After cooling and heating (air conditioners and heaters), hot water usage is the second highest source of energy use in Australian households. This isn’t only important from an environmental perspective, it’s also important from a financial perspective, after all, who wants to pay more than they need to for hot water?
What’s more, we tend to realise how much we appreciate household systems, like the hot water system, only when they stop working. What’s more, things we take for granted like showering, cooking and cleaning become difficult, if not outright impossible, without a functioning hot water system. This means it’s important choose the right system for your household’s hot water needs and keep it working efficiently with regular maintenance.
Inspect Your Tank Regularly
The earlier a problem is detected, the easier it will be to fix, so check your hot water tank at least once a month. Checking the tank takes less than a minute and could help to avoid hot water downtime, especially problems relating to the temperature and pressure relief valve. You should take the time to familiarise yourself with the TPR valve (in the owner’s manual) to relieve excess pressure from the system at least every 6 months. This valve has a limited service life and should also be replaced on a routine basis, which is usually every 2 years with most systems.
Having your hot water system inspected by a local plumber can also help to detect issues early on before they escalate into more expensive problems. Ask your plumber to check the system if they’re seeing to another issue or arrange an annual hot water inspection to keep it working efficiently and cost-effectively all year-round.
Replace Sacrificial Anode
One of the most important, and most commonly overlooked, aspects of hot water system maintenance is routinely replacing the sacrificial anode. In a tank-based hot water system, a sacrificial anode is a zinc-coated aluminium or magnesium rod which hangs down into the tank and attracts water impurities and minerals. Over time, the sacrificial anode will rust and deteriorate, and eventually fail to remove any impurities and minerals from the water. To keep your system working efficiently, you need to have the sacrificial anode replaced on a routine basis, which for most households and their hot water systems is every 4-5 years.
Turn the Tank Off When You’re Away
Whenever you’re away, even if it’s just for the weekend, switch the tank off so that it isn’t working unnecessarily. Giving the hot water system a rest every now and then will help to extend its lifespan in the long term and save you few dollars on your energy bill right now.
Is Your Hot Water System Already in Need of Attention?
A major aspect of hot water system maintenance is identifying issues early before they become bigger and more expensive problems to repair. The most common signs that a hot water system needs repairs includes:
- System leaks
- Pilot light is out
- Cracking or popping noises
- Rusty, muddy or brown water
- System produces less hot water
- Temperature, water pressure and flow rate fluctuations
If you notice any of these signs, you need to have your hot water system inspected and repaired by a qualified Toowoomba plumber. To book at time for us to inspect your system and give you a quote for repairs, call GTS Plumbers on 0404 734 705.