Fixed electrical water heater warranty guideline

Fixed electrical water heater warranty guideline


The Institute of Plumbing South Africa (IOPSA) has facilitated with industry leaders and geyser manufacturers for the development of a guideline to alleviate confusion in the industry relating to fixed electrical water heating (geyser) cylinder failures.

The confusion and frustrations have arisen due to a very high percentage of non-compliant installations versus actual product failures, and whether poor installation has resulted in the product failure.

To avoid such confusion, industry has collaboratively created a guideline that aims to support plumbing installers and manufacturers, clarifying critical areas that determine where incorrect installation can be used as a technical reason to void a warranty claim.

It is important to note that geyser manufacturers are within their rights to void a warranty claim based on an installation not being compliant; however, they also have the responsibility to support their product in the industry if failure is determined to be a manufacturing fault.

Industry has collaboratively created a guideline that aims to support plumbing installers and manufacturers.

This guideline will provide critical standards that, if followed correctly by the plumber, will help to prevent product failure from happening. On the other hand, this document will provide information that supports technical reasons as to why a manufacturer may void a warranty due to non-compliant installation. It will further give guidance to consumers with respect to plumbers indicating possible warranty issues on the non-compliance notices.

It must be noted that compliance to all regulations and standards applicable to a fixed electrical water heating system are to be adhered to.

Table 1 advises those areas that are critical to the fixed electrical water heating (geyser) cylinder failure. All points of reference are to be verified with the relevant manufacturer in terms of warranty conditions to alleviate confusion/liability or uncertainty.

1. Assembly of the system 
1.1 All materials, pipes, fittings, components, and fixtures used shall be of an approved type (be able to provide proof that the component complies to the relevant SANS standard) and must be listed on the JASWIC acceptance list.             
1.2 Materials, pipes, fittings, components, and fixtures not installed as per the regulation and manufacturer’s guidelines.  
1.3 Indoor hot water cylinder installed outside (must be identified on the cylinder)  
1.4 Water heater cylinder serial plate has been tampered with or is missing.  
1.5 Temperature and pressure valve not installed on the cylinder at the correct port.  
2. Operation of the system 
2.2 All the components of the system shall be installed in such a manner and position as to ensure the easy, effective, and correct removal and replacement of component parts or spare parts during maintenance, replacement, or repair.  
3. Pressure rating of the system 
3.1 The rated pressure of the system exceeds a static pressure of 600kPa.  
3.2 An expansion control valve not installed on closed hot water heating system.  
3.3 The pressure control valves and expansion control valves shall have the same pressure rating. This pressure rating may be less than the rated pressure of the storage water heater but shall never exceed it.  
4. Hot and cold water delivery pressure 
4.1 The various components of the system shall be so installed that the hot and cold water delivery pressure to water mixing components is not balanced. The residual dynamic pressure at the fittings shall not vary by more than 20%.   
6. Positioning of components 
6.1 The storage water heater, the water storage tank (when relevant), and all operating components not installed in positions where they shall be easily accessible for the purpose of replacement or maintenance.   
7. Drip trays 
7.3 Not placed on the tie beams, over a load-bearing wall not supported by timber that complies with at least grade 5 of SANS 1783-2, and of size at least 114mm × 50mm, spaced not more than 500mm apart.  
8. Discharge from valves 
8.6  Blockage of discharge pipes from expansion control and safety valve due to freezing or foreign objects is possible.  
8.10. Discharge point has water traps.  
8.11 Safety valve discharge pipe, not metallic.  
10. Mains shut-off control
10.4 No expansion-relief device or vacuum-relief device intended to protect such water heater installed and/or installed correctly.  
11. Vacuum control valves 
11.1 Vacuum control valves not installed in hot and/or cold water pipes.   
11.2 Siphonage of the water heater is not prevented.   
11.3 Vacuum breakers not mounted on 300mm risers.  
11.4 Vacuum breaker piped directly above hot water outlet of the water heater.  
12. Expansion control valve on cold water supply 
  Expansion control valve not installed downstream of any isolating valve, gate valve, non-return valve, or any other flow-control device.  

Click below to read the April 2018 issue of Plumbing Africa

PA April 2018

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