Tankless water heaters have a streamlined look and a water-saving design that appeals to many modern homeowners. But tankless water heaters, like all appliances, can run into some issues that impact efficacy. If you suddenly aren't receiving any hot water through your faucets, there are a couple of quick checks you can perform to diagnose the problem. If these aren't the issues, or you don't want to fix it yourself, call a qualified plumber for assistance.
Check the Water and Electrical Supplies to the Unit
A tankless water heater can't work if the power or water to the unit isn't turned on. Check to make sure the main water supply is turned on and that the unit has a red standby light displayed when no faucets are turned on. If you have water but no light, check the breaker for the water heater.
Is the power on but the red light is still dark? Or is the standby light on and the lights indicating leaving water don't work? That failure can be a sign that there's an electrical issue within your unit. Call a water heater repair person as soon as possible for an evaluation. You might need to purchase and install a new heater.
If the lights are working but no water is coming through at all, you might want to make sure your water supply pipes haven't frozen somewhere along the lines. This is a major risk in winter weather particularly if your water pipes run along the exterior of your house or along the outermost walls. Some heat tape might be enough to keep those pipes from freezing and cutting off the supply to your water heater.
Check the Burner System
The heat for a gas-fueled tankless heater comes from a burner system that includes a pilot light and a flame sensor. The flame sensor is designed to "look" for the pilot light and allow gas through only when it is lit. If the flame sensor becomes dirty, or the pilot light repeatedly goes out, then the gas supply will cut off and you won't get any hot water.
If you have some plumbing experience, consult your owner's manual for directions on how to clean the flame sensor and how to clean and relight the pilot. Make sure you turn off any power and gas to the unit before performing these tasks. And if you don't feel comfortable doing the job yourself at any point, call a professional like Rossi Mechanical Services for assistance.
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