Asbestos & Hot Water Cylinders

Why was asbestos used in hot water cylinders?

Those hot water tanks that usually live in what we sometimes call the hot water cupboard, are used to heat our shower water. These water boilers are an item that could contain asbestos. But, only if it’s an older model, as hot water tanks manufactured after 2000 are unlikely to contain any asbestos. 

To operate efficiently, the boilers contain high-pressure steam pipes and delivery ducts and because it was beneficial to keep any stored water hot throughout the day, asbestos was used as an insulator for these tanks and to combat corrosion. Hot water boilers are made of a complex system of parts and pieces, including electrics. So asbestos was also used to prevent electrical fires, and so it can also be found around the wiring. 

Hot water cylinders can contain the following materials:

  • Insulation
  • Gaskets
  • Reinforced plastics
  • Wiring
  • Rope/string
  • Insulating boards

If your home or site has had a survey, the surveyor conducting the survey will include any hot water cylinders located within the survey report. The cylinders will often be presumed to contain asbestos as it can be a health & safety hazard to open these heaters up without specialised training. 

If a hot water cylinder has been presumed or sampled for asbestos with a positive result, you can manage the item by keeping it locked away and putting an asbestos label on it until you are ready to upgrade your water heating systems. 

When you want to get your hot water cylinder removed, contact your local hot water installation specialist for advice. 

Fibresafe NZ is a fully qualified and accredited asbestos management company based in New Zealand. We pride ourselves on our expertise in asbestos-related matters, as well as our quality of service delivery. We aim to help the nation better their understanding of asbestos and find solutions to sort their asbestos-containing materials until they can be removed in a fair and pragmatic approach.

We’re proud to be accredited by IANZ, to the conformance standard ISO/IEC 17020:2012 for surveying and sampling

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