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Thread: tankless problems

  1. #1

    Default tankless problems

    i have a bosch 425 efl that i had installed 2.5 years ago.it supplies a kitchen sink,a full bath and a washing machine.it worked wonderfully until a week ago.now when i turn on the hot water the pilot lights, the power vent comes on,the burner lights and then goes out.it still occosianally works fine,but less frequently lately.i have cleaned the water inlet screen,tested the propane pressure,cleaned the flame sensor,cleaned the gas orafice.i do seem to be having problems with water pressure,i put a guage on the cold water line at the washing machine yesterday and it only read 18#.the well pump was not running at the time.right now the guage is reading38#.the specs for the bosch say it needs 15# of pressure min.my wife is ready for me to call in an expert,but i cant seem to find one in montana.any help is appreciated.thanks

  2. #2
    In the Trades kordts's Avatar
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    Call Bosch's helpline.

  3. #3

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    i tried that.they said they would make a record of my call,and told me to clean the flame sensor.i told him i had and he said "good luck".i tried them again today but they are closed for new years.i was disappointed with the help i recieved from them.

  4. #4
    Licensed Grump GrumpyPlumber's Avatar
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    You'll want to review the manual, review the warranty as well as maintanence procedures.
    Have you been flushing the unit yearly?
    From what you've said, it sounds like either the flame sensor, or flow switch isn't working correct...IF it isn't a pressure problem
    If there's calcium, lime or other mineral deposits..that could be the problem...flush it with vinegar for an hour.
    You'll need a small pump and some double ended hoses with a bucket.
    Also, in lieu of your comments on the water being 18 PSI...that could be your trouble.
    These units have a minimum flow requirment of usually 1/2 GPM to fire, if the manual says min PSI needs to be 15 it might be a fair assumption that your well pump doesn't kick on until it's at or below 15.
    "The biggest regrets we have in life are the chances we never took."

  5. #5
    Master Plumber master plumber mark's Avatar
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    So Bosch said ..... "good luck""........

    and hung up on you ....

    thats mighty nice of them...

    Montana is a big state, and I doubt you are gonna find
    anyone out there to work on that unit unless you are
    near a big town...

    I dont think their any big towns out there

    whats the population of Butte anyway??



    like Grumpy said it is probably
    something to do withthe flow switch and pressure


    but it would be wise
    to try to delime the unit if you have never done it before..

    I had read somewhere that if you did not de-lime those units
    every so often it voided the life-time warranty on the heat exchanger.....

  6. #6

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    a plumber friend saw the inlet screen and said he didn't think it was mineral problems,although i am past schedule for a flush.the nearest big town is missoula which is 50 miles east.butte is 160 miles east with a pop. probably around 40,000 i am guessing.a retired union plumber from missoula came out and went over it with me,although i couldnt get it to not work while he was here.now i cant get it to work at all.the only inconsistancy when he was here was the water pressure,although it wouldn't drop below 32# when he was here.at 32 the pump would come on and fill back up to 50#.now it isnt getting above 35#.the difficult problem if it is the pressure tank or switch is when they dug the well they just buried the pressure tank in the yard which is frozen,and they put the pressure switch on a pipe stuck under the well cover.if i can determine that the problem is the pressure switch i can swap it out i am just nervous about doing it.if its the bladder i am stuck until spring.although i do have room in the house for another preesure tank and switch.i am in over my head a little on this one,but by the time i pay a plumber to drive from missoula here,if i can find one who works on these things,and he could hopefully find something that the retired plumber and i missed....thanks

  7. #7
    Master Plumber Redwood's Avatar
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    How did you clean the flame sensor?

  8. #8
    Master Plumber master plumber mark's Avatar
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    Talking pressure tank buried in the frozen yard???

    you got troubles....

    who in their right mind woudl bury
    your pressure tank and switch in the yard ????

    that should have been put wither in the crawl space or
    your basement for issues like this .......

    and Especially in Montanna??


    I am not fond of tankless heaters so take this
    advice for whence it comes....



    find out what a 40 or 50 gallon propane
    water heater would cost you...

    ask yourself ...
    would it cost less than someone comming 160 miles
    trying to attempt repair that unit...and how long will
    the repairs last ???..


    honestly ...keep working on it...
    ..perhaps you will get lucky.

    only you can deicde when its time to
    cut your losses and run

  9. #9
    Licensed Grump GrumpyPlumber's Avatar
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    At this point, I'm starting to think it's a pressure issue, unless the sensor wasn't cleaned right...just based on how it slowly has worked less and less...you might be able to adjust the solenoid on the pump, as long as your familiar with it.
    "The biggest regrets we have in life are the chances we never took."

  10. #10

    Default

    the flame sensor was cleaned by the retired plumber,,i was trying to help as much as i could.i remember giving him some really fine steelwool.i know he was a boiler guy in missoula so i am guessing he knew how to clean it.i called the people who put in the well (15 years ago)and they thought it was hilarious that they had buried the pressure tank.they told me the switch was down in the well,and that there was a cable or wire holding the pump and if i loosened it the pump would fall to the bottom.they said if it was that old the switch was probably on a piece of conduit if it was newer it would be dangling from a diffrent cable or wire than the pump.i didn't own the place when the well went in.i wont be recommending them to others.so i feel like its the well and pressure tank i need to be looking at so i will try to take a question to that forum.thanks,see you over there.

  11. #11
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    Is it possible that the pipe to the pressure switch is freezing? Do you notice it giving you more grief in the morning when it is likely the coldest? Do you have more problems when it is really cold? Seems silly to have the tank outside - how deep is the frost line where you live? Considering how a tankless system works - the warmer the incoming water is, the hotter it can get. Having it sit in a heated or at least warmer than outside is going to save you some money since it won't have to heat the water as much, or it won't use as much as it would. The down effect is that your cold won't be close to freezing.

    If the sensor is getting frozen, then the pressure would drop too low for things to work properly with the flow sensor.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

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