36. Repair and maintenance of existing water heater

Water storage heater

A building consent is not required to repair or maintain an existing water heater, if it is carried out by an authorised person.

What the law says

Schedule 1 of the Building Act 2004 states the following:

The repair or maintenance of any existing water heater using comparable materials, comparable components, or a comparable assembly.

Guidance on the exemption

This exemption enables an authorised person (refer to the glossary) to repair and maintain water heaters associated with buildings. Any repair work must use comparable materials, comparable components or a comparable assembly.

To replace or reposition an existing water heater refer to exemption 37 and exemption 38.

Examples where this exemption could apply

Repairing a leaking open-vented water storage heater.
Repairing a valve-vented water storage heater.
Replacing sacrificial anodes.
Repairing valves associated with water heaters (refer to exemption 32 – repair, maintenance, and replacement).
Repair or maintaining solar collectors.

Example where building consent is required

While repairing his existing (open-vented) storage water heater, the homeowner decides to replace the existing wood burner and wetback system. As replacing the wood burner and wetback is not considered to be repairs or maintenance, the building work requires a building consent.

This information is published by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s Chief Executive. It is a general guide only and, if used, does not relieve any person of the obligation to consider any matter to which the information relates according to the circumstances of the particular case. Expert advice may be required in specific circumstances. Where this information relates to assisting people: