worker set up central gas heating boiler at home

The truth about hot water cylinders is that they are a modern convenience that is taken for granted until they decide to stop working. Nobody cares how they work, as long as they keep working.

This is why the maintenance of hot water cylinders of any variety is so important. These machines are arguable very delicate when compare to other plumbing connections and there is a lot that can go wrong, leaving you stuck with cold showers until you call a plumber or install a replacement unit.

As you can see, this technology is complicated at best and downright infuriating at worst. This is why there is an entire industry built around the provision and maintenance of hot water cylinders and their various accessories/connections.


What is it?

It is a cylindrical stainless-steel tank that is used to heat up and store liquid h20 so that it can be sent almost instantly to where you need it. They are mostly used for showers, baths, laundry and cooking with different options providing different levels of lifestyle utility.

For example, a gas hot water cylinder system would provide much faster heating than a standard electric version. The downside is that a gas system may cost more money to run depending on your local access to natural gas.

Similarly, a solar powered system would help you reduce energy costs and your home’s carbon emissions footprint but may be less reliable than a purely electric system. A heat pump system draws warm air from outside the unit and converts it into energy so the contents can be heated up.

There are lots of different options with their own unique advantages and disadvantages. This makes it a good idea to engage a reliable plumber and ask them what type of system would be most suitable for your home and your lifestyle.


woman taking a shower

Maintaining a hot water cylinder

One of the best ways to protect your investment into a hot water cylinder system is to ensure that you are vigilant in practising routine maintenance. The following will look at some tips you should follow in order to keep you system from breaking down and needing a costly repair or replacement.


Do an inspection every so often – It’s a good idea to inspect your system at least once a month and simply look closely at it to check for any dents or leaks. Identifying a big problem early could save you lots of money down the road. Do it at the start of every month to be safe.


Replace the sacrificial anode – The sacrificial anode is a special rod inserted inside your hot water cylinder that is designed to attract rust that would otherwise damage the interior walls of the chamber. Of course, this anode will degrade over time as it does its job meaning that it eventually needs to be replaced in order to maintain the protection for your tank.


Call a plumber – It’s prudent to organise your plumber to come visit once a year to do a professional inspection of your hot water cylinder system so they can identify any issues and quote you’re a repair if necessary. Undertaking this kind of professional maintenance once a year ensures that your system is in perfect working order all-year-round.

There you have it, some useful information about hot water cylinders and how to maintain them.