Many homeowners will enjoy the increased supply of hot water that a tankless system can offer. However, these systems can also suffer problems that can require professional services to repair. While a tankless heater may be reliable under normal conditions, homeowners should at least be aware of the types of problems that their system can encounter.
Regular wear is the most common reason for needing a professional to service the water heater system. Over time, the heating elements in the pipes, the seals, and electrical controls can all degrade. This may not result in the system immediately failing, but it can increase the risk of future problems while also impacting the current performance of the system. Homeowners should avoid going longer than a couple of years between having their tankless water heater system serviced as this can allow this routine wear to become extremely serious.
Exceeding the System's Capacity
Tankless water heaters can provide a steady stream of hot water. However, homeowners need to appreciate that there are limits. For example, multiple appliances or plumbing fixtures simultaneously using hot water can exceed the capacity of these systems. When this occurs, you will find that you run out of hot water. In fact, this may even cause damage to the system if it is done too frequently or for too long. If you are finding that you are regularly encountering this issue, it can be worthwhile to invest in a tankless water heater that has a higher capacity. For homes that already have a tankless water heater system, this upgrade may not be as disruptive as installing a new system due to the option of upgrading the heating elements.
An obstruction in the tankless water heater can lead to immediate performance problems. In extreme cases, this can cause a total blockage of water flowing through the tubes in the tank. This can also damage the heating elements as they will continue to be active despite the lack of water flowing through, which can lead to them overheating and breaking. Sediments, rocks, and mineral deposits are the most common causes of these obstructions. Some of these issues, such as sediments and mineral deposits, can be corrected by giving the tankless water heater system a high-pressure flushing. However, rocks or other hard materials may not be removed with this option. Rather, a tankless water heater repair service will need to remove the section of the pipes where the obstruction is located. This may allow them to remove it, but if it is too jammed, replacing this section may be the easiest option.