6 Common Tankless Water Heater Problems And Solutions

Tankless water heaters are a valuable addition to any home or office, offering high efficiency and cost savings by heating water only when needed. However, like any appliance, they can experience issues that need to be addressed. In this article, we will explore the most common problems and maintenance concerns for tankless water heaters and provide solutions to resolve them.

Problem 1: Mineral Buildup

Whether you have a traditional or tankless water heater, it is crucial to keep an eye out for mineral buildup inside the unit. Hard water, which contains high mineral content, can lead to the formation of mineral deposits that can impair the function of your water heater. Calcium and Magnesium are the main culprits for causing scaly buildup, and this can be particularly problematic for tankless water heaters. For those using well water, the risk of debris buildup is even higher.

To prevent damage and ensure optimal performance, it is essential to regularly check the water filter in your tankless water heater. Flushing the water heater every six months with a descaler cleaning kit can help remove any accumulated debris. Additionally, using a water softener can slow down the mineral buildup process.

Problem 2: System Overload

Depending on the capacity of your tankless water heater, simultaneous hot water applications can overload the unit. If you experience a reduced supply of hot water or complete shutdown, it might indicate that the water heater cannot handle the demand. To address this issue, consider limiting simultaneous hot water usage and resetting the unit. If system overload is a frequent occurrence, upgrading to a higher-capacity tankless water heater or adding a second unit might be necessary.

Problem 3: Cold Water Sandwich

The phenomenon known as the “cold water sandwich” can occur when multiple showers are used in quick succession. After one shower has ended, the remaining hot water in the pipes can lead to a brief period of cold water before the temperature adjusts. While this cannot be entirely prevented, being aware of the issue can help users avoid the discomfort associated with sudden temperature changes.

Problem 4: Blocked Air Supply or Exhaust

Blocked air supply or exhaust can cause problems for tankless water heaters. Error codes displayed by the unit can alert users to issues with combustion air or venting. To address this problem, inspect vent pipes to ensure proper connections and check for any obstructions or puncture holes. It is also crucial to adhere to clearance requirements to prevent air supply blockage and minimize fire hazards. Regularly examining vents located outside the home can help identify and remove blockages caused by birds’ nests, rodents, or wasp nests.

Problem 5: Ignition Failure

Ignition failure can occur due to various reasons, with a common one being a gas supply issue. Before trying anything else, check that the propane tank is full and ensure that all gas and water valves are fully open. If the problem persists, it may be necessary to contact technical support for further troubleshooting and potential replacement of parts.

Problem 6: Flame Failure

Flame failure is usually caused by either a gas pressure problem or an electrical issue. As with ignition failure, it is important to rule out simple causes such as low propane levels or unpaid gas bills. Other potential causes of flame failure include inadequate gas line size, regulator failure, combustion issues, and venting problems. If experiencing flame failure, contacting technical support is recommended to identify and address the underlying cause.

Having a Tankless Water Heater Problem but Unsure of the Exact Issue?

While tankless water heaters are generally low maintenance and efficient, problems can still arise. The issues mentioned in this article are some of the most common, but not an exhaustive list. Consider purchasing Eccotemp Protection Plans within 60 days of your water heater purchase for added peace of mind. If you encounter a problem not mentioned here or require technical support, visit our help desk to schedule an appointment or call us at 866-356-1992.

In conclusion, by understanding and addressing these common problems, you can ensure the optimal performance and longevity of your tankless water heater. Whether it’s mineral buildup, system overload, cold water sandwiches, blocked air supply or exhaust, ignition failure, or flame failure, proactive maintenance and prompt resolution will help keep your tankless water heater operating smoothly for years to come.

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