Tankless water heaters have been in use for a few decades now and are popular in Asian and European countries. These type of water heaters are reputed for being energy efficient, space saving design and environment-friendly operation. Storage water tank heaters use a lot of energy to heat the water continuously to supply continuous hot water even when not in use. But tankless water heaters heat water only when hot water is required, and these devices can supply an endless amount of hot water at the temperature set.
Navien Tankless water heater
Navien tankless water heaters are reputed brand and are known for their quality and efficiency. The tankless water heaters by Navien were launched in 2006, and since then these heaters are becoming increasingly popular for their efficiency and unmatched quality. The water heaters are 98% efficient in heating and supplying endless hot water. With more than a decade of continuous success in the industry the company only uses high-quality boiler combined with advanced heating technology to manufacture efficient tankless heaters. In this article we will discuss how the Navien tankless water heater works, general issues and the ways to troubleshoot them.
How the water heater works?
The Navien tankless water heater starts supplying hot water by opening the hot water tap which detects the flow. The flow sensor gets activated to detect the amount of hot water required which in turn activates the igniter. Once the igniter is activated the gas control valve gets opened to release the required amount of gas to heat the water. The vents and fan get activated to igniting the burner to provide the flame to heat. The secondary heat exchanger heats the cold-water initially and then enters the primary heat exchanger. The unit then determines the right amount of temperature for the outgoing water which is the temperature set by the user and then moves to buffer tank. Finally, the hot water is delivered to the faucet.
The following are common issues that are experienced with Navien tankless water heaters along with the troubleshooting guide.
The most common issue complained by the customers is quick corrosion of the flow sensor. The build-up causes the flow sensor to break down suddenly which end up in shut down of the entire unit resulting in the interrupted supply of hot water.
The issue can be temporarily fixed by removing the two clamps of the sensor and blowing onto the part to clear the build-up. The Navien company recommends changing the flow sensor to stainless steel. Apart from that any part causing the machine to shutdown can be replaced as the spares for each part are available on the market. A filter can be installed in the inlet water flow pipe before the installation of the Navien tankless water heater to prevent flow sensor from corroding.
The next common issue of the Navien tankless water heater is the failure of the control board. This occurs due to energy fluctuation in the unit. If the unit is turned on or off abruptly on a regular basis then in due course will result in control board failure which is error code 03.
The failure can sometimes be recovered by unplugging and plugging back the unit. But if this does not work then the only way to put back the heater to work is by replacing the control board.
Although, this is not a frequently complained issue compared to other problems. The heat exchangers of the tankless water heaters may become dry and decay over a period. The deterioration of the heat exchange depends on the usage of the unit.
The decayed heat exchanger can allow the exhaust gases to enter your home which is unhealthy. Hence it should be replaced without any delay. This part is covered under the warranty of the Navien company.
Hot water entering the fixtures is delayed
Occasionally it complains that the hot water supply is slowing down. This may be due to the partial blockage of outlet pipes and hence need to be checked deeply for the obstruction.
The issue needs to be checked by a plumbing contractor and install a recirculation return line from the water back of the water heater to the faucet if external recirculation mode is used.
Inefficient heating of water
One of the major problems of the Navien tankless water heater faced by the user. The tankless water heater is supposed to supply hot water at the set temperature.
The issue can be sorted out by checking the temperature settings if the unit is set at the low temperature, then the water supplied will be not hot enough. If this does not resolve the issue, then the cross-plumbing needs to checked between hot and cold-water pipes.
Venting related issues are the most common with the tankless water heaters which often result in leaks and condensation causing damage to the water heater and the surrounding area.
Installing category 3 stainless steel piping is recommended for tankless water heaters. Refer to the owner’s manual of the Navien tankless water heater to know what types of pipes are ideal for your unit.
For any other small issues then the unit can be rectified with the reset of the heater. This rectifies almost all sort of little issues of Navien tankless water heater faced by the user. The reset button is located on the face of the water heater in the control panel. However, if reset fails to rectify the issue, then it is recommended to call an authorized tankless water heater technician for further troubleshooting.