Yes, just like any other home comfort system, a tankless water heater may at some point need a repair of some kind. True, a tankless system has fewer components than a storage tank system, but that does not mean it’s immune to problems. Of course, you can fend off the worse of these problems with appropriate maintenance, but you may still run into a malfunction at some point.
It’s true—one of the main benefits of installing a tankless water heater is that they encounter fewer repairs on average than storage tank systems, since they don’t deal with the stress of water stored in a tank and the continuous need to use energy to keep the water heated. A tankless system simply does less work, and that means it doesn’t wear down as fast. Keep reading for what can go wrong, though.
How a Tankless Water Heater Might Malfunction
Tankless water heaters move water from the hot water line through a heat exchanger, where heat from the gas jets is transferred into the water. Occasionally, deposits of minerals will built up inside the heat exchanger and cause the outlets from the tankless system to become clogged.
If you discover low water pressure coming from your hot water faucets, these clogs might be the reason. The most common cause of these deposits is hard water. You’ll need our pros to clear out the obstructions, and you should probably have them install a water softener, as well.
A tankless system might also develop leaks inside the heat exchanger. When this occurs, the escaping water will put your system in danger of corrosion. A corroded water heater almost always needs to be replaced. If your tankless system doesn’t properly vent out exhaust gases from the heat exchanger, it can cause the heat exchanger itself to corrode, which can be potentially harmful if you have a gas powered tankless system. At the first sign of corrosion, be sure to contact a pro before it can get any worse.
Tankless systems also have the ability to fail the same way a standard gas-powered tank water heater or furnace can fail. The gas jets can become dirty and fail to ignite fully—or ignite at all. If the electronic ignition system breaks, the water heater won’t come on and you’ll end up with no hot water at all.
Turn to the Pros for Water Heater Repair
No matter what problem you may encounter with your tankless water heater, you want to be sure to have licensed professionals handle whatever needs fixing. The majority of tankless systems do run on natural gas, so only certified technicians should work with them, as understandably working with gas lines can be dangerous.
Lastly, working with a professional means you can accurately determine if a repair is going to be worth it, economically. If your tankless system is aging and/or has a huge repair need, it may make more financial sense to upgrade and replace the system rather than try to keep it going just a little longer with costly repairs.