Often a hot water system will be well concealed in your home; it will be made of sturdy, weatherproof materials. Nine times out of ten it will not look anywhere near as old as it truly is. This exterior creates a false sense of security that the system is operating efficiently and safely. There are some things that you should know to keep your system in the best shape and running efficiently.
Hot water systems are an out of sight out of mind appliance, unlike your refrigerator or your air conditioner you do not look at your hot water system daily. However, you and your family use it every single day, seven days a week, for 365 days of the year. You need to keep this in mind if you don’t check the valves regularly or if an authorised technician has never inspected it.
Not only could you system be running inefficiently, but your water heater could be posing a serious hidden risk to you, your family and your home.
Hot Water System Safety
The good news is that most hot water tanks contain a sacrificial anode. The sacrificial anode is a replaceable metallic rod which ensures that the erosion and rust that would naturally occur in every tank is concentrated on the anode rather than the tank. When your sacrificial anode wears out, your tank starts to corrode and rust.
Replacing the anode at regular intervals can actually double, or even triple the lifespan of your water heater.
Another great tip that every homeowner should know is testing the temperature pressure relief valve; this can be carried out by the homeowner or by a professional. The valve is fitted on the side of your hot water system and should be operated every three months.
Temperature Pressure Relief Valve Operation
- Grip lever with thumb and forefinger as illustrated
- Pull lever fully upwards for two seconds with forefinger
- Release and allow the lever to return and press with thumb to make sure valve has reseated.
How Can We Help
Having regular inspections carried out will identify corrosion before any serious damage can occur and help your tank last up to three times longer. If you are unsure about when the last time your water heater was serviced, it is best to have it inspected by a licensed plumber. A proper inspection will involve operating the TPR valve, removing and checking the sacrificial anode and a water pressure test.