Even though they are not in use as much as other water heaters, you might still encounter problems with a tankless water heater. If your gas or electric tankless water heater is not working, we have compiled a list of seven common problems along with troubleshooting steps to restore warm water in your house.
1. Water Heater Is Not Turning On
Heating water is your tankless heater’s sole job, and if it’s not doing that no matter how long the tap has been on, it’s frustrating to say the least. The problem could be from the fuel source. The system needs fuel to ignite and heat the water. First, check the breaker box to be sure a fuse has not blown. If that is not the cause, check that the heater is on and has not run out of gas.
2. Water Smells or Is Brown
If you smell something strange or see discolored water coming from the sink, something might be growing inside the water heater. This is no cause for alarm, though—minerals get in tankless systems all the time. An easy way to fix this tankless water heater problem is to flush excess magnesium and calcium out of your system. A buildup of minerals in your system can cause discolored water and odors. To help prevent buildup, flush the heater at least once every six months. A descaling solution or vinegar can be used to flush the water heater of those minerals.
3. “No Ignition” Error
If a message appears on the display that says “no ignition” this could mean one of two things. Either the gas supply is low, or the valves for the gas or water are closed. Both prevent the flame from igniting. If your tankless water heater is not working, check to confirm the ignition pack is functioning and that there is gas in the propane tank. If that wasn’t the problem, ensure that every valve is open so gas can ignite the flame.
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4. Flame Failure
A “flame failure” message on the display means that something is stopping the flame in the heater from staying ablaze. The problem could be closed valves that aren’t providing gas or that the ventilation is blocked. Like the “no ignition” error, check that the gas, propane, and water valves are all open. Then ensure that nothing is blocking the vents leading to and from the heater.
5. A Blocked Exhaust
A tankless system needs access to fresh air to be able to vent outdoors while it’s in use. If your tankless water heater is not working, this is a sign of a blocked exhaust system. There are a few things to check for a blocked exhaust system. Start with ensuring that the exhaust pipe is open. Next, check that the vents leading inside and outside the home are clear from objects. While doing this, check for any holes in the pipes. Lastly, ensure that the system was installed correctly. If it’s been installed too close to other objects it can lead to a blockage.
6. The Temperature Alternates
If the water alternates from hot to cold to hot again while the tap is on, it can be incredibly frustrating, but the cause is quite simple. This problem with tankless water heaters can be caused by excess residual hot water from the last time the system was used. You’re getting the last bit of hot water that is still in the pipes. Remain patient. Your tankless system needs to start heating again to provide you with more hot water. Once it is heated, you should have hot water for as long as you need.
7. An Overloaded System
The temperature of the water in your home may be continuously alternating because the system is overloaded. If your tankless water heater is not providing enough hot water or is not working, this is a sign the system has reached its limit. This issue can cause your water heater to shut down when you need warm water. If your system is overloaded, you may need to let the water heater reset. Turn off extra taps and only run one until the hot water returns. If this problem is happening daily, you might need to consider other options like a larger system or replacing the heater altogether.
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Benefits of a Tankless Water Heater
Traditional water heaters use large amounts of energy to keep the water in the tank continuously hot so it’s ready to use whenever needed. Tankless water heaters conserve energy by only heating the water once you turn the tap on. This can save you money now, and prevent costly future repair and maintenance. When you use your system less often, it lasts longer.
Tankless Water Heater Repair & Installation Services
If these troubleshooting tips did not help you resolve your tankless water heater problems, it’s time to call a licensed technician. Our team of emergency plumbers in Philadelphia, PA and other areas offer exceptional tankless water heater installation and repair services to homes. Our professionals will inspect your tankless water heater and fix the issue.
Tankless water heaters are an energy-efficient way to both keep your water hot and save you money. In addition, our team of certified plumbers offer other types of plumbing services such as sump pump repair, gas line installation, drain cleaning, and water heater repair. Schedule an appointment online today or call 484-206-8594 to speak with a trained technician today.