By Bev Hermanson
Having recently had a burst geyser, I have discovered firsthand the dramas surrounding the re-instatement of a convenience that I have oh-so-easily taken for granted. . . . hot water on tap.
Even though most mortgages offer an ‘automatic’ inclusion of Bricks & Mortar insurance that most times covers burst geysers, the inconvenience is still a factor – and the fact that there’s an excess means that those who are insured are still out of pocket at the end of the day.
It turned out that my geyser was still under guarantee, but the warranty claim was quite a mission to enforce. It’s been through this exercise that I discovered many ‘did-you-knows’ that are not as obvious as one would expect.
- Firstly, did you know that most banks have an ‘emergency hotline’ or call centre that you can call – and it’s recommended that you do that first, before considering bringing in an independent plumber?
- Did you know that high pressure geysers need to have a vacuum breaker fitted to the geyser?
- Did you know that geysers have what is termed a ‘sacrificial anode’ that helps to prevent corrosion of the geyser cylinder by donating its electrons and corroding itself?
- Did you know that, depending on the water quality, the anode may need to be replaced every year, or every second year?
- Should the home owner not perform this simple precautionary measure when it is required, the geyser warranty may become null and void.
- Did you know that pressure valves need to be installed and checked regularly to prevent too much water pressure damaging the geyser?
- Did you know that there is a patented South African-designed early warning system with a control panel that can be installed to save you up to 30% of your electricity bill, allow you to set the temperature of your geyser without having to go clambering about in your roof and alert you to water leaks before your geyser actually bursts?
- The early warning system, branded the Water Angel, makes use of water detection mats to activate an alarm in the event of a water leak from the geyser, or from an incoming or outgoing water pipe. The alarm is linked to the control panel in the house that closes the water valve and triggers an electrical switch, shutting off both the water and electricity supplies, should there be a leak, or an excessive increase in the temperature inside the geyser.
- If programmed to do so, the Water Angel unit can alert you via SMS, informing you that there is a problem with your geyser, so that you can ensure the safety of your household, even while you are away from home.
- Did you know that it is recommended that you vary your geyser temperature according to the season – 60 to 65 degrees Celsius in winter and 50 to 55 degrees Celsius in summer?
- Did you know that your geyser should not be set below 50 degrees Celsius, as anything cooler will allow harmful bacteria to grow in the water.
- And, finally, the controversial question – will manually turning your geyser on and off every day damage the switch mechanism? The advice is, no damage is anticipated as the geyser switches itself on and off regularly in any case.