Decoding Your Water Heater’s Warnings

There's no avoiding it: just about everything that you use on a day-to-day basis has a way to throw an error message at you. If you have a car manufactured in the last couple of decades, then it almost certainly has many potential methods of telling you that something is wrong. Home appliances haven't escaped this trend, and your tankless water heater likely has either several warning lights or an error message display. It can be frustrating when these problem indicators light up, but they significantly reduce the guesswork required to find an issue. Keep reading to learn about a few standard problem lights and what they mean for you.

Blockage Warnings

If you use a gas water heater, then it requires both a supply of air for combustion and a way to expel the dangerous exhaust gases. Modern tankless heaters have warning lights or error messages to alert you if a blockage is present in either line. Without air, your heater will be unable to ignite its flame, and you won't get any heat. If the exhaust flue is blocked, you can be exposed to dangerous gases, or a pressure buildup may damage internal parts of the heater. Luckily, your water heater can detect these conditions and shut down before they cause harm. Check the inlet and outlet lines to ensure that they are not blocked and call a professional if that does not resolve the problem.

No Ignition

Of course, your water heater needs more than just air to ignite; it also needs fuel! A warning that the flame will not ignite usually means that the gas supply has been interrupted, but it can also be due to a failure with the electric ignition system. Unlike old-style gas appliances, it is unlikely that a modern tankless water heater will be equipped with a pilot light. Since there is no pilot light, there are few potential causes that can be easily serviced by a user. Confirm that the gas valve is open but contact a plumber if this does not resolve the issue.

Flame Failure

This warning is similar to no ignition, but it usually indicates that the temperature of the flame is not hot enough. This error can mean that the fire is not igniting at all, but it can also suggest that there is insufficient gas to create a steady or reliable flame. In either case, there may be an internal issue with the ignition system in the water heater, or there may be a gas supply issue. If you can confirm that gas is properly reaching the heater, then you should call a professional to diagnose the system and replace the faulty parts.

Tankless water heaters are reliable and long-lasting, but when they do fail, they are often able to give you a clear indication of what may be wrong. The lights or error messages that appear on your heater are crucial diagnosis tools that will help your plumber quickly locate and fix the problem. To learn more, contact your local water heater system repair service today.