once you press the button to turn it on. Check if the device provides an error code or not. Sometimes water heaters and heating systems are combined in one device. Make sure that you activate the water heating option on the display. It can take some time before the water heater starts.

In older water heaters you will have to start the flame as well. This is generally done by pushing two buttons at the same time.

Common problems are that the exhaust of the water heater is blocked. It is also possible that there is a problem with one of the valves on the water pipes.

Check the faucet to make sure that you pick the hot option. On some showers, you have to push a button to activate this. Belgium is a small country. Most people live in the city. There are quite a lot of remote houses as well. These should have fresh water though as the infrastructure is quite advanced. Almost every house should have hot water. They are making a shift from gas based water heaters to heat pumps but this is a process that will take several decades. Only newer houses have this at the moment. Electric water heaters are not that common but can be seen in some bathrooms or kitchens. A lot of houses in Belgium have been built in the sixties or seventies. Most of them have been renovated since then. In some cities there are older buildings but these should have been upgraded as well.