Question about Rinnai RHFE-1004FA 38,400 BTU Energy Saver Ductless Heater - LP Gas

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Rinnai 1001FA Energy Saver - Green Light Goes Out!

I recently purchased a condo and have a Rinnai 1001FA from '93. I noticed last week that the green light was out and the unit shut down. The tech came out and said it might be a fluke - if not a fluke, then it could be the gas valves. He said that there have been many issues with this model and that problem. Normally, though, the unit won't restart. I've had this happen a few more times, so it's not a fluke, but the unit still starts back up. Any thoughts? The valves are expensive so it would make more sense to replace.

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  • amyburlingto Jan 11, 2009

    The unit always starts back up - I just push the button again and it kicks back on. It seems to happen every few weeks - last time was December 24. There is no rhyme or reason to when it does it - once was right after I turned the heat down, twice was when I came home and it had been on all day! I'm just waiting for it to happen again so that I can get it looked at - the repairman said that they had to check right after and not to restart. Thanks.

  • Anonymous Jan 15, 2009

    I had to put an extension on the exaust pipe. It is 30 below out & the condensation in the exaust is freezing up the intake. Once intake gets filled with ice so much not enough air incomming to support proper combustion so unit quits.
    Have to stand there with a hair dryer to melt ice from intake so enough air gets in to support combustion.

    I just duct taped a chunk of pvc pipe to it extending the exaust so the steam don't get sucked up the intake.
    Check every day that ice don't build up there....

    Also make sure no clutter built up around that vent or it affect how air circulates & may increase ice build up.

    I don't think those units were built to be operated in extreme cold.

  • Thomas Hawkins May 11, 2010


    Can you see the flue pipe on the outside of the wall? When it is cold and snowy the flue pipe can get frost or ice on it and should be looked at everyday. You have never mentioned the circulating fan screens and blowers. They should be spotlessly clean, with nothing on top or directly on the side of the heater.
    Tom Hawkins

  • Thomas Hawkins May 11, 2010


    Can you confirm the heater will start some of the time? If so, how long will the unit run before it locks out?

    Tom Hawkins
    Bethel, Alaska



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I have rebuilt many RHFE-551FA and RHFE-1001FA control circuit boards. This usually fixes problems related to these units shutting down by themselves and/or not starting. If you would like more information about rates, turn around time, etc, please feel free to email me at


Posted on Feb 11, 2009

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You can remove the flex pipe on the back of the heater from the flue pipe. Put some foil over the hole. Now you will be using room air for combustion. Once the extreme cold goes away put the flex hose back on the flue. Rinnai's run very close to condensation most of the time. When it's very cold out you are now at the condensation temp of the exhaust and get a drip. You should watch the exhaust several time each day when it's real cold.

Tom Hawkins

Posted on Jan 18, 2009

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It is time to replace it. You cannot get some components like the main board.

Posted on Jan 05, 2009

  • Chandler Ede
    Chandler Ede Jan 12, 2009

    Try this, over time if the heater has been at the same temperature setting; the slide setting wares a spot in the switch. Try setting the heater up or down just a tad and see if the unit acts up.


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1 Answer

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Rinnai RHFE 1001FA

i have a rinnai rhfe 1001fa heater and when its real cold sometimes it will shut down all the lights go out and i have to shut it off then turn it back on and sometimes it still wont start and i will leave it of for a day or two then try it and it will work it seems to act up more when its colder i am running it this fall so far no problems this unit is around a 1994 or so and has not given any trouble till this started last winter

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