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Is Your Gas Water Heater Safe from the Weather?

This is no coincidence. How can bad weather damage your instant gas water heater?

Two days of bad weather and this is the result!

Five units in just two days since tropical storm hits Auckland!

As the week went on, more and more instant water heaters have becomes victims to the weather.

Today we will be addressing why this happens and what you can do to safeguard your valued hot water appliance.


It is needless to say that you require a registered plumbers and gasfitters to install a gas powered instantaneous water heater.

A Gasfitter will strictly follow appliance location as per standard AS/NZS 5601. Within you will find restrictions as where an external water heater can be located safely and compliantly.

Unfortunately despite having met compliance and safety the installer should take various other factors into consideration such as:

  1. High wind zones
  2. Exposure to environmental effects such as the sea where salt is carried by the breeze. It is a known fact that steel corrodes much faster in such environment.


First of all, we don’t want to worry any of our readers in case you do have an external water heater affected by one of the above scenarios. This information is more of an FYI and has become more relevant to the changes in our weather patterns over the last few year, especially given the high number of replacements that have taken place recently. We believe that installers should be slightly more cautious upon deciding where they will install an external instant water heater.

Whilst the appliances are I.P (Ingress protection rating) rated at IPX-5 (Protected against low pressure water stream from any angle) if positioned in a high wind zone, moisture may still find its way into areas that that includes electronics or if close to the ocean highly corrosion will create more risk especially if water finds its way into the flu which is made of very vulnerable metals. As you can see in the images above corrosion has been the main factor for the IP rating to fail which has led to the units EOL.

Further, in some instances and especially with gas powered hot water cylinders such as the Rheem Stellar high wind zones will cause ignition problems if the pilot light is affected.


So what can you do to safe guard your gas instantaneous water heater?

Once you have worked out where the unit is to be located, ensure it’s not a high wind zone. You can do this by using basic tools and in most cases common sense by evaluating the environment.

If there is a concern of high winds or high corrosion risk, then we recommend the unit is installed within a complaint box. This can be bespoke or something like the following example:

The added benefit you will have is theft protection!

Whatever solution you find, your main objective is to ensure the installation is done by a registered tradesman and is fully compliant and safe. Hot Water Cylinders NZ has experience in both.

Give us a ring if you are after any solutions to safeguard your appliance.