Tankless Water Heater

I am new to this group.
I am looking for information concerning maitenance on tankless water heaters. My daughter has one that needs flushing and the periodic maintmence performed. The local plumbers don't work on them and the big city guys want an arm and leg, stating that various items are required. They want to replace the heater at a cost of $4,500. We think before replacing, the flushing and strainer cleaning should take place to see what happens.
I suspect there is a knowledge base concerning these things, but I don't know where to find them. Can anybody help?
Tanks
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Try this Google search http://www.google.com.au/search?num 0&hl=en&safe=off&q=%22tankless+water+heater%22+%2Bmaintenance&btnG=Search&aq=f&aqi=&aql=&oq=&gs_rfai
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

plumber to perform the mainenance, but one doesn't install nor wprk on tankless heaters. Another didn't want to perform the maintenance, but wanted to enlarge the gas line and install a new heater. The gas line meets the guidlines shown in the manual.
It takes an hour to flush the heatexchanger and clean the strainers. The heater has been neglected, but if a new one is required, the price quoted was excessive, like $4500. I am looking for a plumber that will work on it.
I watched the you-tube videos on flushing one and I am willing to do it, but I would like better information before I start.
Thanks for responding.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

LOL... Ok...
You left off a bunch of important stuff here...
Like age of the installed tankless water heater for one...
How "neglected" is it ?
Some "neglect" can not be "flushed out" and would require a replacement...
Why do you expect a plumber to come out and work on something that is old and neglected and still be able to guarantee their work?
If this "maintenance" ends up causing more trouble than it solves I expect you would demand that the plumbers fix it or replace it at their expense?
Get real... Call the OEM of your tankless water heater and ask them who is factory certified on that type of equipment in your area... Be prepared to pay more than you think is reasonable -- your calls around looking for someone to service it have indicated that the knowledge of that specific unit is rare in your area... That a
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Perhaps to harry, who doesn't have much of a grip on lucidity.
He doesn't say where he's located, but $4500 to replace a tankless water heater sure sounds high, but of course we don't know the specifics,. And I don't see why he should just pay more than he thinks is reasonable. Are plumbers so stupid that they can't handle a tankless water heater, which is just a basic gas appliance, even if they haven't seen that specific model before?
Also, why should he just pay more than he thinks reasonable, when he's already learned that the plumber is feeding him BS, ie that the gas line needs to be replaced with a larger one. The OP had enough sense to go look up the specs and find that the existing line appears to be correctly sized. I'll bet the plumber didn't bother to do that.
Did those big city plumbers look at the unit before telling you that it had to be replaced? Or did they just do it based on the age, description, etc over the phone? Seems a little strange that he has a choice between big city plumber or small town plumber. Usually, you're limited to one or the other for practical reasosn.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
snip

We live in a suburb of Houston.
The plumber I've used for 30 years declines to work on the tankless heaters.
I've come to the conclusion, he can't make money pouring vineger through the heater for an hour. I don't blame him if that's the case.
The big city plumber my daughter called is onr that advertises and covers the metropolitan area. His work probably is priced using overtime rates and I suspect he was quoting a high price.
I inspected the heater and it is a clean installation and seems simple enough to me. I was a little spooked by the attitude that traditional plumbers don't have the knowledge to deal with them.
I understand the video, but am concerned that there may be considerations I don't see.
When I undertake something I haven't done before, I do a little research before I start.
Thanks for your feed back. I have the 5gallon bucket and will be getting a small pump to proceed. :-)
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

If he just Pays Out The Money, without knowing whats needed, he is most likely going to be ripped off. Would you pay $4500.00 US to do a swap out of a tankless that costs maybe $1200.00 and is 1-2 hrs work? Maybe you would. Cleaning one is easy, DIY, if it has the flushing drains installed, and if not they can be installed in a few hours.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

one option......
try and flush it but have everything needed to install a standard tank if flushing fails.
is the tankless a gas or electric model?
tankless in general cost a fortune to service, parts are costly, rountine maintence is necessary, power failure often means no electric no hot water at all......:(.
these are just some of the downsides of tankless instyalls
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Is there a problem with it, does it not heat well, did it work better before? How hard is your water, these units only scale up with hard water. Do you have a water softener? On my unit my water output is on the top so I put in a valve that I can pour in delimer and just let it sit and it works. I have a handy man I trust that helped me set up mine. You need to look around for someone that only wants a few hundred at most, to do what yours needs. You dont give enough info on what you have or the problems.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
I have all the tools and aptitude to do the job.
I was seeking information about the system. The way the plumbers are talking, there are technical things they are not comfortable with.
I will check the filters and then flush the unit. If we decide to keep the unit, I will add service valves.
The problem is that when taking a shower, the water suddenly turns cold. I imagine this could be a heat exchanger issue, a sensor issue, or a flue gas issue.
The unit is a Bosch 125 natural gas . It has not been serviced for five years. The daughter called local plumbers and they declined to work on it.
A new unit will sell retail for 900 to 1000 dollars. If verical space exists in the attic were the unit is located, we probably will buy a Rinnai. I don't know what the additional cost will be.
I'm guessing at this stage if we get a plumber to replace the unit costs will be $1500 to $2200. I am at the age where I really don't care to work that hard, but I will.
The plan now is to flush and service the unit ourselves and then if change out is required, a closely monitored contractor will be used.
Two days ago, I couldn't even spell tankless water heater. :-)
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

That is, reverse the flow of the water going through the heater. Might that just cause a spall to come loose and clog the heater or would it be OK? Later, Chuck
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

That is the one. I think the heater is 10 years old. My daughter and her husband have been in the house 5 years. I'll look for a distributor.
My son in law has other irons in the fire and I'm retired, so I am happy to take it on.
Thanks guys for chiming in.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I Have a Bosch 125 Ng 117000 Btu unit, ive had it about 7 years and a few times have had that issue but it only lasted a few seconds and only happened a few times. Is it power vent or direct vent. You need to test the unit as this happens probably using a volt meter on different sensors. Its not a clogged exchanger its a saftey or temperature sensor or gas valve issue. It could be an overheat sensor that is bad or poor draft causing causing it to trip.
I paid about US500 for mine and I see at Nextag they sell for 7-900 depending on model. A swap out will take a pro 1 hour so that 1500.00 price is way offand that is a 20-30 yr unit, its good till the coil leaks.
One way instalers screw up instalations is they dont test your gas supply with a Manometer to see if you actualy have enough. Does this happen in just winter, I could imagine in winter with lower gas pressure everywhere and other appliances taking gas your pressure to go to low to maybe operate right.
Try testing Temp Rise, measure incomming cold waters temp, then turn the heater on full and measure how hot the water comes out, and the GPM, to see if you get full temp rise. To low and it indicates insufficient gas supply, or a calcified exchanger. Do you have hard water? Do you or your neighbors use water softeners?
I would contact bosch, their trouble shooting site and probably a forum if they have one. I think its an easy cheap fix once you find the issue. www.heatinghelp.com is a boiler pro site you can ask questions at.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
The key to this whole project has to start with what brand and model the tankless unit is.
Go to the website. Find out who is a local supplier. Contact the local supplier for a referral to one of their best plumbers that does this type tankless installation. There is a good chance they might know who installed the original.
While at the website, you can probably get the owner's manual with the recommended maintenance procedures if you want to do them yourself.
If it is a top of the line Noritz, you won't need any tools other than a Phillips screwdriver.
--
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
DanG
Keep the whole world singing . . .
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Thanks again !
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Related Threads

HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.