Problems with your hot water system can cause serious damage to your home through leaks or even explosions. These five maintenance tips can help to prevent your hot water system developing faults, saving you money on repair bills in the long run.
1. Set the Water Temperature Correctly
Domestic hot water systems must operate at the correct temperature to keep them safe. The usual recommendation is to store heated water at a temperature of at least 60 degrees to prevent the growth of dangerous Legionella bacteria.
It is not necessary to set your temperature a lot higher than this value. Setting the temperature too high wastes energy.
2. Test the Pressure Valve
The pressure valve in your hot water system prevents the pressure in the tank from getting too high. High pressure can lead to leaks and burst pipes, and in rare cases, it can even present a risk of explosion, whereas low pressure causes the hot water system to not work properly. Test the pressure valve regularly by first placing a bucket under the overflow pipe of your water heater. Pull the lever and confirm that hot water rushes from the pipe.
3. Remove Sediment From the Tank
You can remove sediment from your hot water system by opening the drain valve to drain water from the tank. Be sure to turn off the water supply before performing this test. If this tip does not work to clear all the sediment out of your tank and restore it to full efficiency, call a hot water system specialist to flush the system for you.
4. Watch Out For a Leak
The sooner you notice a hot water system leak, the easier it is to limit the damage. Check around the base of your water storage tank or heater regularly for wet patches, rust, mildew or mould. Also, check any accessible areas of pipework as often as possible. If you find signs of a leak, shut off the water and contact a local hot water service.
5. Schedule Regular Hot Water Services
Even with regular maintenance, hot water systems can develop problems that are not easy for the average homeowner to spot. Having your system serviced regularly by a professional is the best way to identify problems early so you can get them fixed before they lead to a complete system breakdown. A local plumber can service your hot water system on a regular schedule to keep it working well.