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No hot water - Rinnai tankless hot water heater

It was freezing in Atlanta and this am we have no hot water. Unit has power, but no water. Cold water in the house is fine so figure problem must be with rinnai. We do have gas to the house so it isn't a gas issue.

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Sounds like the water line is frozen before it gets to heater. You can take a blow dryer and try to thaw the line.You should be able to hook up a hose on the hot side of water heater. turn valve off so it wont flow into house.You can turn on hot water valve on in kitchen but you will have to thaw cold and hot line. Make sure you know where water shut off is to the house just in case a line breaks.

Posted on Jan 16, 2009

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We have a rinnai infinity 16 water heater.
we have just changed the gas bottle and still no hot water any ideas please.

Posted on Sep 04, 2011

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How do you insulate a tankless water heater for winter


If you have tankless electric, it can simply be insulated... but tankless electric are seldom mounted outdoor.
Service bulletin says: "the only way of assuring protection is to completely remove the heater during those times the area may experience freezing temperatures.

There are tankless with built-in heater for exterior installation.
Check your manual, or add a comment with specific model number and maybe I can find the information.

Here's why they install tankless outdoors: Because tankless burn more fuel per gallon of hot water. This requires larger gas line and larger vent pipe than typical tank-type gas water heater that is usually installed indoors.
They install tankless outdoors, so there is no need for expensive vent pipe, and because there is ample incoming air to support combustion.
So if tankless does not have factory-installed internal heater, then the unit can freeze easily when the combustion draws in cold air.
Of course you can put heat-tapes on the pipes but the heat exchanger inside will quickly freeze during periods when hot water is not being used, and combustion is not taking place.

You can move the tankless installation inside and use correctly-sized vent and intake pipes directly through the wall. This will generally protect tanklesss from freezing if room is heated adequately.

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I agree with you. The foam insulation should only be on the Hot Water side. The cold water side doesn't make any difference, as that temperature rarely changes in California.

Hope this helped you AK, thanks for choosing FixYa.

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when your tankless starts cycling hot and cold water, then there is probably scale buildup inside the unit.
flushing the unit will remove the scale and any other debris inside the unit.
you can do this yourself, do you have the instruction book that came with the tankless heater?
it is recommended to flush the unit once a year especially if you have hard water.
it takes an hour or maybe a little longer to flush the unit completely.

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You need to first make sure is the tankless who do the “up and down”! . If the problem manifest on more then one faucet then the problem is the unit. Have a thermometer (we use a infrared gun wich we train on Hot water pipe !) and see if actually the unit is the culprit.
If the problem is only on one shower It is possible also to be a “antyscalding valve” If the trigger valve on your shower is being adjusted too low then it trigger a splash of cold water now and then on regulate intervals. Try to adjust the temperature lower at the unit (say 110F ) and see if the problem change. If it does, then the problem is for sure in the faucet. If it does not change , then you have a problem with the water flow sensor . It is simply getting stuck. Bad bearing or even a piece of Teflon tape. I believe you will need a certified technician for that so no issues with your warranty will appear.

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Power outage will reset Rinnai unit to that temperature. Read manual for more info.

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What type of pipes are install on this heater?

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Runs out of hot water


I wonder if you have this problem below caused by a drop in water pressure from someone flushing a toilet or a washing machine. I would call the company to remedy this issue.

17. What is a cold water sandwich effect? The term “cold water sandwich effect” is a term that is used to describe the introduction of cold water into the hot water supply line during frequent on/off operation of an instantaneous water heater. The cold water sandwich effect, when present, appears as a momentary drop in hot water temperature as it is discharged from a hot water supply outlet (i.e. shower, tub, or faucet). This phenomenon is present in the operation of all instantaneous, tankless style, water heaters, but is minimized with the high tech design of Rinnai water heaters.
The technology built into the Rinnai water heaters is designed to minimize the cold water sandwich effect. Rinnai water heaters are microprocessor controlled and when water flow through them ceases, they remain in a “ready to fire state” for approximately 1 minute. If water flow through a Rinnai water heater begins within the first minute following water flow stoppage, the water heater will fire back up within 1 to 2 seconds. This minimizes the cold water sandwich effect that would otherwise be experienced with a low tech tankless water heater. It should be noted that the cold water sandwich effect cannot be removed completely from tankless style water heaters. The safety standards developed to insure the safe operation of water heaters require a delay in the ignition sequence of all gas water heaters.
While the cold water sandwich effect cannot be completely eliminated from standard plumbing systems, it can be eliminated from plumbing systems that have a supply and return hot water circulating system. Rinnai has developed 2 methods to eliminate the cold water sandwich effect in residential hot water circulating systems.
The first (and preferred) method to remove the cold water sandwich from circulating systems utilizes a small electric tank water heater (powered up) that is used with a dual purpose. The small water heater acts as a mixing tank to eliminate the cold water sandwich effect from the Rinnai water heater and it uses its electric heating element to offset the heat losses from the hot water circulating system.
The second method to remove the cold water sandwich from circulating systems utilizes a small 2 to 6 gallon storage tank installed on the hot water outlet of the Rinnai water heater. This tank acts as a mixing tank to blend the cold water sandwich with hot water and eliminating its effect at fixtures.

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Its A Possibility The Left Over Water In The Hot Is Frozen. If Your Line Is Exposed Outside Somewhere It Can Easily Freeze Up. Turn On The Hot Water Everywhere In The House And If Accessible Check The Lines To See Where The Warmth Ends. You Can Leave One Off Over Night In Hopes That It Will Eventually Defrost.

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