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

We often get customers calling up with a hot water cylinder that needs repairing.  The first thing they ask is “Do I need and electrician or a plumber?”.  Good question.  Read on to find out a few quick checks you can do and which tradesman to call first.

The first thing to check is whether there is any water coming out of the hot tap after you turn in on.  If there isn’t any water coming out of the tap (and the cold water works fine) then call a PLUMBER.

Next, take a look at your hot water cylinder (HWC) and see if there is any water leaking from it or from any of the pipes around it.  If there is, then you’ve got a leak.  Turn the power off to the hot water cylinder and call a PLUMBER quickly!

If your cylinder is gurgling lots or sounds like it’s boiling, the hot water at the tap is way too hot or there is hot water spilling out onto your roof, then turn off the power to the hot water cylinder and call an ELECTRICIAN so they can check the thermostat.  Also make sure you keep kids away from the hot taps so they don’t get burns.

Is there water coming out of the hot tap but it’s cold? Then either your HWC isn’t working properly or you’ve used all your hot water for the day.  If your cylinder is connected to night-rate electricity, then the hot water cylinder only heats up at night.  Did you use a lot of hot water during the day (think showers, baths and running the washing machine on warm or hot cycle)?   By the late afternoon or evening your hot water may be luke-warm or cold.  If it’s hot again by the next morning, then chances are the cylinder is working fine.

When you are running out of hot water every day you may be on night rate and you can have your wiring changed.  This can give you the option to have the cylinder reheat as soon as you have used some hot water.  Call your ELECTRICIAN and they will let you know what your specific options are.

Still no hot water?

Check that the switch to the hot water cylinder is turned on.  It usually looks like a switch with a wire coming out below the switch and it is usually located next to the cylinder.  Ensure it is switched to the on position (down in New Zealand) for the cylinder to work.

If that’s looking OK, then check that the circuit breaker for the hot water cylinder on the switchboard is turned on.  When this switch is turned off, then try and turn it back on, then wait for a few hours to see if you have hot water again.  If the circuit breaker turns itself off again, then call an ELECTRICIAN.  For really old switchboards, check that the fuse wire for the HWC fuse is in place.  If not replace the fuse wire or call an ELECTRICIAN to do it for you.  Get them to take a look at the cylinder at the same time.

If we haven’t solved your HWC problem yet then keep reading…

It’s time to call a tradesman.  It’s probably a fault with either the hot water cylinder element (the thing that heats the water up), the hot water cylinder thermostat (the thing that controls the water temperature) or the relay so call an ELECTRICIAN.  Always let your electrician know that it’s a hot water cylinder you need help with.  Check that they can get to you promptly.  Ask for same or next day service during the week.  At the weekend ask for next working day service unless you are happy paying after-hours charges.

Doing Electrical Work On Your Own Home

To some people it’s tempting to do some DIY electrical work at home.  Perhaps you want to fix that broken light switch? Or maybe change the element in the oven?  What are the rules in New Zealand and what can you do yourself?   When is it time to call in a Registered Electrician?  Don’t forget that you can’t see electricity, a slight mistake and it can kill or seriously injure you.

Check out this article from WorkSafe NZ.  We think it provides excellent advice on the legal and practical things you need to know before undertaking any work on your own home that you live in.

As the article mentions, you need to know and understand the electrical regulations and standards, and carry out any electrical work on your own home accordingly.  Not sure what the rules are?  Then it’s time to call in a Registered Electrician.

Are you a landlord?  Then there is important info for you in the article too.

Thanks for reading our blog.


What To Do In A Power Cut

It’s getting to that cold and often stormy time of year in Christchurch and Inland Canterbury when power cuts can occur – usually when we need the power most. Here are a few things that may help…

  • Check the Orion website from your phone – this will give you up to date information on the power outage and when the power is likely to be back on.
  • If you rely on a pump for your water, then the hot tap (hot water cylinder) is a good source of water for up to 5 days if you have a drain tap. After this time, if the power is still off, it is no longer safe to use the water from your cylinder.
  • LED torches or lanterns are far safer than candles and their batteries will last for ages.
  • If overhead power lines to your property are damaged in a storm, then stay well away from them and call Orion in the first instance. They will let you know what to do next and whether you need to call us. If you can’t get hold of them then give us a call for some advice.
  • If your mobile phone batteries start going flat, then you can charge them from 12V accessory/cigarette lighter in your car.
  • Turn off all the light switches at bedtime just as you normally would. There’s nothing worse than the power coming on a 3 am and waking the kids.
  • Also, make sure you turn off any other appliances that were going when the power went off, such as oven and stove elements, heaters.  This will ensure that you minimise any fire risks when the power comes back on.
  • If you need to keep running your farm, business or house then talk to us about getting a generator changeover switch installed so that you can easily power the building with a generator.

Our Easy Process for a New Heat Pump

We think that getting a new heat pump should be easy and understandable.  That’s why we have this easy to follow process and our heat pump prices include installation*.

Step 1 Buy Heat Pump Online (Yes, You Can See Our Heat Pump Prices)

The first question our heat pump clients usually ask is how much will it cost?  You are probably asking the same question.  That’s why we’ve created this online shop so that you can see our heat pump prices, and you can purchase online. Our prices include a brand new heat pump along with a standard back to back* installation of the heat pump.  If you need help selecting the best heat pump to meet your needs then fill out our Request Quote form and we’ll arrange a time to come and see you then send you a quote.

* A standard back to back install is when the inside and outside units of the heat pump are just through an external wall from each other, in a single storey building.

Step 2 We Do A Site Inspection

After you have purchased your heat pump, we will do a site inspection to confirm the locations of the indoor and outdoor units.  If the installation requires more piping (because the indoor and outdoor units will be further apart) or a condensation pump (because the indoor unit is on an internal wall and requires one) we will provide you a quote for the additional installation costs, so there are no nasty surprises at the end of the job.

Step 3 We Book Installation

Next we will book in a time to install the heat pump, and send you an email confirming the day and time.  Allow a full day for us to do the installation although we usually have the heat pump up and running in less than 8 hours.

Step 4 We Install Heat Pump

Our staff will arrive promptly and get to work.  Our installations are carried out by our staff who are certified Mitsubishi heat pump installers.  They will do a very tidy, professional job.  You will be provided with the user manuals for the heat pump.  An Electrical Code of Compliance (COC) from one of our Registered Electricians and a Tax Invoice will be emailed to you.

Job done!  Easy.

Why You Should Upgrade to LED Downlights

Firstly What Are LED Downlights?

LED downlights are a modern new downlight that contains light emitting diodes (LED’s) to generate the light. They are fancy pieces of electronic wizardry!

Old traditional incandescent bulbs contain a metal filament that heats up and emits light when electricity is passed through it.  Halogen lights are essentially advanced forms of incandescent lights and contain a tungsten filament housed in a halogen gas.  Halogen lights run very hot.

Why Should You Upgrade To LED Downlights?

There are three simple reasons

  • They use lots less power than other downlights for the same amount of light
  • They are available in sealed units which means all that heat from your heat pump or fire doesn’t sneak into the ceiling through the gaps in the downlight
  • you can cover them in ceiling insulation quite safely as they are designed for this and  they run at much cooler temperatures, which keeps the house much warmer

LED downlights come in a variety of sizes so it’s easy to replace older technology downlights with modern efficient LED ones.  Contact us today on 03 371 7434 to find out about replacing your old downlights with new ones.

Control Your Mitsubishi Heat Pump Using A SmartPhone

Wi-Fi controllers can be added onto many existing Mitsubishi heat pumps and all new ones.

Turn the heat pump on using your phone before you leave work and arrive home to a warm house.

Furthermore if you forget to turn the heat pump off when you head out for the day, simply turn it off from your SmartPhone.

Mitsubishi Wi-Fi Controller Features

  • Turn heat pumps on/off
  • Change temperature
  • Switch modes
  • Change fan speeds
  • Change airflow direction
  • Develop temperature rules using the 7 day timer

Room Temperature Limits

Using advanced technology, the heat pump senses when the room temperature drops below the set minimum temperature  It then automatically turns on to ensure the minimum temperature is maintained. Ideal for children’s bedrooms, you can rest assured your family will stay warm this winter.

Give us a call on 03 371 7434 or send us an email to to find out more.