You are here to know if it is worthwhile to buy a tankless. Well, just like the ease that a tankless water heater brings, it also comes with its fair share of problems. Most of these problems happen because the house owners don’t have sufficient knowledge about these things. So, today we will tell you what these tankless water heater problems in 2022 are and how you can solve these problems before they become an inconvenience for you. Among the most common issues that a tankless water heater owner can face are given below. One by one we’ll go over them.
Let’s discuss some Tankless water heater problems
1. Coldwater Sandwich in tankless Water heater
The alternating outflow of cold-hot-cold water in plumbing terms is known as a cold water sandwich. This is a frequent type of issue encountered by owners of tankless water heaters. This tankless water heater problem happens when multiple taps are open, which will draw water more than the tankless water heater can provide. For example, you have a tankless water heater that provides hot water on-demand up to 4 gallons per minute. But the open taps are drawing 7 gallons per minute of water so that the tankless water heater will provide the 4 Gpm. Still, the excess of 3 Gpm will come from the cold water line, which will decrease the hot water temperature, and you will be getting alternating hot and cold water.
To resolve this problem, you can either control the number of taps or install a bigger tankless water unit or install a similar smaller unit parallel to the previous one.
2. Annual maintenance
Another issue faced by the tankless water heater is maintenance. Certain individuals assert that tankless water heaters are maintenance-free, which is untrue. Most manufacturers recommend cleaning your unit once a year. While some even go as far as adding the condition of annual maintenance in your warranty, unfulfillment can make your warranty void.
Thankfully, the process of flushing is easy and is doable by the house owner. If you do it yourself, the first-time material cost is around $150, but if one takes good care of the reusable tools. The upcoming ones are only going to cost you $10 and 2 hours of your time.
3. Tankless water heater flow sensor
Every tankless water heater comes with a flow sensory. The flow sensor is usually located near the inlet through cold water enter the tankless unit. When the tap is open, this flow sensor turns the tankless water heater on/off when a certain amount of water flows in front of it. This makes it so that tankless water heater only works when you open a tap. that is why it is also called an on-demand water heater, but sadly, it also means that when the tap is open slightly such that water passing in front of the flow sensor is less than the triggering amount, your tankless water heater will also likely not turn on.
4. Possibly voided warranty
Some of the tankless water heater warranties include the two clauses which people don’t know and could cause their tankless water heater warranty to be void. These two clauses are that a licensed plumber must install the tankless water heater and in case the tankless water heater is damaged during installation by the owner himself or by a cheaper but unlicensed plumber. The warranty will not cover the damage. The 2nd clause is if the tankless water heater stops working due to the owner not doing the annual flushing for a couple of years. The warranty will be null and void. You can avoid this now that you are aware of it.
5. High installation cost
Tankless water heater installation costs can be quite high, even more so if you’re switching from a tank to a tankless water heater. If you believe that the previously used pipelines for the tank water heater can be reused for the tankless one, that may not necessarily be. New channels for the tankless water heater have to be set up as tankless water heaters require a higher supply of gas and water, which the old pipelines of the tank water heater cannot support. If the gas or water supply is low, then a tankless water heater won’t work. Similarly, new vents for the tankless water heater need to be installed to vent out the harmful gases released as a product of gas-burning like carbon monoxide. These new installations make it that a tankless water heater can go up 2-3 more expensive than the tank water heater.
6. Tankless Water Heater in Power outrage
A tankless water heater can have two main parts; one of them is the computer part that is visible to you in the form of a display panel from which you can control all the settings of the tankless water heater from turning it on/off to temperature setting. While the other part can be termed the heat exchanger, which will heat up your water based on the input fitted in the computer part. Now, just like any other computer, it also needs power at all times to work. So, if there is a power outage, you can’t get the hot water as there is no electricity powering the computer part, which in turn can’t instruct the heat exchanger to heat the water.
But there is a solution to this problem; you can add a secondary power source like a battery to power it. If it is a gas tankless water heater, then all the energy the tankless water heater is going to need is equal to the power required by a light bulb. So, even a tiny power source can power it for a long time.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why am I not getting hot water from my tankless water heater?
This can be due to a variety of reasons. You need to discover what is yours. The following are some of the most common reasons why your tankless water heater is not producing hot water:
Scalp/sediment deposit (When was the last time you flush your water heater. Was it more than a year ago. if yes, this could be your reason)
Exceeding tankless water heater capacity (Each tankless water heater has an ability to how fast it can heat the water. Exceed it can result in tankless water heater not keeping up with your demand. Hence cold water)
What size tankless water heater do I need for a family of 5?
For a family of 5, a tankless water heater with the size of 10 GPM is recommended as with more people the chance of several taps being open at a time increases. Which could lead to the problem of exceeding the common 4 GPM capacity of a small tankless water heater. This can result in small tankless being not being able to meet your demand and the water may not be as hot as you wanted. A 10 GPM can help you achieve your endless supply of hot water with your desired temperature.
Why does my tankless water heater keep getting cold?
You need to know that every tankless water heater has a specific capacity to heat the hot water quickly. Tankless ability is determined in gallons per minute(GPM). If you draw water from your faucet exceeding this capacity, this tankless water heater won’t get enough time to heat the water, and hence you will get colder water. This happens when several taps draw water at the same time.
Tankless water heaters are not some magical box or wizard spell which perfect in all sense. Just like any other appliances, they also come with cons/problems. But other than the higher installation costs, most of the tankless water heater problems in 2022 can be resolved and avoided if you have sufficient knowledge about them. In a nutshell, don’t be a dreamer believing that tankless water heaters are perfect. They are continuously being improved, with each subsequent version being more advanced than the previous.
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