Monday, May 23, 2011

Electrical / Hot Water Heater Problems

The lights fixtures are installed, and the plumber has installed the hot water heaters.  We should be able to get hot water in our sink.  The prospect of hot water was very exciting, as we never had it in this house before.  When we turned on the hot water heaters, only warm water came out.  The water temperature was only a little warmer than tap water.  We also noticed the the lights were flickering every time we turned on one of the hot water heaters.  We initially had warned the electrician that we though the old wires could not handle the new electrical panels, but we were told not to worry about it.  This is not good; the wires that delivered electricity to the house were too small and could not handle even one of the hot water heaters. 

It turned out that the wires coming into the house from the electric pole were too small to meet the needs of the modern electrical panels that we had installed.  We called the electric company and requested larger wires to serve our newly rewired duplex. The electric company investigated and decided we needed a new transformer and a new larger electric pole was necessary for the transformer.  They had turn off the electricity to the block while the work was done.

New electric pole waiting for installation

New electric pole and transformer installed

Although we still don't think the new wires are large enough, we'll have to wait until we get the rest of the duplex completed and the appliances installed to really test it out.

After the new electric pole and transformer was installed, the hot water heaters still didn't work that well.  We had to call customer support and troubleshoot the hot water heaters. We found out that the wires were screwed on too tightly and caused the contacts to bend and not to give power to some of the heating elements.  Only one out of the three stages was effected by this, and this made it harder to figure out what was happening.  Once this was resolved, we got hot water!

The little hot water heater that caused so much trouble

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