Tankless Heater Failure

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TheMetcalfs

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Hello! New here, not sure if this is the right place to post. We just moved into a home with an older tankless water heater made by a brand that doesn't exist anymore. A few days back it stopped working and starting giving an error message of 11, with an occasional 12 thrown in.

The company that installed it came out and said they thought it was the ignitor that was failing. Based on my research I thought so too, but I passed on their $400 repair bill and changed it out. After replacement, the same issue persists.

The system has been in place for quite a while so I know all the components are installed correctly. We are on propane gas and the tank is mostly full. I've cleaned off the heat rods with sand paper as well.

Any other thoughts on whats going on? I'm trying to avoid another call to the service company, but not finding much online since the brand doesn't exist anymore.
 

breplum

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With obsolete equipment, sorry to say that complete replacement is the best choice. I am a complete fan and only do Navien NPE A series for the last 10 years.
The new era, esp. Navien are so easy to service, have such good tech help on the phone and red label ship warranted parts. Just can't beat it.
 

TheMetcalfs

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Thanks for the input. I recognize we are going to have to head that route sooner than later, I'm hoping to keep this one running a bit longer to save up the funds to install a new one. I'd also like to get hot water running sooner than later to get my family a nice hot shower!
 

breplum

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Cleaning off the heat rods/ignitor sensor is a good move, but there might be flow sensor, mix sensor or any other misc. parts to deal with.
Eternal water heaters biggest failure seem to have been flow sensor and I could never figure out how to bench fix.
I admire your desire not to use credit to get things fixed, but this is one case where your family will not care about going into "debt" for as short a while as possible.
The Navien NPE A are at least $1,500 plus tax, but use PVC Sch 40 for the vent and happen to be worth every penny.
 

Jeff Handy

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Spend $400.00 to throw in a cheapo conventional water heater to get you going again, if there is still a chimney vent.

Then start saving up for a new tankless.
 

TheMetcalfs

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Fixing the old beater heater is just like painting a turd.
Haha, fair comparison. I've been able to discover GoHot is actually a Noritz heater just rebranded for Benjamin Franklin back in the day. So, good heater, but old and not cared for by the previous owner. I've got one other part to replace and if that fails...start looking around!
 

Jeff Handy

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Wow, that old Ben Franklin sure was a busy guy, haha!
And your heater still works after 250 years!
😬
 

TheMetcalfs

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Wow, that old Ben Franklin sure was a busy guy, haha!
And your heater still works after 250 years!
😬
And well ahead of his time and technology. Probably time for a replacement.

All joking aside, I've seen some pretty good deals on Rinnai tankless heaters online, thinking that will be the route to go. $600-$800 to find something pretty comparable to what's already installed.
 

Mitchell-DIY-Guy

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Spend $400.00 to throw in a cheapo conventional water heater to get you going again, if there is still a chimney vent.

Then start saving up for a new tankless.
Don’t know if you can find a propane tank style water heater for $400. The challenge when replacing the tankless with a tank style is exactly the same but opposite of replacing a tank style with a tankless— You have all kinds of challenges with the location of the plumbing and the ventilation. The one saving grace is you probably have the proper sized gas line to feed it...
 

Mitchell-DIY-Guy

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...Probably time for a replacement....I've seen some pretty good deals on Rinnai tankless heaters online, thinking that will be the route to go. $600-$800 to find something pretty comparable to what's already installed.
I don’t know where you are but around here in the Charlotte North Carolina area, if you are putting in a tankless it’s probably going to be Rinnai— That seems to be the most popular one around here. The highly rated Navien has extremely limited distribution and support in this area.

For what it’s worth I had a Takagi in use for 10 years to fire a heated driveway. It was a closed loop system and never gave me an issue. At the time I bought it it was one of the most popular units out there.
 
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