Hot water heaters are an â€œout of sight and out of mindâ€ appliance, yet we benefit from the hot water they produce on a daily basis. When well maintained and properly cared for, a hot water system can last anywhere between 15 and 20 years (note: expected lifetime will vary between different models). However, neglecting your hot water system can reduce its lifetime and result in a system breakdown meaning cold showers and potential water damage to your home.
Sun City Hot Water and Plumbing are your local plumbing and hot water experts. Whether you have a leaking tap or a broken down hot water system, call Sun City on 1300 728 122 for all of your hot water needs. In the meantime, if you want to protect your investment and keep your water heater running efficiently, follow our top tips for extending the lifetime of your hot water system.
Regular Visual Inspections
An easy way to extend the lifetime of your hot water system is to regularly inspect the tank for signs of leaking or damage. This will help you to identify potential problems as soon as they arise, and have them fixed before they can cause more damage and potentially turn into a major repair.
When inspecting your hot water heater, check for any signs of a leak, such as dampness under the hot water tank or rust marks running down the side of the tank. Additionally, inspect for any cracks in the tank itself or gaps between joints and connections to identify where the leaking water is coming from.
If you notice that your water heater is leaking, book an appointment with your local hot water specialist as soon as possible, as even a small leak can turn into a flooded hallway causing damage to floors, walls, and any surrounding furniture.
Test The Pressure Relief Valve
After you have inspected the outside of the tank for signs of a leak you will need to check the temperature pressure relief valve. The temperature pressure relief (TPR) valve is a safety feature installed on all storage hot water systems. The TPR valve is designed to open when there is too much pressure or when too much heat builds up, in order to release some pressure and prevent damage to the unit or, in an extreme case, to prevent an explosion.
As an important safety feature on any storage hot water system, the TPR valve should be checked several times a year. To check that the TPR valve on your hot water system is working correctly, first turn of the gas/electricity supply to your hot water heater. Once the power has been switched off, open and close the TPR valve a few times while monitoring the water flow from the valve (hot water should flow out of the connected pipe).
If only a trickle of water is released or no water comes out at all, the valve will need to be replaced as it is likely that the valve has malfunctioned due to a buildup of sediment in the tank.
Check The Anode Rod
Have you ever wondered why your steel hot water tank that is full of water doesnâ€™t corrode? The answer is the sacrificial anode rod. The sacrificial anode in a storage hot water system is a metal rod located at the top of the tank. As different metals corrode at different rates, the anode rod is made of a metal that corrodes before steel (typically magnesium or aluminium) saving the steel tank from corroding.
However, once the majority of the anode rod has deteriorated, the steel tank will start to corrode. Once the tank starts to corrode, the whole system will need to be replaced.
In order to prevent your tank from corroding it is important to replace the sacrificial anode regularly. The anode rod should only need to be replaced every 2 to 5 years, depending on whether you have hard or soft water. However, it is best to check the condition of the rod at least once a year.
Regular Professional Maintenance
Having your hot water system regularly serviced by a professional will ensure that your hot water heater runs efficiently for as long as possible. During a scheduled service your hot water specialist will visually inspect the tank for signs of damage and leaks, check the anode rod (and replace it if needed), and test the pressure relief valve for you.
Another benefit of regular scheduled maintenance is that your hot water technician will identify and repair any damage as it occurs in order to reduce the risk of major repairs. Additionally, the sediment that naturally builds up in the system due to the minerals in the water will be cleared to prevent your hot water system from becoming damaged.
Sun City Hot Water & Plumbing are your local hot water specialists. We supply and service hot water systems from all major manufacturers on the Australian market such as Rheem, Bosch, Rinnai, AquaMax and more. Call Sun City today on 1300 728 122 for quality hot water system installations, repairs, and servicing, Sunshine Coast and Brisbane North wide.