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Thread: Bosch - Tankless Waterheater ???????

  1. #1

    Default Bosch - Tankless Waterheater ???????

    So I lost hot water and went to check on the 4 yr old Bosch Tankless water heater what could be the problem.

    I come to find out that that the heater is running full speed ahead, so I go back upstairs and try the hot water again...nothing! So I go check another faucet figuring it was something wrong at this location... No hot water. I go back down stars and the tank-less water heater is still running, and it is getting hot and smelly down in the basement, the pipes are starting to bang/knock...

    I touch the water outline from the heater and it is ice cold...the supply line on the other hand is boiling hot.

    I turn off the gas figuring this can't be good...

    Water is now starting to drip below the heater...

    I take off the cover and the heat exchanger is black and several wires are starting to melt...

    What the heck happened? Anyone got any insight into this and Bosch tank-less heaters in general...

    I figured it would be a good investment, but 4 yrs later it seems I completely wasted my money having this installed...

  2. #2
    DIY Member TheOak's Avatar
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    What is the warranty like?

    I just purchased a Rinnai tankless unit. I've got 12 years on the heat exchanger, 5 years on parts, 1 year on labor. Assuming a similar warranty, you would obviously have to pay for labor, but the rest should be covered.

    Your home owners insurance might even flip the bill once you have paid your deductible too depending on what type of coverage you have.

    If things are melting, I would definitely turn off the electricity, natural gas, and water to the unit and get someone in to look at it. I would start by going to Bosch's tankless website and calling in someone they recommend. This would insure that the people looking at it have expertise in this type of water heater.

    Good luck ...

    Edit:

    When you say "no hot water" and "nothing" does that mean there is water coming out, but it is cold, or you are getting no water at all?

    Does the Bosch have an inbound water filter? Perhaps it got plugged, end result is your unit was not getting any water. Have you "flushed" the unit lately for build up? Hind site is 20/20 ...

    Either way, I say get an expert in ...
    Last edited by TheOak; 10-27-2008 at 07:34 AM.

  3. #3
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Default bosch

    Your description is completely puzzling. The burner is running wide open, you have water flowing from the hot water faucet, and it is cold? On the surface that seems to be an impossible scenario, since if water is flowing through the heater and the burner is on there should be NO way for the water not to be hot. The burned wires and the black heat exchanger may be relevent to the problem, but again, on the surface, they appear to be a different problem.

  4. #4

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    I removed the water-heater and will take it apart and see if I can find out what what happened...

    This was a 125 Model with no electric hook-up, just natural gas and water.

    I'm figuring I must have had two failures at the same time.... maybe it clogged and stopped the water flow..AND the burner switch failed at the same time...

    Weird stuff...

    I went out a bought a different brand, we'll see if that works better...

    Tried calling Bosch customer service Friday night... they are available 9-5 M-F of course....

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by hj View Post
    Your description is completely puzzling. The burner is running wide open, you have water flowing from the hot water faucet, and it is cold? On the surface that seems to be an impossible scenario, since if water is flowing through the heater and the burner is on there should be NO way for the water not to be hot. The burned wires and the black heat exchanger may be relevent to the problem, but again, on the surface, they appear to be a different problem.
    Sorry if it was confusing, the hot water stopped flowing from the bathroom faucet upstairs. I initially figured it was just that faucet because when I went to check the heater it was running. At that point I did not touch the pipe to see if the water coming out was hot... 20/20 I should have of course.

  6. #6
    DIY Member TheOak's Avatar
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    I am curious, what brand and model did you purchase? Did you stick with tankless?

  7. #7

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    Rheem-Ruud. Hopefully it will last more than 4 yrs....



    Quote Originally Posted by TheOak View Post
    I am curious, what brand and model did you purchase? Did you stick with tankless?

  8. #8
    DIY Member TheOak's Avatar
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    I have heard that the Rheem's are relabeled Paloma's which have a pretty good rep out there. You should at a minimum get a better warranty ...

  9. #9
    In the Trades Gary Swart's Avatar
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    Help me do the math. You have a tankless water heater that I assume you paid considerably more for that a standard water heater. It lasted 4 years and will either cost a great deal to repair or even more to replace. Here's where my math skills are weak. I can not figure out how a tankless water heater saves money over a conventional heater.

  10. #10
    DIY Member TheOak's Avatar
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    See this thread.

    If it is all about money, then you are probably looking at a 10 year payback minimum. With that being said, I have heard of installation costs coming down a little. Perhaps costs are coming down ... perhaps it is a sign of the times too.

    If you ignore the installation costs however ... the main reasons a tankless saves over a tank are:

    1. There is no pilot light that is always on as with a tank.
    2. It is not heating water when you are not using it. A tank will use fuel to keep the water warm during the night, when you are not using it for example. With a tankless, it only heats water when you turn on the hot water tap.

    Remember though, there are other forms of "payback". For me, a HUGE payback is the endless hot water. My family can have shower after shower after shower after shower (concurrently too) and then do a few loads of laundry and then the dishwasher ... I still have hot water coming out of my ears ...

  11. #11

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    No need for math-skills with this equation. In my situation it didn't, and it wasn't really the reason why I got it, I was just tired of running out of hot water. On the other hand, I was sort of expecting to last 15+ yrs as a added bonus. I though Bosch was a decent brand, needless to say I'm pretty disappointed.


    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Swart View Post
    Help me do the math. You have a tankless water heater that I assume you paid considerably more for that a standard water heater. It lasted 4 years and will either cost a great deal to repair or even more to replace. Here's where my math skills are weak. I can not figure out how a tankless water heater saves money over a conventional heater.
    Last edited by Lunker; 10-27-2008 at 10:33 AM.

  12. #12
    In the Trades Gary Swart's Avatar
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    I have a 50 gallon power vent Richmond (Rheem) 50 gallon heater. This has an electronic igniter so there is no pilot light. It is true the heater will operate anytime the water temperature drops in order to keep the water ready for use. The unit is 12 years old and I have had to replace the ignition control module twice in that time. The last time about 2 months ago. The module costs just over $100 and is an easy DIY job. I also had to replace the dip tube a couple of years ago at a cost of about $10. A new Rheem power vent runs $600-$700, which although is about twice the price of a conventional vented heater, but that is far, far less than a tankless. We never have run out of hot water even if we happen to run the dishwasher, shower, and clothes washer at the same time.

    My point is, I am not at all convinced that when the costs of installation, including gas or electric service upgrade, unit purchase cost, unit installation cost, repair costs, and life span will be off set by the higher cost of operation of a conventional heater. I believe tankless is a great idea that just hasn't been developed to the point of being truly economical. I also believe that it probably is just a matter of time until technology solves the problems and makes tankless worthwhile.

  13. #13
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Default heater

    The pilot light is almost insignificant as far as gas usage is concerned. Unless you have a very poorly insulated water heater, it will NOT turn on during the night. In fact if no water is used it might not turn on for a day or so. But if you are running the heater continually for hot water, you are not saving money.

  14. #14

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    I'm just happy the house is still standing. If this had happened when I was not home, who knows what would have happened.

    Scary stuff....

  15. #15
    DIY Member TheOak's Avatar
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    Totally ... I have not heard a lot of good things about the Bosch units ...

    It could be though that because they are sold at the DIY stores, more people have them and hence you hear more people complain about them.

    Whenever I "surf" the general impression I get from posters is to stay with the "big guys"; that is, Rinnai, Tagaki, Paloma. The reason I went with Rinnai is that I heard they kept their temperature better from a few posts. The rest were a bit more expensive too ...

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