Hardie household to CRA 10.7.17

copper-cylinder elements fail too


We have had to replace our element every 5 years or so. Earlier ones only lasted 2 years so now the electrician uses an element that is designed to resist corrosion. The cylinder itself is original (40+ years) though.

This has been an issue for the 20 years we have been here – the electrician seemed to know about it – it is a Cashmere water issue rather than a cylinder fault. It is a Perkins cylinder (copper).

– Bill Hardie from Cashmere, Holliss Ave

– Reply to our local inquiry via Neighbourly, CCC water burns Cashmere HWCs, noted at chchwater.wordpress.com/2017/07/10/cra-to-south-chch-neighbourly-10-7-17

CRA to south Chch neighbourly 10.7.17

CCC water burns Cashmere HWCs


Hello, We are looking for any reports of recent hot-water cylinder failures to see how widespread this problem is. It seems new stainless steel tanks do not play at all well with ‘hard water’, wherever that may be. The recurrent breakdowns add cost for home-owners. Please place reports, especially of resolution, here or on https://www.facebook.com/CashmereNZ – Thank you

Neighbourly notice gets shared on Stuff:
Screenshot at 2017-07-10 12-22-18 crop


Bill Hardie from Cashmere, Holliss Ave
We have had to replace our element every 5 years or so. Earlier ones only lasted 2 years so now the electrician uses an element that is designed to resist corrosion. The cylinder itself is original (40+ years) though. This has been an issue for the 20 years we have been here – the electrician seemed to know about it – it is a Cashmere water issue rather than a cylinder fault. It is a Perkins cylinder (copper).

Phil Faulkner from Cashmere, Fineran Lane
We had problems with the heating element burning out every two-three years. The installation of a teflon coated element seemed to fix it.

Cathy Smith from Huntsbury,
We had our water (near The Brickworks) tested at 350ppm total dissolved solids, which is 10 times what it is at Kaiapoi. We had 2 in-line pressure droppers fail because they jammed on deposits from the water.

Eleanor Becker from Cashmere, Oakview Lane
We’re down Bowenvale and had our new hot water cylinder replaced a couple of years ago. At the second failure we installed a sacrificial anode and haven’t had a problem since. Probably something that needs to be done as a matter of course. I understand the old copper cylinders are OK but the stainless steel ones just corrode.
We did have gas and decided to go solar. For this we needed to put in a cylinder and that’s when the problems started. First we had to replace the element after about year and then the whole cylinder and the element after another 6 months or so. This is when the sacrificial anode was added and that seems to be working.

Tracey Burgess from Hoon Hay,
We were the first tenants in the brand new townhouses on dyers pass & had the element replaced within 6 months. By the time we moved out after a year all 4 houses had had the elements replaced due to failure. A silver bullet HWC, I think.

Peter Dean from Cashmere,
Hi, fyi we are the first occupiers of a brand new home on Cracroft Terrace. To our shock we woke up to no hot water within 6 months of moving in. Our Peter Cock’s Ltd Silver Bullet, Stainless Steel 300 litre HWC heating element corroded through. We have a smaller 45L Rheem HWC for the kitchen with a Vitreous enamel cylinder which has lasted a year so far but that’s no testimony to longevity. The plumber blamed the metals in our Cashmere water but got a sparky to replace the corroded element with a titanium one under warranty. Told us we should install a water purifying unit to solve the problem long term. Cost of the unit installed was quoted at around $2k. So far so good without the water purifier but I’m holding onto a piece of wood as I type. A mate up the hill has a 30+ yr old copper cylinder without a titanium element & has had no problems.
I think the problem is the Stainless Steel Cylinders with our Cashmere water don’t play at all well together. Suggest new home builders install gas HW or go for Copper cylinders if staying with electric. I’m also wondering what happens to expensive Coffee machines with stainless steel boilers. Cheers, Pete Dean

Geoffrey Mentink from Huntsbury,
This is due to the stainless steel, not the water. This is the point of stainless steel, it is very resistant to corrosion but if it touches virtually any other metal, other than stainless steel (the same type of stainless steel mind you) then it will cause the other metal to corrode faster. This is when they are in physical contact and wet (the water acts as an electrolyte).
This is why you should never have copper, galvanised steel or mild steel in contact with stainless steel when they can get wet i.e. outdoors or in plumbing systems. If they are needed to be together, the two different metals need to be separated by an insulator such as plastic or rubber.
Many hot water cylinder elements are made with an Inconel sheath (a nickel alloy) which would be ok for a copper cylinder. They should really have a stainless steel sheath as the Inconel sheath is good for high temperatures but this not necessary for a hot water cylinder.
The Centaurus/Huntsbury water supply is definitely different to other parts of ChCh. We get lime scale in our kettle, which I have never had in any other suburbs.

Tania White from Somerfield,
10 years ago we had trouble with corrosion with our Rheem gas water system while it was still under warranty. They said it was due to the water in these areas ‘hugging the hills’ and they’d had to replace several around here. We’re in Stanbury Avenue. They imported parts from Japan that were designed to cope with this water and, finger’s crossed, it’s fine now.

Michael Price from Huntsbury,
We were a rebuild (Brickworks Lane) and had a brand new cylinder. We went through three elements (One every three months). They finally replaced it with a titanium element on Christmas Eve! This seems to have fixed the problem.

Rob & Joy Marshall from Cashmere,
Frequent HWC element burnouts in beautiful Bowenvale Valley.
Starting to lose count of the number of elements we have needed to replace in our home – 1972 original HWC owned house since 1982 (35yrs). Going back, say last 10-12 yrs – replacement element June 2006, Sept 2010, Feb 2011, new Rheem cylinder with new element July 2011, burnt out July 2015 and again May 2017!!! Thats more than enough replacements – haven’t added up the total cost of parts, van mileage, callout, labour etc. Our electric jugs/kettles arent lasting and have had several Sunbeam plastic and s/s models replaced under Warranty or just out of Warranty period. Our current s/s Breville has been leaking water from base for several months until it got so bad needed to buy replacement last weekend! Still locating Warranty but when found (tonight?) we should obtain a refund under the CGA! Also in recent months the inside of our electric jug is a daily, if not several times weekly, task to try to keep clean of scale! Even the new jug which is only 5 days old has signs of build-up already. Prior to this purchase, a retailer told us that a Warranty may not cover a leaking jug because of liquefaction getting into the water supply, but we didn’t have liquefaction from the quakes in our area!

Other on Neighbourly this week:
Kathy Billens from Somerfield, Electrician wanted for urgent job
I think my hot water cylinder has blown its element. I have spoken to an electrician friend who isn’t in CHC and he is pretty sure this is the case. I need an electrician ASAP. Please can someone recommend someone local and reasonably priced that could do this at short notice.
Thanks, Kathy 021 190 3696

Places people can go ask about this problem:
www.ccc.govt.nz h2o resources

Is Christchurch water ok?

What’s up with Christchurch water? – for supplier resolution

Kia ora koutou,

We have been asked: what’s up with Christchurch water?

Hot-water cylinders are regularly damaged and expensive to repair, so this website collates the facts towards resolution by suppliers of water and cylinders.

‘Happy reading’ – we hope you find the shared information useful.

Waimarie ~ peaceful waters

The Editor
Christchurch Water
Cashmere Residents’ Association