Notwithstanding that developers and all those involved with affordable housing are still installing electric geysers when SANS 10400 XA calls for 50% alternative energy, using an qualified person is breaking the law on both counts as well as irresponsible.
Whilst one may say this is an isolated case, the incidence of incorrect geyser installations is not as isolated as one may think. We asked a geyser manufacturer to react to this ‘beaut’ of an installation (see image). The response speaks for itself:
“Yes, I would not sleep in that house with that installation. It is potentially a bomb.
The following is very dangerous:
- The safety valve that is in the top of this geyser should be plumbed out with a 22mm metallic pipe directly to the outside of the building with no obstruction. I think SANS 10254 allows for 2 x 45 degree bends on such installation. In this example it is clearly a 15mm copper pipe that goes into a 90 degree bend and then t’s into a pex pipe in conjunction with the relief valve – very illegal and dangerous.
- The most scary part of this installation is the fact that there is a shut-off valve that has been closed. Should this geyser overheat or over pressurise, the shut off valve would prevent the safety valve to function.
- The vacuum breakers are not at least 300mm above the tank. This is not dangerous, but will possibly case damage to the tank and shorten its lifespan.
In this installation – should the thermostat fail, the geyser will boil, over-pressurise and ultimately burst. At least there is a thermal cut off fuse inside the thermostat that will cut electricity to the element should the tank start boiling.
If the pressure reducing valve fails, the geyser’s safety valve would also not be able to de-pressurise through the safety valve as it is blocked by the shut-off valve.
The illegal shut off valve is also restricting the Cobra Masterflo 2 valve from relieving excess pressure from the tank. As the tank heats the water inside it expands and the valve drips out up to 1 litre per day to make sure the geyser stays within operational pressure.
This installation is extremely dangerous and entirely to blame on the very poor installation. The safety aspects is completely bypassed.
The fact that it is one of our cylinders is irrelevant – the installation here is the problem.
Have a look at this clip: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jbreKn4PoAc
In this clip, the safety valve was blanked off, and they bypassed the thermal fuse. Luckily the thermal fuse in SA geysers will prevent boiling.”