Immersion heater problem

Hi,
I have a faulty immersion heater in a new apartment. The 'top up / sink' option heats water for an hour or two but when I use the 'bath' option for several hours over night there is no hot water in the mornings. Would you think this points to a thermostat or element problem?
Assuming it is an element problem, are these expensive? I have little plumbing experience, would it be best to get a plumber to replace this?
Thanks, Paul
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

'bath'
little
It sounds as though your system switches between two thermostats, one at high level so just the upper level of the tank gets heated, and one at lower level doing the whole tank. If this is the case then I would suspect that the lower thermostat is u/s. However you may have two immersion heaters, one high & one low each with a thermostat pushed down the centre. In this later case it could be either the lower heater or the lower thermostat.
It is dead easy to replace the thermostats if you are electrically competent - they just slide into a hole, however the immersion heaters themselves can be a b***r to get unscrewed and you will have to drain the system down. While the tank is still full of water (and hence has a significant mass) try to slightly loosen the immersion heater with the special big spanner and a thump from a hammer. If you try this on an empty tank the probability is that the tank will bend all over the place.
The elements are relatively cheap and it is well worth getting a good quality one intended for a hard water area.
AWEM
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Hi and thanks for the reply.

Is the heater more likely to have two thermostats or two elements? I am certain the problem is only with one 'thing' would you have any tips on how I could check if it is the thermostat or the element. If there is only one element then I know it is the thermostat but if there is two elements and two thermostats is there a way I can know what is faulty?
Thanks for your help, Paul
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

one
one
would
pushed
To test the thermomstat you need to electrically isolate it, then check it's electrical continuity when cold and it's lack of continuity when hot (pan of water on the stove).
I suspect that if you need to ask these questions then it is perhaps time to get someone else involved.
AWEM
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

You are most likely correct and I probably will, I am just running through options.

Since the 'boost / sink' option works would it be safe to say it is probably an element problem or could it be the thermostat? If you have no way of knowing without further tests I would understand.
Thanks, Paul
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

perhaps
continuity
have
See my original reply! It depends entirely on the configuration of thermostats and heaters in tha tank.
AWEM
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com writes

It may be a time clock issue. You may be using up a reserve of hot water while the unit is being automatically switched off overnight.
--
Clive Mitchell
http://www.bigclive.com
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I don't think so. I set it to turn off when I get up and there is still no hot water, it should have been on for a few hours at this point.
Thanks, Paul
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

It depends on what type of controller you have.
If you have an E7 controller for the immersion heater this will have its own timeclock and both heaters will be run from the same circuit. (The controller will prevent both running at once.)
If you *don't* have an E7 controller then the top heater will be wired to your ordinary consumer unit and the bottom heater will be wired to your off-peak/storage heater consumer unit.
Do you have storage heaters and do they work correctly? If they don't, this points to a failure of the E7 timeclock which needs to be referred to your electricity provider.
* check MCB of heater circuit(s) (peak and off-peak) * check power to immersion heater terminals * check immersion heater thermostat setting * check overheat trip on immersion heater and reset if necessary
Owain
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Hi Owain,
I've only tested one storage heater. It seems to charge at night, the light goes on as one would expect. It won't release heat during the day though. It is set the same as a heater I know works elsewhere but releases no heat. Do you think these problems could be related?
Thanks, Paul
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

if not then the element or thermostat in the heater has gone
The light coming on only shows that there is power to the appliance
It is unlikely that this is related to the other problem as you have another storage heater that works. this shows that the E7 supply is functioning at least to the E7 consumer unit
As others have said the questions you have needed to ask suggest that you should get some one in
Tony
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Hi Tony,
I have a storage heater in a different building that works. The one in this apartment doesn't seem to. Power goes into it but it is not hot in the mornings, this is quite similar to what is happening with the immersion which is why I wonder if they are related. Both get power when they are supposed to but neither are hot when they should be.
I am fully prepared to get someone in but I would like a good idea of what I am talking about first. Since both the storage heater and the immersion are getting power but not heating, could this be related to the E7? I only moved into this apartment on Friday so have only had a few days to look at this. I have never had a problem with water heater / storage heaters before. It is only since Owain mentioned the two of them I wonder could the issue be related.
If it is the E7 would both still get power but not actually heat?
Thanks for your help, Paul
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 21 Mar 2007 08:38:00 -0700 someone who may be snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote this:-

How do you know? Have you checked by waiting up until the start of the off-peak supply period and then measured the voltage or looked at an indicator light?

No.
If they are not getting power during the off-peak period and thus not heating then this is likely to be a supply problem, probably the time clock.
--
David Hansen, Edinburgh
I will *always* explain revoked encryption keys, unless RIP prevents me
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

The indicator lights come on as they are supposed too, that is all I have checked. Neither are heating though. Since the indicator lights both come on I assume they are getting power yet neither heat up.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

Unlikely.
Storage heater output is usually controlled by a mechanical flap arrangement which you can often hear moving as you turn the output dial.
Owain
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 21 Mar 2007 04:13:58 -0700 someone who may be snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote this:-

You need to tell us whether your hot water cylinder has one immersion heater or two. The way to do that is to look at it and see if there is one cable or two going to it.
If there are two immersion heaters then the first place to look is the lower immersion heater and it thermostat.
If there is one immersion heater then it is likely that the problem is with the switch.
You also need to tell us what sort of tariff you are on. If it has an off-peak element, usually called Economy 7 down south, then it may be that there is a problem with the off-peak supply.
--
David Hansen, Edinburgh
I will *always* explain revoked encryption keys, unless RIP prevents me
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Interested to hear response, my partner's son has just moved into a new build flat and has the same problem. I didn't have test equipment first visit but will probably go back and have another look. Whereabouts geographically are you (in case it's the same builder!)
--
Bob Mannix
(anti-spam is as easy as 1-2-3 - not)
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

It would be a simple matter to check which is faulty - assuming you know how to check electrical circuits. I'm assuming it has one of these:-
http://www.tlc-direct.co.uk/Products/RRTS27T.html

Immersions have a habit of seizing in the tank. But other than that fairly simple.
--
*Why isn't there mouse-flavoured cat food?

Dave Plowman snipped-for-privacy@davenoise.co.uk London SW
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.