It is no surprise that tankless heaters are so popular. Moreover, their design and construction make them energy efficient and space efficient. With a little care and maintenance, they can last a long time.
However, we cannot expect water heaters to last forever. Even if you maintain your tankless water heater properly over time, you may need a new one sooner or later. In rder to avoid being surprised by a faulty water heater in the middle of a shower, you should be aware of signs that your system is nearing its end. Therefore, smart homeowners replace their water heaters before they begin to show signs of wear and tear.
Let’s examine a couple of those signs now.
1. The water heater you have is getting old
Generally, standard tankless water heaters are designed to deliver hot water on demand and last for about ten years prior to the need for replacement, unless the user changes the model. It is possible to observe some of the warning signs if the tankless heater already reaches its 10th birthday.
Be aware that if you have excessive use of hot water in your home and if it has not been maintained properly, then your water heater’s lifespan might be considerably shorter than 10 years.
Your water heater’s serial number can tell you how old it is. You’ll find this information on a sticker found above the unit. If you have trouble finding a date, plug the model number into the manufacturer’s official website to find out more details.
2. It’s making strange noises
There are various types of noises that water heaters make, indicating sometimes the need to seek immediate service, and sometimes none at all.
In contrast, listening for the noises that are being made can help you anticipate when a component needs to be serviced or replaced.
When starting up and heating water, every tankless water heater will make some noise, but the noise levels are usually safe and should not cause you concern. The noise may occur when the hot water is not being used, in this case it may be caused by a vacuum that has drawn the water away from the system and caused it to make a loud sound and vibration.
The solution to this problem is to hire a plumber to install a check valve into the water line to prevent the water from flowing to the water heater from being confused with other plumbing fixtures.
Another common problem with tankless heaters is a clogged flow sensor, which controls how much gas is added to the heating element. Noise sources may also include a defective or poorly set pressure valve or a blocked or inadequate ventilation system.
There are a number of reasons for noisy units, so you should consult a plumber for a diagnosis and solution if necessary.
3. Variable temperatures
Hot water temperature can fluctuate from perfect to overly warm to cold in the span of a day, so if your temperature will fluctuate all in one day, you have a problem. It sounds like it could be electrical. Weak connections are usually the reason for this annoying problem. However, it can be easily repaired barring significant electrical damage.
One of the major benefits of tankless water heaters is that they generate hot water immediately. In the case that your heater is not able to do this, you should schedule service immediately. When you have low water pressure to go along with a lack of hot water, it is likely that the problem is serious, and you may need to replace the entire system.
4. Water heater shutting off on its own
When too many taps are running, a tankless water heater shuts off. Another name for this is system overload. Generally, tankless heaters have a specified capacity — and if the load exceeds this number, they may fail.
A malfunctioning unit can happen when you run multiple showers at once; take a hot bath while running water from the kitchen tap; or even when running two taps at once. To avoid all this fuss, replace your tankless with a unit with larger capacity. Before replacing you need to know about proper sizing of tankless water heaters.
Other reasons could be improper wiring or installation in case of electric models, clogged filters and wrong sized gas lines for gas tankless heaters.
5. Is your water strangely flavored or colored?
Generally , the traditional water softeners are a superb idea to protect your warm water from being discolored and with an odd flavor. Because a tankless unit lacks a tank to collect sediment, you will never have taint water or face discoloration. But still if you experience, the water heater itself could be broken down or defective or your water supply may be defective if you experience this issue.
Whatever the case, contact an expert immediately, because you don’t want this to persist.
6. Electrical issues in the home
The above problem is interlinked and sometimes accompanied by this one. Lights may flicker and breakers may trip during power surges caused by hot water heaters less than 15 years old or those with loose connections.
In case of such technical and serious issues, you need to call a professional plumber before fixing or replacing it.
Although tankless water heaters bring huge benefits with premium features, they have some flaws also if not maintained with proper care. But there is no need to panic yourself when you see alarming signs in a tankless heater. Just consult a professional plumber whether it is time to repair a unit or completely replace it.
Last modified: May 1, 2021