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Serving Northern and Central New Mexico

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Roadrunner Air Conditioning, Heating & Plumbing Blog

Can a Tankless Water Heater Malfunction?

tankless water heater on groundThe short answer to this is, “yes.” But, we’re not going to leave you hanging like that, and we definitely don’t want to deter you from purchasing a tankless system!

In fact, we often recommend the installation of a tankless water heater system over the more traditional tank water heater due to its numerous advantages, like lower energy bills, longer equipment life, and perhaps the biggest appeal, an unlimited hot water supply.

Tankless systems do suffer from less repair needs on average than their storage tank counterparts, since they don’t deal with the stress of water stored in a tank, and the continual need to use energy in order to keep that water heated. Tankless systems essentially do less work and don’t wear down as fast, as a result. However, as we alluded to above, they can malfunction, and when they do it is important that you call for professional Santa Fe, NM water heater services as soon as possible.

“But What Can Go Wrong?”

Tankless water heaters function by moving water from your hot water line through a heat exchanger. This is where heat from the gas jets is transferred into the water. Deposits inside the heat exchanger can cause the tankless water heater outlets to become clogged. This is noticeable by low water pressure coming from your hot water faucets (but not the cold water faucets).

The most common cause of these deposits is hard water—that is, water with a high concentration of minerals, namely magnesium and calcium. You need a professional plumber to clear out the obstruction, and it’s also a good idea to look into the installation of a whole house water softener to avoid this problem, and others, in the future.

Another threat to tankless systems are leaks—leaks inside the heat exchanger to be exact. When this occurs, the escaping water is capable of causing corrosion within the system. A corroded water heater almost always will require replacement, but if the problem is caught early enough, then repair may be possible.

Tankless water heaters can also fail in some of the same ways a standard, gas-powered tank water heater or furnace can fail—that is, the gas jets can get too dirty and fail to ignite as a result. If the electronic ignition system breaks down, your water heater won’t even come on, and you’ll end up with no hot water at all.

Turn to Our Pros for Tankless Water Heater Repair

No matter what the problem or suspected problem is with your tankless water heater, you definitely want a trained and licensed professional to handle the job. The majority of tankless systems run from natural gas, and only certified pros should work with any appliance connected to a gas line (in fact, it’s the law).

This will ensure that the repairs are done correctly, and also safely. If our pros discover that your tankless water heater is past the point where repairs will do any good any more, you’ll want to arrange for a system replacement.

As we stated above, we don’t mean to deter you from installing a tankless water heater, if you don’t already have one in place. But it’s important to understand that they need proper care, just like any other major home comfort system. We recommend water heater maintenance once a year, but if hard water is a problem in your community then our pros may recommend this more frequently, or less depending on the type of water heater and water filtration systems you have in place.

For quality plumbing solutions and more, contact Roadrunner Air Conditioning, Heating & Refrigeration today!

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