It's easy to take hot water for granted. Every day you turn on the tap and expect there to be hot water for washing, showering, cleaning the dishes or cooking your meals. It is only when that hot water isn't available and there is a problem with your hot water system that a lot of people start to think about their hot water system. It is far better to institute a regular hot water maintenance regime while everything is still working rather than waiting for your system to fail. Arranging for a hot water maintenance company to take a look at your system and make sure that everything is operating correctly will save you from serious disruption particularly if you have a hot water tank system.
Maintaining your hot water system
Hot water maintenance is often carried out by a plumber or an electrician since the work involved is a combination of both roles. You must ensure that all of the electrical control systems are operating as you would expect, but you will also need to think about the way the water is stored in your hot water tank and check that no problems are developing there that could cause problems unless they are rectified.
What problems could develop in your tank?
When you have a tank for hot water, maintenance should focus on two specific areas.
- The sacrificial anode
- The TPR (temperature and pressure relief valve)
How does the sacrificial anode work?
All water will contain impurities that will over time attack your metal tank and cause it to start rusting. Allowing your tank to rust is a bad idea since you will then have to replace it. To prevent the water impurities attacking your water tank, it is normal to provide them with a more attractive target in the form of a sacrificial anode made from magnesium or aluminium. A hot water maintenance regime will involve replacing your anode every five years or as required depending on the condition of your water tank.
Checking your TPR
Your TPR is designed to open to reduce any pressure build-up and stop a potential explosion. Regularly checking your TPR will lower the likelihood of a water leak caused by an excessive build-up of corrosion. Testing your TPR simply involves moving the test lever up and down a few times to see what happens. If you get a strong flow of hot water from the end of the drainpipe, then everything is as it should be. If you only see a trickle, then it's time to replace your TPR valve.
If you have any concerns about your hot water maintenance, then speaking to a qualified engineer is always the best choice.