June 25, 2021
THE VALUE OF BASIC HOT WATER HEATER MAINTENANCE
Undoubtedly you've walked past it a million times, and like your shower, kitchen, and bath - it's reasonable to suppose your expectations on dependable Hot Water are a fundamental and inconspicuous home necessity that is sometimes forgotten and sadly taken for granted.
Of course, that’s until you've just stepped out of a chilly shower that has destroyed your morning!
You have it, we've seen it – However, there are some simple things you can do to help keep your hot water running, and the best part is, it should only take 5-10 minutes!
Over the years, The Pied Plumber has installed hundreds of storage hot water heaters. Interestingly enough, most owners have never had a proper rundown on how they operate, rendering many of our clients the inability to identify what to turn off in an emergency.
Not only do we install and fix hot water systems – we thrive on giving you knowledge on how they work!
Three Simple Steps Every 12 Months For Hot Water Heater Maintenance
1. TPR release – put it in your calendar!
Short for ‘Temperature Pressure Release’, we’d go as far as saying – the most crucial valve on your hot water cylinder. This is a device fitted towards the top end of your tank, which has a little stainless steel lever.
Why is it so important?
All hot water cylinders have a maximum pressure range. When cold supply reaches the tank, the internal thermostat and element kicks-in to begin the heating cycle – For every degree in temperature rise, the greater the pressure!
A TPR valve will leak out water and pressure to safeguard the cylinder once it's at or near its set temperature and maximum pressure setting. If these valves are blocked or unable to discharge – you’ll likely be an unlucky victim to a burst tank and a failed service.
Once a year, this must be flushed out by pulling the lever for no more than 5-10 seconds, releasing up to 1 litre of water. In turn, this will dislodge any debris and sedimentation which may compromise the valve and, potentially, your tank!
Before any such maintenance – ensure the following:
- The copper piping connected from the TPR valve is secure with no leaks and is safely discharging elsewhere by either directing into a drain or safely outside.
- The end of the copper pipe is not blocked or running underground, including in any concealed locations.
- Wear appropriate clothing and safety spectacles.
- Lift the lever slowly as an initial test and check for any external leaks around the vent located on the top of the device. If this occurs – stop immediately as this has the potential to spurt hot water. In this rare case, please give us a call and organise a visit.
TPR valves should be replaced at a five-year interval. If you believe yours to be longstanding past this time frame – again, we’re a call away!
2. Assess your plumbing around the storage hot water heater
Such timely inspections can often reduce costs associated with plumbing maintenance. By that, we’re referring specifically to pipework connected to Hot Water valves and fittings which may show signs of leaks. On some occasions, you may even witness green corrosion.
In such scenarios, attending to problems before they arise or worsen is what The Pied Plumber’s about.
Rather than replacing all of your corroded pipework, we may be able to reduce your scope of works and fix it if assessed in time.
Whilst you’re perusing your hot water pipework, valves and connections – Best to make sure you isolate your heater and test that it’s still functional by opening an inside hot tap. If there are any problems with these valves, we replace them.
Your hot water isolation valve is typically located in the lower section of your tank and has a black knob.
3. Test your hot water temperature
All Australian homes must have some form of hot water temperature regulation by means of a Tempering Valve. The only exception is for kitchen sinks and laundry tubs where temperatures can exceed 50 degrees.
All other house fixtures, including showers, baths, hand basins and even the odd bidet, must be regulated to a maximum of 50 degrees to prevent scalding hot water burns.
A tempering valve operates on the premise of mixing and balancing hot water and cold water outlet supplies directly from your Boiler unit. It essentially is that 'T' shaped valve normally situated externally around the topmost part of your storage tank.
The bottom line to consider here, These are laws and standards for you and the safety of your loved ones.
To test your hot water, it’s as simple as owning any food thermometer and placing the sensor rod below a tap, running straight hot water, and giving it sufficient time to build and maintain a temperature range.
Suppose your temperature is fluctuating within the lower limits of cold or the higher spectrum of too hot. In this case, it’s time to schedule your hot water maintenance today. We deliver prompt same-day service!
Having your hot water service professionally examined every five years is strongly recommended is likely even to prolong the life of your service. Meanwhile, these short annual checkups are your line of defence against any unanticipated surprises.