Mistakes to Avoid When Replacing a Hot Water System

September 10, 2018

Every now and then, a less-than-capable heating contractor makes a mistake when replacing an unserviceable hot water system. Sure, professional contractors rarely make mistakes. Even if that unlikely gaffe does occur, it’s promptly picked up during the final-stage system commissioning stage. But what if that inept team did the work? In order to understand what’s now gone wrong, we need to know what mistakes could happen during the replacement sequence.

Electrical Issues

Pros install electrical cables and powered appliances carefully because they know the risks. An exposed wire could cause a nasty, potentially lethal shock. Credible water hot water system replacement engineers tidy the electric wires, tighten the connection, and they safely hook up every powered appliance, all the way back to the distribution board, where the properly configured circuit breakers will promptly trip if/when a fault develops.

Gas Specific Duties 

Just as importantly, perhaps even more so because gas leaks can spread, the fittings in a gas-fueled water heating system require expert attention. Soldered pipes must be correctly formed. Those soldered lines should not occur close to the tank, not when there are soft plastics and other soldered components nearby. Leak detection mechanisms, carbon monoxide testers, all such sub-systems cannot tolerate poorly enacted replacement procedures.

The Dissimilar Material Problem 

Many different plastics and alloys are used to fabricate hot water pipes. In a replacement project, most of the connections are already installed, but they require coupling. When the coupling work is complete, the replacement parts directly contact the older materials. This is where the problem takes place. If dissimilar metals are joined, then corrosive effects can accelerate. Choose the same alloy, a material that has the same composition as the rest of the system.

Avoid Tank Dry Firing 

The fly-by-night operative has made a big blunder this time. The cylinder was filling with water, but then someone, perhaps out of the communications loop, decided to activate the equipment fuel/power. Left without a full tank of cold water, the cylinder has experienced deformation, perhaps even a fissure. If the equipment is electric, then the immersion elements were also likely damaged. What a waste of an expensive appliance.

Hot water systems are wonderful appliances. They keep everyone toasty warm, heat showers and bathtubs, and keep the outside chill at bay. On replacing a defunct piece of equipment, mistakes are possible. To the professional installation team, such errors are rare. And, if a mistake does occur, it’s instantly rectified during the system commissioning stage. However, even upon knowing this, it’s always a good idea to be aware of every possible eventuality, from the soldering issues to the possibility of a dry-firing incident.

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