The Department of Fair Trading has warned solar hot water tanks supplied by Solar and Bamboo Direct could be faulty.
The Department of Fair Trading has warned solar hot water tanks supplied by Solar and Bamboo Direct could be faulty.

Hot water tanks could scald

FOLLOWING the pre-Christmas warning about hot water tanks supplied or installed by Coffs Harbour and Tamworth-based company Solar and Bamboo Direct Pty Ltd, a Tamworth plumber has spoken out about the risks with the tanks.

Peter Dillon of Dillon's Plumbing was asked by NSW Master Plumbers to inspect solar installations in Tamworth.

What emerged was the tanks, which had been imported from China, had not been approved for use in NSW.

"The issues are firstly that tanks containing hot water could rupture as the water temperature increases," Mr Dillon said. "And secondly that glycol can start spurting out of the collectors on roof, possibly contaminating household drinking water."

Fair Trading commissioner Rod Stowe said approximately 450 of the imported tanks had been sold and installed since March last year.

"Critically the tanks do not contain a 'Water Mark' symbol which must be displayed on all tanks in NSW as evidence they have been approved for use in plumbing works," Mr Stowe said. He said the tanks had the potential to produce an uncontrolled water temperature, which could then flow into bathrooms or kitchen taps with serious risk of scalding.

"A further problem is the tanks do not have the appropriately-rated pressure relief valves fitted, which could result in tanks rupturing or leaking."

The Department has urged consumers to contact the company to request the immediate replacement of tanks.

However making things worse for customers, Solar and Bamboo Direct was placed into liquidation prior to Christmas.

A recorded office message tells clients the office is closed until January 9 and recent attempts by the Advocate to contact Solar and Bamboo Direct director Pieter McHeyzer have proven unsuccessful.


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