How To Solve Common Gas Tankless Water Heater Problems

Gas tankless water heaters can be a great solution for saving money, space, and water, but sometimes they do experience problems. Before calling a professional, check out these common problems that you may experience with your gas tankless model, how to trouble shoot them yourself, and when to call a professional for help.

Water Looks/Smells Different

If you experience your water looking or smelling different, this could be a sign that there is mold, fungus, bacteria, or sediment buildup inside your gas tankless water heater. This may mean that your tankless model is due for a cleaning. To keep your water heater running like new without fowl smelling water, it is recommended that you descale your product once every six months. This can easily be completed without having to call in a professional for help. Simply purchase the EZ-Flush Descaler Kit from the Eccotemp website to connect to your tankless water heater for easy cleaning every 6 months. This product can be reused over and over to keep your water heater functioning like new! It is also small and compact for easy storage until you need to use it again!

EZ-Flush Descaler Kit

Your Water is Too Hot

It is common to experience a situation where your water is not getting hot enough, but it is also possible that your water is too hot. This is an easy fix that will not require you calling in an expert. There could be multiple reasons that you’re experience water that is too hot so try troubleshooting these two common issues first before calling in a professional.

  • a. Try to reset your water heater thermostat. 120℉ is a good reset point if your water is too hot.
  • b. Check to make sure that there are no blockages and if there are, clear them. Lack of water flow can cause your water to overheat past the desired temperature.  *The EZ-Flush kit would come in handy for this step.

If you have tried the three troubleshooting ideas above and you are still experiencing extremely hot water, then call in a professional for help.

You Need Hot Water Faster

Depending on where your tankless water heater is placed in relation to your sink, shower or spicket, it may take more time for the hot water to reach your hands. Once the water is heated, it must travel through the pipes to reach the desired output location and produce the hot water. If you are experiencing a wait, this is not a problem and you do not need to call a professional. This is very common and if it is a serious inconvenience, you can purchase a point of use mini tank water heater to install directly under the faucet/shower that you need more hot water at The Eccotemp SmartHome Mini Tank Water Heater is a small, point of use mini tank that can easily be installed under your sink to act as a “booster” and provide hot water instantly! It is also compatible with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and can easily be controlled with your voice. The life usage statistics can be pulled up on your smart phone to effortlessly read and monitor water usage.

The Eccotemp SmartHome Mini Tank Water Heater

Flame Not Igniting

Another problem that you may experience is the flame in your tankless water heater not igniting. Before calling in a professional to address this issue, there are multiple steps you can take to see if you can fix the problem yourself.

  • a. Make sure that all lines connecting to the electricity, gas, and water are ON and can reach your tankless water heater with no disruptions.
  • b. Double check that the gas line is the correct size and that you are using the right gas type. Also check to make sure that the pressure is correct.
  • c. Check your gas control valve and ensure that there is no short circuit.
  • d. If your tankless water heater has a vent system make sure that it is the correct size and that it has been installed correctly.
  • e. Check to make sure that there is no water or condensation reaching the flame that could potentially extinguish it.
  • f. Ensure that the flow rate is over the recommended minimum and that your flow sensor is working properly.

If you have tried all the troubleshooting options above and your flame is still being extinguished, you may need to call in an expert for help. If you are unsure about any of the steps mentioned above, it is better to call an expert than cause further damage to your tankless water heater.

Shutting Off During Showers

Does your tankless water heater shut off during showers? This may mean that you have an older model tankless water heater. Why does this matter? If your water heater was purchased/ installed 10+ years ago then the problem may be that the minimum flow rate is too high. Depending on which model you have, the flow rate can vary. Flow rate is the minimum amount of water that your tankless water heater needs to flow through it every minute to produce hot water. This is most commonly measured in gallons. If the amount of hot water that you are needing is below the minimum flow rate of your specific model, it is most likely shutting off for safety purposes. Nothing is wrong with your water heater; it simply shuts off to prevent overheating due to lack of cold water flowing over the heat exchanger. To avoid any potential damage to your tankless water heater, it shuts itself off which will leave you colder water in the middle of your shower.

So, should you call a plumber? It depends? If this is a problem that you continue to experience you may want to consider upgrading your water heater to a model with a lower minimum flow rate. This means that even if there is a small amount of hot water needed, your tankless water heater will still run. 

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