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

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Rinnai convector 516TR

Our gas heater has started to give off a strong smell. It smells like burning oil even though it is a gas heater. Has anyone else had this problem and solved it?

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  • Anonymous Aug 25, 2008

    My Rinnai 516TR has the same problem, a very strong gas/kero smell, I have had my heater for 3 years and I do experience this odor 2 or 3 times over the course of winter. Its not a ventilation problem as my house is well ventilated.

  • MKR1969 Mar 02, 2009

    This just happened to me tonight. I did spray some waterproofing stuff on my shoes in another wondering if it just picked up the smell from that...Noticed the smell just after I did it...

  • Anonymous May 04, 2009

    I have a Rinnai 1001F heater, and this winter, it started to smell badly.Kind of an electrical smell. I keep the screens clean. It would be ok for a while, then it would start to smell again. I took front cover off, and didn't see anything that was burned, but the fans were really caked with dust. I tried to clean them, but were hard to get at. Who services these heaters? Thanks.

  • laslo Dudjik
    laslo Dudjik Jul 14, 2017

    Had a Rinnai Convector 516 TR that smelled like kerosene . Knowing the cost of servicing I went and bought a new Avenger 25 . Same thing , only I became $1200 poorer . I sent them both for repair , payed the money again . Same thing . Kept running them on high for several hours . Same thing . And of course , no paint no aerosol and nothing from that list . Th house was 12 years old when the Avenger arrived and I hate using aerosols even outdoors .
    These heaters have a problem that Rinnai can't fix . I will find another way to heat my space . Full stop .



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Hi This is happening to us and I called Rinnai... they suggested that if anyone either in our apartment or an ajoining one has painted walls or varnished a floor that the convection heater picks up the smell and the only way to get rid of it is to burn it off by running the heater for several hours in a well ventalated room...

I am going to try it tomorrow.

will let you know

Posted on Aug 19, 2008


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Converting rinnai 516tr from natural gas to lp

Try national energy they sell convestion kits It would need a gas fitter to do the work , you may need to a quote on this , they would be able to tell you if it is worth it ,its hard to tell with out looking at the heater .

Feb 24, 2012 | Rinnai Heating & Cooling

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We have a rinnai convector gas heater and when we turn it on it fills the room with a horrible gassy smell.

There are a couple of things that can cause this odor. But, being sure it's really a gassy odor is more important. It must smell like "rotten eggs" to be gas. If that is the odor you're smell, turn the heater of and contact an authorized Rinnai dealer for service.

If however the odor does not meet the "rotten egg smell", there are other things that cause the odor, but it's not really from the heater.

If you have painted or stained within the last 2 weeks, the heater has picked up the odor of the fumes (which you probably didn't notice) and has made time 50 times worse. The same holds true for carpet cleaning or new carpeting odors. If this fits the scenario, discontinue using the heater for a week or two until the odors subside. In the meantime, if weather allows, air the house out. Also, remove and clean the heaters filter, before restarting the heater,

I hope this helped you to troubleshoot & solve the problem.

Jul 11, 2011 | Rinnai Heating & Cooling

1 Answer

OUr Rinnai gas heater convector 516tr keeps on turning itself off and flashes 12 on the light panel. What does that mean and how to fix it? tks


12 flashes means "Incomplete combustion". The code is prompted when the flame turns off because of a problem.

Check filter, check gas pressure and thermocoupling. Those are the problem that commonly trigger the code 12 error.

Here a manual.

Here Fixya thread on the problem.

Sep 06, 2010 | Heating & Cooling

1 Answer

We have used the Rinnai convector 516TR without it giving off any smell - lately it is giving off a very strong smell - a bit sickening to be honest - as if the gas is not burnt fully. Anyone with similar...

Firstly I'm hoping you have cleaned the filters on the back. This should be done every few days of operation.

I have posted many solutions on these heaters that are basically no more than advice to get heaters like these serviced by a reputable gas fitter. Smells can be either a build up of dust or debris on fan motors or heat exchangers down to more serious faults such as incomplete combustion of the gas. The latter can be serious with major health risks. I really encourage you to find a good tradesmen, experienced in working on these heaters and get him to give it a good clean out. The safest way is to get this done once a year.

If you really are watching the pennies (aren't we all) and this is not an option here is a link to a service manual. The front panel comes off fairly easily and you might be OK just brushing off any dust you can see but please please be careful, turn of gas/power and don't attempt it if you are unsure. Heres the link

Aug 18, 2010 | Rinnai RHFE-1004FA 38,400 BTU Energy Saver...

2 Answers

Gas heater smells like kerosene and stings the eyes,

this probably occured after you were vanishing timberin your house and has since stopped

Jul 22, 2009 | Rinnai Vent Free Gas Heater/

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Bad gas smell when heater is operating

I would call him back out. It sounds like a gas line is loose or the vent is not on properly

Jun 01, 2009 | Rinnai Vent Free Gas Heater/

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