It is surprising how often hot-water geysers burst, usually causing water damage to the interior of sections, and often causing damage to one or more adjoining sections. There is a lot of work arising from geyser failures. A claim needs to be made on the body corporate’s insurance policy, which can involve much correspondence and some bookkeeping, the damage has to be repaired and, of course, the geyser has to be replaced. Contractors have to obtain access etc. etc.

I recently had a very interesting Zoom meeting with Mike Addison and Michael Shaefer. Mike Addison runs Addsure, an insurance brokerage that specialises in providing insurance cover for community schemes. Micheal Schaefer runs ZDFin, a property finance company that specialises in community scheme financing and investment.

Both Mike and Michael are of the opinion that the low quality of the geysers typically installed in sectional title schemes is a major contributor to the unnecessarily high costs associated with regular geyser failures. They are working together to make it easier for sectional title schemes to finance and manage the installation of higher-quality geysers—ones that are designed to last for at least 20 years, rather than the usual lower-quality geysers that cost a little less but are likely to last for a far shorter time.

In their view, the installation of lower quality geysers costs sectional owners a lot of money, directly and indirectly, and these costs can be reduced or even avoided by the body corporate arranging for the installation of high-quality geysers. Furthermore, they can identify the right products and contractors to assist in the process.

If this is an issue that interests you, please be in direct contact with Mike Addison at, or with Michael Schaefer at

Graham Paddock is a specialist community schemes attorney, notary and conveyancer. He has been advising clients and teaching students for over 40 years, and was an adjunct professor at UCT for 10 years.

Article reference: Paddocks Press: Volume 15, Issue 11.

This article is published under the Creative Commons Attribution license.

Back to Paddocks Press – November 2020 edition.


  • Thank you for this article. Please also comment on the geyser installation non-compliance reports plumbers complete every time work is done on a geyser. Owners are expected to get the geyser installations compliant. The compliance regulations and guidelines change constantly.

  • Les Reynard
    25/11/2020 19:19

    I do not believe there are any cheap geyser on the market – all have to be SABS approved. All have a 5 year guarantee by the manufacturer. However, insurance companies are not bothered to claim from them. 30 years ago the plumber replacing the geyser had to take off the metal tag and give this to the MA – from this the insurance company could tell the date of manufacture and if within the 5 years they could claim against them. Now there is only a paper label which tears when you try to take it off.
    Kwithot is the main manufacturer of geysers in SA – many years ago there geysers had two sacrificial anodes now they have only one – making the geyser fail quicker.
    The impurities in the water attacks the anode until all 70 cms of it is eaten away – then the the inside of the tank is attacked – once the inside is eaten away a whole appears and the water gushes out. If owners go to the cost of replacing the anodes every couple of years – the geyser will last a very long time as the impurities have the anode to eat.
    About 6 years ago a company started making geyser that did not need sacrificial anodes, the inside of the geyser had a “pex lining, looked like a glass fibre ripple coating. These geyser were guaranteed for 10 years. They have closed down – i installed their Solar Therm Geyser when i went solar – the geyser never lasted 3 years, may this was the reason they had to close down?
    It does state in the ST Act that owners are responsible for maintaining their geysers – however it requires a plumber to check and replace the sacrificial anode – the geyser these days are pressure geysers, can be extremely dangerous for a layman to try and change the anode. The last time i priced an anode they cost R750 they are made of magnesium so not they would cost about R1000?