University of Canterbury to NZ 3.10.18

Chlorine likely cause of hot water cylinder failures in Christchurch – report

Chlorine to blame for damaged hot water cylinders in Christchurch, new study finds

Has your hot water cylinder been damaged by chlorine?
– Anna Williams, Reporter from The Press –


Our plumber did say that most Christchurch pipes are not design to withstand chlorine. He said Wellington pipes are made out of material that isn’t affected by chlorine. We got whole house water filtration for this and many other reasons.
– Katrina Gardiner from Cracroft, 4.10.18

Just replaced our 15 year old cylinder.
– Doug Willems from Cashmere, 5.10.18

+ many other answers from all round Christchurch and Canterbury.

Cornish household Neighbourly 15.9.18

Hot Water elements
Our two year old hot water element has just ‘gone’! According to our electrician there are hundreds of elements going ‘on the blink’ due to the addition of Chlorine! Time to send the bill to the council!!!
Cornish-HWC-150918-1 Cornish-HWC-150918-3
– Brian Cornish from Mount Pleasant – Redcliffs


I hear large parts of west Chch no longer get it added to their water.
– Pim Zegerman from Bromley, 15.9.18

Feel for you Brian, yes your electrician is on the ball concerning water heaters, water heater elements, and pipe entrance/exit jointing seals, and this wonderful additive called Chlorine, that causes failure to these items for a number of reasons. For our lustrous elected councillors and the council employees, this is not there concern as they are meeting the United Nations water quality standard and our Governments intended agenda to have all fresh water supplies in NZ Chlorinated, whether they require it or not. Sadly for us CHCH rate payers the Chlorine is here to stay.
– Neil Borlase from Opawa – Saint Martins, 16.9.18

We replace our element about every 2 years but never the cylinder, Yet!
Agree with chlorine being removed from our water 💦 who has ever been sick from our aquifer water? If I want chemicals I’d buy coke. Lol
– Laura & Alex Ilkiw from Cashmere, 16.9.18

Wondering if the trail leads back to the chemical companies who stand to do very well out of poisoning us all.
– Colleen Johns from Mount Pleasant – Redcliffs, 16.9.18

Totally agree Colleen!
– Isaac Rigby from Linwood, 16.9.18

Mine also idiots at council
– Kit Chapman from Mount Pleasant – Redcliffs, 16.9.18

Our 5 year old Peter Cocks cylinder also had an element corrode recently. Rheem, who own Peter Cocks refused to get involved even though the New Zealand Building Code states that cylinders must last no less than 15 years. I contacted the Council, there response is below:
“We are not reimbursing residents any cost.
There can be a number of reasons why a cylinder may fail. Water cylinder failure is not a new thing in Christchurch. We’re aware of it as a long-standing issue over several years that has affected certain parts of the city more than others.
Christchurch’s water supply continues to meet the requirements of the New Zealand Drinking Water Standard, with chlorine levels similar to other parts of the country. We encourage people to make sure they check with suppliers that any system is fit for purpose and installed by a suitably qualified person.”
Pretty disappointing from both Rheem and the Council. I’m lumped with a $442 bill (around the same as my insurance excess).
– Andy McLeod from Mount Pleasant – Redcliffs, 16.9.18

Yes I agree my hot water cylinder leaked, my Sisters and 1 of my workmates CCC doesn’t want to know neither does the Insurance Compancies – wear and tear !!!!!
– Michelle Gay from Woolston, 17.9.18

mine also and im sure redpaths electrical are loving the sales.seems to be more a common problem on the port hills
– Andrew Banks from Cashmere, 19.9.18

Ours too. 2 years old. Same problem. $300 later.
– Carren McDonald from Mount Pleasant – Redcliffs, 20.9.18

Wondering if the hills reservoirs serve just the hills, if homes on the flat get a direct water network supply? Because this may explain Andrew’s point, if leached lime from concrete reservoirs wrecks hills water heating appliances in quite short time, unless they are copper inside.
– Rik Tindall from Cashmere, 20.9.18

Hot water cylinders and chlorine
Just to throw a curve ball at you all, If it only took several months to wreck your cylinder as there is no guarantees it will come out at 12mths isn’t it going to happen AGAIN with the chlorine …mm mm….. We have got a full in-line filter which costs about 1500 installed by a plumber, thats at least the price of a new Cylinder replacement and with new filters every 12mths we wont have burn out from chlorine, another note What is it doing to everything else dishwashers, washing machines, not to mention your good gut bacteria, the mind boggles..
– Greg Woods from Mount Pleasant – Redcliffs, 16.9.18

Garlick household Neighbourly 3.8.18

I have just had my 18 month old hot water cylinder fail. Both the plumber and the electrician told me they are run off their feet replacing cylinder elements. There is a chemical reaction that occurs when chlorinated water is heated and passed thru copper pipe. The council are now aware of this but are denying any responsibility. So not only are CCC and Dr Alistair Humphreys poisoning half of Christchurch, they are also slowly wrecking our homes. Unfortunately for Dr Humphreys and the CCC, two of the biggest rebuilds in Christchurch – the new Hospital and the justice precinct – are completely piped in copper. Please share as the more ratepayers who know about this the better.
– John Garlick from Hillsborough


I have just had to have my water cylinder replaced. It was old but chlorinated water may have hurried it along!
– Joy Masters from Cashmere, 04 Aug

Likewise a 2 year old cylinder with 2 elements….both corroded
– Dugald Wilson from Woolston, 04 Aug

Our 30 month old cylinder being replaced. And same story from plumber who is flat tack replacing cylinders due to chlorinated water. Our new cylinder is vitreous enamel which we are hoping to get more life from. Since the 2011 earthquake we have now had three new cylinders
– Naomi Hannah from Cashmere, 04 Aug

I too have had three replacements since the earthquake 😦 Thanks for sharing about the cylinders. I have noticed hot water temperature dropping! What’s to stop the replacement elements corroding?
– Chris Coleman from Huntsbury, 07 Aug

Filtering the water 💦 is your answer – for all yr needs
– Greg Woods from Mount Pleasant – Redcliffs, 08 Aug

Why should we have to pay to filter our water…….
– Janice Lisle from Sumner, 08 Aug

It is not only copper elements, as our last one was stainless steel, but the chlorine reacts with the welds on stainless causing the cylinder to leak around where the pipes go in. Hurrumph! Not at all happy with the unexpected cost of having chlorinated water. We were not warned by council of this.
– Naomi Hannah from Cashmere, 11 Aug

We were not warned by council of this. Agreed. This looks like a liability issue. If a plumber uses initiative to offer a filter system on piping BEFORE water enters tank, they could make a fortune!
– Viv Yeki from Woolston, 11 Aug

They Are!!
JG – John Garlick from Hillsborough, 11 Aug

Oh! Smart guys! 😉
– Viv Yeki from Woolston, 12 Aug

Janice .. why ! Because the Council are under a higher authority and they don’t get the final say , the government and the dhb do..
Lianne has told a friend of ours the she is under pressure to keep the chlorine in and to install fluoride as well ongoing that is John pheflert the water board CEO of NZ
He has Beca (A guy on his board owns this company) a paid up board member that found the problem with the Wells then his other paid up member that own chlorine & fluoride company that supplies chlorine to the chch City Council, John is pro both and believes that side effects are collateral damage for the chch residents 😜
I have personally spoken to him so know what he thinks
🤕🤪 – Greg Woods from Mount Pleasant – Redcliffs, 12 Aug

I’ve just had mine replaced too. My plumber said there have been a lot needing fixing since the aftershock on 15th July. I’m claiming from E.Q.C.
– Anne Kelly from Woolston, 11 Aug

RT: “Christchurch plumber Darren Chatwin says July and August have been the busiest months for cylinder repair and maintenance since the Canterbury earthquakes in 2010 and 2011. ‘Our workload regarding hot water cylinders has probably gone up 400 percent’ … Christchurch hot water cylinder manufacturer Superheat have had to double their production over the last five weeks, bringing in extra staff and working overtime to keep up with demand” – Chlorine suspected in Christchurch hot water cylinder failures, TV3 Newshub, 14 Aug

At last this is getting noticed.Chlorine in our water supply is the biggest con job ever pulled in New Zealand. One Man forms a lobby group, gets Chlorine suppliers,a public health official ,and a couple of council managers to join him in putting pressure on the council to fix a problem that didn’t exist They and their mates get rich and the whole of Christchurch suffer. Then like all good con artists they disappear only to pop up again in another town pushing something else.
– John Garlick from Hillsborough, 15 Aug

Yes I’m another just had mine replaced
– Liz Lewis from Bromley, 15 Aug

I have doubts whether chlorine is responsible. My jug element should be effected too is that is the problem! My plumber has blamed the aftershock on 15th July for my cylinder leaking! The jug is fine.
– Anne Kelly from Woolston, 15 Aug

Your jug is fine because its not copper. Its a chemical reaction between heated chlorinated water and copper that is doing the damage
– John Garlick from Hillsborough, 15 Aug

Just wondering if this is also an issue in other parts of New Zealand? Many areas have chlorinated water. Also, are the elements copper?
– Rohan Bekker from Woolston, 16 Aug

RT: The hardened elements are titanium (coated?), the lesser ones some kind of alloy?

Funny only in Christchurch, lime in the water also eats Cooper pipes and elements it’s called hard water so make sure cylinders and elements are rated for hard water, I’m from Taranaki and we’ve had chlorine water for years and the farms had hard water which eat elements so don’t blame chlorine
– Darryll Senior from Somerfield, 17 Aug

I Fully agree, its not the Chlorine, Ive only recently moved to Christchurch from Oamaru, and we have had Chlorine in the water there for as long as I can remember, and I lived there for over 40 years, the dose of the chlorine was probably 20 times stronger than what you have here, also brought and sold 8 homes over many years and never had to replace a cylinder or thermostat yet…So look at maybe the fact that the cylinders made now are crap, and maybe the cooper in them is of a very inferior quality, very thin and imported cheaper from overseas……I know the quakes destroyed a lot of cylinders, but the product replacing them is probably the problem not the chlorine…..
– Judy Slater from Waltham, 18 Aug

I thought cylinders in hard water areas were fitted with sacrificial anodes to stop the cylinder corroding? Maybe this wasn’t done?
– Rohan Bekker from Woolston, 18 Aug

I think much of the problem is people don’t understand the sacrificial anodes will only last a certain time frame and need replacing.
Sadly we are a city of hardened water that has left lime deposits in cylinders that do cause corrosion to cylinders. The chlorine that is now added works as a cleanser and is eating away at those hardened build ups, which can build up very quickly, this leaving holes and creating issues.
Christchurch manufacturers have now had to investigate why something they have had next to no issues with over many decades have started to have issues since March.
No coincidences there… simple fact is the chlorine added to a non chlorinated region will have it’s set backs And issues. However some warning of the health issues and housing issues would’ve been nice.
– Lisa Spence from Bromley, 22 Aug

I think it could be a problem with cheap import of copper products, because a few years ago electrical cable and motors were pulled off the market due to inferior Copper. So I would start looking at the copper being used.
– Darryll Senior from Somerfield, 18 Aug

Which means we are now drinking the copper too??
– Lynley Jenness from Waltham, 18 Aug


RT: An update to story, re CCC’s investigation, on Newshub Late, Fri 17.8.18 – – but TV3 seem to expire their news links after a couple of days – don’t want the archival overhead? :-/ CCC were looking into it (but HWC failures are not new in south chch)

Christchurch City Council chlorine map, from 26 March 2018

Hot Water Cylinder Not Working – Do You Need An Electrician or Plumber?

Ron McCandlish to CRA 31.7.18

Dear Committee,

Water Cylinder Corrosion Problems

I have the rights to American technology for treating hardness etc., in
water. This is a non-chemical treatment process. Reading of the problems
your residents are having with water heating elements I just may be able to

Please contact me at this email or at the cell phone number below.

Kind regards

Ron McCandlish


Gausstech limited
+64 22 407 8583.

[ Ed. – Refs: ]

Shaw‎ household to CRA 14.8.17

Hi there, we live on Dyers Pass Rd and have replaced 2 elements on a Peter Cox Silver Bullet cylinder in 2016. Eventually the cylinder started leaking and required full replacement. The brand new cylinder has already had one element replaced. Ironically our 30 year old cylinder seems to be much more reliable, although we still have had to replace one element in just under 5 years. Marcus Shaw‎

West household to CRA 10.8.17

Huntsbury hard water calcium


Just had our dishwasher just about stop working due to limescale, and recently returned from Denmark where all dishwashers have a salt dispenser to treat their hard water. In the process of investigating this I came across your water chch page. I have joined to post, as we have had many issues.

I live at 19 Huntsbury Ave, and my father lives in our old house at 1/21 Huntsbury. We were in 1/21 from 2005-2010, in 19 since then when we got my father in next door.

We have had numerous water issues, and I believe it has been far worse since quakes. I think we have replaced 3-4 heat exchangers or complete units since Nov 2010, in gas water heaters, both Bosch and Rinnai, copper and stainless, our jugs are terrible, and as i said dishwasher is bad also.

I had a kidney stone in 2012, which was calcium, and have been investigating water filters etc, but wonder how seriously the effect of the new concrete throughout the water system around the hill tanks is being taken, are CCC investigating the issues?

I am work in construction/heritage stonemasonry, and salts leaching from cement and aggregates is a big issue. I have had various opinions from gas appliance guys, but don’t seem to be much they can do, any thoughts, what is the CCC plan/ solution?

Is there recent data from Huntsbury 1 and 2 reservoir they have provided, or other in my area with issues?

Regards Ben West, 021406514

Neighbourly enquiry

Robertshaw household to CRA 3.8.17

Beckenham kettle scale too

Hey, is the “hard water” problem the issue leaving bad scaling in my brand new kettle?

– Jess Robertshaw from Beckenham

– Neighbourly reply to our local inquiry, CCC water burns Cashmere HWCs, noted at