Hot Water System Maintenance
Hot Water System Maintenance - Tip's to increase the life of your system
A hot water system is a significant purchase and investment for a household. It is used every day and there is nothing worse than when things go wrong and you’re stuck with a cold shower. In this short article we will give you a quick run down on how to increase the life span of your hot water system, while maintaining it’s efficiency.
How often should a Hot Water System be Serviced?
Each manufacturer will specify their own maintenance schedule to increase the lifespan of the unit and maintain efficiency. Adhering to this maintenance schedule is also critical for a manufacturers warranty to be honoured. If you are unsure of your maintenance schedule, contact Redshaw to have a customised maintenance program created – taking into consideration your personal circumstances (make, model, unit size, usage, unit location). Otherwise, as a rule of thumb, you should have a professional plumber inspect and service your hot water system every 5 years.
Adjust your temperature settings
Temperature settings are crucial to not only power consumption, but also to the health and safety of the household. A temperature setting that is too high will expose the systems tank to high pressure, which can result in failures, or the tank bursting. Not only this, but excessive water heating results in wasted power and unnecessary electricity consumption. Where as having the temperature too low may allow harmful bacteria to thrive in the system and water your family is using on a daily basis.
As you can see, this setting is a fine line! Have a licensed Redshaw plumber test your thermostat to ensure it is functioning correctly, and set to a minimum of 60 degrees Celsius.
Inspect the pressure relief valve
A pressure relief valve is fitted to all hot water tanks. It’s sole purpose is to regulate the pressure created during heating, in turn protecting the tank from over pressuring. If the tank does over pressure it can burst or rupture, which will result in the need for a costly replacement of the entire tank.
Mechanical pressure valves can become faulty for a variety of reasons. The most common being due to a build up of minerals found within water. The severity of this depends on the water quality within your area. Valve performance should be tested regularly and mineral deposits cleaned off.
Inspect the anode
Sacrificial anodes are a critical component in preserving the integrity and life of your hot water tank. The anodes are generally made from highly active (high negative electrochemical potential) metal alloy such as magnesium or aluminium and used to prevent the tank from corroding which is made from a less active metal such as steel. In short, the sacrificial anode will be ‘eaten’ by the electrolytes in water rather than your tank.
This however means that anodes are designed to be a replaceable item. In fact. once the anode has been fully corroded (or ‘eaten’) there is nothing left to protect the material of the tank.
Flush the tank
The majority of manufactures recommend draining or ‘flushing’ the tank at least once per year. This helps to flush out the accumulation of mineral deposits, dirt, and other impurities that build up in the bottom of the tank. As mentioned above, the build up of these impurities is one of the major causes of the pressure relief valve failing, and in turn resulting in a bust or ruptured water tank.
Insulate the water tank
Insulating the hot water tank can increase efficiency of the system by up to 40%. By wrapping the tank in an insulating material, less heat will ‘escape’ from the stored water. This means the system will reduce it’s working, load resulting in a longer potential life span. Additionally, reducing work load will also lower the amount of power consumed by the unit as a whole – which means a saving in electrical costs.
Use vacation mode
The majority of current model hot water systems have a ‘Vacation Mode‘ setting. Use this setting to achieve a near zero load state when you are going away on vacation to decrease power consumption, whilst still keeping the stored water warm. By keeping the water warm the system will not require a large spike in energy and work load to achieve an initial reheat when you return.
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