As South Africans try to stay warm this winter, insurance companies are bracing themselves for a flood of geyser-related claims.

Martin Janse van Rensburg, spokesperson for Budget Insurance says, “At a time when you most want to be warm and dry, your geyser is more susceptible than usual to bursting. The colder surrounding temperatures put the geyser under more pressure as it expands and contracts to keep your water hot.”

Every year, during the winter season, Budget sees a noticeable spike in geyser-related claims. “And,” says Janse van Rensburg, “Murphy’s law says that it will burst at 3am on a Monday, when you’re least prepared to deal with the mess and hassle.”

Janse van Rensburg advises consumers to take steps to prevent, or mitigate, the damage of a burst geyser by doing the following:

  • Invest in a geyser blanket to reduce heat loss. The temperature of the water inside the tank will be more consistent, which might also lower your electricity bill slightly.
  • Install a drip tray under your geyser that will carry away most of the water if your geyser does burst.
  • Get your geyser serviced every 3 years by a qualified plumber. The service should include:o   Inspecting all of the geyser’s parts.

    o   Checking the tank and valves for leaks.

    o   Removing .scale build-up from the tank and element

    o   Inspecting the thermostat.

    o   Ensuring that the thermostat is set at the right temperature. The Ideal setting is 50-55° in summer and 60-65°in winter.

Should the worst happen and your geyser does burst, Janse van Rensburg recommends doing the following immediately:

  • Switch off the geyser electrical isolator switch on the main distribution board.
  • Turn off the water at the main meter box.
  • Phone a plumber, or your insurance company’s emergency home assist line.

But it’s not just those who own their homes who should check their cover, “Renters should also be prepared. Although geyser cover will cover the repairs or replacement of the geyser, if their property is damaged by any water, they would need to personally ensure that their things are covered by a home contents policy, as this responsibility is usually excluded from most lease agreements,” concludes Janse van Rensburg.

Article credit: