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Immersion Heater Not Working

Immersion Heater Not Working – Find Out Why and What to Do

Once more, it’s that time. Expecting the hot shower you’ve been preparing all day, you are ecstatic. You hope to get a constant stream of warm water when you turn on the hot shower tap and to experience that little moment of complete tranquilly. When the subsequent blast of cold water dashes all of your hopes, it is very depressing.

You may be asking why the immersion heater isn’t working, so let me explain. The cause could be anything, from a broken thermostat to damaged parts to limescale buildup, is the straightforward response. So continue reading to learn the cause of your immersion heater’s lack of hot water as well as a solution.

What is an Immersion Heater

A well-protected steel tank is used by both hot water heaters and cylinder immersion heaters. Strong insulation between the storage unit and the steel coat is the feature that unites the two appliances the most. Its purpose is to reduce heat loss.

The key difference is that immersion heaters have a heating element within the cylinder since they use electricity as a source of heat. In contrast, a gas burner is used by gas water heaters, and it is positioned beneath the tank unit. Due to the higher expense of using electricity to heat water compared to gas, many homeowners opt to utilise the latter.

How Does an Immersion Heater Work

The heating element receives a constant supply of power, and as a result, the water inside your tank is heated. Additionally, an internal or external thermostat controls the temperature of your water, ensuring that it is always comfortable to use.

As a result, anytime you turn on a tap, hot water is forced out of the tank by a cold, high-pressure spray of fresh water. The water rises to the top of your cylinder, right next to the heating element, once the temperature is high enough.

In terms of the wiring, immersion heaters are often wired into your main electrical supply. But don’t worry if there is a power outage; the warm water is preserved till it runs out.

The immersion heater’s ability to be turned on and off is preferable because there is no need to continuously warm the water in the cylinder.

Common Immersion Heater Problems and Solutions

It’s time to look at the most typical problems now that you understand how the device operates. You will have the knowledge necessary to fully diagnose an immersion heater malfunction by the time you finish reading this article.

The Circuit Breaker has Tripped

A cylinder that doesn’t appear to be working and doesn’t produce any warm water may not have enough electricity. The circuit in the breaker box frequently trips out when it is overloaded in order to prevent overheating. However, be grateful about it because it prevents an electrical house fire from happening.


Check to see if the circuit breaker for the immersion heater is on first. It is located in the primary breaker panel. In the unlikely event that the breaker has tripped, turn it off and then turn it back on. After that, see whether the switch trips again. If it does, you might be faced with a bigger problem.

Electricity used by immersion heaters ranges from 220 to 240 volts. Keep in mind that examining the heater’s interior components while the power is still on is extremely dangerous. To ensure your safety, turn off the circuit breaker and examine the heater’s connections with a voltage tester to see whether any electrical current is flowing.

You have a Faulty Thermostat

Immersion heaters can cease working without warning or the water they produce is singeing hot. The likelihood is that the thermostat is broken. Let’s examine how to reset the regulator to see if we can’t, with any luck, resolve the problem.


If you have a more modern system with an external thermostat, simply press the reset button on it. For older heaters, follow the instructions:

  • Cut the power to your immersion heater by switching the circuit breaker off.
  • Remove the lid that protects the upper heating element of your unit.
  • Carefully remove the plastic safety cap and try not to touch any wires and other electrical fixtures.
  • Press the small button that has “Reset” written next to it. Depending on the model of your heater, you may need a small pin to reach the switch.
  • Assemble everything back and make sure that the safety cover is well-placed. 
  • Turn the power on and test the immersion heater.

To replace the burned thermostat, if that doesn’t work or seems too difficult for someone with little to no experience, call a professional. Therefore, save the bother by hiring a qualified heating expert to assist you with immersion heater repairs!

A Damaged Immersion Element

These issues typically arise at the end of the immersion heater’s useful life. The component circuit is damaged as a result of rust, and while the device continues to function for a respectable period of time, there are some clear indications that something is wrong.

For instance, your immersion heater may take an eternity to warm the water or, conversely, it may heat the water more quickly than you anticipated. Additionally, due to the element’s deterioration, the heater may suddenly turn on and off.


Unfortunately, repairing the main part of the immersion heater is a difficult undertaking that even the most daring DIY experts will struggle with. Generally speaking, the procedure entails removing the outdated heating element, cleaning the heater’s opening, and installing the fresh element.

It’s easier said than done, though, as the job calls for some prior plumbing skills and some familiarity with electrical equipment. Please call a qualified technician to change the element and make sure everything is functioning properly for your safety.

Limescale Buildup

If you live in a region where the water is very hard, limescale accumulates excessively and your immersion heater fails more quickly than it should. Significant problems also develop when the compound surrounds your heating element, causing a bottleneck across your complete system. You won’t suffer with limescale concerns and will spend less on maintenance if you install a residential water softener.


By contacting a professional to install a filter that keeps such compounds from entering in the first place, you may be able to prevent limescale build-up. You might also remove the immersion heater and use a high-pressure water stream to remove the scale.

If you lack the necessary skills to disassemble your immersion heater, we advise against doing so!

Problems with the Insulation

The electrical current passage through the heating element is often disrupted when your immersion heater’s insulation fails. Because of this, an overloaded system may cause wire damage, fuse blowouts, or even tripping of your main circuit breaker.


A heating professional can examine the element and wiring of your immersion heater to see if any components require maintenance or replacement. We do not recommend performing internal immersion heater repairs yourself because it could be harmful to your health.

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