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Hot water system maintenance tips

Your hot water system is one of the most important and hardest working appliances in your home. It’s crucial for everything from doing the dishes to showering. Ensuring your hot water system is well maintained can prevent costly breakdowns. We share our tips to help you keep your hot water system running efficiently. Your hot water system is well maintained can prevent costly and inconvenient breakdowns. Following our tips will help ensure the lifespan of your investment.

Check the temperature of your hot water system every 12 months

Operating outside the ideal temperature can reduce the lifespan of your hot water system. The temperature of your hot water system should be between 55ºC and 60ºC. If it is lower, there is a risk of harmful bacteria growing and thriving within the system. If it is higher, you run the risk of accidentally scalding people when they use the hot water tap. If the temperature of your hot water fluctuates, have the system checked by a hot water system expert. We do not recommend adjusting the heater yourself. It holds too big of a threat to be fine-tuned by anyone who is not qualified.

Check the pressure relief valve every 12 months

A pressure relief valve, or PTR, relieves the increase of pressure due to water expanding during the heating cycle. It does this by releasing drips of hot water to the drain line. Annual pressure relief valve checks are necessary to ensure your hot water system is working efficiently. To do a DIY check, place a bucket under the drainpipe. Gently raise and lower the pressure relief valve. Hot water should rush out of the drainpipe. If it doesn’t, you may need the valve replaced. Note: This pressure relief valve check only ensures the waterways are clear. It doesn’t reveal build-up of mineral salt, rust or corrosion that may cause the pressure relief valve to seize up and stop working.

Check your hot water system for leaks

If you notice new rust stains or water pooling at the base of your tank, you might have a water leak. Leaks are a serious problem and should be dealt with immediately, no matter how severe the leak is. Leaks cause costly water loss and can increase your bills significantly. If you suspect you may have a water leak from your hot water system, the first step is to find where the leak is. When you find the source, turn off your water supply and call a professional.

Check your sacrificial anode

An anode rod or sacrificial anode is part of a hot water tank protecting your water system against rust. It is a crucial piece of your hot water system and ensures the lifespan of your tank. Hanging down inside your hot water tank, the sacrificial anode is a steel rod made from magnesium or aluminium and coated in zinc. It is designed to attract minerals and impurities in the water which would otherwise cause the inside of the tank to rust and deteriorate. The sacrificial anode slowly rusts and degrades instead, protecting the hot water tank. The rod needs to be replaced every five years.

Drain the tank

We recommend that you drain your water heater every six to 12 months. This helps remove any sediment particles or build-up that collects on the bottom of the water heater tank due to minerals and other particles in the water. This build-up will cause the water heater to work harder to heat the water, using more energy and costing more money to run. If the water tank is neglected, the water can also become smelly. Water tank draining is best carried out by a professional plumber.

Inspect for cracks and wear

Set a fixed schedule for this task, say the first weekend of every month, so you won’t forget. The process may take only a few minutes but will save you money and water.

Turn off the hot water tank when going away

If you are heading away for a week or longer, shut down the heater to keep it from heating water when it is not in use. This saves energy and money. When you return, check first that the water runs freely and doesn’t spurt. Turning on the tap also clears hydrogen build-up.

Hiring the right hot water professionals in Sydney

Is your hot water system running as efficiently as it should? Newman and Barker Plumbing specialise in hot water system repairs and servicing. Our hot water services cover both gas and electric systems. We supply and install quality Rinnai systems with a generous 10-year warranty. Our other specialties include backflow prevention testing, commercial plumbing, gas plumbing and plumbing emergencies.

Our plumbers cover a wide service area of Sydney, including Campbelltown, Narellan, Thirlmere, Camden, Bowral, Tahmoor, Appin, Bargo, Picton, Wilton, Mittagong, Braemar, Wattle Ridge, Yerrinbool and Hill Top.

For more information and quotes, contact our hot water specialists at Newman and Barker Plumbing on (02) 4625 5409 or online here. You can also connect with us on Facebook.

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