A tankless water heater is a nice addition to your home since it delivers hot water quickly and it doesn't run out of water like can happen with a tank heater. While a tankless heater can last for many years, it's also possible for your heater to malfunction for various reasons. When your gas heater isn't making hot water, a common cause is ignition failure. Here's a look at ignition failure in a tankless water heater and repairs that could be needed.

Error Codes Reveal The Problem

Electric water heaters, especially the newer smart units, have control boards that let you know when a part in the unit is malfunctioning. The board may display an error code you can look up or tell the technician when you call for help. The error code lets the technician know what part of the heater is malfunctioning, but the plumber may also need to figure out what caused the problem so the part doesn't start malfunctioning again.

Causes Of Ignition Failure

Many things can affect the ignition system in a tankless heater, such as mineral buildup, bad parts, a blocked vent, loss of gas, loose wiring, or even condensation. Some things you may want to check yourself before calling a plumber include making sure the gas is connected and checking if the heater needs to be flushed and cleaned.

Repairs That Might Be Needed

A loss of hot water could be an easy repair depending on the cause. The repair technician may need to clean off the ignition and burner area if they are corroded. In some cases, the burner might need to be replaced.

Condensation can cause problems with a tankless water heater. If the drain or vent is blocked, wiring and the ignition area might get damp and not work properly. The repair technician might need to unclog the condensation drain and dry out the heater.

The flame rod, wire, and spark electrode have to be in alignment for the spark to light a flame in the burners and make hot water. The technician may reposition the parts or replace ones that are bad. There could even be bad wiring in the ignition area that creates a short.

The control board for the tankless heater might also be bad. The technician can test its voltage to make sure it's getting and giving the right amount of power. If something is wrong with the board, it might have to be replaced so your water heater gets the power it needs to operate. Reach out to a tankless water heater repair professional to learn more. 

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