Hot cylinders have been here for a long time. They’re one of the most common forms of hot water heating system in New Zealand that’s proven to be reliable and cost-effective. Hot water cylinders tend to last for 8 to 15 years, depending on the type and quality of the unit.
The unfortunate reality is some hot water cylinders last shorter than they should. After five years, some families might have to get rid of their water heaters. On the other hand, others might be lucky enough to keep their units running for 15 years.
Making the time to monitor the status of your cylinder makes the difference between having to buy a new heater right after your warranty runs out and being able to keep it for a few more years.
So, how can you keep your hot water cylinder running for a longer time? Here are some things you can do:
Check the Anode Rod. Anode rod corrosion causes hot water cylinder failure. To prevent this, check its condition regularly, Replacing if necessary.
Remove Limescale. Limescale can cause your water heater to lose efficiency. Flushing your heater with pure white vinegar will remove limescale buildup.
Flush out Sediments. Hot water cylinders need annual flushing to clean out the tank’s bottom sediment.
Of course, if you’re unfamiliar with working with hot water cylinders, you don’t need to force yourself. We always recommend contacting a reputable hot water cylinder specialist like Hot Water Cylinders NZ for any service or repair difficulties.
Reach us today at 0800 4 CYLINDERS or 0800 429 546.
Hot water cylinders are widely used in the country, especially in residential areas. The system is usually comprised of water pipes connected to a broiler. Heated water travels out from the tank to the kitchen tap, bathroom shower, or any other parts of the house that require water use. Then, as the hot water exits, the tank draws in cold water and heats it again. The cycle repeats every time you use up water. According to Smarter Homes, with proper cylinder maintenance, you will never run out of hot water in your household for about 20 to 40 years.
Unfortunately, hot water cylinder maintenance is most likely the last thing you think of when you list your usual home maintenance tasks. If you want to ensure your cylinder’s optimum condition, be sure to schedule regular check-ups and maintenance. You can start your routine by testing the water quality.
You can use chlorine and hard water testing kits to check your home’s water quality. Alternatively, you can call in a plumbing company to have the water checked, and the cylinder inspected for possible damage.
Why Checking the Water Quality Matters
Not too long ago, Stuff published a report on Michael Neilson, a homeowner in Christchurch, who complained about his hot water cylinder failing after adding chlorine to the water. Neilson holds the Christchurch council accountable and demanded them to shoulder the $2167 bill. He is the second person to challenge the board in the last few years after the chlorination of the city’s water supply. Both the plumber and insurer confirmed his claim explaining that the damage indeed resulted from too much chlorine.
The council has confirmed in earlier reports that the chlorine content of Christchurch’s water is indeed high. And yet, they still haven’t paid for the bill of Mr. Neilson.
It is an upsetting situation, but it’s also the perfect example to emphasize the importance of checking water quality. If chlorine or other chemicals in the water exceed normal levels, it could result in a disaster similar to Neilson’s water heater problem.
How to Test Water Quality and What to Do When the Quality is Poor
If your water contains excessive amounts of chlorine, it could corrode the cylinder. In a typical setting, stainless steel doesn’t rust. But, if it’s exposed to chemicals such as chlorine, the passive layer of the metal slowly breaks down. The best way to get around the issue is to use chlorine treatment and filters. Also, if you move to an area with high water’s chlorine level, it may be worth it to invest in a copper cylinder.
On one hand, if the problem is caused by high levels of minerals like magnesium and calcium, your cylinder may suffer from pitting corrosion. The excess calcium or magnesium binds to free-floating chlorine. The process produces calcium chloride or magnesium chloride, which can attack both stainless steel and copper cylinders’ molecules. If you detect high levels of such minerals, you can use a water softener or schedule regular cylinder flushing.
With regular maintenance checks, it would be easier for you to spot potential problems. This way, you get to use basic solutions and prevent damages to your hot water cylinder. If you suspect damage on your cylinder due to high chlorine, calcium, or magnesium, it’s highly recommended to have it checked right away.
Call for Help When Needed
Oftentimes, it’s intimidating to do maintenance checks for usual home equipment like hot water cylinders. It can be challenging for some to spot the first signs of problems. Fortunately, there are a lot of professionals who can help you with plumbing works and water heater-related concerns. All you need is to call their attention and book an appointment. If you have problems with your heater, don’t hesitate to call for help.
Would you spend 449 including GST to increase your hot water cylinders lifespan by 10 years?
Imagine living in a place filled with a light cool breeze during the day, and freezing temperatures during the night. Turning on the faucets and having warm or hot water for baths, showers, washing, and whatnots is a complete comfort – the epitome and pinnacle of rest and relaxation.
In New Zealand, this isn’t an uncommon occurrence. For a country far from the sun’s rays on the equator New Zealand is definitely a cool place, abundant of rainfall and glaciers. Temperatures in New Zealand go from 10 degrees centigrade down south, and 16 degrees centigrade up north. Throughout the year, temperatures change ever so slightly!
A specific type of tank-type water heater is the Hot Water Cylinder, that uses supply water pressure and delivers hot water to showers and taps. As this type of system does not use a cold-water storage tank, it is designed for small spaces and sometimes limited access. Hot Water Cylinders are enclosed with safety mechanisms that include relief valves, thermostats, and somtimes expansion vessels.
Why You Need A Sacrificial Anode
The problem with this type of heating system is that it does not last very long at the constant pressure and heat changes it faces. That is where a sacrificial anode comes to place. This replaceable component helps maintain and control the rate of corrosion there is in the tank and is present in every water heating system. Sacrificial anodes are often made out of magnesium and attracts all corrosive elements to prevent metal breakdown.
In the span of 10 years, these anodes become very corrosive and will degrade, contributing to the damage of the heating system itself. What many people don’t know is that this anode can easily be replaced, expanding its life to over 20 years, and getting the bang out of your buck.
It should be noted that only steel hot water storage needs a sacrificial anode. It becomes a secondary type of protection to the steel in any hot water tank. Because anode rods are created using less sturdy metals than steel, the node fends off attack from minerals and other materials in your water. This is why anodes are called sacrificial.
Another thing that many people don’t know is that sacrificial anodes must be replaced every 5 years to get over 20 years of use from the hot water cylinder! The real problem now is replacing the anode in a really small, tight, and cramped place such as the hot water cupboard. Replacing this over 1 meter long component needs wide space and it should not be removed or disconnected in the cylinder, which is terribly a huge cost.
Why Use the Flexible Sacrificial Anode?
This is where the Flexible Sacrificial Anode comes into light! This type of sacrificial anode eliminates several other challenges when it comes to replacing the anode. There will no longer be a need to drain and remove the cylinders, and you will no longer have to put a hole above your ceiling for access!
This anode needs less than 250 millimeters of clearance and is very time efficient as it can be installed in an hour. Upgrading your sacrificial anode to a flexible sacrificial anode is the best choice to make, because expanding the life span if your hot water cylinder outweighs the costs of buying a new one every few years.
Where to Buy Flexible Sacrificial Anodes
Buying flexible hot water cylinder sacrificial anodes are no longer a hassle in the country. Companies like Rheem, a New Zealand staple since 1958, sell products that are at the leading edge of hot water heating technology that benefits not only residential areas, but also the commercialized areas of the country.
Hot Water Cylinders NZ invests in innovation and technology to improve your experience with hot water systems here in New Zealand. Our latest innovation allows you to replace your existing Anode without having to dismantle your whole water cylinder installation. Becuase conventional Rods are very long it is almost impossible to replace without disconnecting the entire cylinder and its pipework enabling this physically. A flexible anode makes this possible and avoids these costs. Without much hassle our technicians will remove the degraded Rod and easily replace is with a flexible model keeping the hot water cylinder in its place which provides the same protection at a much lower installation cost.
Learn more about how to upgrade your sacrificial anode when replacing a hot water cylinder here.