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NEED A PLUMBER? WE’RE IN YOUR TERRITORY!

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Hi there, Rhyse from Plumbdog!

I’m just going to put a small video together and have a little chat about water meters and some of the unnecessary difficulties some plumbers go through when attending a property, where a client doesn’t happen to know where the water meter is.

What a water meter shouldn’t look like is this. The water meter should be visible and readily accessible so that in case of an emergency, it can be found and isolated. And obviously, if you call one of us out to do some work and we need to shut it off so we can do some work, that work can be done.

Just another friendly tip (we’re going next door here), generally speaking, wherever the hose tap is, the water meter will be in line with the hose tap. As we can see there’s another one here, almost camouflaged, but at least it’s not buried. But then if we go back over here, we’ll see that this scenario is a little bit different because we have the water meter on the right-hand side of the property but in this case, the hose tap is on the left-hand side. So that doesn’t always fare.

It’s always a good idea to know where your water meter is and have it readily accessible.

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Hot Water Storage

Hello everyone,  it’s Richard at Plumbdog here!

I’m out at a property here in Nedlands, Western Australia and the unit behind me are having an issue with their hot water. According to the phone call between the customer and our reception, they’ve got hot water but it’s intermittent and it keeps tripping at the main power.

The first thing we do is turn the hot water on any tap in the house and check the temperature to work out what we’re dealing with, is the water cold, is it warm or is it hot and in this case – it’s cold.

Okay, so here is a Rheem 80 litre electric storage hot water system. My initial thoughts are this system is quite new it looks to be installed well and correctly by others. I’m just confirming the date of manufacture on the side there being 2020, the unit seems to be installed legally, correctly being in a safe tray that even terminates to outside so it looks to be new and installed well.

The next thing I want to do is just observe the electrics and the power connection. It seems previous people to me have butchered the unit get in the front panel off there.

I’ve never seen the pop rivet actually pulled out the system before and here is my electrical testing pen. I just want to work out whether or not we’re actually got power to the system, which we don’t, so now I’ll go outside to the main fuse board to have a look at what we’re dealing with.

As you can see the red one on the left there is the main power switch that’s on and we’ve got the hot water system one there which is off so we turn that on like all of the other switches. Now we should be getting power to the system, which we are so the water was cold because there’s no power to the system.

Investigating further, I’ve noticed that this main supply there is a lot smaller in size than what’s in the system. I’m not an electrician but to me that looks like 1.5 mil lighting cable that’s being used.

See the physical size of that being smaller in comparison to what’s inside being two and a half millimetres? There’s a Rheem electric hot water system installed under the stairs and the plumbing looks really good on it. The installation is probably only about two years old so from a plumbing perspective I really can’t see anything.

I’m not an electrician but I’ve got a pretty good idea about what we should be seeing so as I as I highlighted, you can physically see the difference between the cable sizes there being two and a half millimetres, I believe, inside the system but then the mains feed to the system looks like one and a half millimetres to me. Again, I’m not an electrician but um but there’s something a bit suspect there so I’ve spoken to our electricians that we use regularly.

Thanks to technology, I’m going to send them some photos and some videos of it and they agree that cable does look undersized and also they’ve highlighted to me, which I wouldn’t have known, is that the breaker there in the switchboard looks a bit undersized as well for that circuit.

That’s a C10 amp and that’s undersized as well so what the electrician’s done using the videos and the photos I’ve sent them has given us a quote to run a new cable. Run the new cable from the board surface mount, I would think and into the cupboard there and then and then upgrade that breaker size as well which will fix the issue.

We have given that quote to the customer and they’re more than happy. They’ve used many times so they trust us. We’re going to get that upgraded and then they’ll be back in hot water. Why the system was working for two years and then suddenly started tripping, who knows? That’s for the electricians to sort of figure out. We’ll get that sorted and they’ll be back in hot water!

Thank you for watching & I hope you enjoyed the video. Please give us a like and subscribe and we’ll catch on the next video.

Take care.

Hot Water System

Is your hot water system going hot and cold and making you think there’s a fault with your hot water system? Well, watch this video first and you might be able to save yourself some time and money.

Hi everyone. It’s Richard from Plumbdog here. I’m at a property in West Perth, Western Australia. The owner is meeting me on site and she said that the tenant has reported that he thinks there’s a fault with the hot water system because the hot water goes really hot and really cold, and he can’t quite figure it out. So I’ve come out to the property. The tenant’s not home, so it just gives me a little bit of space to work out what’s going on. I’m actually in the ensuite at the moment.

I’ve got the hot water system behind us. In this case it’s an electric continuous flow system and it’s actually one of the new style ones that we recommend. It’s a Stiebel Eltron LCD version and we recommend these all the time. Strangely enough, just recently I’ve been talking to a couple of plumber mates of mine, saying that I’m yet to come across a fault on one, and then lo and behold, a couple of weeks later, there’s a potential fault right behind me.

So we’ll work out what’s going on. It makes it a little bit more interesting on this job because the tenant’s actually a plumber himself, and he hasn’t been able to figure it out yet. So the pressure’s on to work out what’s going on and get the hot water back.

The first thing i’m going to do – you want to see I’ve got my temperature probe ready to go here- is to just want to check the temperature of the system. Is it hot, cold, is it lukewarm? So I’m just going to test it on one of these basin taps just to start with. Let’s find out what we’re dealing with and then we can go from there.

All right, so turn the hot water tap on and you can see the display on the hot water system has come on. These electronics are temperature controlled, so this one’s limited at 50 degrees, but you can change the temperature. It’s on max temperature 50 here, so within a metre we should be getting 49 degrees. Let me turn that temperature program so you can see it. It’s going up there to 49.4, so I would tend to disagree that there’s no hot water. As I said, I’m yet to come across a problem with one of these systems, and because it is giving hot water at 50 degrees as it should, I’m going to go around and check all of the outlets because I’ve got a sneaking suspicion I know what might be going on.

We’re now at the kitchen sink. What do we have here? 48, so 48.6 at the kitchen sink behind me. Now I can always expect there’ll be a little bit of heat loss in the pipes between the hot water system and the outlet. The first outlet being right next to the hot water system, I would always expect it to be a little bit hotter than the kitchen sink that’s in the middle of the apartment.

Back to the system. I’ve got a secret sneaking suspicion because where people usually have an issue is in their showers. You don’t normally notice the temperature of a basin because you put your hand in for a few seconds and done. But where you always do notice it is showers, because you’re setting that to a desired temperature. If you were showering at 50 or 49 degrees, it’d be too hot, so you’d actually set that down to a temperature a little bit cooler. Usually the issue is where you’ve set the temperature but then it fluctuates. I’m pretty sure the problem is a water fluctuation problem rather than the hot water system itself, because where the hot water system is just an outlet, like the kitchen sink or the basin, it’s a constant hot temperature. So I don’t think the hot water system is the problem. I’ve got a feeling that the showers are the problem. Let’s take a further look.

Here’s the shower in the ensuite. There’s the hot water system, here’s the shower. Now I’ve got a sneaky suspicion. It’s hard to measure the temperature of this because you’ve got to sort of cup your hand and you’re not really going to be showing the fluctuation. I’m taking the shower head off the hose and you can actually see that in there is a water restrictor to save wastage of water. The problem is that they play havoc on continuous flow hot water systems, both electric and gas. That little device in there is pretty much slowing down the flow of water out of the system. When it does that below the tolerance level on the system, it’s telling the system to turn on and turn off. So when it’s time to turn on and turn off, what’s going to happen is it’s going to get hot and cold, so i’m pretty sure we just found the problem. If we just pop that little restrictor out (you guys can do this at home), let’s use a little screwdriver, pop that out. The restricted device will obviously slow down the flow of the water and now we’ve got full bore.

If we’ve got full bore water flowing through the hot water system and through the shower head, we won’t get that fluctuation anymore. Let me just put all that back together and let’s give that a try. Well, that’s hot. It’s getting a little bit too hot for my hand. Let’s try cooling it down to a desired temperature we’d shower under. That’s a nice temperature, and it seems consistent. Yeah, I think we’ve cracked it guys.

Alrighty, so job done. Still yet to find an issue on the Stiebel Eltron LCD hot water systems, but what I have found is a water restrictor issue on the shower. So next time you think you might have an issue with your hot water system and you can narrow it down to just being in the shower, then give that a try. That might save a little bit of money before you call us out. All right guys, thank you for watching. I hope you enjoyed the video – that was a nice helpful little hint for you – and we’ll catch you in the next video. Take care, goodbye.

Sacrificial Anodes
  • Preventative Maintenance for your Hot Water System is important
  • Replacing sacrificial anodes is an important part of the maintenance
  • It is just as important to use a licensed plumber for the job
  • Like & Subscribe to our YouTube channel to stay up to date!

 

Changing anodes looks like an easy job but it isn’t always as easy as it looks. It’s the same in any industry where professionals exist because of training and experience. What might seem like a simple task may require a better understanding of the equipment, even having the right equipment, the parts and the right way to do the job.

SACRIFICIAL ANODES ARE NOT ONE SIZE FITS ALL

You already know that there are many makers of hot water systems. We work with just about any hot water heater but we also supply and install new systems from Rheem, Rinnai, Dux, Vulcan and Bosch just to name a few and there’s more. Just like if you wanted to buy spare parts for your car, a case for your mobile phone, a memory stick for your camera or even fittings for your garden hose, the first thing you usually do is check whether you are buying the correct part for your make and model. This is the same for sacrificial anodes.

WHAT HAPPENS WHEN USING ANODES THAT JUST AREN’T RIGHT?

We’re not sure where the client purchased or the specifications provided but what we know is they bought the anode online. It could have been advertised as a generic anode and after installing the anode, the hot water kept spitting and spluttering.

In the video, you can see that our clients had installed an anode which is smaller than the original and the customer has said that the hot water has not been the same since installation. The water has been spluttering and spitting and what we can see is the new anode is already in worse condition to the old anode which it replaced.

REPLACING SACRIFICIAL ANODES

You may have seen videos, maybe even ours, where replacing sacrificial anodes is an important part of servicing and maintaining hot water systems. Watching our videos, you would already know that sacrificial anodes are made to corrode over time as their name suggests, they sacrifice themselves to attract particles in water to help extend the life of the hot water system and hence why they need to be replaced over time.

BENEFITS OF USING A PROPER LICENSED PLUMBER

Unless you have the skills and knowledge, time and equipment, we highly recommend giving a proper experienced and licensed plumber a whistle. The person who bought the anodes at this property already wasted money buying anodes that simply didn’t do the job, suffered having hot water that did not work properly and wasted time and money in the process. Furthermore, you could injure yourself or cause damage to the property or the hot water unit if you really do not know what you are doing.

GIVE US A WHISTLE!

Next time you need a plumber that genuinely services hot water systems and not one that simply pushes you to buy a new hot water system, think of plumbers like Plumbdog. If you’re in the Greater Perth area and are in need of a reliable Perth Plumber, give us a whistle!

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