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Hot Water Heater Not Working After Power Outage? Here’s Why

Whether patterns around the globe are changing rapidly and infrastructure around New Zealand is still catching up. In the North Island alone over 100000 homes were left without power after storm Gabrielle. Further 35000 Homes were left without power on the coldest night of the year due to concerns of grid overload NZ wide.

There are many reasons for blackouts including:

  1. Weather related damage including Electrical assets, flooding and Cyclones.
  2. Ripple Control, managed by power supplier. They chose when to turn off your power supply to the hot water cylinder to protect the grid.
  3. Faulty premises wiring, RCD or even power meter.
  4. External forces such as vermin, accidents etc.

Once the lights go out, one can assume that everything connected to the power board will also go out. This includes your mains pressure hot water cylinder unless you are using gas, which under these circumstances will not ignite.

Please note, that if you are experiencing a no hot water situation, your circumstances could be unique and its best to contact a certifying plumbing company such as ourselves to asses and evaluate the fault so a professional prognosis can be made and the appropriate remedy recommended.

The information within this blog is for educational purposes only.

So what happens within your hot water cylinder once the power supply is gone? Then, what happens once the power supply goes back on?

Here are some scenarios you need to consider.

  1. When the utility provider suddenly switches the power back on, the network voltage could be higher or lower than ideal. This positive or negative surge may and can disrupt appliance functionality In many cases a power outage is announced, in such cases one should turn off all PowerPoints and switches including the hot water cylinder. This would protect your appliances from such a surge.
  2. If your hot water cylinder is of age, the heating element will naturally show signs of degradation due to electrolysis and calcification. In such cases, a surge in power will short circuit the element and cause it permanently fail. Given the heating element is a tear and wear product, it is very difficult to prove that a surge has taken place and caused the damage. In this case, it’s best to ensure the damage is prevented to start with as mentioned in point 1. Should our hot water cylinder element need replacing, contact us.
  3. Check your RCD at the power board. Depending on your hot water cylinder and heating element model, your RCD may trip before any damage occurs.

If your hot water no longer works after a blackout and you are unsure what the cause is, give our technicians a ring on 0800 4 HOT WATER