Your tankless water heater may be ready to perform as soon as it’s installed, but that doesn’t mean you can forget about it for years! When water heater repairs crop up, or you need to schedule regular maintenance to keep the unit in optimal condition, you need a team that you trust.
Earl’s Plumbing knows tankless water heaters inside and out. Whether we installed your unit or not, we can certainly make efficient repairs to get it running again. We have experience with all kinds of water heater problems, and we have the solutions you need to get dependable hot water in your home again. Plus, we can perform the annual maintenance your system needs — and relieve you of that stress and responsibility!
Earl’s Plumbing can perform diagnostics and repairs on all major brands of tankless water heaters. We have experienced technicians specializing in tankless repairs, but we also have the required tools and equipment that the various technical support staff require. You would think that it would be a given that the three most important pieces of equipment for diagnosing and/or repairing a tankless water heater problem would be on every plumber’s truck, but it’s not.
Some of the equipment is very specialized and not used frequently — most technicians and plumbers don’t have these in their everyday bag of tools. To properly diagnose a problem with a tankless water heater, you need a manometer for gas measurements, a voltmeter for electrical & circuitry testing and an unusually long, magnetic Phillips head screwdriver.
Earl’s Pluming technicians have all earned various levels of manufacture training and certifications. More specifically, we’re factory certified in both Navien and Rheem tankless water heaters and have experience repairing Rinnai and Noritz brand tankless heaters.
Although we don’t get a lot of Navien repair calls because of their superior quality and engineering, all of Earl’s Plumbing’s licensed plumbers are Level 3 Navien Service Specialists. We’re all factory certified and carry a full complement of Navien repair parts. This allows us to complete almost all repairs on the same day we’re dispatched. In addition, we have a direct line to Navien Tech Support and their senior technicians that allows us to bypass the normal call waiting queue, saving us time and you money.
What we find far too often is that improper installation is the primary reason for most tankless water heater problems. Usually, the problem is located in the venting, gas or condensation components. All licensed plumbers are certified by the Texas State Board of Plumbing Examiners (TSBPE), and you would think that a certain standard would be maintained, but for some reason, it’s incredibly inconsistent.
Generally speaking, about 90% of all Navien service & repair calls are due to poor or improper installation. This is what we see in the field as well. It would be safe to say that we get at least 3-4 calls per month where the Navien tankless heater was not installed properly on some level.
In most service calls, we find that the improper installation has caused the heater to produce an error code or caused a part to wear out prematurely. Sometimes, poor and/or improper installation takes several months or even a year or more to produce problems. That sounds odd, but Navien heater is so good that they can overcome a lot of obstacles before showing signs of problems.
Call Earl’s Plumbing for any questions about the right water heater for you and your family.
Homeowners might think the tankless water heater is different than their old tank heaters and that these little inconveniences are the new normal. This should not be the case! The differences between tank and tankless units are virtually indistinguishable UNLESS you were not sold the right model, size or type of unit OR because of improper installation. Some installation issues may not even present themselves until a certain season when incoming water temperatures or air temperatures cause different physical dynamics with the water heater’s performance.
Keep an eye out for the following:
If your water heater shows any signs of poor performance or malfunctions, don’t ignore them! Small repairs can easily become huge leaks that cause property damage or introduce elements into your water that can be unsafe. The pros at Earl’s plumbing are your best option for returning your water heater to fantastic performance!
There doesn’t need to be anything wrong with your water heater to perform maintenance on it. In fact, regular maintenance often prevents repairs, lengthens the overall lifespan and increases the quality of performance of your water heater! Just like other appliances in your home, your car, or even your body, periodic maintenance ensures that the system in question is ready to operate in the coming months.
Maintenance suggestions and/or requirements for your tankless water heater vary by manufacturer. A good rule of thumb that most plumbers recommend is the unit should be cleaned and maintained every 500 hours of use. For a family of four, that is typically every 12 months. Commercial tankless heater applications should be made at least every six months, if not more.
Water heater maintenance is pretty straightforward. It typically takes about an hour per heater to complete and requires our team to adjust various valves so that the heater itself is isolated (isolation valves must be present). Then, we use a pump and a series of hoses connected to these valves to flush the inside of the heater.
If done properly, the cleaning is performed both forward and backward through the loop. This pump solution should be completed two separate times so that the acidic solution is not diluted too much after the first run.
Food-grade acid descales the insides of the lines that build up calcification deposits during the heating process. Extremely high heat and chemical changes cause minerals in the water, such as calcium and lime, to stick to the sides of the pipe. The final steps greatly depend on the heater’s brand and model. Different versions have both water and air filters (sometimes multiple) that must be removed and cleaned.
If you neglect doing maintenance on your tankless heater, it will significantly reduce the life span. However, you could go years without performing maintenance on the unit, and the heater will still function. It won’t be efficient, but it will still produce hot water and a reduced flow rate.
If you do go years without maintenance OR you purchase a home that has a tankless heater already, you might be unsure when the last time the heater was cleaned. In these cases, the cleaning process could do more harm than good.
We have seen heaters that are 6-8 years old and have never been cleaned. After the cleaning process, the heater can develop a series of leaks because the scale buildup that was invisible to the tech becomes so significant that it makes the pipe joints weak. When this happens, the heater exchanger (the most expensive part of the heater) has to be replaced or a new heater installed.
At Earl’s Plumbing, our customer system allows us to enter your tankless installation or tankless maintenance as a recurring service to send you a reminder when your unit is due for maintenance. Also, the newest Navien NPE models will alert you when service is due.
Many parts needed for repairs are available under warranty at no cost to you. We have to get them shipped in, so there could be a delay in getting your heater back up and running by a day or two. Different manufacturers have different warranties that vary by brand, model, and whether the heater is being used for residential or commercial applications.
Whereas not all traditional tank-type heaters can be used for commercial applications, most brands and models of tankless water heaters can be. Residential warranties are typically longer than commercial warranties because of the amount of additional use that they experience over an expected lifetime.
Navien tankless water heaters have the longest residential warranty in the industry. For residential purposes, the heat exchangers are covered for 15 years, and the other parts are covered for five years. Just like other brands, the commercial warranty is reduced, but in Navien’s case, it’s just eight years (heat exchanger) and three years (parts). Earl’s Plumbing’s limited labor warranty is currently two years from installation for any Navien tankless water heater model.
Most other tankless brands (Rheem, Rinnai and Noritz) have a residential warranty of 12 years on the heat exchanger and between 3 and 5 years on the parts.
All warranties have stipulations, and part of that usually requires that the unit be “properly installed” (see above). Some manufacturers also require that you show proof of regular maintenance, which is another reason why annual maintenance appointments are so important. No warranties are going to cover weather related damage such as a freeze rupture, so make sure that you take steps to protect your investment during severe cold weather events. You can find additional information for this on our website titled “freeze protection”.
Earl’s Plumbing is your go-to plumbing team for all tankless water heaters services. Our team works quickly to identify the repair and offer a long-lasting solution. We put care into every maintenance appointment because we know how impactful it can be to your system’s health. Let us keep your unit healthy and give you the stellar service you deserve! Give us a call!