Tankless Water Heater Repairs | Nick's Plumbing Expert Q&A

Tankless Water Heater Repair

Nick's Plumbing & Air Conditioning Live Video Transcription:

Today’s topic, tankless water heater repair, John Eccles, Richard Saad, Nick’s plumbing  & Air Conditioning coming to you from the world headquarters in the Heights. Glad that you guys were watching the day. Tankless water heater repair is the topic we could talk for about an hour or longer on that. Oh, we’re going to keep this to a short segment today. So any questions that you may have, make sure you call our office John, I, we’re always available. Absolutely. So what brands are we carrying? John? What, what are we recommend in those days? So for Nick’s plumbing & Air Conditioning or recommendations, a Navien, Noritz and Rinnai, those are the three brands that we see the most of. There still are some older models out there, some different brands that you don’t want. Those are the three models that we see a lot of them. The ones that we recommend you to answer, it’s kind of hoping you were going to say that the, uh, those three manufacturers are tried and true.

They’ve been around Houston since owed to those models. And the models that they have worked very well. Now you also have to size the model to your house, right, so I’m units can only do one bathroom, some units can do for bathrooms, so they need to be sized appropriately, and this gets in our topic today of tankless water heater repair. What creates a failure? What creates you to have to repair a unit, right? One is the installation that is the most important part and piece of this puzzle. Where are we seeing? Most of our failures is going to be that installation process, so if you’re a unit is not sized right to your house and it can’t run everything that you’re demanding, you’re going to have an instant failure. There’s no wait time, but here’s the key. If you’ve got two people in the house, you might be able to get away with it for a while.

Six months down the road you have company come over. From that standpoint, a, you’re using more demand on that hot water. Then you get a failure and you’re like, hey, this thing’s worked great for six months. What’s wrong? Well, your units do small. It’s very important about the company that you hire, understands how to size these units to the home. That’s one failure. Installation is a big way, I guess I was and all that kind of stuff. You know your tankless water heaters, a much more complex unit than a standard tank. He runs off a computer system absolute, which is great because when there are some things that go wrong with it. Normally a, especially with the three brands that we’ve mentioned have error codes that help you almost troubleshoot the unit as a professional and as a manufacturer. Now I wouldn’t. I would never recommend because of the type of unit for a homeowner get in there.

There’s a lot of need to take off. That one should not touch it. When you take out that face plate, you’re almost looking at a computer board. It’s kind of like, let me open up my AC system and start moving some wires. Who does that? Well, we have had clients do that. I don’t recommend that. You need to know what you’re doing on these units. They are highly technical and just like your acs as a system, you wouldn’t sit there and start opening that up and let me start moving. Some things don’t do it in a tankless either. Very complicated, great advanced technology is what’s included in that nice pretty box, so don’t do that. Let somebody who knows what they’re doing, troubleshoot and figure that out. Absolutely. Now, how do we stay away from error codes? How do we keep this unit running? I want to start from the basics.

There’s a couple things that you can do. You can put. You basically need a monitor at the beginning so you can either put a micron filter at the beginning of the House and protect all of your faucets, including the water heater, or you can do a micron filter at the unit itself. What will that do for you? It will keep the trash from our city water supply from going into that unit and stopping in the internal filter. When that internal filter gets clogged, you will definitely get an error code, so that’s the beginning of it. Second is in Houston, we have a minerals in the water, of course, right? Everybody knows that I would hope minerals produced whether they’re hard minerals or, or depending on where you are at on the scale from where your house is located, you need to put in something that will stop those minerals from sticking.

How do we do that? Either assault softener, assault free softener, or there is a, uh, electronic technology. So you’ve got three of those technologies that we are not going to discuss today, but you can call our office and we will be more than happy to talk about that. But you put those at the beginning of the unit. Your unit will last forever. Twenty plus years, right? You’re going to get out of that unit. So that’s the start of protecting the unit. Now let’s talk about water heater repair. Tankless water heater repair. I’m sorry. As far as we get, we’re getting error codes. There is a component mal function. The first step when we show up or a plumbing company shows up. What we should do is you open up the box, you figure out what the error code is a and from there you start troubleshooting. Okay.

What component is having the issue that component might need replacement, might just need to be cleaned or fixed and the way that we do that is we have to get on the phone with technical support. It is not an option your technician be calling in to whatever brand company that you have speaking to their technical support. They’re telling you what to do or us and then you’re, they’re going to get a free part or we’re going to have to buy a part. These units have long warranties up to 12 years. It just depends on what component it is. So if that unit is within 12 years, it’s mandatory, we have to call. Yeah. And a lot of times those things take quite a bit. You know, it’s, it’s um, it’s a process, right? So sometimes when you have that issue, they’ll start at stage one.

Okay, we fixed that, we settled the issue stays Tuesday three. It all depends on what the problem is. Sometimes they’re quick, sometimes six hours, you know, again, complex equipment or absolutely complicated computer driven. Right? I think we have a question. Mary Jo can tell. How long does it take this water heater last compared to normal tank burst? Tankless. Classic question. Thank you. Mj for the question. That answer is if you protect the unit prior to the water going in the unit, you’re going to easily get 20 plus years in Europe. They’ve been around and they’ve been getting 40 years. Um, in saying that a tank in Houston go seven to 10. So in theory you should be able to purchase a tankless water heater and that unit should go 20 plus years and you’re replacing two to three tanks before you have to address that tankless hope.

I answered your question. Now when we’re talking about tankless repair Ruben tank, one thing that we want to note is that those units need to be maintained, right? That’s one piece. That’s one piece to really head off a lot of these problems before they start. And don’t get me wrong, Richard hit the nail on the head right out of the gate. Installation is problem source number one. If you can get past the first six months, normally you’re not going to have a problem. If you maintain that unit for probably the life of the unit. Of course, you know, mechanical stuff goes bad, stuff like that and it does happen, but the probability of it is just minimal. If it’s installed correctly and you maintain it absolutely correct. If you put a softening type device before it, we don’t typically even have to maintain it. That’s done for you.

We just have to maintain the softening piece of it and make sure we changed the micron filter a and will never touch that water heater unless there is an error with a component, but you’re not going to have scale problems and that’s typically what we see in tankless units. People do not maintain the unit which creates failures because the scale buildup has, let’s call it gunked up the machine, right, and we have to now pull the scale out of the machine. Well, if you don’t allow that skill to go into the machine, this thing is going to go forever. How often should they do that? Every two to three years, get it looked at, get it looked at. If you don’t have a system on before it, so you should d scale your system every two to three years period. You know, everybody maintains, you change the oil in your car, you know, or you’re going to blow the engine up.

This is no different. These have to have maintenance and in saying that your tank water heater does too, but most people do nothing to their tank. They should be cleaning the burner assembly and draining the system every one to two years period. But nobody ever does it and I hate to say it and I’m just as guilty, but then I couldn’t wait when mine broke because I did purchase a tankless water heater. I did put a softener and a micron filter on prior to my unit and it’s been on my house for 12 years and I can’t even remember where it’s located because nothing ever goes wrong.

That’s good advice for everybody to think about. I’m just kidding. By the way, I know where my tank lists was located. A host point to the story. You do the right things, it gets installed properly, this thing is going to keep going and going and going. And the great thing about tankless is do you keep that scale out of it? It’s just going to be component changeouts. So in 20 years something happens with the gas valve or something happens with the burner assembly, it’s plugin play, pull that piece out, put a new piece in and all three of the brands that we spoke about, or I’m just telling you, cutting edge, always get newer, more complex. We see it every year. You know, the first one’s a, we’re a little less complex now. It’s main computer boards and wires. It’s interesting though. I mean talking about, I want to go back to to error codes.

There’s probably roughly 20 error codes that you can see a on that unit. So one of the things can happen and like I’m telling you guys, the majority comes from not the scaling the unit, not having a something that grabbed the trash from our water before it goes in the unit. And uh, not putting a scale prevent are on before the unit. That’s 99 percent of our failure rate is what we see. That one percent is a component problem. Very rare. So if you’re thinking about buying one, don’t hesitate. Like I said, mine has been on for 12 years. I haven’t even cleaned it. Why? Because I’ve got a softening piece before it. Install it properly. Absolutely. John Echoes, Richard Side. Potty mouth, guys, next plumbing. Any questions, concerns, follow up. Call us. John’s here. I’m here all the time. We will help you whether you use us or you didn’t use us. Thank you guys. Thank you.

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