What Causes of Water Leakage in Tankless Water Heater? How to Fix?

Tankless water heater considered as a most modern heating device to supply continuous hot water flow. It is also known as an energy efficient ‘green' alternative to tank water heater. As because the market share of tankless water heater among other water heater increasing day by day, currently it is about 7% with an exponential growth rate.

However, uses tankless water heater are triggered furthermore due to imposing of new codes on tank type by the National Appliance Energy Conservation Act of 1987 (NAECA). The cost of new tankless comes much closer to old tank type water heaters over the period. Manufacturer bound to bring continuous improvement in quality due to imposing of new codes by NAECA which directly impact on the cost of purchase. Other hands, the manufacturer of tankless are developing new smaller and economic models which reduce the price day by day.

You may know that to supply hot water, tankless water heater not using any reservoir. Instead, it heats the cold water inflow with a high power burner when it passes through a heat exchanger. So you get instant hot water whenever you need. However, to get uninterrupted flow year over year without any bother you have to take care about proper installation and scheduled maintenance too.

Though as like tank water heater the chances of leakage in tankless is decidedly less still it may happen. Mostly, leakage observes at the bottom and along the connections of the tankless water heaters. Initially, it seems very insignificant, but if you ignore it may turn into catastrophic damage. So, immediate after look out a small leak, it is better to engage an expert plumber in checking the whole thing to avoid a big mess.

Usually, a tankless leak is around 1 GPM, much less than terrible flooding of tank water heater, but still, much water if not contained. As a precaution, it is better to hold leakage water temporarily, and for that, you may install a drain pan which saves you from unwanted large expenses.

Causes of Water Leakage in Tankless Water Heater

We discuss more details about the origins of water leakage in tankless water heater below –

Improper Venting

Ventilation is playing an important role for proper fresh air inflow into the heat exchanger. So, need extra care or professional installation of venting pipes. Lack of adequate venting will cause water leakage, and it is a well-known culprit for tankless water heaters. If venting is not working correctly, it may occur condensation inside the water heater which leads to leakage problems. If condensation is continuing, it might fall the entire system.

Protect condensation, and it is preferable to install power or direct vent or horizontal venting. Keep the vent line as short as possible. Vertical venting is harmful to a tankless water heater.

For better performance, it is wise to follow the manufacturer’s instruction on the venting process.

Water Pipe Connections

The piping connections are flowing the hot water from the tank to fixtures. During its passage, there is several joints and valves are acting. Improver setting or loose connection, any of them may occur during water leakage.

Among valves – relief value is essential and can protect water dripping through the joints. Relief valve customarily set on the hot water outlet from where the pipe is leaving the heater to faucets. Moreover, necessary for flushing or draining the tankless device.

Ensure that all pipes and valve are joint correctly and you set relief valve during installation according to the size of the heater.

Gas Piping

The tankless water heater is an efficient device no doubt. However, to get the maximum efficiency, it needs a dedicated gas line. It is recommended to use a separate gas-line next to meter run directly to water heater without re-running the entire gas main. Put less joint as possible during installation to avoid unnecessary leakage.

Gas leakage may occur significant damage, so immediate after notice takes expert advice and professional repairing.

Acidic and Hard Water

Mineral deposition inside the pipe is not right of any water heater. It creates pressure on heat exchanger which cause overheating. Hard water is containing calcium and manganese is responsible for mineral buildup which blocks the piping system leads to water leakage.

If the pH of your water is less than seven means, the water is acidic. Acidic water effects the meals used for plumbing. It origins pinholes in the tankless water heater and pipes from the heater to fixtures. These pinholes promote leakage in the long run. If the level of pH is much lower than 7, chances of leakage will increase highly.

Water pH is a determinator of necessary or hard water as well as acidic water. So, you have to check the pH level of your supply water. If it is around seven than safe, otherwise need treatment to avoid any damage.

High Water Flow Rate 

One of the primary constraints of tankless water heater is low flow rates and low water pressure. Means it designed for performed in low pressure like 30 psi for household uses. Deposition of debris in showerhead or faucets aerators or inside the heat exchanger creates hindrance of normal water flow which leads to high water pressure. Operate the tankless water heater in high pressure might cause fire up. So need regular flushing and checkup.

How to Fix a Leaking Tankless Water Heater

The following are possible measures to fix water leakage problems of the tankless water heater.

Replacing or Repairing 

Take immediate action to repair the tankless water heater after finding out a leak. If you think, the problem severs enough than you may go for a replacement. Whatever you decide, take an expert opinion before doing so.

Installation of Drain Pan

As a precaution setting a suitable drain pan contained 100% leak in the tankless system. Drain pan protects your property from damage from possible water leakage and saves thousands of dollars in structural repairs, preventing mold issues, etc.

According to the insurance companies, failure of water heater is one of the top five reasons behind water losses. Moreover, 69% of those failures happen due to slow leaks or sudden burst which average monetary value of $4444 per incident.

So, if you still not installed a drain pan for your tankless, do it today.

Contact the Manufacturer

Every device is under cover of warranty, and tankless is no exception. Contact immediately with the manufacturer if you found any leak in the water heater or pipelines for warranty coverage. Typically, all manufacturer offer standard one year warranty for their products, so be careful do not do anything that void the warranty.

The reasons behind the tankless water heater leak are almost similar to the tank types. The leading cause of premature failure is improper installation among other reasons like improper venting, lousy water condition or pumps not working. However, this is not happening for all tankless, and it is not apparent too. Proper servicing & maintenance and professional installation, prolong the life of tankless up to 20 years or more without any leaking problems.

What do I do when my water heater is leaking? [Plumber Solution]

Finally, we can say, tankless will be the best option for your home hot water supply in any aspects as well as its famous for saving your valuable money by consuming less energy.

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