A tankless water heater is an excellent option for modern homes: they can keep up with the demand of the majority of households (provided they’re sized correctly), cut down on energy bills, and won’t run out of hot water the way standard storage tank water heaters do. We are proud to offer top quality installations of tankless water heaters in Bethesda, MD and throughout our wide service area.
A special advantage of tankless water heaters is that they require fewer repairs over their lifetime on average than storage tank water heaters. That doesn’t mean no repairs, however! Any type of water heater can encounter problems that require the assistance of professionals to fix. We’ll take a look at some potential water heater malfunctions below.
The trouble with the burners
The most popular type of tankless water heater is a natural gas-powered model. There are electric models, but they cost much more to run. A gas-powered tankless system has to use burners just like a tank system. The difference is the burners apply heat to water moving through the tankless system, rather than to a standing water supply, and the burners only come on when there’s a demand for water. The burners can become dirty and clogged, which will cause them to have trouble firing, and you’ll notice this by a drop in hot water temperature in the house.
Corrosion is an enemy of all systems that have metal and water in contact. A tankless water heater is less likely to corrode than a storage tank system, but if the pipes start to leak, corrosion can start up. If the corrosion develops too far, the whole system may need to be replaced. This is why it’s crucial to act on any leaks you might notice with the water heater.
Hard water problems
The water from a tankless water heater moves through small holes, and this can cause problems if there’s a build-up. It will lead to a drop in water pressure, followed by no hot water at all. The prime concern is hard water minerals building up in the system. You’ll need to have the water heater cleaned out, but we also strongly recommend installing a water softener to eliminate the problem at the source.
Gas-powered water heaters must vent out combustion fumes safely from the system. If a water heater has poor ventilation, acid condensation will start to develop inside the heat exchanger and quickly ruin it. Poor venting is also a potential safety risk. However, this problem is unlikely to occur… as long as the water heater was professionally installed to have the right sized venting.
Failed heating element
This applies to electric tankless water heaters. If the heating element burns out, there’s no heat to apply to the water. You can find online guides about how to fix this on your own, but we strongly advise against it! Call professionals to ensure the work is done accurately.
Mallick Plumbing & Heating is the Service Contractor of Choice in Silver Spring, MD and throughout Montgomery County.