Tankless water heaters are becoming increasingly popular due to their energy efficiency, their long lifespans, and the fact that they can produce hot water on demand. While tankless hot water heaters have a lot of benefits, that does not mean they are perfect and never experience any problems. Over the course of its lifespan, a tankless water heater can develop problems, but the good news is that many of these issues can be repaired by an experienced plumber. Some common problems that tankless water heaters can have that necessitate the need for repairs include the following:
Buildup of Minerals
A tankless water heater won't have sediment buildup the same way that a traditional tank water heater does, but mineral buildup on the components of the tankless water heater is still a concern. This is especially true if you live in an area with very hard water, which has a much higher mineral content than soft water. It is important to stay on top of mineral buildup in your tankless water heater since it can negatively affect how it operates and can cause damage over time. If you suspect mineral buildup in your tankless water heater, your best bet is to have it flushed with a descaler to remove the buildup.
Failure to Ignite
Many tankless water heaters are powered by natural gas; the natural gas must ignite in order for the heating element to properly heat up the water. When a gas tankless water heater has ignition problems, it will be unable to produce hot water. In many cases, failure to ignite is due to an issue with the gas line, but it can also happen if the gas or water valves are not completely open. In other cases, it could mean that the water heater's ignition pack has failed and needs to be replaced by a plumber in order for the water heater to run properly again.
When a tankless water heater is installed, venting must also be put into place to maintain airflow so that the water heater can run. Sometimes, the air supply or exhaust can become blocked or clogged, and when that happens, most models of tankless water heaters will display an error code. If this happens, carefully inspect the venting all the way to the outside of your home to make sure that it is not blocked by foliage, bird or rodent nests, or other debris. In the event that you don't see anything, contact a plumber for further diagnostics and tankless water heater repair.