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Old 02-19-2021, 06:29 PM   #1
RiverRat1
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Default Tankless water heater froze - Now leaks

Much or any hope to repair or just buy a new one and replace? This is a $1,400+ Rinnai less than 2 year old system.


Water shut off for cold in and hot out is at the bottom of the system. The leak, which is pretty bad spraying water, is at the top of the system.

Picture of system coming soon (if needed)
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Old 02-19-2021, 06:32 PM   #2
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Have you attempted to turn it in to insurance?


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Old 02-19-2021, 06:48 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobc View Post
Have you attempted to turn it in to insurance?


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Insurance doesn't cover anything freeze related.




So can the upper part be replaced? If so how hard to replace?
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Old 02-19-2021, 07:19 PM   #4
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Does this help?

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Old 02-19-2021, 07:22 PM   #5
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You should be able to repair or just replace the heat exchanger. No need to trash the whole thing.
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Old 02-19-2021, 07:22 PM   #6
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How is it spraying water if the intake line is shut off?
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Old 02-19-2021, 07:27 PM   #7
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Solder will fix that
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Old 02-19-2021, 07:58 PM   #8
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Mine busted parts are probably going to hard to find. I just bought new one

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Old 02-19-2021, 08:00 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jhunter77 View Post
Solder will fix that
Thatís what I was thinking.
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Old 02-19-2021, 08:00 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PYBUCK View Post
You should be able to repair or just replace the heat exchanger. No need to trash the whole thing.
Was hoping so. Any idea where to buy a new heat exchanger? I wasn't sure that was even the part as I don't know water heaters well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Burnadell View Post
How is it spraying water if the intake line is shut off?
It was spraying and so I turned it off.
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Old 02-19-2021, 08:08 PM   #11
Razrbk89
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I’m thinking you can get a replacement part as mentioned above.

Is that thing mounted outside!?
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Old 02-19-2021, 08:09 PM   #12
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Is there any way to test the electronics? I would hate to throw time and money replacing the heat exchanger and have fried electrical parts from the water spray.
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Old 02-19-2021, 08:24 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jhunter77 View Post
Solder will fix that
I hope so.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Razrbk89 View Post
Iím thinking you can get a replacement part as mentioned above.

Is that thing mounted outside!?
Outside garage wall. I'm not a builder or plumber. But half way through this mess I was thinking should it have been installed inside garage on house wall?


Quote:
Originally Posted by 3under3 View Post
Is there any way to test the electronics? I would hate to throw time and money replacing the heat exchanger and have fried electrical parts from the water spray.
No idea. I'll look into it. I know it gives codes here in the house. I'll let it al dry out good before turning power on. And I think it didn't spray water while power was on. I turned the breaker off once power came back on and it was frozen.
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Old 02-19-2021, 09:42 PM   #14
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Should be silver soldered. Shouldn't be too hard if you can get it out of the unit.
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Old 02-19-2021, 09:48 PM   #15
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Any chance it is under warranty?
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Old 02-19-2021, 10:13 PM   #16
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Whatís the model number? I have a RL94e that is in perfect working condition that I was saving for sometime in the future, but donít really need it.
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Old 02-19-2021, 10:28 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt_g View Post
Whatís the model number? I have a RL94e that is in perfect working condition that I was saving for sometime in the future, but donít really need it.
It's either the RL94e or the RL75e I can't find the number in the unit.
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Old 02-19-2021, 10:48 PM   #18
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Parts will be tough to get but may be worth a shot.. if you can get your hands on a unit I would ASAP. If tankless units weren’t fully drained down this will be an issue across the state which means parts and tankless units will be tough to get for the next 4 weeks.
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Old 02-19-2021, 10:53 PM   #19
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I'm curious if you left your indoor faucets off, dripping or steady stream? Hot and cold water?
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Old 02-19-2021, 11:23 PM   #20
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Outside garage wall. I'm not a builder or plumber. But half way through this mess I was thinking should it have been installed inside garage on house wall?

They are mounted on the exterior side in order to vent properly. Units mounted on the exterior of an unheated garage are more susceptible to freeze particularly if that location receives the cold north wind
I would think that sensor should have detected low incoming cold water flow?
Most likely what happened is the small amount of water flow through that exchanger converted to steam & over pressurized that line to the point of rupture
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Old 02-19-2021, 11:27 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RiverRat1 View Post
It's either the RL94e or the RL75e I can't find the number in the unit.

Iíll poke around mine tomorrow to see if there is another model number tag other than on the left hand side of the unit.
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Old 02-20-2021, 09:00 AM   #22
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Take the heat exchanger out and take it to a radiator repair shop?
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Old 02-20-2021, 09:15 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JB_Archery View Post
Parts will be tough to get but may be worth a shot.. if you can get your hands on a unit I would ASAP. If tankless units werenít fully drained down this will be an issue across the state which means parts and tankless units will be tough to get for the next 4 weeks.
Thatís no lie! More claims from tankless hot water heaters than broken pipes. Cheaper to mount them on an exterior wall than inside and have to vent them! Glad we stuck with old school stuff when we remodeled. I did have a gas line dropped at the water heater. Will go back with gas once this one craps out.


If you have a tankless hot water heater mounted on an exterior wall I would say just assume itís busted!!
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Old 02-20-2021, 09:32 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Slew View Post
That’s no lie! More claims from tankless hot water heaters than broken pipes. Cheaper to mount them on an exterior wall than inside and have to vent them! Glad we stuck with old school stuff when we remodeled. I did have a gas line dropped at the water heater. Will go back with gas once this one craps out.


If you have a tankless hot water heater mounted on an exterior wall I would say just assume it’s busted!!



Yup....Ol Todd-Ty729's phone was ringing off the hook for tankless waterheater repairs the last two days.
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Old 02-20-2021, 10:01 AM   #25
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There should be a packet of information on the panel you removed. Parts list and schematic. There are heaters in the unit for freeze protection but they are electric and have to have 120 volt power. You could have isolated and drained but way too late after they freeze. The thin coils, servo valves won't survive a freeze.
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Old 02-20-2021, 12:33 PM   #26
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Good luck with the repair...one of the shut off valves and the hot water line scale filter both split in our attic, caught it as it was thawing out and started to leak, got a temporary pex line bypass done, will get it fixed correctly in a week or so. I’ll have to repair a small section of the kitchen ceiling as well.
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Old 02-21-2021, 05:36 PM   #27
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Quote:
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I'm curious if you left your indoor faucets off, dripping or steady stream? Hot and cold water?

Iím reconsidering exterior mounting...
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Old 02-21-2021, 05:46 PM   #28
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Our's froze, but nothing busted thankfully! t will have an insulated cover the next time it gets below freeaing.
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Old 02-21-2021, 05:54 PM   #29
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The number one thing I have learned since starting at Tri county is never buy a tankless water heater lol. They cause nothing but problems from what I hear


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Old 02-21-2021, 06:10 PM   #30
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Ours failed, one of many lessons learned to drain tankless heater. It’s in the attic but we didn’t have electricity for a few days and in the madness I didn’t think about dipping a hot faucet or draining. Luckily I went out and purchased a new one immediately at a big box store and got it installed when everything thawed out. I’m sure units and parts will be hard to come by in coming months.
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Old 02-21-2021, 06:16 PM   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JTeLarkin08 View Post
The number one thing I have learned since starting at Tri county is never buy a tankless water heater lol. They cause nothing but problems from what I hear


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Ours has been in this house 10+ years with no problems, even with this past cold snap.
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Old 02-21-2021, 06:21 PM   #32
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If you can locate the leak have a hvac guy silversolder it. That’s what the plumbers are doing in Houston since there are no parts available.
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Old 02-21-2021, 06:38 PM   #33
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Mine froze and busted at the deer lease, just ordered a new one
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Old 02-21-2021, 08:06 PM   #34
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Same thing happened to my mother n laws. Copper heater coil froze...burst both on left and right side. Made a mess, drip pan caught a lot, water coming out faster than pan could drain. Ran over in ceiling, leaked some into the house. Overall minor damage.
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Old 02-21-2021, 08:17 PM   #35
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Brand new conventional hot water heater for 400$?

My water heater has a grand total of 3 parts.
tank
element
thermostat

Last edited by orchard; 02-21-2021 at 08:23 PM.
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Old 02-21-2021, 08:24 PM   #36
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I like the info so far. Good thread, Tim.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Smart View Post
Yup....Ol Todd-Ty729's phone was ringing off the hook for tankless waterheater repairs the last two days.
Iím sure Iíll have to give him a holler after I have time to check the house at our lease. That thing is on the exterior, and catches the north wind pretty square. We always drain it when we leave though, so maybe we will get lucky. Now the pressure tank, storage tank, pump, ect...landowner already called to tell me wear my plumber hat when I come up!
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Old 02-21-2021, 08:27 PM   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JTeLarkin08 View Post
The number one thing I have learned since starting at Tri county is never buy a tankless water heater lol. They cause nothing but problems from what I hear


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I have had one for +20 years and absolutely wouldn't do anything otherwise going forward. It is mounted on the inside of the house.
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Old 02-21-2021, 09:05 PM   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chance Love View Post
I like the info so far. Good thread, Tim.




Iím sure Iíll have to give him a holler after I have time to check the house at our lease. That thing is on the exterior, and catches the north wind pretty square. We always drain it when we leave though, so maybe we will get lucky. Now the pressure tank, storage tank, pump, ect...landowner already called to tell me wear my plumber hat when I come up!
Good luck bud... My booster tank here in Leander/liberty hill froze bad...even with a heat lamp on it. I
t cracked all the way around in one spot and hairline cracked on another part.

Been out of water over a week. booster pumps aint't cheap...
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Old 02-21-2021, 09:51 PM   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jhunter77 View Post
Solder will fix that
Thatís what I would try first, before trashing or replacing it. Not sure how thin that copper is, but you canít make it worse by trying.
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Old 02-21-2021, 10:58 PM   #40
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Friends tankless are
Mounted in attic. We know they lost one and waiting on plumber to come fix the 1Ē line to see how bad the damage is. The problem is the 1Ē line from garage went under ground and popped up at their outdoor fireplace and they routed up into the porch overhang. (Non insulated area). Itís at a low point of porch roof and weíre having to cut out an opening in the limestone! We did fine a replacement in Conroe. Luckily mine inside the house where a normal water heater would be was fine. They are great but not cheap.


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Old 02-22-2021, 12:23 AM   #41
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chance Love View Post
I like the info so far. Good thread, Tim.




Iím sure Iíll have to give him a holler after I have time to check the house at our lease. That thing is on the exterior, and catches the north wind pretty square. We always drain it when we leave though, so maybe we will get lucky. Now the pressure tank, storage tank, pump, ect...landowner already called to tell me wear my plumber hat when I come up!

Yup Iím already ordering parts for my tote water systems and possible repair areas around the cabin including brass Ys and 4 ways at the hose connections. . We drained them and the cabin but you never know with a freeze this hard for so many days. Hopefully, in the feedpens, we donít have to replace any totes ... just fittings to the trough...
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Old 02-22-2021, 05:49 AM   #42
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I was going to try to solder mine but just figured that I would replace it. What a pain in the butt trying to retro fit the new one. And they put it where midgets would have a hard time working in.

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Old 02-22-2021, 10:05 AM   #43
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oneeye View Post
Take the heat exchanger out and take it to a radiator repair shop?
I have fixed 2 of these today already , Easy fix for a Reputable Radiator Shop such as Mine
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Old 02-22-2021, 10:31 AM   #44
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Originally Posted by BLAKJAX View Post
I have fixed 2 of these today already , Easy fix for a Reputable Radiator Shop such as Mine


There you go!!! Genius
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Old 02-22-2021, 12:48 PM   #45
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my tankless is in the attic and we never had an issue.
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Old 02-22-2021, 09:33 PM   #46
skiguy327
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Quote:
Originally Posted by orchard View Post
Brand new conventional hot water heater for 400$?

My water heater has a grand total of 3 parts.
tank
element
thermostat

I ran the numbers a few years back and came to the same conclusion. It just wasnít cost effective to go with a tankless. I do appreciate the efficiency but costs need to come way down before it makes fiscal sense


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