Your hot water system is at the heart of your home. It's easy to forget how often you turn on the hot water for washing up, showering or cooking, but if your hot water system fails, you will soon notice all of the things that you suddenly can't do and will need to call a maintenance team without delay. While most plumbing and electrical problems can be quickly resolved by a qualified engineer, it is far better to avoid failure by instituting a hot water maintenance regime.
What are the benefits of hot water maintenance?
Taking care of your home is simply common sense if you live in a place where you will want to ensure the property is not about to fall down and that all of the systems within the home will keep working. Hot water maintenance is fairly simple, but you can't afford to ignore it especially if you have a hot water tank system.
What is involved in hot water maintenance?
You will need to ensure that all of the electrical elements of your heating system are regularly checked, but there are two key elements of any hot water maintenance regime that you may be able to take care of yourself. You will need to look at both the Temperature and pressure relief valve (TPR) and the sacrificial anode.
Understanding the sacrificial anode
All water contains impurities that can react and cause your water tank to rust and decay. Since you don't want your tank to rust and require replacement, it is common to fit a sacrificial anode inside your tank. This anode is normally an aluminium or magnesium rod, which hangs inside the tank and attracts all of the water impurities rather than letting them react with the sides of the tank. Replacing this anode every five years or so should be a vital part of any hot water maintenance regime. If you are unsure whether your sacrificial anode needs replacement, then talk to your local plumber and they will be able to advise you.
Understanding the temperature and pressure relief valve
The function of a TPR is to prevent damage to your tank by venting hot water if the pressure or temperature is building up too much. If your TPR is not functioning as it should, then your home is at serious risk since your tank could split or even explode. It should be part of your hot water maintenance to regularly check and test your TPR valve to ensure that it is working as it should. If you find that your valve leaks water through the outlet pipe, then it is time for it to be replaced.