Marshall household to CRA 15.7.17

repeated HWC and kettle element damage

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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!

– Rob & Joy Marshall from Cashmere, Dalefield Drive

– 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

White household to CRA 14.7.17

gas-fired water system damage too

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, fingers crossed, it’s fine now.

– Tania White from Somerfield

– 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

Dean household to CRA 12.7.17

titanium element under warranty, purify water

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

– Peter Dean from Cashmere

– 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

Burgess household to CRA 11.7.17

every HWC fails on a 4-home site

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. I think silver bullet rings a bell.

– Tracey Burgess from Hoon Hay

– Reply following 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

https://www.neighbourly.co.nz/message/view/26818799

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

Replies:

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:
hotwatershop.co.nz
superheat.co.nz
www.ccc.govt.nz h2o resources

Herrick household to CRA 6.7.17

Post-EQ Cashmere cylinder failures continue

Facebook 1. Herrick – Hi I’m hoping someone can help us please. We moved to Landsdowne Terrace in Dec 2016, brand new Peter Cocks HWC installed March 2015, house hadn’t been lived in since repairs finished in late 2015, we’ve had to replace two elements in 5 months we’ve noticed our water taste horrible and is very hard. Can someone let me know any similar problems who I can speak to about this. We come from the flat and not used to this funny tasting water.

Facebook 1a. Hi there we moved into Landsdowne Terrace Dec 2016, brand new Cylinder element needed replacing January and last week!! Plumber said water issue spoke to CCC today they advised no water issue and to go back to the plumbers manufacturers to ask whether the elements they fit cylinder are fit for purpose. Can anyone provide information on these issues.

Facebook 1b. CCC person told me yesterday that there is no problem with the water quality and it’s a manufacturer problem, when you speak to the plumbers they say it’s water issue. The elements won’t be under guarantee either as the water quality is hard. So it appears we are the meat in the sandwich, what would be the next course of action for residents?

Facebook 2a. Coulter – We replaced 10x elements over a one year period, after old cylinder replaced with Cocks SS. One element only lasted a day. Tried everything – large surface area (lower watts/m2), teflon coated, water testing…. Only resolved through replacing with a HW heat pump which I found operates at lower surface temperatures than an element. Been three years now and no issues. Water is still high in calcium.

Facebook 1c. Why are the council not prepared to take this issue seriously? Why should residents be out of pocket because of the water quality ??

Facebook 2b. water tested within guidelines so CCC and cylinder supplier not interested

Facebook 1d. CCC sent me the report and talked me through it, they also sent me the water quirkiness for Peter Cocks , which shows the water quality meets their guidelines. So from what info we have it appears manufacturing of these cylinders for harder water needs to change. CCC advised after they provided the results of the testing no one had been in touch?

Facebook 3. Minty – Hi I’m following this as we have a rental in landsdowne terrace and we had to do a element less than a year ago too

Facebook 4. CRA reply – We must ask CCC the specifics of this unique local supply: Where is the water bore? Which reservoir is involved? Does the pipe network only supply this area? How often is the water tested? What are the results? What do CCC recommend home-owners should do to mitigate the low water quality? … etc

Facebook 5. Walker – I also would be asking the manufacturer if the Element is fit for purpose. I would suggest an element that lasts for only 7 months is definitely not fit for purpose.

Pillay household to CRA 4.7.17

Post-EQ Cashmere cylinder failures continue

Back in rebuilt Cashmere home (finally!) after six years of disaster / insurance torment, less than two months before Peter Cocks stainless steel hot water cylinder falters then fails to supply. Insurers Vero knew nothing about this problem pattern and cause although builders/plumbers Mico say they are repairing five cylinders per week in this small “hard water” area, between Colombo Street and Bowenvale. And when these new cylinders do fail, it is reliably after six short weeks. As was the case here. Why on earth are they still putting the vulnerable units in! What is going on here?

—email-1

CRA question to Rheem NZ Customer Services:
Hello, Do you supply Copper Mains Pressure Cylinders in lieu of the Stainless steel which is rumored to prematurely corrode the elements with the CCC Cashmere hard water?

Rheem NZ reply:
Hi there, No sorry we don’t manufacture Copper Mains pressure cylinders. For difficult water quality areas we recommend our VE Vitreous Enamel range of cylinders. These cylinders have sacrificial anodes which help protect the cylinder if it comes under attack. Hope this helps, Rheem NZ

—end-email-1

The Pillays’ Rheem (Peter Cocks) cylinder has a sacrificial anode, the Mico plumber reported – manufactured Sep’16, installed Nov’16, failed 1.7.17.

—email-2

Mico to Rheem: The home owner has two questions.

1. What is the warranty on the titanium element that has just been replaced?

Rheem: There will be one year warranty on the element. As long as the water conditions fall within the element warranty. Part of that will be water conditions & quality. The Titanium element is a Smith Element. Smith could be contacted to gain further information

2. Will the titanium element corrode again? As the other element only lasted a few months.

Rheem: My Opinion Only. I would suggest the element may corrode again and would suggest the home owner needs to have the water tested at their location.
IF an element is only lasting a few months this would suggested that the location has water quality issues. They may require to put a water softener in their water line prior to the cylinder or a water neutralizer. Rheem/Peter Cocks As a cylinder manufacturer have no control over the location the cylinders are installed in.

—end-email-2

Warranties are being met until they run out (1 year on the first element and no further regardless of the number of times that is replaced, and 5 years on the cylinder). ‘Hard water’ here erodes the standard element as well as the sacrificial anode, resulting in element burn-out, in these Peter Cocks stainless steel high pressure tanks.

Why on earth don’t EQC/builders don’t put the hardened titanium elements in here in the first place? ‘Not every HWC fails’ we were told, so the home-owner is a test case each time and 6 weeks into reoccupation of the rebuilt home is when it is known failure will generally happen. Then it goes back to insurance to cover replacement cost (or are the elements cheap and inferior?)

An expensive water treatment system (several thousand$ filter using a ‘saline backwash’) is what people would have to consider next if element failures continued, ~$200 each time at owner’s expense, frequency unpredictable.

CRA suspects leached lime from new concrete in the lower Dyers’ Pass Rd reservoir is the root of this problem, which we must hope will diminish over time. But the supply side needs more research yet.

Update 11.7.17
The element replacement in a brand new home that prompted this post – an upgrade to titanium – is now failing after just one week!

CRA has been polling locally for more reports, adding to and re-reading the blog input we already have. Of note:

1. Copper tanks can fail in the same way as stainless steel. It’s about the element metal used, it seems.

2. The wiring, especially earthing, at the house needs to be checked as to why a conductive circuit is created around the new HWC and is damaging it – site specific, too casually signed off by sparkies?

3. Beckenham and St Martins homes can suffer from same variable water quality. CCC should know why and what to do – they need to be asked, by all concerned, and to add something specific to consenting processes here. Not good enough.