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Michael
Michael, Home Appliance Technician
Category: Home Improvement
Satisfied Customers: 9195
Experience:  Home Appliance Technician
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Hi, I have one of those intermittent issues that Im not really

Resolved Question:

Hi, I have one of those intermittent issues that I'm not really sure if it's even a problem.
I have an immersion heater that can work either via immersion or can be heated via the gas boiler. It hasn't been used over the summer at all.
The past few days I've noticed it's coming 'on', it's not heating the water but I can feel one of the switches/transformer (apologies I don't what it is) getting hot and humming. It stays on a for few minutes and then cuts out. The frequency with which this is happening seems to be increasing.
I have no idea if this is a safety feature, or if it's a fault. I've only been in this property six months and I haven't noticed it do this before....

Any insight at all? Thanks.....Lynne
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Home Improvement
Expert:  Michael replied 3 years ago.

Michael :

hi is the heater seeming to function ok?

Customer:

Hi, yes it is..

Michael :

it may be a bad transformer but I would doubt that since is heating up. transoforners do get warm and will buzz normally but it may be sigh that needs to be replaced soon

Customer:

I see, I think the tank has been there about 12 years

Michael :

It sounds like the unit is fine for now but if it fails, you would need to replace the noisy transformer

Michael :

If it were me I would wait on this

Customer:

Why would it just be coming on spontaneously

Michael :

it wont hurt anything else:-)

Michael :

it could last like this for years lol

Customer:

Oh right!

Michael :

some transformers become noisy but are fine

Michael :

no worries

Customer:

yes, I've come across 'chattering valves' before

Customer:

But I still don't understand why it's coming on without me turning it on

Michael :

if you rae me good service or better I will be able to schedule free follow ups in case you do need me further ;-)

Michael :

it works on a tep sensor

Michael :

temp

Michael :

so it will do this normally

Michael :

its really not a problem

Customer:

sorry Michael, I'm clearly being a bit dense...

Michael :

it also has some thermal sensors built into the electronics that will cause this as well

Michael :

thats ok

Michael :

I have been working with these for many years:-)

Customer:

the immersion isn't turned on, so I wouldn't expect it to do anything, regardless of the temperature#

Customer:

It's not heating the water, it's not doing anything as far as I can see

Michael :

it will still activate unless the unitis cut from power

Customer:

why?

Michael :

hope this helps you understand how it works

Michael :

it is the nature of the bease for lack of a better word

Michael :

beast sorry for the typos

Michael :

Im a tech not a really a typst

Customer:

no, it doesn't really....I understand how frost controls work, but that doesn't apply here

Customer:

LOL

Customer:

no worries micheal, I type better than i understand the techy bits

Michael :

the only thing you can do is replace the module but its fine so why spend that $

Michael :

LOL!

Customer:

yes, totally, but I still don't understand why i have a system coming on for now reason and apparently not doing anything

Customer:

oops, 'no reason'

Michael :

if it is working as it should the temp control could bebad

Michael :

I think thats what is going on here

Michael :

its easy to replacethough

Customer:

'bebad'?

Michael :

be bad

Michael :

it would only call for heat when that sensor tells it to'

Michael :

if its calling to turn on more that you think it needs to be then replace that sensor

Michael :

thats exactly what I would do

Michael :

but if the temp is correct I wouldnt do that either

Customer:

I'm lost here

Michael :

thats because Im he plumber lol

Customer:

Can we try this again

Michael :

I will work with you on this but wait a few days to see if it really is a problem

Michael :

my mom used to worry about her iol burner fr years but it was fine for many

Michael :

like I was saying if you rate favorably, the system here will allow us to remain locked at no additional cost to you until your sure and it is perfect!

Michael :

are you there Lynne?

Customer:

Sorry Micheal I don't feel i have an answer. I have a system which is turning itself on and off but not doing anything. But , to my mind, it shouldn't be coming on at all. It's not on a timer, it's not turned on.

Michael :

is it heating?

Customer:

Not when it's doing this...

Michael :

oh ok

Customer:

I wouldn't expect it to heat, because it's not turned on

Michael :

then in that case you would need to have this checked because its not the transformer I can tell you that its likely bad elements

Michael :

the fact that the transformer buzzes is not a problem, that actually means that is working

Michael :

but the elements will fail over time

Michael :

they arent expensive

Customer:

Yes, I underdtand that, but why would it come on when I haven't switched it on

Michael :

but require secila info to install thwm correctly I will help you with that too

Michael :

no additional cost:-)

Michael :

if your water has a lot of calcium or lime that wil caue preature wear too

Michael :

premature...sorry

Michael :

it could also be the relay,

Michael :

just because they click doesnt mean they are conducting

Michael :

the contacts fail oftem

Michael :

in that case you just need the relay board

Michael :

I would do that first

Michael :

if you let me know what country you are in I can tell you where to get that

Michael :

if it isnt producing any heat the main this would be the relay board

Customer:

Would the relay failing explain why the immersion is turning itself on for a few minutes and then turning itself off again?

Michael :

yes because the system knows it isnt working so yes in that case and with most of these it would be the relay, its actually asimple system

Michael :

when the board sends no heat, after a while it wil kick off until the breaker cools dowm internally

Customer:

Why would it try and do this if the immersion is turned off i.e. I'm NOT trying to heat water?

Michael :

the relay has a coil, thats what you hear clicking, but there are contacts to actually send power to the heating element

Customer:

I'm not hearing any clicking

Michael :

I still would definitely replace that board especiall if it isnt sending power even to the coil, I really dont suspect the transformer, but it may be failing as well, I cant see if or test it, either way both parts anent very expensive

Michael :

if you arent a tech you can fix this easily by replacing both

Michael :

I will help

Michael :

It is very simple ad requires very few basic hand tools

Customer:

Would you expect anything at all to be happening if the heater is turned off, it's not on at the timer, it's not swtiched on at the element

Michael :

no not in that case

Michael :

you need to replace the relay board and the transformer to be sure you got this right

Customer:

Right then, so why is it coming on, why is there suddenly power going to the transformer.

Michael :

it wil cover all bases

Michael :

the relay doesnt control that

Customer:

what does the relay control?

Michael :

the power is allied to both the transformer and the relay board at the same time

Michael :

but arent even getting a click from that board

Michael :

the control relay activates the rest of the system

Michael :

in this case you may be better off calling a reapair tech as Im worried you dont have the experience to do this repar

Customer:

I don't definitely

Michael :

But please dont rate me bad as that can cost me my job:-)

Michael :

Im just trying to help you understand this system

Customer:

No worries Michael , I appreciate your time

Michael :

your very welcome

Michael, Home Appliance Technician
Category: Home Improvement
Satisfied Customers: 9195
Experience: Home Appliance Technician
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