Don’t Fall For The Sacrificial Anode Rip-Off

Don’t Fall For The Sacrificial Anode Rip-Off

It is normally the routine of a knock on the door by a friendly “salesman” stating they were in your neighbourhood doing some work and that a neighbour had suggested they do the same “free check” on your hot water service.

This unsolicited pitch or a variation of it is a signature of rip-offs who prey on gullible homeowners, especially the elderly. They commonly show a great deal of empathy and concern and are only doing the “free check” of your hot water service as your neighbour had already had theirs repaired and were concerned for you.

sacrificial anodes hot waterIn the photo on the left the anode on the left was replaced by Whywait Plumbing with the one on the right with the differences between old and new perfectly illustrated.

Take it from me knocking on your door and cold-calling is not a professional or viable way to market or operate a plumbing business.  And yes to work on your hot water service you must be a licensed plumber. In all likelihood the person knocking on your door is not a licensed plumber or a licensed plumbing contractor and in our experience they are ordinary old con artists who have no experience or knowledge in servicing a hot water service.

Yes your sacrificial anode on your hot water service should be checked at least every 5 years. But if it has never been checked and your hot water service is over 7 years old you are wasting your time replacing it as the damage has already been done to your steel storage tank.

Why Do Showers Leak?

Leaking showers by the time they are discovered have frequently already caused structural damage to a house.

Once discovered a leaking shower should be repaired immediately to avoid costly water damage to floor coverings, wall lining, framing timber and tile beds. Repairs should not be delayed once a leaking shower is discovered as they are a major reason in many homes for termite infestation attracted to the combination of water and timber.

All too frequently leaking showers are an exclusion in many insurance policies as they are considered wear and tear. Even if there is coverage it is frequently only for the exploration to discover the cause of the leak. Replacing the shower is often not covered and unfortunately this is the expensive part of the process.

At Whywait Plumbing leaking showers all too often are a source of frustration for plumber and client alike. Locating a leaking shower can be a trial and error situation with it being like many plumbing jobs a process of elimination. Normally a plumber has to go through a process of pressure testing water pipes, taps, shower rose followed by pressure tests of the shower tray to pinpoint the exact cause of the water leak.

The most common cause of leakage in homes on the Gold Coast is caused by waterproofing failure of the shower tray underneath the floor tiles which is designed to prevent water leaking and penetrating the main house structure.

Older homes can have old galvanised iron trays that rust out although these are generally uncommon. Many homes built in the 70’s and 80’s had recessed showers that frequently were never waterproofed under the tiles and these remain accidents waiting to happen.

Still the most common shower tray leak is those homes from the late 80’s and 90’s that had fibreglass installed to waterproof the floor and walls. Fibreglass generally was too rigid and did not adhere to concrete or timber causing cracking in corners that allowed water to slowly leak out.

The epoxy water proofing that is commonly used now is generally an excellent product that is structurally flexible that moves with the house as it settles.

If you even suspect you have a leaking shower do not delay in getting it diagnosed as there are a wide range of chemical remedies available to repair showers without removing the tiles. Delay only puts off the inevitable and can create even worse problems such as termites.

What Would a Flooded House Cost You?

Have you ever thought about what would happen if your washing machine or dishwasher hose broke when you were asleep, at work or on holiday? Imagine putting a hose in your lounge room, turning it on and leaving for work. The water damage would be devastating.

Unfortunately this is a scenario the plumbing technicians at Whywait Plumbing Services confront every week. Almost always it is a hose from the dishwasher or washing machine that has burst or broken. The hoses to our dishwashers and washing machines are on the most neglected but potentially most damaging maintenance items in a home.Refe

Whether we are at home or not the water supply to our homes and businesses is almost always turned on. We all know how much a mess a glass of water dropped on the floor makes so how much water will discharge from a burst hose?

Taps to the dishwasher and washing machine are seldom flow restricted in the same manner as taps on your shower, sink or basin. For this reason a burst hose discharging 20 litres of water a minute will do major damage to a home within 1 hour. Frequently a hose will burst at night due to the increase in pressure originating through the water supply company water mains.

  • in 1 hour 1200 litres of water will be discharged
  • in 8 hours 9600 litres of water will be discharged
  • in 1 day 28800 litres of water will be discharged
  • in 1 week 201600 litres of water will be discharged

To reduce the risk and damage of burst hoses there are a few simple precautions that can be taken:

  • ensure you have a pressure reduction valve installed at your meter to ensure your incoming water pressure cannot never exceed delivery pressure of 500kpa in compliance with AS3500
  • have floodstop valves installed to your washing machine and dishwasher

Whywait Plumbing has service partner annual inspections that ensure your hoses are checked for any sign of deterioration and that pressure reduction valves are correctly calibrated. These annual checks can save you the drama of ruined carpets, ruined wooden floors, ruined furniture, phoning your insurance company, filling out multiple claim forms and so much more.


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