Top Tips On Maintaining Your Hot Water Cylinder
Friday, August 5th, 2016
Your hot water cylinder is probably the last thing on your mind when it comes to household maintenance tasks, but this often overlooked appliance does need some attention once in a while to keep it running at peak performance levels and prolong its potential lifespan. Below are some simple maintenance tips that you might want to consider.
- Going Away? If you plan on being away for more than five or six nights it is worth considering switching the hot water cylinder off. This can be done at either the switch board or by isolating switch depending on your system. Giving your cylinder a break not only extends the life of your hot water system but has the added bonus of saving you money on your electricity bill.
- Water Temperature. Regularly checking the temperature of your hot water as it exits the tap is recommended. Too hot and you are placing unnecessary strain on the cylinder, not to mention paying more in electricity costs than is required, too cold and you may end up using more hot water than necessary or run the risk of bad bacteria inhabiting your tank. A simple test using a thermometer while running a hot tap is all that is required, the recommended temperature should be 55°C. If the temperature needs adjusting it is best to contact a professional for assistance.
- The Pressure Relief Valve. This relief valve is especially important for mains pressure cylinders as it protects the hot water cylinder from excess pressures. Usually located at the top or to the side of the cylinder, it is best to release the valve every six months, remembering to raise and lower the lever very slowly. If the water does not flow when the valve is released it may be faulty or mean there is a problem with the system, you will need to contact a qualified hot water cylinder specialist as soon as possible.
- Flushing The Tank. Cleaning out your hot water tank regularly is an important step to prolonging the life of your cylinder. Build-up of sediment in the bottom of the tank is inevitable due to mineral deposits, grit and impurities in the water accumulating over time. This sediment can potentially reduce the cylinder’s efficiency, capacity and interfere with ongoing maintenance. Draining the water from the bottom of the tank through the drain valve is necessary every few years. Remember you are dealing with very hot water, take all necessary precautions and consult a professional if you require assistance.
- The Anode Rod. This is a long narrow solid bar positioned inside the water tank; typically it is made from aluminium, magnesium or zinc, all of which are particularly susceptible to the corrosive process. The Anode rod plays a key role in extending the life of your hot water cylinder; it is designed to reduce the disintegration of metals inside the tank essentially by providing a much easier target for corrosion. Overtime the Anode rod will corrode and dissolve completely, meaning it will no longer be providing protection to your cylinder, therefore it makes sense to check the condition of the anode rod regularly. Always remember to be very careful when dealing with hot water heating systems, if in doubt it is best to leave it to the professionals.
Maintaining your hot water cylinder will extend its useful life and provide more efficient hot water heating year round. As well as the above tips it is recommended to schedule a comprehensive hot water cylinder service every five years from a qualified professional in order to keep your hot water cylinder running optimally.