Some Common Issues and questions about your hot water system
No it is purely to avoid the tank corroding limiting the life of your investment. However, when we replace the anode we flush the system of built up sediment on the bottom of the tank, by having this cleared the tank is able to heat the water quicker and more efficiently.
Having a new anode installed dramatically improves the hot water quality in your home. If your tank has an old anode it means you are showering and washing your clothes and dishes in dirty water.
Yes, we often receive referrals from satisfied customers.
Most hot water systems will have an identifying sticker with relevant information pertaining to the age, capacity and other technical details on or inside the tank.
Yes it is, AnodeSwap can provide a flexible anode which is like a chain of sausages, it is easy to feed them into the system with limited clearance.
I have noticed a puddle of water around the water heater soon after the heater comes on. Is the water heater leaking?
When gas burns in air, as well as producing heat, there is a chemical reaction producing carbon dioxide, water vapour and nitrogen. A gas water heater burning 30MJ/h will produce more than one litre of water, if the water vapour is allowed to condensate. Condensate is the result of air borne water vapour being chilled below the dew point.
The dew point is the temperature at which water vapour turns into liquid. Condensation may occur in the primary flue of a gas water heater during the initial heat up period, and when the water heater is called upon to heat a high proportion of its total capacity – such as occurs after a heavy draw off of hot water. In areas where the water supply is very cold, the condensing of water vapour in the primary flue of a water heater may be of a sufficient quantity to cause it to drip onto the top of the main burner. This will continue until the water inside the water heater reaches approximately 50°C. Normally the condensate re-evaporates upon striking the hot burner. This may result in a slight “sizzling” noise being made.
This condensation may be misinterpreted. It’s not unusual for a householder or building maintenance engineer to think they have a leaking water heater cylinder. It is not the case of the cylinder leaking. It is interesting to note condensation is more prevalent during winter months when cold water temperatures are at their lowest.
If after the inspection the technician recommends replacing the anode, what form of payment do you accept?
AnodeSwap takes cash, cheque, direct transfer and even have a mobile Eftpos/credit card machine.
There can be a number of causes of the noise and these should be investigated. A “thumping” noise may be experienced whenever a hot tap is turned off suddenly. This only occurs if a non-return valve is installed. The sudden stopping of the water flow at the hot tap causes a small “energy wave” to travel back down the water pipe. This “energy wave” generally diminishes but if a non-return valve is installed, the energy comes to an abrupt halt causing a “thump” to be heard. This is a form of water hammer.
A continuing light vibration or whining noise may be heard if there is a defective tap washer in the tap housing. Replace the tap washer. A continual tapping or knocking noise may be heard when a tap is running. This is water hammer. It occurs when long runs of hot water pipe are not adequately fastened inside the wall, ceiling or floor cavities, and results from the pipe vibrating against a wall, ceiling or floor cavity as the water passes through the pipe causing it to resonate. This is overcome by securing the hot water pipe, to prevent movement.
If an electric water heater is installed and noise is evident only during the heat-up cycle, check for mineral build up on the heating element and check the quality of the water supply for sludge. Clean the heating element or drain sludge from the water heater if required. If a noise is evident only when water is flowing through the water heater, and if it’s not water hammer, then check for restrictions in the pipe work or for faulty valves. It may be necessary to install a pressure limiting valve if the water pressure is excessive (above 700kPa).
All storage water heaters are essentially a vessel filled with water with no moving parts. Therefore, it is unlikely any noise in the hot or cold water system can be attributed to the function and performance of the water heater.
The valve on the side of the water heater (temperature and pressure relief valve) is dripping water. Is the valve damaged or is there another problem?
A Temperature and Pressure Relief Valve is supplied with all water heaters. Its function is to provide both thermal and pressure relief when required. This will be in the form of discharging water from the valve. There are four types of flow which could be observed from the T&PR Valve.
When water is heated through a 50°C temperature rise, its volume will expand by approximately 2%. This expansion is discharged through the T&PR valve. It is normal operation for the T&PR valve to discharge or dribble water during the heating cycle. The T&PR valve will discharge water equivalent to 2% in volume of the total hot water used in one day. Therefore, a drain line must be connected to the T&PR valve to take discharge clear of the heater to a suitable termination point. This first type of discharge occurs only when a non-return or check valve is installed on the cold water supply line after the stop cock. It is normal and desirable that this valve allows a small quantity of water to escape during the heating cycle. However, if it discharges more than a bucket full of water in 24 hours, there may be another problem.
If there is dirt or grit present under the seat of the valve, it may prevent the valve seat from closing properly. Therefore, a continuous dribble may be experienced. This dirt or grit may be dislodged by operating the easing lever and allowing a full flow of water to wash over the valve seat.
Steady flows for long period (often at night)
It may be possible for the incoming cold water pressure to be in excess of the pressure rating of the T&PR Valve. This will result in a continuous flow of water from the T&PR Valve without cycling. Ask your Anode Swap technician to fit a pressure limiting valve. NEVER replace the relief valve with one of a higher pressure rating.
Heavy flows of hot water until water heater is cold – then stops until water reheats
The T&PR Valve also operates as a temperature activated safety device. If by chance both the thermostat and over temperature energy cut-out fail on a water heater, then the electrical element or gas burner would operate continuously. Therefore, when the water temperature reaches 98-99°C, the T&PR Valve will open allowing a flow of water in quantity discharging the full capacity of the water heater then stopping, only to repeat this at intervals. This thermal relief is provided under high temperature conditions by expansion of the polythene rod inside the temperature probe, which causes the stainless steel push rod to lift the valve off its seat. The valve stays open until cooler water surrounds the temperature probe, allowing the polythene rod to contract. If this thermal relief does occur, the water heater must be switched off at the switchboard if it is an electric water heater. If it is a gas water heater, the gas control must be turned off using the knob on top of the gas control thermostat.
We service all major brands of hot water system including Rheem, Vulcan, Dux, Beasley, Aquamax, Saxon, Bosh, Solarhart, Quantum, Conergy, Zip, Thormann and Supakwik.
Corrosion in water heaters is associated with the passage of minute electrical currents which travel through the metal and water. Corrosion takes place on the anode which is where the current releases ions to dissolve in the water.
Cathodic areas develop at other sites (the tank walls) where the circuit is completed. Provided the anode is still functioning correctly no corrosion can or will take place.
Once the anode stops working the steel tank will react with any dissimilar metal, particularly non-ferrous metals such as the copper element and brass plumbing fittings. Once this occurs the water heaters tank becomes anodic and corrosion(rust) commences.
Hot water systems anodes are made from a magnesium alloy.
An anode is a magnesium rod inside your hot water tank and is the only thing that protects your tanks steel cylinder from severe corrosion resulting in premature tank failure. Every hot water tank comes with one and they usually only last 2-5 years. Once your anode is depleted there is nothing to stop the destructive effects of corrosion on your tank. Keep the tank you’ve got and look after it. Replace the anode and it will l last up to 3 times as long. If your hot water tank is over 4 years old then you need to replace the anode now.
When hot water is drawn from the hot tap it appears to be milky. After a few minutes it clears. What causes this?
All Water supplies contain varying amounts of dissolved air. The air dissolves in the water when it is stored in open dams and reservoirs. Air is more soluble in cold water than it is in hot water. Ordinary tap water contains more dissolved air when cold than it can contain when hot. You may have noticed how bubbles of air form on the inside of a saucepan of water when it is heated. This is because as the water becomes hotter, it cannot contain as much dissolved air, so the air precipitates out of the water.
Also, water under pressure will contain more dissolved air than at atmospheric pressure. This is similar to how a bottle of soda water stores gas until the bottle is opened and the gas is released. Air dissolved in cold water entering the water heater remains dissolved when the water heats, because it is under pressure. As soon as the pressure is reduced, by opening a tap, air, in millions of tiny bubbles, is released with the water. Therefore, the water has a milky appearance because of the presence of all these bubbles.
This milky appearance is harmless and quickly disappears as the air bubbles rise to the surface. If soap is used while the water is still milky in appearance, the air bubbles become trapped in the lather. This may lead to complaints the water is hard. If soap is not used until the water clears of the air bubbles, then the “hard water” effect does not take place. The Milky water appearance often occurs when pipe services are new and clean or in areas close to a reservoir or dam. This appearance tends to disappear in old pipe services where the oxygen in the dissolved air is consumed by pipe corrosion.
Every brand of mains pressure hot water storage heater with a vitreous enamel (glass) lined tank is fitted with one or two sacrificial anodes. This ensures that corrosion can’t take place during the warranty period of the tank. It is no coincidence that most manufacturers warranty period is 5 years which is generally the life span of an anode. Note, in certain areas with hard water an anodes life span can be as little as 24 months.