The eThekwini Water and Sanitation Unit would like to take this opportunity to warn the residents of the dangers of an incorrectly installed geyser

Geysers have many built in safety devices.  They operate daily without any problems but an incorrectly installed geyser can explode.  This explosion releases a tremendous blast force which can easily demolish a building as shown on the images below.

This explosion was caused because the installation of this geyser was performed by a “backyard” plumber.  The explosion has virtually destroyed this four bedroom house in the eThekwini region.  Fortunately no-one was injured in the incident.

This explosion could easily have been avoided if, in terms of the Council Water Supply Bylaws, a qualified registered plumber, working for a registered company did the work on this private installation.  This has been gazetted to prevent incidents of this nature from occurring.

Installing or working on geysers is not a job for amateurs and must be left to the professionals who have the training, knowledge and experience.

The points that need to be highlighted are:

Photo 1:  The piping from the safety valve had been cut short inside the roof space, flattened and also turned over, so preventing any build up of pressure inside the geyser from being released into the atmosphere.
GeyserWarning 1

Photo 2: The wiring to the geyser element was done incorrectly as no thermostat was installed, thereby preventing the geyser from switching off when it reached the correct temperature.
GeyserWarning 2

A list of registered plumbing companies is on:

http://www.durban.gov.za/City_Services/water_sanitation/Bylaws_Tariffs/Pages/Registered_Plumbing_Contractors.aspx

These companies and their plumbers are required to renew their registrations with the eThekwini municipality every 12 months.

What is a Geyser?

Geysers manufactured to SABS standards are strictly controlled in terms of their standing heat loss and the insulation requirements are regulated by SANS 151 (South African National Standards).

As per the SA Government Gazette no. 22355, Notice No. 509 and Regulation no 7079 dated the 8th June 2001, all fixed electric storage water heating systems must comply to SANS 10254 Installation Specification.

This legislation requires that all new geyser installations and replacement geyser installations performed after the 8th June 2001 must be in accordance with the specification, which requires the installation to have a geyser drip tray with overflow pipe piped to the exterior of the building.  Vacuum breakers must be installed on the hot and cold water supply and the overflow from the safety valve and expansion relief valve must be piped to the exterior of the building.

Click on the image to enlarge.

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