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Performance Plumbing Blog

Beware These Potential Tankless Water Heater Woes

woman-looking-surprised-and-concernedThe tankless water heater has become a preferred choice for many homeowners today. They keep up with the demand of the majority of households in our area—so long as they are properly sized for your home. They also help you cut down on energy bills, and won’t “run out” of hot water in the way that standard storage tank water heaters do.

Another very big benefit of choosing a tankless system for your water heating needs is that they typically require far fewer repairs over their lifetime than storage tank water heaters. This doesn’t mean yours will never need any repairs, however. Any type of water heater can encounter operational issues that require the assistance of a professional to fix. We’ll take a look at some potential water heater malfunctions below.

Burner Trouble

The most common type of tankless water heater found in homes is the natural gas-powered one. There are electrical models, but they cost much more to run. A gas-powered tankless system doesn’t require a standing water supply, so the burners only come on when there is a demand for hot water. These burners can become dirty, and clogged as a result. This in turn will cause them to have trouble firing up, and you’d notice this if there’s a drop in hot water temperature throughout your house.


Corrosion is the natural enemy of any system that involves water meeting metal. A tankless system is less likely to have this occur than a standard storage tank water heater, however, it’s still a possibility. And if corrosion develops too far, the whole system could have to be replaced. Therefore, if you detect or suspect any leaks, it’s important to have them taken care of right away.

Hard Water Problems

The water from a tankless systems moves through small openings—small opening that can get restricted if there is any type of mineral buildup. This leads to a decline in water pressure, eventually leading to no hot water at all. The primary concern with this is hard water minerals building up—you’ll need to have the water heater cleaned out, but we also strongly recommend installing a water softener to eliminate the problem right at the source.

Improper Venting

Gas-powered water heaters have to vent out combustion fumes safely from the system. If a water heater has poor ventilation, what happens is that acid condensation will begin to develop inside the heat exchanger, and quickly ruin it. Poor venting also creates a safety risk—it’s unlikely, as long as your tankless water heater was professionally installed. But it’s an important potential repair issue to be aware of.

Failed Heating Element

This is in reference to electric-powered water heaters. If the heating elements burn out, then there is no heat to apply to the water. You’re sure to find many online guides on how to fix this on your own, but for safe and effective repairs, we highly recommend you give our team a call.

For expert water heater services and more in St. Louis, MO, contact Performance Plumbing today!

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