Why Do I Need To Maintain My Hot Water System 1

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Why Do I Need To Maintain My Hot Water System 2

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Why Do I Need To Maintain My Hot Water System

During much of the year on the Gold Coast we frequently hear clients ask why do I need to maintain my hot water system there is nothing wrong with it and I’m still getting plenty of hot water. In summer it is easy to forget just how much we depend on our hot water systems for showering, bathing, cooking, washing dishes and washing laundry.

Why Do I Need To Maintain My Hot Water System

But by April many people suddenly appreciate just how important their hot water system is when it fails to deliver enough or frequently no hot water. Frequently the signs that there is a problem with the hot water system have been there for months and often would have been diagnosed and rectified as part of an annual service. Because hot water systems appear to be complicated many people adopt a head in the sand approach but in reality like most working fixtures in your home they will always benefit immensely from a bit of routine maintenance

In over 37 years of experience we at Whywait Plumbing are well aware that Murphy’s Law applies usually in a spectacular fashion to the failure of a hot water system with most of them failing and leaking late at night usually when it is very cold. In all honesty basic maintenance of your hot water system is fairly simple but vitally it can double the effective lifespan of your hot water system.

To maintain your hot water system the main things you need to allow for are:

  • replacing the sacrificial anode every 5 – 7 years
  • flushing out all of the minerals and sediment that over time are deposited in the bottom of the storage tank every 3 – 5 years
  • have the tempering valve maintained, tested and certified every year
  • flush the temperature and pressure relief valve (TPR valve) every 3 – 6 months
  • replace the temperature and pressure relief valve (TPR valve) every 3 – 4 years
  • replace the expansion control valve (ECV valve) every 3 – 5 years

Apart from flushing the temperature and pressure relief valve (TPR valve) all the other work is legally required to be undertaken by a licensed plumber.

Most concerning from our perspective is the failure to replace the sacrificial anode which is the biggest single cause of premature hot water service failure. Regularly replacing your sacrificial anode will extend the life of your hot water service by ten years or even more.  Whywait strongly recommend that you call us to service your  hot water system and replace the sacrificial anode every 5 years as the cost of the service is minor compared to the thousands of dollars replacement costs not mentioning the inconvenience.

The one task we recommend you personally undertake is to activate and flush the  temperature and pressure relief (TPR) valve. TPR valves continuously work automatically discharging hot water if the temperature or pressure of the water in the storage tank gets too high. Many people fail to understand if your TPR valve is not functioning properly it can potentially cause the tank to explode.

Flushing a TPR valve is relatively easy and straightforward, plus is something you can do yourself, but if the valve is already continually dripping water in all likelihood it needs replacing. To trigger the relief valve and flush it out all you need to do is lift the lever on the front of the valve all the way open and let water discharge from the drain pipe for 5 – 10 seconds then slowly put back the lever in place.

Very simply maintaining your hot water system is an investment not a cost.

By Gary Mays

 

Free Plumbing Quotes

Free Plumbing Quotes

Free plumbing quotes or free estimates are not undertaken by Whywait Plumbing and have never done so on any service or maintenance plumbing works.

Yes we do free plumbing quotes at Whywait Plumbing only if you supply the plansYes, we will do free plumbing quotes if you bring into our office a set of design drawings such as hydraulic plans or architectural plans.

If we have to attend on-site at your home or business premises, there are significant costs involved for us. That is why we charge you a diagnostic fee. Businesses who advertise that they undertake free quotes or no call out fee are devaluing their time and their expertise. I guarantee you will pay for their time, hidden somewhere in their charges because as the saying goes, there is no such thing as a free lunch. Think about it, would you go to work for free?

We learnt long ago offering free plumbing quotes or estimates is a waste of money and company resources. In our experience people who call Whywait Plumbing asking for free plumbing quotes or expecting us to come to the site and solve their problems for free fall into the following categories:

  • dreamers who are toying with some vague idea of a plumbing installation such a third bathroom or outdoor kitchen who want us to design it all, solve all the problems but have little intention of using our services
  • price checkers who just want us to give them a comparison price in the hope we come up with a cheaper alternative to undertake the work
  • time wasting people who have a significant plumbing issue such as flooding in their backyard in heavy rainfall who want us to investigate and solve the problems and are absolutely insistent on picking our brains, getting all the information off us so they can then do it themselves or get a handyman to do it
  • the DIY homeowner who wants to pick our brain so he can run to Bunnings and be a weekend warrior playing at being a plumber.

We learnt at Whywait a long ago to accept that we cannot compete with competitors who devalue their plumbing licenses by racing to the bottom with clients who are only interested in PRICE, a cheap price, a less expensive than reasonable price, an entirely unreasonably and pathetically inadequate price that does not even cover the plumbers wages.

As the owner of Whywait Plumbing, I was lucky enough to learn a long time ago that we always had to do our budgets and know where our break-even cost was so we know when to say no. This ensures that we don’t waiver from our commitment to providing outstanding customer service from well trained and professional plumbers who stand behind their work.

As I said previously, there is no such thing as a free lunch because Whywait Plumbing Pty Ltd is a business that is legally obligated to generate profits.

Without profit, any business is just an expensive hobby.

What Plumbing Is Needed In An Outdoor Kitchen?

What plumbing is needed in an outdoor kitchen is a question that we are getting asked more frequently at Whywait Plumbing. To be honest an outdoor kitchen is exactly as the name says – a kitchen built in an outdoor living area so plumbing needs replicate those of inside your home.

As restaurants have increasingly focused on alfresco dining this has now flowed through to our homes. Landscaping design is now all about creating an elaborate outdoor entertaining area complete with alfresco dining where meals are served from an outdoor kitchen.

Outdoor kitchens have increasingly become more and more sophisticated to allow gourmet meals to be cooked and served so frequently include the following:

  • permanent storage cupboards
  • preparation and serving bench spaces
  • sink and prep sink
  • bar fridge
  • wine cooler
  • ovens and or stove top
  • range-hood
  • barbecue with wok burner
  • dishwasher
  • beer on tap
  • designer lighting
  • gas heating
  • coffee machines
  • ice machines
  • pizza ovens

From a plumbing perspective many of these appliances and fixtures need to be connected to water reticulation, sewer drains and gas reticulation. Ideally your outdoor kitchen should be located with easy access to your house to enable easy connection to existing water, drainage and gas lines. Building an outdoor kitchen without easy access to these existing connections will mean that you have to install extra services lines which will blow your budget costs upwards.

In an ideal world you should plan for your outdoor kitchen when building a new home so that you can ensure that the water, drainage and gas pipes are installed before the landscaping is undertaken. It is easy to plan ahead for the possibility that you may install an outdoor kitchen in the future even if your original design doesn’t include one by installing live capped off water connections, drainage connections and gas connections outside for potential use in future.  When you are building a new home the cost to install live capped off connections is usually under a $1000 compared to upwards of $10000 to install new connections at a later date.

By Gary Mays

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