As the weather begins to cool here in Brisbane, there’s no better time than now to do a routine check up on your hot water system – after all there’s nothing worse than an ice-cold shower in the middle of winter!
While all repairs to your home plumbing and hot water systems should always be undertaken by a qualified plumber, there are a few things homeowners can do to help maintain their hot water systems. Here are our top 5 tips to help you maintain your hot water system.
1. Check the temperature pressure relief valve
The temperature and pressure relief valve (TPR valve) is a pretty important part of your hot water system as it’s responsible for releasing pressure build-up in the water heater when the temperature or the pressure get dangerously high.
TPR valves can become faulty if there is a build up of mineral salt, rust, and corrosion. A non-operational or faulty TPR valve can put your home at risk of a possible explosion.
It’s best to consult your hot water system’s manual to find the location of your TPR valve, but they are most commonly found under the top the top of the system. Testing the valve is as simple as raising and lowering the test lever several times so it lifts the brass stem that it’s fastened to. A small amount of hot water should flow out of the end of the drainpipe, but it should stop as soon as you release the TPR, with no sign of drips or traces of water. If no water flows through the pipe or you get just a trickle, it’s time to call a plumber and replace the valve. It’s recommended to check your TPR valve every 6 months.
2. Install Low Flow Shower and taps
This tip will not only help maintain your hot water system, but also help you save on your water bill. The less work your hot water system has to do, the longer it will last. By installing low flow shower heads and basin taps you’ll automatically reduce the amount of water leaving your hot water system. Low flow taps can help reduce the amount of water output by up to two-thirds.
3. Check the Temperature
If you’ve notice a spike in your energy bill, or just simply want to reduce your energy usage it’s a good idea to check your hot water system’s temperature setting. As a rule of thumb your hot water system should be set around 60-65 degrees or even lower during the summer months. Anything above this could be raising the cost of your energy bill! If there has been a sudden hike in your energy usage it might be worth double-checking your thermostat for a fault.
4. Regularly inspect your system for cracks or wearing
Whenever you’re out near your hot water system it’s worthwhile taking 2 quick minutes to having a thorough look over your system. Specifically you should be looking for any cracks, wearing or water leakage. It’s much better to be proactive and find a crack or leak before it becomes a much bigger and costly problem.
5. Get a professional service after 5 years
While checking your hot water system for cracks and leaks is great for ongoing maintenance, you should still get a professional plumber in to have a thorough service at least every 5 years. We’ll be able to go through and check all the different valves and thermostats to make sure everything is running as efficiently as possible. And if something is amiss we can easily fix it on the spot.
Concerned about your hot water system? Or just due for a check-up? Give our team a call today.