Instant or tankless water heaters are a great option for offices or homes as they are efficient and can save you money because they only heat water when there is a demand for it. But as with any hot water system, things can go wrong. Here are some common problems and some gas hot water system troubleshooting options.
A buildup of mineral
Whether you have a tankless water heater or have a traditional one, or whichever hot water brand you may have, one of the common instantaneous hot water system problems people experience is a buildup of mineral inside the heater which causes scales and impacts how efficiently the heater works. Hard water in particular causes this problem as it has a higher mineral content compared to soft water. The harder the water is in your area the more likely you are going to have to deal with this with the two minerals Magnesium and Calcium being the main culprits. The answer is to flush your water heater more often in hard water areas, you can hire a plumber to handle it if you do not know how.
Overloading the system
Another common instant gas hot water system problems are that spending on the capacity your heater has, it is possible having too many appliances using hot water can lead to an overloading of the system. This means you should try to avoid having the dishwasher, washing machine, shower and such on at the same time or you may issues of it struggling or even shutting down. Resetting the unit can help and then either consider what you are using and when, or upgrade the type of heater you have to one that has better capacity.
Cold showers when you are not first in
There are times when there are several of you in the home where you might find there is no hot water left after one person takes a shower. The gas hot water goes hot then cold because there was enough hot water left in the pipes so it felt like it was fine, but then once that initial hot water got used there is nothing left. While the word instantaneous is used to refer to tankless heaters, you do still need to give it time to heat water between showers. You should also know that the further the shower is away from the water heater the more noticeable that gap is. This is not an example of your gas hot water system not working. This is how it works so just time showers accordingly.
Water is lukewarm
A faulty thermostat or a faulty diaphragm can cause lukewarm water to replace hot water, says Brisbane plumber Ryan Old. If your instant gas hot water system is not producing as much water as it should, or the water pressure is low, this can also be caused by a faulty thermostat.
Exhaust or air supply blocked
If this is your problem in most systems the display will have a code that tells you there is a block. If you notice your gas water heater not working check to see if there is a code showing and look in the book the heater came with. Call in an expert and they can check for things like the vent pipes being properly connected, that clearance requirements are met, and that the water heater was not installed too close to other things that are now blocking it. Other common vent issues are wasp nests, bird nests and rodent nests causing blocks.
There are many reasons why your water heater might not be igniting as it should. A common one is that there is an issue with your gas supply. If you have a propane tank make sure it is full. Check your gas valves are properly open. If these are not the solutions you need and your gas hot water system not working is still because of no ignition call your expert to take a look.
Your gas water heater not working if there is no flame is a problem with gas pressure or electrics. Rule out a lack of gas supply again and then contact your hot water plumbing expert to take a look. It could be an issue with venting, combustion, a too-small gas line, a failure in the regulator and so on.
Having other hot water system issues? Check our guides below:
- Hot Water System Leaking? Here’s the Easy Fix!
- Low Hot Water Pressure? Here are the Culprits!
- How Long do Hot Water Systems Last? Water Heater Lifespan Explained!
Instant Gas Hot Water System Problems: Summary
There are many instantaneous hot water system problems owners have to deal with, and they vary in nature and size. With gas water heaters it is always the best choice to call in a plumber near you to take a look rather than mess around dangerously with things you likely do not fully understand.