A small amount of heat will escape from your electric geyser during the day, which results in a very gradual cooling. Although this cooling is minimal, it results in the heating element activating throughout the day to maintain a set temperature.
The heating element doesn’t use much electricity when it activates. A geyser that is poorly insulated will cause it to activate more often. This electricity usage can start adding up.
Insulating blankets help keep your electric geyser warmer for longer and prevent the heating element from activating as often.
Another way to minimise heat loss would be to cover the pipes with pipe lagging/insulation on the hot water pipes of the geyser. This is available from your local plumbing or hardware store.
Insulating blankets and pipe insulation are definitely worth purchasing, as they can save up to 20% of the electricity needed to reheat your water!
Most electric hot water heater thermostats are set to temperatures that are higher than necessary. Of course, the higher this temperature is, the more electricity is required. You can turn your thermostat down to 60°C to help save electricity.
Use cold water
Use cold water to wash your hands or brush your teeth, and take short showers instead of baths. The less hot water you use, the more electricity you save!
Change your showerhead
You can reduce your hot water usage by up to 24% by using energy and water saving showerheads.
The combination of the above saving tips will reduce your electricity bills drastically. However, you will save more by purchasing the right geyser. Replace your old geyser with an energy-efficient one. Energy efficient water heaters come with a diffuser device. The device assists in the prevention of cold and hot water from mixing. This device prevents the heating element from having to kick in as too often. Therefore, the running cost is drastically decreased.
I do a fair amount of inspections in sectional title schemes. Often, owners ask me if body corporates will pay for repairs inside their units. Obviously, their concern is about damage caused by external factors such as rainstorms, burst geysers and so on.
Each case is usually based on its merits. Usually, the body corporate’s trustees use their discretion when deciding to whom they allocate the cost of repairs and replacement. However, there are many grey areas and the differences between the owner’s and body corporate’s liability and responsibility.
The Body Corporate’s obligations
Body corporates are responsible for the repairs and maintenance and upkeep of the common properties.
Furthermore, the body corporate maintains all pipes, ducts, wiring etc. for the common property and services to more than one unit.
Your obligations as an owner of a section
You must maintain and keep in good state your section. Moreover, you must also keep any part of the common property to which you have the right neat and tidy. These are exclusive use areas such as gardens, patios, balconies, parking areas, garages etc.
Most modern geysers in South Africa are high-pressure hot water heaters.
Never work on geysers yourself unless you are a licenced plumber and you know what you are doing! They are high-pressure vessels and can explode.
Home inspectors report that the most common defect in South African homes is an incorrectly installedgeyser. Notably, this defect is potentially dangerous and is mainly a result of untrained, or un-supervised workers installing hot water heating systems.
Exploding geysers kill people in South Africa every year.
Temperature and pressure release valves
All high-pressure water heaters must have a temperature and pressure release valve (TPR valve). This valve controls two critical functions: pressure and temperature. Therefore, do not tamper with this valve!
If the thermostat fails and the temperature rises beyond 70°C, pressure increases. In this case, with the rising temperature, the TPR valve on the geysers will release if it is working correctly. Moreover, this happens either because of excessive heat or pressure.
If the TPR valves are faulty, the boiling point of water can rise above 120°C! The pressure will reach a point where the geysers’ pressure tanks rupture. At this point, the water turns into steam instantly. As a result, the 150 litres water in your geyser will now occupy 240,000 litres of space! This results in an explosion of the ferocity of a half kilogram of dynamite ( approximately 2½ sticks). Not only will the damage be excessive, but, as a consequence, lives can be at risk.
The intention of this article is to inform you, in the interests of your and your family’s safety, what you should and should not see if you happen to stick your head into the ceiling space to check out your hot water geyser. If your geyser installation is significantly different from what is described here, I suggest that you get a reputable plumber to repair it. Check out the videos at the bottom of this article!