The end of year is in sight and some of us are already planning those well deserved holidays. Besides this planning of your trip, you also need to safeguard your possessions which your will be leaving behind. That is if you do not want any nasty surprises when you return.
Well we all know about having someone watch over your house; feeding the dog; removing the mail., etc. But what about unexpected plumbing problems that may occur like a burst geyser.
Geysers use thermostats to regulate water temperature, switching off the element when the maximum temperature is reached. The problem arises when the thermostat gives in. In this case the water reaches excessive temperatures which can cause a valve to burst.
Grief with Geysers
1. Geysers do leak a bit through the pressure relieve valve overflow pipe. This is normal as the water heats and cools. Anything more than a couple of litres per day (up to 8 litres on a “busy” geyser) often points to afaulty pressure control valve. This should be replaced if you note a steady flow rather than dripping.
2. Poor hot water pressure could be a number of things. Most often blocked pipes, faulty pressure valve or an old low pressure geyser (100Kpa Latco type). It’s best to ask Saban Plumbers to evaluate the problem. It will be done as a quote if you are in our area, so there is no charge.
3. Hot water and steam coming out of a overflow pipe. This may indicate a release of the safety valve because of excessive temperature (or pressure). The most common cause is a stuck/faulty thermostat. This is a serious situation that must be attended to immediately. Switch off the geyser until its fixed.
4. Boiling geyser. Faulty thermostat. Switch off until it’s fixed. A faulty thermostat is prone (by design) to fault in the open or “off” position. In this case you just dont get any hot water. Sometimes it faults in the “on” position any the water will eventually boil. A dangerous situation that must be attended to immediatly. Switch the geyser OFF until the thermostat is replaced! See Geyser Safety .
5. Water coming out the ceiling – if your geyser should burst or spring a major leak, switch off the water supply and open a hot tap to relieve pressure. Remember to switch the geyser OFF on the distribution (DB) board. If you know where the tap is that supplies the geyser (often close to it) then you should rather switch that tap off. You will then still have water to the rest of the house. Call a plumber to investigate. Call your insurance company!
6. Hot water coming out the cold tap during a water supply failure. This is because the geyser is not installed correctly. Don’t allow the geyser to drain dry without switching it off. This is potentially dangerous for smaller children (and plumbers!) and should be fixed.
7. No hot water. Check the geyser circuit breaker. If it’s tripped you should reset it once. If it trips again call an electrician or plumber to investigate the cause. If there is power to the geyser then it is either the element or the thermostat. Remember that you should always replace a faulty element and thermostat together, but only the thermostat by itself if it’s only the thermostat fails.
8. Not enough hot water or water not hot enough. Setting on the thermostat too low or geyser too small. Move the setting to 65 degrees. Geysers calcify over time and it may need to be replaced. Modern geysers work better than the old ones. It is not recommended that you run the geyser at it’s highest setting!
So out tip for your holiday trip is simple, switch off your geyser at the circuit breaker (electricity box) when going on a holiday.
Author: Lee Brandt