Common Tankless Water Heater Problems & Solutions: A Comprehensive Guide
Tankless water heaters, also known as on-demand or instantaneous water heaters, have gained popularity for their energy efficiency and endless hot water supply. However, like any other appliance, they can encounter problems that may disrupt their performance.
As your local plumbing expert, F.H. Furr Plumbing, Heating, Air Conditioning & Electrical wants to explore some of the common tankless water heater problems and provide practical solutions to help homeowners troubleshoot and resolve these issues.
Problem 1: Insufficient Hot Water
One of the most common complaints with tankless water heaters is inadequate hot water supply. You may notice fluctuations in water temperature or a limited amount of hot water during usage. Several factors can contribute to this problem. First, check if the water heater is properly sized for your household’s hot water demands. Undersized units may struggle to meet the required output.
Mineral buildup or sediment accumulation in the system’s heat exchanger can also hinder heat transfer. Regular descaling or flushing of the system can resolve this. Lastly, make sure there are no partially closed valves or obstructions in the water supply line that may impede water flow.
Problem 2: Fluctuating Water Temperature
Sudden shifts in water temperature while using a tankless water heater can be quite inconvenient and uncomfortable. Fluctuating water temperature is often caused by insufficient flow rates or issues with the unit’s internal temperature control system.
Verify that the flow rate meets the minimum requirement specified by the manufacturer. Installing low-flow showerheads or faucets can help maintain a consistent flow. Also check the unit’s temperature sensors and ensure they’re functioning correctly.
If needed, consult with one of F.H. Furr’s professional plumbers or contact the manufacturer for further assistance.
Problem 3: Ignition Failure
Tankless water heaters rely on ignition mechanisms to heat water. Ignition failures can prevent the heater from starting or cause intermittent heating problems. Ignition failures can have various causes. First, check for any gas supply issues, such as an empty propane tank or a closed gas valve.
Make sure the gas line is properly connected and that there are no leaks. Also make sure the ignition system is clean and free of debris or carbon buildup. If the problem persists, it’s probably best to call F.H. Furr and have a plumber inspect the issue.
Problem 4: Mineral Buildup & Scaling
Area with hard water can lead to mineral buildup and scaling within the tankless water heater, affecting its efficiency and performance. Regular maintenance and descaling are crucial for preventing mineral buildup. You can look up your manufacturer’s instructions on descaling procedures, which typically involve flushing the system with a descaling solution or using vinegar.
Regular descaling intervals depend on the water hardness in your area, but it’s recommended to descale annually or bi-annually through a plumbing maintenance visit. Installing a water softener or using a whole-house water softening system can also help minimize mineral buildup.
Tankless water heaters provide efficient and continuous hot water, but like any home appliance, problems can develop that need to be addressed.
By understanding common issues, you can take proactive measures to address these problems. Regular maintenance, proper sizing, descaling, and professional assistance from F.H. Furr, can help ensure optimal performance and prolong the life span of your tankless water heater.
Contact F.H. Furr today to schedule a tankless water heater service.