Gold Coasters are living in the age of DIY renovations, where every opportunity to save a few dollars is considered a blessing. Although some jobs are more complex than others, and replacing a water heater can be far trickier than you may think.
Reliable and experienced plumbers on the Gold Coast are ready to take on your work. Should you wish to install a water heater yourself, it’s best to avoid these four common and potentially hazardous mistakes:
1. Selecting the Wrong Sized System
The internet has made it easier than ever to shop around for the best prices, but just because you’ve snagged a bargain on a water heater doesn’t mean its capacity is best suited to you and the family.
When selecting the ideal water heater, the rule of thumb is 55 litres are required for each occupant. So two people will require a water heater with a minimum capacity of 110 litres and a family of four needs a minimum of 220 litres.
2. Failing to Install the T&P Valve Correctly
The temperature and pressure valve, or T&P, is an integral part of every water heater. If the water gets too hot or if the pressure builds to an unsafe level, your heating system can automatically release water through the valve until the pressure drops back to a safe level.
The water that’s expelled from the system is superheated, coming out at close to boiling point. If the T&P valve and connecting pipework are not fitted correctly, the water could potentially cause serious burns upon discharge, or the excess pressure could damage the heater.
3. Dry Firing the Water heater
A new water heater mustn’t be switched on or heated until it has completely filled with water. This goes for both electric and gas water heaters. The copper heating element within the system is designed to function only when submerged in water. Heating without water is referred to as dry firing, and it can cause the element to overheat and cause serious damage. Dry firing can bend the element, melt the tank’s interior coating and even crack the exterior.
4. Forgetting to Purge the Tank
The easiest mistake to make when installing a new water heater is not purging the tank before use. Once the water tank is filled and before the system begins to heat, one should always turn on a few taps and purge all of the air out of a system. Failing to do so can reduce your water pressure and result in an uneven flow. It can also cause your pipes to gurgle and vibrate.
Plumbers also recommend flushing a system every few years to get rid of the gunk and mineral build-ups.
Water heater installation is an excellent opportunity to get on the tools, should you know what you’re doing. If not, it’s probably best to call a plumber in the Gold Coast and avoid these common mistakes altogether.