Maintenance of plant and appliances has clear benefits:

  • It optimizes the performance of a system, meaning it works efficiently and without problems.
  • Maintained systems operate reliably for years longer than ones that get little care, so the costs of replacement can be delayed.
  • Maintenance maybe a specific requirement for the warranty to remain valid.
  • Depending on the plant or appliance, maintenance can avoid potential impacts on household or public health. For example, a septic tank that isn’t maintained can contaminate ground and water and even spread disease.

Householders should have at least a basic overview of how a piece of equipment or a system works and know what checks or maintenance the manufacturer or supplier recommends or requires. For some plant or appliances the homeowner may be able to carry out basic inspections and simple tasks such as replacing or cleaning filters.

For many systems, a professional inspection and maintenance visit on a regular basis is recommended (and in some cases is a requirement). Certain types of plant, such as on-site water treatment systems, commonly come with a maintenance contract from the supplier or installer.

How often maintenance should be carried out depends on the system, the manufacturer and the local authority. Auckland Council, for example, has specific requirements around the maintenance of on-site wastewater treatment and disposal systems.

Where you use an electrician for servicing an appliance or system, use a registered electrical worker who holds a practising licence. Where you engage a plumber, check they are registered and licensed. Improper maintenance will typically make a system warranty invalid.