Common maintenance problems

We've listed some common maintenance problems below and what your next steps should be. If after trying these suggestions the issue persists, call our Maintenance Line on 139 DHA (139 342).

What do I do when:

If it’s safe to do so, turn the water off at the mains. Then call our Maintenance Line  on 139 DHA (139 342) and we’ll arrange a contractor to attend.

Call your energy provider to check if there is a power outage in your area.  If there is not an outage in your area, check your meter box to determine if the circuit breaker has tripped.  If your circuit breaker has tripped, you may need to perform an isolation test.

What is an isolation test?

An isolation test allows you to check each appliance being used in your property to determine which one is causing the system to short-circuit. 

Turn off all appliances and unplug them from power points.  This includes appliances inside and outside, such as the refrigerator, microwave, kettle, toaster, washing machine, dishwasher, digital clocks, clothes dryer, televisions and motors to automatic garage doors.

At your power box outside, turn off the Residual Current Device (RCD) and mains power (the RCD is an electrical safety device designed to switch power off immediately). Wait 10 minutes for the RCDs to de-energise before turning them on again.

Were you able to reset the RCD?

No – the RCD may be faulty and need replacing. Call the Maintenance Line on 139 DHA (139 342) and we’ll arrange an electrician to attend.

Yes - continue the isolation test following the instructions below.

After 10 minutes, turn the mains power back on and turn on each RCD switches one by one.

Inside your property, plug in each appliance and switch power points on one at a time. If the power does not trip, turn off the power point, unplug the appliance and move onto the next appliance.  Continue this process until all appliances are checked.  

Once you have checked all power points and all appliances, plug your appliances back in. If the power trips out again after performing an isolation test, it is likely your circuit board has been overloaded. Solve this by turning off one or more appliances until the power can be reset, then move one or more appliances to a separate circuit or turn them off when not in use.
Check to see if the light circuit breakers in the power box have tripped. You can reset them by turning them off and on again.

If any light bulbs are blown, replace them. If they still don’t work, call the Maintenance Line on 139 DHA (139 342) and we’ll arrange a contractor to attend.

It is your responsibility as a tenant to replace all globes and fluro starters, including down lights, IXL heat lamps, range hood, fluorescent tube and oven lights. This responsibility is outlined in the DHA Residence Agreement (DRA – this is also known as your tenancy agreement). We are responsible for replacing globes that cannot be reached by a 1.8 metre tall ladder.

Water supply failure can occur for several reasons.

Check if the water has been turned off at the mains. If the water main is turned on, check with your local water provider to ensure there is no water outage in the area.   

If you’re still unable to explain the outage, call the Maintenance Line on 139 DHA (139 342) and we’ll arrange a contractor to attend.



If sewerage is backing up through the drains, call our Maintenance Line on 139 DHA (139 342) and we’ll arrange for a plumber to attend.

Check with your local council to see if drainage work is being carried out in the area. Contact our Maintenance Line on 139 DHA (139 342) and we will arrange for a contractor to attend. If you do not have a second toilet and/or shower, the request will be actioned as an emergency request.

Electrical hot water system

Running out of hot water

If you are using an ‘off-peak’ service, you may have hot water in the morning but run out in the evening.  Off-peak hot water systems (HWS) heat up overnight only. This often means that during the cooler months, the hot water runs out faster than usual as more is used. If this is an issue for your property, your electricity provider may be able to add a day-time heating cycle to your off-peak service at your cost.  This means you will have an additional heating cycle in each 24-hour period.

No hot water at all

Check to see if your hot water system (HWS) is leaking from the unit. It is normal for the overflow valve to be leaking slightly with dripping water, however if water is running out of the unit, call the Maintenance Line on 139 DHA (139 342) and we’ll arrange a contractor to attend.

If the HWS is not leaking and is not heating up at all, call the Maintenance Line on 139 DHA (139 342) and we’ll arrange a contractor to attend.

Gas hot water system

If you have just moved to the property, ensure the gas has been connected.

The pilot light may have gone out. Instructions outlining how to reignite the pilot light are found on the back of the small cover plate at the base of the unit.

If you have checked these issues and allowed time for water to heat up, but are still having problems, call the Maintenance Line on 139 DHA (139 342) and we’ll arrange a contractor to attend.
Does your system use instantaneous gas?

An instantaneous gas hot water system (HWS) uses a small box with burners that ignite from the pilot light when a hot water tap is turned on. This box heats the water as it is being used. The temperature is pre-set to meet safety regulations and should read 48-50 degrees on the LED Display.

Sometimes water may not be very hot during winter or when coming out of a particular tap. These systems cannot be set any higher as they are regulated by law. The final temperature of the water depends on how far the tap is from the HWS.

The HWS can be reset by turning it off at the power point for ten minutes. While the unit is turned off, turn on all hot water taps in property then turn the unit back on. It can take up to 5 minutes for hot water to get to the furthest point in property. It can also be up to 5 degrees lower than a tap next to the HWS.

Electric heat pump system

This type of hot water system (HWS) draws heat from the surrounding air in order to heat water.

If this system is not working, call the Maintenance Line on 139 DHA (139 342) and we’ll arrange a contractor to attend.

Solar hot water system

Check that your booster is on, especially if it has been overcast. If the booster is on, and the system is still not working, call the Maintenance Line on 139 DHA (139 342) and we’ll arrange a contractor to attend.

Check the power box outside to ensure the Residual Current Device (RCD – a safety device) has not tripped.

Most ovens have a safety switch that needs to be turned on in order for the oven to work. To locate the safety switch look for a power point in or near the kitchen that has a third switch in the middle. 

The majority of ovens also require the clock to be set before they will operate. This can be a common issue for new tenants or when black outs and power surges occur. It is your responsibility as a tenant to reset oven clocks and timers.

Oven manuals and troubleshooting guides can be viewed from the oven manufacturer’s website. 

Are you running your unit at the correct temperature?

The correct temperature is 22-23 degrees. If the air conditioner is set to a lower temperature the compressor will run continuously and cause the indoor coil to ice up and leak.

Also, please ensure the drain pipe is not blocked.


Check that the filters are clean and make sure you are running the unit at the correct temperature.

Check the power box to ensure the Residual Current Device (RCD - a safety device) has not tripped.

Also, you may need to replace the batteries in the remote control or it could be that you are on a special tarriff.



Do you have an electric cook top?

Check the power box outside to ensure the Residual Current Device (RCD – a safety device) has not tripped.

Check the child safety switch and ensure it is turned on.

Some power points are located within a cupboard and the lead may have come out of the wall.

Do you have a gas cook top?

Check your gas is turned on at the meter.

If the gas igniter is not working, the batteries may have gone flat in the battery pack.  If the battery pack is installed in an adjacent cupboard or beside the unit, replace the batteries if they are accessible.

If the battery pack is hardwired, call the Maintenance Line on 139 DHA (139 342) and we’ll arrange a contractor to attend.

If you are concerned about a gas leak, turn off the gas valve underneath the cook top. Call the Maintenance Line on 139 DHA (139 342) and we’ll arrange a contractor to attend.
It is your responsibility to change the batteries in the remote.  You can manually override the automatic opener by pulling the cord on the remote motor box or in some properties, by pressing the switch located on the unit near the garage door.

We are responsible for supplying and positioning the TV antenna in a place that receives optimal signal strength. We are also responsible for connecting the antenna to the various outlets around the house.

Previously, Defence policy required members to provide their own antenna. You were previously reimbursed for antenna relocation costs associated with posting. Current Defence policy requires us to supply an antenna system and two outlets in any new home we acquire.

The total signal strength received by the antennae is divided by the number of television outlets you have. This means the signal will be weaker if you have more than one television outlet. All devices and equipment you plug into these outlets are your responsibility as a tenant.  

Check that all cables are connected and your television is tuned correctly. If you are still having problems with your reception, you may need to buy a booster pack. This small device is used to boost the signal internally.

Telstra Smart Communities

New development areas are introducing fibre optic technology. This is also known as Telstra Smart Communities.  In these communities there will not be an antenna on the roof. Instead, there will be a Telstra box, most likely located in the garage area. You must call Telstra on the number listed on the box to have your reception turned on.

What to do if the issue persists?

If the issue persists, call the DHA Maintenance Line on 139 342.

Manuals and troubleshooting

Manuals and troubleshooting guides can be viewed from the manufacturer's website or www.manualsonline.com