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  • Writer's pictureAlby Lye

Tip of the Month!!

We thought it would be a good idea to start sharing some tips and tricks you can use around the house or workplace to spot plumbing related issues, help diagnose common problems, or perform simple checks yourself to save you money in water and/or power.

We've put together a simple "how to" for those with Mains Pressure Hot Water Cylinders in their homes. The valves associated with hot water cylinders are very important. They provide safety features to ensure the cylinder is holding a safe operating pressure and are there to provide relief in the event the cylinder becomes too hot / over pressurises. But these valves don't last forever, and need to be checked periodically for leaks, noisy operation, and abnormal discharge in the drain line.

-Locate your Mains Pressure Cylinder

-There are normally 2 relief valves on the system. One on the cold (inlet) side, and another installed either on the top or side of the cylinder (outlet / hot) side.

-Identify the cold water expansion valve (This valve may have a blue/red knob & normally has 3 or 4 connections from it. This valve is designed to to relieve the increase in pressure caused by the water expansion during the normal heating cycle.

-Listen for water passing through valve or a "hissing/high pitched" sound.

-Quiet operation will normally suggest the valve is working normally (we recommend you check this every 3months).

-Now do the same with the (Hot side) valve, This is known as a TPR or Temperature pressure relief valve. TPRs are designed to automatically release water in the event that pressure or temperature in the water tank exceeds safe levels.

-Now to check the drain. This will be discharging in or over the top of your gully dish like below. Locate your gully, identify the copper drain, check for discharge.

- If there is water discharging from the copper drain, give us a call and we can service/replace the valve. This will avoid high water & power bills. (If the water is Hot, the TPR has failed, If the water is cold, we would suggest the Cold water expansion valve has failed. But depending on the drain length, you may find the hot water has cooled by the time it terminates the drain so we can check this ourselves onsite once we're called to assist).

- If you cannot see any discharge, we can safely assume the valve is working correctly and no further action is required.

Most homeowners won't know there's a potential issue until they're notified by the council of high water usage, or they physically see water running in the gully as there walk by. Stay on top of simple maintenance like this to avoid any dramas down the track.

Keep your eyes peeled for our next Tips & Tricks post to find out what we share next

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