Troubleshooting Tankless Water Heater Problems

Diagnosing a problem with a tankless water heater in Broken Arrow involves a little detective work. While your heater’s actual repair is something best left for the professionals, you can learn how to troubleshoot your heater before you call a company for water heater repair and installation. Your knowledge can save you money on a repair and allow you to restore your hot water before you sacrifice your comfort.

No Warm Water

One of the most dire water heater issues is a lack of hot water. Without hot water, there’s not much you can do in your home. Laundering, cooking, and cleaning become nearly impossible. First, check the electricity or gas to the water heater. Then, look at the water shut-off valve. If it’s closed, no water is getting into the system and opening your valve should fix your problem. On a gas unit, there’s a burner and flame rod that should spark when the unit is on. When no sparks appear, there’s an ignition failure issue, and a plumber can address that. If the burner seems to work, look for an error code on the control panel. You need to resolve and reset an error code before the system turns back on.

Check Water Flow

For your unit to function, it needs to have a minimum water flow. Check the flow by adjusting the tap open enough to meet the minimum flow. Examine the pipe for an obstruction that could be slowing down the water. On particularly cold days, the water pipes or elements could be frozen. Pipes with good insulation are less likely to freeze, and an insulation jacket over your heater may prevent the heater from freezing during the coldest of days.

Scalding Water

You want hot water, but you don’t want water that burns you. Fortunately, this is likely an easy fix that you can do on your own. Your unit’s temperature is set too high and you can reduce it to a more optimal temperature. In some cases, an obstruction in the plumbing causes slower flow. Because less water heats up at a time, the temperature of the water could be too high. You need to remove the clog to lower the temperature of the water. Alternatively, a broken temperature sensor could be to blame. Locate the sensor and make sure it’s attached to the pipe. If it doesn’t remain firmly in place, replace the sensor.

Water Isn’t Warm Enough

If you get warm water but it’s not hot enough, you may need to adjust the temperature on the unit. Generally, a unit that’s set between 125 and 130 degrees produces water at the optimal temperature. That said, you may need to increase the temperature even more. Another possibility is cold and hot water mixing due to a plumbing crossover. If you have a new hot water heater, this is likely the cause of your lukewarm water. Check your paperwork to see if your plumber had a warranty on their work. Over time, sediment builds up in the heat exchanger. A lack of maintenance could result in too much sediment for your heater to produce hot water. To address this problem, descale and flush the unit. It’s a task you can try on your own or call a plumber to handle.

No Flame on the Gas Burner

Unique to gas tankless heaters, this issue could be as simple as turning on the gas. If the gas is already on, you may have trouble with the gas line. Because gas is so hazardous, you shouldn’t try to troubleshoot it yourself. A plumber can check the line and bleed it if necessary. When a plumber arrives, they may check the flame rod and firing harness, gas control valve, and vent system. They might also check the flow rate sensor to ensure the unit has enough gas to function. With a quick service call from a water heater installation and repair company, you could have hot water again.

Noisy Unit

If you hear strange sounds coming from your water heater, look for debris in the fan. Then, check the color of the flame on the gas burner. It should be light blue in color, otherwise there’s an issue with the gas or heating element. Common causes of a noisy heater also include a leak in the sealed combustion or unstable burner flames. In either case, it’s time to get professional help.

Low Pressure

In addition to being an inconvenience, low water pressure is a sign you have trouble with your heater. First, make sure the utility company isn’t having issues with their pressure. Once you know the problem is on your end, check for obstructions in all the components of your heater. Take a minute to think about your hot water usage. If your needs have increased, your water heater may not be able to handle the demand. In this case, you should consider installing a new unit or consulting with a plumber about another option.

Temperature Fluctuations

Does your hot water seem to get warm and then blast you with a cold spray of water? This could be a result of hot water remaining in your pipes from a previous use. After the already hot water sprays out, only cold water is left. The water only heats up again after a short time. This is a problem you can attribute to the length of the pipes. If you have long pipes, there will be a long lag time. Proper installation is the best way to prevent this from occurring.

Error Codes

On newer tankless water heaters, there’s a diagnostic system that tells you what’s wrong with your heater. Typically, these heaters have an LCD screen that displays a code when things go wrong. The code shows issues ranging from minor to severe. Although you can research your code to determine the problem, you should still call your plumber for the actual repair.

Knowing When to Call for Water Heater Repair and Installation

Your Broken Arrow hot water heater is bound to fail at some point. When you’re in need of water heater repair and installation, who will you call? Here at Infinity Plumbing Services, you can depend on us to troubleshoot your problem and give you a swift repair.