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Why Your Water Heater Needs Regular Preventative Maintenance.

Keeping your water heater in good working order just makes sense. After all, you depend on it absolutely for an abundant supply of hot water and for an extra measure of family safety. But it’s still a mechanical object like your car, and we all know what can go wrong with a car if not properly maintained.

But there’s another very good reason to have your water heater inspected at least every five years. Failure to do so might nullify your manufacturer’s warranty, and then you’d be on your own to cover the cost of any repair work.

A professional water heater inspection takes 30 – 45 minutes – a relatively short amount of time – and a minor expense – to ensure your ongoing peace of mind. If, on the other hand, your water heater has seen better days and it’s time to replace it, you have many good reasons to choose KP Hotflo for your new system, including this one: you’ll receive a free annual water heater inspection for as long as you own it.

What’s more, we service, repair, and install all types of water heaters: electric, gas, on demand, heat pump, and solar. That enables us to match your home, family make-up, and budget to exactly the right new water heater. One you can depend on for many years of reliable service. For more information or to request service, contact KP Hotflo today.


Benefits of a Water Heater Inspection

When something goes wrong at home that we didn’t see coming, we tend to react in one of two ways: “I should have known better”, or “Who knew?!”

If it’s a simple mishap, it’s easy to laugh it off. You know, like touching a wall or door after it’s been freshly painted. Doesn’t really matter if you forgot or weren’t forewarned by someone else, because either way, no harm was done. But sometimes the “no harm” rule just doesn’t hold up.

For that very reason, we urge all our customers to have their water heaters professionally inspected once a year. In fact, we feel so strongly about it that, once someone purchases a new water heater from us, they receive free annual water heater inspections for life.

Here’s what our inspections can help root out and/or prevent:

  • Scalding – Children and the elderly are especially vulnerable to scalding. To play it safe, we recommend keeping the temperature at 70 degrees Celsius.
  • Carbon Monoxide Leaks – Carbon monoxide is a leading cause of accidental poisoning, and one that can be prevented with proper and attentive care. Carbon monoxide can be leak from any fuel burning appliance, including your gas water heater.
  • Natural Gas Leaks – Natural gas has a rotten egg smell which aids in prompt detection and evacuation. Our goal is to prevent gas leaks in the first place as natural gas is a highly combustible substance.
  • Accidental Fire – During our inspection, we’ll also check to ensure that no flammable objects are near any of the gas supply parts.

In addition to family and household safety matters, a water heater inspection by KP Hotflo also will help ensure you have all the hot water you need, that your thermostat is properly set, no water is leaking, your hot water isn’t rust coloured, and your water heater isn’t making any unusual sounds.

The goal is to help your water heater run longer, last better, operate more safely, and cost you less money in repairs.  So, if it’s been a year or longer since your last water heater inspection, contact us today so we help enhance your family’s indoor comfort and safety, too.

Water Heater Warning Signs

There are warning signs for most things in life.

Let’s say, for example, you were to come home with your spouse after dark and, as far as you knew, no one else was in the house.  If you were to suddenly feel a pointed object sticking in your back and a voice ordering you to “hand over your wallet”, that’s a clear warning sign that you are in the process of being robbed.  Or, that you have a very disturbed friend with access to your house and who decided to play a not-so-funny prank on you.

If you’ve ever replaced a water heater, you know they have their own way of communicating with you.  When you have all the hot water you need, the clear message is “all is well.”  When you suddenly run out of hot water in the middle of a shower, the message is something else again.

And yet, it doesn’t take a complete lack of hot water for your water heater to tell you, in effect, “I’m no longer what I used to be.”  You just need to know what to watch and listen for, including the following:

  1. Water temperature.  If raising the temperature doesn’t increase water temperature or your hot water supply, chances are there’s a heavy build-up of sediment inside your tank.  Or, there could be a problem with the thermostat.
  1. Water stains around your tank.  Over time, debris, water scale and rust collect and build up along the bottom of the tank. Another visible warning sign is rust-colored hot water.  
  1. Puddles on the floor.  Any amount of water around the tank’s base indicates a leak cause by internal corrosion. 
  1. Strange noises. Banging, knocking, or any other strange noise is further evidence of sediment build-up and the need to have your storage tank drained and refilled.

Here at KP Hotflo, we speak water-heater-ese, which means we can and will accurately diagnose any symptom, figure out the root cause, and recommend the right solution so you and your family can once again enjoy all the affordable hot water you need.  Contact us today to request service.


How Long Should My Water Heater Last?

Here’s a question we get asked all the time, and we wish we had an answer you could depend on for pinpoint accuracy.  But we don’t.  No more than if you asked us “how long should my marriage last?”  Rather, our answer to either question – assuming we were in the marriage forecasting business, which we’re not – would be “It depends.”

Not much help, is it.  Well, don’t give up so easily, because we have several guidelines you can follow designed to help you plan for when your water heater might need to be replaced.

First off, part of what determines the longevity of a water heater are a few fairly straight forward considerations, including these:

  • The quality of the system
  • The type of system (gas, gas tankless, electric, solar, etc.)
  • The quality of the installation
  • Usage
  • Water quality

Ongoing Maintenance Helps Your System Last Longer

Water heaters that receive preventative maintenance service at least once a year are likely to outlast those that don’t.  In fact, that’s one you can take to the bank. Because with a qualified and licensed plumber looking after your water heater for you, small issues can be taken care of before they become bigger and costlier problems.

Here’s another factor to keep in mind: continuous flow (tankless) water heaters generally outlast storage tank models since the former don’t store water.  Rather, they heat it “on demand” as your turn on a tap or a hot-water-using appliance.  No storage tank means less chance of internal corrosion, especially if you have hard water conditions where you live.

Estimated life expectancy of a hot water tank 

The following longevity estimates are approximations only:

  • Glass or enamel lined tanks:  Up to 12 years
  • Stainless steel tanks:  Up to 12 years
  • Heat pumps: Up to 12 years
  • Gas tankless: 15-20 years
  • Solar:  15-20 years 

More Information & Free Quote 

At KP Hotflo, we install, maintain, and repair all types of residential and commercial hot water systems?  What type is right for you and how long can you expect yours to last? Contact us today to schedule a free on-site hot water needs analysis and new system proposal, during which we’ll explain your options and help you choose the one hot water system that best meets your needs and budget.


What You (Probably) Don’t Know About Water

Water is something to celebrate every single day of our lives.  It’s also something to be treasured as around the world and here in Western Australia it’s a finite resource.  As in, we have what we have and it’s everyone’s responsibility not to squander this vital natural resource.

But that doesn’t mean we can’t also have some fun with water; hence, the purpose of this blog.  We think you’ll be at least mildly surprised by some of these water facts, and downright amazed by others.

  • Sound travels almost 5 times faster underwater than in air.
  • The average human brain is about 78% water, so the next time someone says “be careful lest your brain turn to mush,” feel free to say “sorry, too late.”
  • Giraffes and rats can last longer without water than camels.
  • You begin to feel thirsty once you lose just 1% of the water your body routinely holds.
  • The simple act of breathing consumes more than half a litre of water per day.
  • You can drink 1,000 litres of tap water for the same price as one can of a soft drink.
  • One “sydharb” is the amount of water in Sydney Harbour: approximately 500 gigalitres. This unit of volume is used in Australia to describe the amount of water in large water bodies such as lakes and dams.
  • About 25,700 litres of water is required to grow a day’s food for a family of four.
  • Africa withdraws 47 litres per day per person for personal use (drinking, sanitation, cooking, gardens) while the United Kingdom withdraws 334 litres.
  • Water is the only substance that is found naturally on earth in three forms: liquid, gas, solid.
  • A faucet can use between 5 and 10 litres of water every minute.
  • While a person can live for around a month without food, people can only live for around one week without water.
  • Koala bears are one of only two creatures that do not drink water and instead get their water from other resources (in the Koala’s case: eucalyptus leaves).

And, since nature produces mostly cold water, people like us will always have jobs.  That’s why we invite you to contact KP Hotflo today for any residential or commercial hot water need you might have.  It’s our great pleasure to serve you.


How to Extend the Life of Your Water Heater

When you buy something new, especially for everyday use, you naturally want it to last as long as possible.  Not to mention remain in the best possible condition for as long as it’s yours.

Well, your water heater is no exception. The first thing you should know is that storage tank water heaters – still the most common variety in WA homes – have an average lifespan of eight to 12 years.  When you think about it, that’s a fairly broad range, and one that suggests that the better you take it care of, the longer it’s likely to last.

To receive the maximum return on your investment in the kind of indoor comfort your water heater provides, we offer the following proven maintenance tips:

Add a second anode rod

Your water heater’s anode rod has one job:  to protect the inner lining of your storage tank from corrosion.  Adding a second anode rod doubles up on that protection and makes it less likely mineral-laden water can inflict serious damage on your tank.

Add an expansion tank to your system

When water is heated, it expands which, in turn, can place added pressure on your water heater and cause it to break down prematurely.  With an expansion tank added on to your system, excess water in the tank will have somewhere to go, thus preventing problems and potentially doubling the life of your system.

Clean or flush out your tank

Flushing out your tanks can help prevent sediment build-up and help maintain your tank’s efficiency for far longer.

Install a Pressure Regulating Valve

When water pressure exceeds 90 PSI, damage can result to all hot water using appliances, including your water heater.  To help relieve that pressure, a special valve can be installed either on your main system or its expansion tank if you have one.

What does each of these water heater maintenance steps have in common?  They all can be performed by KP Hotflo.  Here’s something else we can do to help: perform an annual water heater inspection to ensure its continued operational efficiency and safety.  Here’s something else to keep in mind:  should you purchase a new water heater from us, you’ll receive a free annual water inspection for as long as you own it.  http://www.kphotflo.com.au/water-heater-inspection/

Contact KP Hotflo today to schedule a water heater inspection or for a free quote on a new or replacement system.


What to Do When Your Water Heater is Leaking

One thing you never expect or hope to see is water leaking from your gas or electric water heater. Especially since that could indicate your system needs to be replaced.

At the same time, most water leaks can be repaired and are usually caused by one of three primary factors:  condensation forming at the bottom of the tank, a leaking valve, or internal rust and corrosion.

More importantly for now, however, is this:  once a water heater starts to leak, it’s not going to stop on its own.  So, if you see a leak in progress, here’s what to do.

blogTurn off the power

If you have a gas water heater, find your thermostat, one that should have three settings: ON, OFF and PILOT. Switch it to OFF or PILOT to shut off the gas and make the system safe to work on. If you have an electric water heater, go to your breaker panel and find the breaker labeled “Water Heater”. Then turn it off.

Shut off the water supply

This step is just as easy as the last to complete.  Simply locate the cold-water pipe leading to your water heater, one that should have a valve attached to it.  Turn the valve to the right (clockwise) until it’s completely shut.

Drain the water from your storage tank

First, locate the drain valve near the bottom of your hot water storage tank and attach a garden hose to it. Run the hose to a floor drain, sump pit, or out a window or hatchway. Once the hose is in place and pointed where the water it releases can cause no damage, open the valve. If the water doesn’t flow, turn on any faucet in your home to break the vacuum that has been form.  That will allow air into the tank and cause the water to flow.

Of course, you can always leave draining the storage tank to the professionals at KP Hotflo, but we recommend otherwise if shutting of the power and water supply hasn’t stopped the leak.

Once we arrive on the scene, we’ll determine the exact cause of the leak and your best course of action.  From simple repairs to complete system replacement, we do it all, and always with a guaranteed upfront price quote for your added peace of mind. KP Hotflo:  your local hot water service professionals.



How to Clean Your Kids’ Bath Toys

blogAs ironic and unfair as it might seem, your kids’ bath toys really need to be cleaned from time to time.  That’s because, despite appearances to the contrary, they are not taking a bath right along with your kids.  Rather, they are wallowing and diving into dirty water, only to become a breeding ground for mold and bacteria once the bath is over and the tub is drained.

Here’s how to prevent that from happening:

Hot Glue: If any of the toys have small holes in them, there’s a very good chance mold is growing and spreading on the inside.  To keep water out of those toys, just fill the small holes with a dab of hot glue.

Dishwasher Cleaning: You can use your dishwasher to sanitize any hard plastic bath toys. Just remember not to put toys in when you are also washing silverware and plates! In addition to bath toys, add dirty flip flops and hair things like brushes, elastics, and barrettes to the dishwasher for the cleaning of their lifetimes.

Vinegar: Bleach is a super hero of cleaners, but can leave an unhealthy chemical residue behind on surfaces. For a safer alternative, wash the bath toys with warm water and vinegar, and use an old toothbrush to scrub away any grime.

Tiny Toys: Small toys can be put into the basket of the dishwasher, or simply soaked in the tub itself – just not during bath time.  Be sure to give everything a good scrub, and pat them dry so there is no standing water in the pile of toys once you put everything back in its place.

Freeze it: If any of your bath toys are made of foam or even wood, these won’t fare as well in the dishwasher and will only absorb the water you try to soak them in. To get absorbent toys clean, place them in the freezer overnight to kill any germs that may be growing on or below the surface.

As for your hot water supply itself, that’s where we can help:  KP Hotflo.  We service and repair all makes and models of water heaters, including yours!  So if you’re having any kind of problem, call us:  the people who guarantee your satisfaction.




How to Remove Hair Dye Stains from Your Sink or Tub

blogChanging or enhancing your hair color is pretty common practice for both men and women.  But there’s a dark side to the practice, one that’s all too common:  staining your sink, tub, or shower doors.

Has that recently happened to you?  If so, you’re probably staring at those colorful streaks and spots, wondering just how permanent they might be.

But don’t despair because there are a variety of ways to remove hair dye from porcelain and fiber glass finishes, including the following:

  1. Rubbing alcohol. Apply some of this powerful cleaner to a rag or cotton ball and wipe the stain. Be careful to avoid any painted surfaces because alcohol can remove that too.
  1. Nail polish remover. Acetone, the active ingredient in nail polish, also works wonders on hair dye stains. Once again, steer clear of any painted or wooden finishes. For a little extra cleaning power, try using a Magic Eraser.
  1. Vinegar and baking soda. Create a paste with these two natural ingredients and use a sponge or old toothbrush to scrub the stains from the surface. Rinse and repeat if needed.
  1. Lemon essential oil. Another natural cleaning option, this powerful cleaner can naturally bleach out the spots and is safe on almost all surfaces.
  1. OxiClean and water. Mix these two substances together to make a powerful (and multi-purpose) cleaner. You may want to use a nylon brush or kitchen scrubbing sponge to cleanse the affected area. Make sure the sponge is non-scratching.
  1. Soft Scrub with bleach. Soft Scrub has just the right combination of cleaning solution, whitening power, and non-abrasive grit to remove just about any bathroom stain. Just use a dab of water and a bit of cleaner on a sponge to scrub the spots from your tub or sink.

If you were able to clean the stains from your tub and tile but not from the grout, pick up an alkaline cleaner from a home improvement store. Simply follow the directions on the packaging and scrub the grout with a stiff deck brush. Be sure to ventilate the room while using the cleaner – it’s potent.

And remember, for any water heater or home plumbing need, KP Hotflo is ready and able to serve you.


Make the Most of Your Gardening

blogTime spent in your garden can be relaxing, fun, and a great way to spend time with the kids. Did you also know that gardening also can have you save a good bit of money?  Here are a few budget friendly reasons to start or expand a garden this spring:

Better than the grocery store: Organic food awaits you right outside. Instead of $3 for a head of lettuce, you can buy lettuce seeds for $3 and enjoy lettuce all growing season long. And because it won’t cost you anything to retrieve fresh vegetables you’re your garden, you’ll save money on petrol plus wear and tear on your car with fewer trips to the grocery store.

Less lawn: Designating an area of the yard for a garden means less time mowing, less gas, and less watering. Also, by acquiring a rain water harvesting system, you’ll have a ready reserve of water for your garden, lawn, trees, and shrubs.

Better than the gym: Put the gym membership on hold for the summer! All that bending, lifting, swinging, digging, and pulling that accompanies gardening is better than a yoga class, and it burns 272 calories an hour.

Selling and trading: Most home-based gardeners end up with more than one house can use at the peak of the season. So, instead of leaving behind a zucchini or bag of tomatoes everywhere you go, sell them! That’s right: bring your goods to a local farmer’s market. If you can’t sell the extras you can always trade with neighbors. Perhaps your neighbour has a full herb garden but can’t use all their cilantro and oregano. Swap! Or pool your resources and make tomato sauces and salsa with all your combined ingredients.

You know what else gardening produces?  Lots of aches and pains.  So when the work is done, you’ll want to enjoy a bonus bath or shower.  But, if your water heater has other ideas and refuses to cooperate, don’t fight it. Instead, contact KP Hotflo for the kind of service we’re known for: customer friendly, reliable, and always with your satisfaction guaranteed.