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What to Do When You Have a Problem With Your Tankless Water Heater

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A tankless water heater, just like a tank water heater, is prone to wear and tear damage, and other malfunctions. It’s important to know how to respond when your tankless heater experiences an issue so you can resolve it in the most efficient and effective way possible.

Issues in tankless heaters are often due to the build-up of waste, poor maintenance, or environmental factors. These problems can reduce water quality, lower water pressure, and make it harder to access hot water when you need it. Take a look at some of the issues that can affect your tankless water heater and what you can do about it:

Signs Your Tankless Water Heater Has an Issue

First of all, it’s important to be aware that many problems occur gradually over time rather than all at once. Rather than recognizing immediate signs of issues with your heater, you might find only a few minor symptoms of problems that will eventually get worse if not treated. These symptoms may include the following:

  • The water changes visibly, looking cloudy, rusty, or like it has small chunks of material or sediment in it.
  • The water smells and tastes metallic or otherwise strange, indicating the presence of iron or rust.
  • There are strange noises coming from the heater and pipes, such as banging and rumbling.
  • The heater is not able to maintain a consistent standard of water pressure or temperature, and testing the valves and settings makes no difference.
  • The digital display is showing an error code.

If these symptoms are familiar, it could be a sign of mineral buildup, pipe issues, system breakdown, or other problems. These symptoms are enough to warrant a closer look by a professional.

Why You Should Act Quickly

Failure to act on the symptoms noticed above could lead to a loss of hot water and more expensive repairs. You could be ignoring the early symptoms of a much deeper problem that will become more costly and more damaging to the overall life expectancy of your investment. Even if the causes of these symptoms are not significantly damaging, they could at the very least cause your system to become less efficient and, thus, more costly to run. 

A tankless water heater is a fantastic option for many given that it can help your family and property open up a lot of space. However, they’re as prone to issues as any other appliance in the home. Routine servicing can reduce your chances of having to deal with said issues, but when problems do arise, it’s important to take care of them right away.

Next Steps You Should Take

It’s important to call a plumbing or HVAC professional as soon as you can, as they can help you get to the bottom of the issue with your tankless water heater quickly and resolve it efficiently. But you can conduct a little troubleshooting on your own first if you’d like. Here are four steps you can take to better understand the causes of tankless water heater issues:

  1. Call the local water plant: If there have been changes in water quality, it may not be relegated to your property alone. Call your local water plant and ask them if there have been any changes you should be aware of.
  2. Pick up a water testing kit: These kits will allow you to see whether there are any safety concerns with the water in your pipes and can help you see the iron level in the water.
  3. Track your pressure and temperature: If your tankless water heater is being inconsistent in how it provides water, then you should keep track of the pressure and temperature over the next week. If the efficiency levels are varying wildly over that time, there could be a serious problem with your heater. If the trend is more gradual, then it may be time for routine maintenance regardless.
  4. Consult the manual: If your unit has a digital display that is showing a warning message or an error code, then you may be able to figure out the problem yourself. Your unit should come with a manual you can cross-reference with the code. If you can’t find it, look on the manufacturer’s website. Depending on what the code means, you may be able to implement a solution yourself by following the manual instructions. If not, you should call a professional right away.

Contact a Professional

If the problem doesn’t have an immediately accessible fix or if you’re not sure what the cause of the problem is, you should call a professional. Your heater could be at risk for significant issues and even pose a danger to you and your home. 

If you’re in need of a tankless water heater repair service, contact us today to schedule one.

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