Flood Affected Water Heaters

For those affected by the recent severe weather and floods, Rheem would like to offer you assistance with some important safety considerations to ensure the health of you, your whanau, and your Rheem water heater.


WARNING IMMEDIATE RISK: If you have experienced flooding, your water heater may be damaged, and this may present a significant Health and Safety risk. Please ensure your water heater is inspected and tested by a qualified tradesperson (see below) before operating the unit and/or restoring power or gas supply to the unit.

  • If you are not getting hot water or your water heater has been physically damaged, DO NOT ATTEMPT TO FIX IT YOURSELF, contact a qualified plumber, gasfitter, or electrician.
  • If the water heater has been partially or fully submerged in flood water, it should be inspected by a qualified plumber or gasfitter.
  • A qualified plumber or gasfitter can test if the water heater is safe to turn on. In some cases, the plumber may not have the necessary electrical qualifications, in which case a qualified electrician will also be required to test.
  • For gas water heaters, please follow the guidance of a qualified gasfitter.


Please note: If the water heater has been submerged, the longevity of it will have been compromised. The standard warranty will not apply for any unit affected by flood water or similar.


Reasons why your water heater may need to be replaced:

  • If the insulation around the cylinder has been wet this may compromise the insulation effectiveness, thereby losing efficiency.
  • If any electrical product has been wet or damp the life expectancy would be unknown and should be replaced.
  • Water heaters are not designed to be submerged in water and this may cause premature corrosion of the product. Even ‘outdoor rated’ water heaters are not designed to be partially or fully submerged.
  • Always seek the advice of an expert, there may be other reasons your water heater needs to be replaced. Your local, qualified plumber, gasfitter, or electrician will help.


What is the risk if you do not replace your damaged water heater?

  • Electrical components including controls, pumps & motors may be damaged beyond repair or malfunction following contact with water. This may present an unsafe operation in your water heater.
  • Gas components and flue paths including heat exchangers may be affected by silt & blockage leading to unsafe operation.
  • Other components of the water heater such as insulation may be rendered ineffective thereby affecting the efficiency of the water heater. If contaminated water has entered a water heater, the quality of the potable water provided may be compromised and it is recommended that the unit be replaced.


NB - The water heater may be damaged by the flood and any attempts to use the damaged equipment may present a significant Health & Safety risk.  As per the advice above, an appropriately qualified person should be contacted in the first instance to assess any risk in using or powering the affected unit.

Our advice for water heaters that have been partially or fully submerged is that in most cases they will need to be replaced - we recommend you discuss your situation with an insurance advisor.

If the water heater has been submerged the longevity of the unit will have been compromised. The standard warranty will not apply for any unit effected by flood water or similar.