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Hot Water – Hot Water Systems Maintenance

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Hot Water Systems Maintenance​

Depending on what type of system you have, the maintenance ranges from system to system. Regardless of what system you have preventative maintenance is crucial. It is not hard to forget how much we need our hot water systems. Hot showers during winter, washing a greasy pan, or using warm water to wash your clothes; we do not often realise how important and convenient having hot water is until there is no longer hot water coming out the tap. 

Like all electrical and mechanical appliances, hot water systems require regular maintenance to function efficiently. When speaking of hot water systems, hot water tanks require extra attention as it stores hot water and builds up pressure. Whereas instant hot water tanks do not store water and heats water when it is demanded.

Specific to hot water tanks, it is important to consider:

  • The sacrificial anode; and
  • The temperature and pressure valve
how ater anode

What is a sacrificial anode?

Sacrificial anode refers to an aluminium/magnesium wrapped steel core wire which will corrode in place of the tank – hence ‘sacrificial’. However, once the rod is entirely corroded, other steels parts of the tank will start to rust. The sacrificial anode is replaced every 5 years to prevent major tank faults.

The sacrificial anode is the most important component of hot water tank maintenance. It is crucial to replace this rod regularly to prevent major repairs and even total tank failure. By paying attention to this component and scheduling routine replacements, the hot water tank’s service life can easily be extended by at least another 5 to 10 years.  

Sacrificial anode replacement is not a task that you should be conducting yourself. Hot water tanks hold scalding hot water and steam which is directly attached to a gas or electrical source. Hot water + steam + gas / electricity = an extremely dangerous scenario.

The replacement can be done by an experienced and qualified plumber who will service and inspect the entire system and replace the sacrificial anode. Servicing your hot water tank regularly carries minor cost compared to the major expenses you would otherwise have to pay to replace or repair major faults.

Service idea: similar to routine customers, have a routine sacrificial anode replacement every time someone installs their hot water tank with us. Takes one thing away from what they need to worry about.

hot water digram anode2

What are temperature and pressure valves?

These valves are often referred to as TPR or T&P valves. These valves work to vent hot water from the tank if the pressure or the temperature of the hot water becomes excessive. This is a crucial component that will prevent your hot water tank from exploding or splitting. A TPR valve that is not functionally correctly can cause life-threatening consequences.

Generally, TPR valves should be inspected and replaced every 2 years. But this depends on the condition and capacity of your water tank. It is best to speak to a qualified plumber about your hot water tank to receive tailored advice for your home.

rinnai gas hot water

What about tankless hot water systems?

Otherwise known as instant hot water systems also need preventative maintenance to make sure that is functioning efficiently and correctly. The main consideration with tankless water heater is ‘hard water’.

Hard water occurs when the water is loaded up with minerals like magnesium and calcium. Over time, minerals can clog up the pipes where water flows and affect the water flow speed. Which means the system will need to work harder than it should to provide hot water.

Routine maintenance is important to extend the life of your system. A qualified plumber will be able to clean out the heat exchanger to allow the system to work more efficiently. When hard water is left alone, the mineral build-up in the system can cause the entire unit to fail which will require a replacement.

Some of our hot water partners include

If you’re looking to install, or you have an issue with your hot water tank system, give us a call at 02 8061 5023 now for more information. 

Our qualified and experienced plumber will be able to do a home inspection to assess what the best option would be in your home.

Super saver


off any hot water system

Limited time only, ends July 31st 2020.
Not to be combined with any other offer.

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