The importance of taking care of your hot water system properly should never be overlooked. After all, we’re a nation that relies heavily on accessible and clean water to maintain and run household and commercial appliances and uphold high hygiene standards. While it’s imperative to have your hot water service inspected regularly, you can’t be blamed for forgetting; the system is not exactly a piece of the furniture. Your tank, pump or continuous flow water heater is most often kept out of sight and out of mind.
As a guide, below you’ll find a list of all the typical hot water systems and the standard maintenance periods for each Mayfair brand:
Continuous flow/tankless: annually serviced (Takagi, Chofu, Thermann, Zip, Aqua MAX)
Electric/gas storage: every five years (Rheem, Bosch, Rinnai, Dux, Aqua MAX, Raypak)
Heat pumps: annually serviced (Stiebel Eltron, Bosch, Rheem and Quantum)
Solar systems: every five years (Rheem, Beasley, Chromagen, Dux, Solar Hart and Edwards)
From fluctuating temperatures to weakening pressure and the presence of grit in the water, there’s more than one reason to service your hot water system regularly. But, how often you need to do this depends on the efficiency of the product, the brand and the type of water heater in your home.
Here are six reasons why you should have your hot water service inspected at its recommended interval.
1) Corrosion and gas leakage inspections
Corrosion in gas storage heaters occurs when the steel parts of the tank experience overexposure to gas. When it starts to eat away at the metal pipes and storage containers, your tank might begin to leak water or, depending on where the leak is, gas.
As a general rule of thumb for gas storage heaters, the first check-up should usually involve testing for any premature rusting or corrosion in the plumbing joints. If a joint is weakened in a gas heater, you run the risk of gas leakages, which are highly flammable. If they explode, they could pose a severe threat to your house and the people within it.
2) Water leakages
Your water heating expert at Hot Water Specialists will be able to check for water leakages by turning a tap on in the house and listening for strange noises coming from the pipes, pump or tank. In some cases, you can check for sounds yourself. But be aware; just because you don’t hear anything unusual doesn’t mean you’re off the hook. You should always speak to a professional before making up your mind about the health of your system.
3) Damage to the temperature and pressure relief (TPR) valve
The TPR valve is fitted to your hot water tank and act as a secondary safety feature to help air out overheated tanks through a vent in the instance where water in the tanks becomes too hot. When it gets damaged, it seizes to perform its sole purpose of venting your water heater. Not checking on the functionality of the TPR valve could cause your water heater to burst.
To ensure you’re not housing a malfunctioning TPR valve and opening up the possibility for it to explode, it’s best to speak to a professionally trained service provider like us, who will be able to determine the best way forward.
4) Sediment in tank water heaters
A build-up of sediment in your tank water heater can significantly diminish the quality of your water supply and therefore use up more electricity or gas than it usually would as the layer of sediment can “protect” the water in creating a barrier between the water and the heater.
Every two months, it’s essential to switch off the heat to allow the water to lower in temperature before opening the draining valve to empty the tank. Once the water starts to pour out, the grit and sediment that’s settled at the bottom of your receptacle will soon leave the tank. Keep the valve open until the water runs crystal clear and if you smell a foul odour coming from the tank or the water remains foggy, be sure to give us a call! In many cases, this procedure can be done on your own and without the help of a professional – just remember to set a reminder in your diary!
5) Damage to the anode rod
An anode rod is a vital indicator of the health of your tank. Described as the only “sacrificial” element of heating systems, it was designed to destroy itself before the condition of your tank began to disintegrate.
Keep an eye on the condition of the anode rod every couple of months is critical. If the rod is damaged beyond repair, your tank could be in serious trouble. One way of knowing when to call on our services for help is when you can see at least six inches of the core’s steel, the rod is less than 15mm thick, or it’s coated with limescale build-up.
6) A build-up of limescale in continuous flow water heaters
Unlike tank water heaters that house a large amount of water in an entrapment, continuous flow water heaters heat the water as it’s needed through a series of pipes. Because of the pipe’s intermittent exposure to running water, a plumber might discover a build-up of limescale on the interior surface of the pipe and the element itself. If you leave this for too long, you’ll find the efficiency of your water heater significantly decrease, costing you more money in your monthly energy bills.
There are a few home remedies you can do to eliminate the limescale from your tank, like flushing it with a food-grade, mild acid such as white vinegar to help dislodge the particles. Every system is different so if you didn’t keep the manufacturer instructions on how to do this or you’d feel more comfortable handing the task over to the experts, speak to someone from our helpful team.
In many cases, you’ll find any issue with your water heater to be relatively small and easy to fix. Other times it may be something significant like a gas leak or water contamination. Either way, there’s no way of knowing how severe the problem until you speak to a professional.
To make sure you’re taking care of your water heater correctly, be diligent when scheduling appointments with Hot Water Specialists Adelaide to ensure you’re having it looked at well within the required time period of the specific brand and product.