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My Rinnai is only 3 years old and just recently it is running out of hot water. It has been taking about 10 to 15 minutes for hot water to return. We have well water and we are unsure what the problem is. Any suggestions?

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The Rinnai relys on good water flow to fire it up. In saying that it runs out of water; thats actually not possible. The Rinnai just heats up water as it goes. Usually fault for installs on bore or well water is a problem with water flow. Causes are blockeed filters or you water pump from the bore starting to fail. I would expect you to have a large filter somewhere on the water line from the well. Try and find it and clean it our. The Rinnai also has a filter. It,s like a plastic round shaped nut just under the heater on the miidle connection. Turn the water off first, it should almost unscrew by hand, take it out and clean it (make sure you don't drop the O ring on it. Also some tapware has water filter right in the end of the spout, check these too. After you tried all this focus on the pump. Make sure no ther water id flowing, try the hot tap and see if it works. Do the same but slowly turn on a cold tap, slowly increasing the flow. Have someone out by the heater and see if the heater shuts down at any point. If it does it could be the water pump at fault. From what you have told me and am certain water flow is the culprit here. Really focus on anything that might lessen the flow before you start messing with the heater. Best of luck.

Posted on Aug 30, 2010

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My Rinnai is only 3 years old and just recently it has been running out of hot water for 10 to 15 minutes long intervals. We have well water and I am wondering if that has something to do with it. Kind of...


The Rinnai relys on good water flow to fire it up. In saying that it runs out of water; thats actually not possible. The Rinnai just heats up water as it goes. Usually faults for installs on bore or well water is a problem with water flow. Causes are blocked filters or your water pump from the bore starting to fail. I would expect you to have a large filter somewhere on the water line from the well. Try and find it and clean it out. The Rinnai also has a filter. Its like a plastic round shaped nut just under the heater on the middle connection. Turn the water off first, it should almost unscrew by hand, take it out and clean it (make sure you don't drop the O ring on it). Also some tapware have water filters right in the end of the spout, check these too. After you tried all this focus on the pump. Make sure no ther water is flowing, try the hot tap and see if it works. Do the same but slowly turn on a cold tap, slowly increasing the flow. Have someone out by the heater and see if the heater shuts down at any point. If it does it could be the water pump at fault. From what you have told me and I am certain water flow is the culprit here. Really focus on anything that might lessen the flow before you start messing with the heater. Best of luck.

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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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