Check your geyser before the big burst

Based on previous records, during the months of May, June and July, it is reported that geyser claims increase substantially by about 23,05 per cent.

“This is due to an increase in usage and pressure during the winter season. Unfortunately, these claims come with great damage that is usually caused by the burst geyser resulting in bigger costs,” said Presodhini Naicker, head of Brand and Marketing for Old Mutual iWYZE.

Asked on how best to prevent the disaster, Naicker added “sometimes, disasters are unforeseen and can result in costly damages. Consumers need to know what signs to look out for to reduce the occurrence of unpleasant surprises.”

Below are three top tips one needs to look out for when it comes to your geyser.

  • If the water pressure is lower than usual, this could mean there is something wrong with the valves allowing water in or out of the geyser
  • Be aware of overflowing water from your geyser or if your geyser is making a humming or cracking sound.
  • If you notice any wet marks near your geyser, it is best to have it inspected immediately. Wet marks indicate that there is a leak already and the moisture could damage your walls and ceiling.

Naicker advises that although one cannot predict when their geyser could burst, they need to be prepared for such circumstances as the damage is always an inconvenience.

“Like anything else, geysers have a lifespan of which, with good maintenance and support, could stretch a bit longer and possibly save you money and furniture that would otherwise be damaged”.

According to research, geysers have a five-year lifespan and experts advise consumers to have them checked and maintained by a professional plumber every three years.

Below are tips to help consumers prevent a burst geyser:

  • Insulate your geyser with a geyser blanket which can be purchased at most homecare retailers as this will keep the water in the geyser warmer for longer and the geyser will not have to reheat often. This can also reduce the cost of electricity and possibly lead to a saving on your electricity bill.
  • Install a drip-tray beneath the geyser to help drain away any leaks. This will save you any inconveniences and limit water damage should a burst occur. According to Naicker, ceilings are more susceptible to damage should there be a geyser leak. “This is because geysers are usually in between the roof and ceiling,” she said.
  • A plumber’s inspection/service would entail checking the components including the anode, element and thermostat and checking the whole system for possible leaks. It is important that your geyser has all safety features such as a shut-off valve, vacuum breakers and a temperature and pressure safety valve.
  • The plumber will check that the geyser thermostat is set to 60° Celsius: geysers are known to burst when the thermostat is incorrectly set or badly regulated. Naicker advises that setting it to 60° Celsius will reduce the burden on your geyser while keeping the water to a good boiling temperature.
  • Give your geyser a break from time to time: switch it off occasionally, but don’t let it get cold as this additional contraction-expansion cycle could decrease the life-span of your geyser and reheating will use up more energy.

If your geyser bursts, you should switch off the main power supply immediately.

The water supply should also be turned off.

Call your insurer as most insurance services offer an emergency call out service in the event of a burst geyser and will arrange for a plumber to come to your home.

Also read: Stretch your electricity budget this winter

Splurge this winter by saving smartly

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