Hot Water Nurse provides gas and electric hot water system repairs and installations across the Sydney metropolitan area and we find that in Sydney hot water system replacements have a very high rate of non compliance, with up to 40 percent of existing hot water system installations failing to meet required Australian standards. While many defects are minor, such as a lack of an appropriate point of discharge for the overflow, the large number of non-compliant installations is a major concern for Hot Water Nurse as even minor installation defect can cause damage to the property, the hot water system it self and also void the manufacturers warranty. The incorrect installation or lack of a safe tray installation is one of the more common defects we come across in Sydney in the older style units. A “Safety Tray” is an addition to a Hot Water System that in the event of a malfunction causing the hot water system to leak the water will be automatically severed to avoid property damage. As of June 2016, Fair Trading NSW adopted the PCA (Plumbing Code of Australia) which in result has incurred new provisions to the installment of Hot Water Systems in New South Wales which means now it is legally required to have a “Safety Tray” installed with hot water system replacements to comply with Australian standard AS/NZ 3500.
Concealed Water Storage Tanks - All water containers, cold water storage tanks, cold water storage tank-fed water heaters or storage water heaters that are installed in roof spaces, in cupboards or otherwise concealed shall be placed on safe trays complying with Clause 5.4.3. The safe trays shall be drained by safe wastes complying with Clause 5.4.4. Safe trays may be installed without safe wastes when mains pressure water heaters are installed, provided an approved shut-off device is fitted adjacent to the cold water inlet and upstream of any expansion control valve.
Unconcealed Water Storage Tanks - which are installed inside buildings on or above a floor surface that is impervious to water and suitably drained to a trapped or untrapped floor drain or an external doorway, do not require safe trays.
Safe Tray Construction - shall be fabricated from materials that comply with the requirements of clause 2.5.1. This includes safe trays manufactured from plastic material. Safe trays do not require WaterMark certification although they must be fit for purpose. Any proprietary fittings supplied with the tray for the connection of the safe waste or safety relief valve drains must be used for that purpose.
YOUR WORST CASE SCENARIO? - The future is not too bright if you are one of the many Sydney households we come across to not have a Safety Tray installed correctly and the Hot Water System was to burst. The hot water system malfunction can potentially cause damage to your property and neighboring properties which will not be covered by insurance. We see this occurring all the time where a top floor unit will leak and cause damage to 2 or 3 units below it. Just imagine your hot water systems leaks during the day and you come home and realize a portion of your property has suffered irreversible water damage that could cost you $1,000’s of dollars.
HOW CAN YOU AVOID THIS? - If you’re concerned that you are not protected by a correctly installed Safety Tray, your best options is to contact a professional hot water specialist and have a Safe Tray installed immediately, it’s a cheap fix to avoid a very expensive problem down the track.
HAVE A SAFE TRAY BUT IT'S NOT PLUMBED? - We see this all the time where the Hot Water System was installed with a Safe Tray but unfortunately for whatever reason the plumber has not suitably plumbed the Safe Tray. In this case we recommend a shut-off device be fitted adjacent to the cold water inlet and upstream of any expansion control valve. We recommend The Plumbspec Mildred Valve® which is a Watermark approved, water leak-sensing automated shut-off valve for internal installed hot water systems. It is engineered in Australia to meet the requirements of AS/NZS 3500.4:2003 and ATS 5200.476.
If you would like to know more or speak to us directly please call the Sydney Hot Water Specialists - Hot Water Nurse on 02 9622 3036 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.