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The model number (403FT) has either been discontinued, changed or is incorrect. However, Model # RHE309FT closely matches the heater you described and has the timer and temperature features you are wanting to preset.
You may download and print the manual from the link below for future reference.
If the gas was tunred OFF, yes it would take several attempts for the pilot to light. Because, there is air in the line from the gas line shutoff valve to the heater. Once that's purged, the heater should light. The electrical power shouldn't affect it. Unless, the heater hasn't been serviced in the last year. Unfortunately, they are not maintenance free.
Here is a link to the 556FTR from Australia.
They are all pretty much the same. The US site has similar info. Just google Rinnai. Open the site, go to resources tab and click downloads. The manuals are easy to locate.
If you smell gas in a Rinnai you have a big issue. This heater is what is called a direct vent heater with an electronic ignition so the combustion chamber is sealed and the smell of gas is an indication that you have a gas leak. Please call a professional today.
A dirty filter will cause shut-off: is the FILTER lamp alight? Vacuum clean the filter if necessary. Are you sure you've set the timers properly? What temperature is set? LH figure is the desired temperature - RH side is temp measured by thermistor inside unit. If set too low, it turns heater off.
Download the 308FTR manual here:http://www.rinnaisales.co.nz/tradesmart/rinnai2/pdfs/service_info/220.pdf
Regards - Peter