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Posted by on Oct 28, 2015 in Uncategorized |

How to Maximise the Life of your Hot Water Tank

Replacing a defective hot water system is not only expensive, it’s incredibly inconvenient. If you’ve recently had to endure the process of installing a new hot water tank, chances are you’re not too keen to repeat the process.

Luckily, maintenance procedures for hot water tanks are very easy to carry out, and they greatly reduce the chance of your tank failing without warning and leaving you with a week’s worth of freezing cold showers.

Replace the Sacrificial Anode

The sacrificial anode is a metal rod (usually made of aluminium or magnesium) that protects your tank from corrosion through cathodic protection.

The way it works is that, essentially, the anode material is more prone to corrosion than the tank material (steel). As long as the aluminum anode is suffering corrosion, the tank is left untouched, hence the name ‘sacrificial’. However, this does mean that the anode has a limited lifespan, and as soon as the anode is fully corroded, the tank is left unprotected.

Needless to say, your hot water tank won’t last long without a functioning sacrificial anode. How often you should replace your anode will depend on the manufacturer’s recommendation; usually, you can expect to replace it every 3-5 years. Make sure to hire a qualified professional to do this for you, as hot water tanks are usually attached directly to the gas or electricity supply (extremely dangerous around water), so this is definitely not a job you should carry out yourself.

Check the Pressure Relief Valve

The pressure relief valve is the valve on the front of your tank that acts as a safety mechanism – in the event that too much pressure builds up within the tank, the valve will open and let the pressure out. If the valve is not functioning correctly, the tank is at risk of exploding.

Check the valve a couple of times a year to make sure it is functioning properly. This is a simple process – simply turn off the electricity going to the tank (or the gas if it’s a gas heater), shut off the cold water inlet, and position a bucket underneath the valve.

Now, simply pull the trip leaver on the valve. If the valve is functioning as intended, you will hear a rush of air and see some vapour exit the valve.

If the valve is not functioning as intended, have it replaced as soon as possible.

Inspect for Leaks and Drips

You should regularly inspect your tank for leaks and drips. More often than not, leaks and drips are caused by a fault with the water supply equipment, usually a worn-down component in the supply hose. These issues are easily fixable with plumbers tape.

However, if you notice a drip coming from the pressure relief valve, this could be an indicator of a number of problems. In this case, make sure to bring in a professional plumber to inspect the tank and assess the situation. 

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Posted by on Oct 5, 2015 in Uncategorized |

Why Opt for Laser Cutting and Folding for Your Production Facility?

If you own or manage a production facility that involves the need to cut and fold metal of any sort, you want to consider investing in a laser machine for these tasks. While the investment may be more initial costs than other forms of machinery, it can be worth it in the long run. Note a few advantages of using lasers for cutting, folding, and other metal fabrication.

Less personnel interaction with machinery

When you use a laser for cutting and folding machinery, the laser is contained in a housing unit and the operator typically guides it remotely, with the use of a computer or front panel. This results in less interaction with the machinery itself and in turn, a safer environment for workers. If you use a welder to cut metal pieces, the welder needs to get up close to the metal being cut and operators may also need to be very close to punches and presses that cut and fold metals. All of these can mean increased risk for accidents and injuries, and this risk is reduced with a laser cutter.

Less or no heat

People often think that lasers work by concentrating heat onto a surface but in truth, a laser often works with very little to no heat as the laser is a beam of light, not fire. This reduced heat can mean less cost for cooling your production facility and can also mean less warping of metals and other materials. Less heat can also be safer for your environment, as you will have less risk of propane and other stored materials igniting or being damaged due to nearby heat from welding and other forms of cutting and folding.

Easier training of personnel

Welding is a specialized skill that may take months to learn and if you use welding for cutting metal, you need to hire someone with this special training. Punches and presses may also require those who are familiar with how to feed metal through this machinery and ensure the metal is not damaged when being cut and folded. With laser cutting, your personnel may only need to learn how to use the control panel to set thicknesses of cuts and certain forms of folding, and the computerized interaction can often be easier to learn than working with machinery. This can allow you to hire even those without specialized skill and experience to work the laser cutter, which makes keeping your facility properly staffed easier on you overall. For more information or advice, contact a business such as Hunt Engineering.

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