How to Inspect Water Heater Tanks

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This is a thermistor right here basically what that’s doing is measuring the output temperature again sending a signal back to the board the board saying is our output temperature correct and it’s going to modulate these burners based upon what that output temperature is so it’s very fistic ated sophisticated appliance and what’s happening is these burners will modulate in one BTU increments from 15,000 to in this case 180,000 BTUs always giving us the correct water temperature so the scenario is when somebody comes in and turns on the hand sink in the kitchen you know they’re gonna wash some dishes then this the flow rate er detects that we may only have you know a gallon and a half a minute of flow a gallon and a half a minute of flow is probably only requires 40,000 BTUs a burner heat that water up fast enough to give us that output set setpoint temperature of 120 degrees or whatever it is with a with the system is this complicated this sophisticated how long would you expect it to last without needing some kind of service well a year yeah do they need yearly do it wasn’t a trick question no I’m just wondering if an inspector walks into a home and sees a Renee or something similar in its three years old and there’s no indication that it’s ever been serviced.

Then PC probably should be suggesting service because one of the things that happens with hot water what happens is you do have some precipitation of calcium so if you have a high calcium content in the water we will have some precipitation of calcium onto the copper that does not happen with cold water so you don’t have sediment issues with a typical with the tankless water here but what you do have is scaling okay just like your coffee pot and what you need to do is clean that scaling out of the system and you need to do it about once a year or more often in the case of high calcium carbonate content water can those scales break loose and clog or forces in there somewhere not offices but what can happen is there’s a little screen and this is open but right there there’s typically a screen in there and that you can see the screw on us you just pull the screen out and that that’s creates a micro screen that does protect the system from getting any small pieces of dirt going through because if you get if you get any dirt going through this flow Raider and good clog the wheel and stop the computer from reading a proper giving a proper reading to the get of the burner and then it much it would shut itself down then I guess usually what we typically what we see is not shutting it down so much as giving us an improper reading so it might think that you have three gallons a minute of flow going through it when you only have a gallon and a half and say maybe.

You can’t take two showers at the same time which typically you should be able to do with one of these units so float flow drops is what happens so in making a recommendation for service should an inspector recommend a plumber no necessarily a plumbers are good at drains and installing toilets and sinks and things like that generally speaking plumbers are not the people to be talking to about this it’s a little like talking to your family doctor about open-heart surgery not recommended these are computerized unit they require some pretty extensive training and knowledge of the internal workings of the unit to really be able to understand how they work maintain them replace any parts if they go bad the beauty of most of the good tankless water heaters are on the market is if you notice there’s a lot of these little things Phillips head screws that’s pretty much all it takes to work on this unit as a Phillips head screwdriver in fact during the training course that’s what they do mmm they set the unit in front of us set a Phillips head screwdriver beside and say take it apart but it’s always a matter of knowing which screws to take cold knowledge that’s right it’s not just the Phillips head that you need so in addition to to being on an HVAC specialist an inspector should be recommending a qualified HVAC somebody is certified by that company to work on this product just like we’re into specialization with cars a lot of automobile manufacturers are recommending a person who has specialized with that particular brand of automobile because all the computers are different everything’s different in the new automobiles because they’re they’re all very sophisticated right yeah um do they vary a lot from brand to brand as far as as a who’s qualified to work on them oh I guess he just answered that question yeah and it’s gonna be a lot more so we’re gonna have more people specializing in different brands because if they’re their allegiance to that brand mm-hmm.

I mean that’s the thing that we’re seeing as people are getting one brand spending less money on one brand than another so they’re you know getting that sticking with that brand and they are all you know basically the same concept but the workings and the parts are all proprietary in every single tankless water heater there is not one part in this unit and it’s the same of any tankless water heater that is not manufactured by this manufacturer yeah why is that different if you look at a furnace it’s the opposite in a typical gas forced air furnace there’s only one part to that furnace it’s manufactured by that man you and that’s the heat exchanger everything else is Vasco general electric Honeywell Robert Shaw white Rogers they’re all parts that are bought from other manufacturers that’s not the case of tankless water heater everything inside of this unit is proprietary and has to be replaced with the same part they don’t interchange unfortunately so are we are we finished with this let’s see we’ve got the three hundred three hundred burners in in the burn chamber did we cover this this is the heat exchanger this is the heart of the unit and what happens is again as the water flow comes in and passes up into the heat exchanger that’s where because of the flow rate err that’s how we’re getting the flow to or the the signal to that burnt the board to the gas valve and to the burners what’s happening is there’s a series of coils inside here you can see them on this side through which the water is flowing and underneath.

we have the burners the heat exchanger is the part of the system that is most likely to need replacement to get back to your earlier question what are the maintenance issues what you’re going to see if if the unit has was not properly installed or it has not properly been maintained because the heat exchanger is what gets scaled so the heat exchanger is what where that scale needs to be removed by the process of white vinegar pump we actually pump like vinegar through the system we actually have kits that we manufacture that homeowners can get that’ll help people to be able to do that easily what happens though is this heat exchanger if it gets overheated too many times because it hasn’t been cleaned properly will develop a leak one of these seams or one of these pipes will split or will crack or if this unit is outside and is not freeze protected properly or we have an outdoor unit that’s not rated for this freeze protection zone mm-hmm so for example nor its great unit but they’re only rated to five above zero and freeze protection this unit is rated to 40 below this system right here this is basically a heater what that heater does is it keeps the unit from freezing it protects the unit from freezing so it’s this is there’s no extra insulation that goes on this housing that’s that’s it for keeping basically just keeps the heat exchanger warm but what happens though is it is predicated on having electricity that’s the problem is this unit will freeze protect itself to 40 below zero but the catch is you got to have electricity too it doesn’t draw a lot of power but you have to have that power to the unit because what will happen is if it continues to drop in temperature the computer which again is the brain of the unit says oh we got a problem this thing’s dropping in temperature and the and the heaters not taking care of this of the problem.

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