Bosch - Tankless Waterheater ???????

Discussion in 'Tankless Water Heater Forum' started by Lunker, Oct 27, 2008.

  1. Lunker

    Lunker New Member

    Messages:
    21
    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. TheOak

    TheOak New Member

    Messages:
    48
    Location:
    Idaho
    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: Oct 27, 2008
  3. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    27,242
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    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. Lunker

    Lunker New Member

    Messages:
    21
    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. Lunker

    Lunker New Member

    Messages:
    21
    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. TheOak

    TheOak New Member

    Messages:
    48
    Location:
    Idaho
    I am curious, what brand and model did you purchase? Did you stick with tankless?
  7. Lunker

    Lunker New Member

    Messages:
    21
    Rheem-Ruud. Hopefully it will last more than 4 yrs.... :)



  8. TheOak

    TheOak New Member

    Messages:
    48
    Location:
    Idaho
    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. Gary Swart

    Gary Swart In the Trades

    Messages:
    7,395
    Location:
    Yakima WA
    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.:confused:
  10. TheOak

    TheOak New Member

    Messages:
    48
    Location:
    Idaho
    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. Lunker

    Lunker New Member

    Messages:
    21
    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.


    Last edited: Oct 27, 2008
  12. Gary Swart

    Gary Swart In the Trades

    Messages:
    7,395
    Location:
    Yakima WA
    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. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    27,242
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    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. Lunker

    Lunker New Member

    Messages:
    21
    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. TheOak

    TheOak New Member

    Messages:
    48
    Location:
    Idaho
    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 ...
  16. Ladiesman271

    Ladiesman271 Homeowner

    Messages:
    221


    Sounds like you skipped the scheduled maintenance that is required for most any tankless unit.

    What is the model number of your old unit?
  17. Ladiesman271

    Ladiesman271 Homeowner

    Messages:
    221
    If the model is a 125FX, read the last page for the maintenance schedule. Water filter need to be cleaned every year. Water valve needs to lubricated year 2, and needs a rebuild in year 3 to 5. Warranty is invalid if you skip that routine maintenance.

    Sounds like the water valve is stuck on. Not sure why water is not flowing, but it is related to the water filter and / or the water valve.

    Maintenance parts are pretty cheap. I keep a spare water valve, valve rebuild kit and lube in my plumbing kit!


    http://www.boschhotwater.com/Portals/7/TechManuals/125FX_English_12_yr.pdf


    Better check out the routine maintenance requirements on your new unit!
  18. Ladiesman271

    Ladiesman271 Homeowner

    Messages:
    221

    Just wondering how many people have needed to do that even one time in their lives.

    My clothes washer is set for cold / cold operation, so the water heater is barely used for washing clothes.

    I don't know anyone who ever runs the dishwasher while they are taking a shower.

    Now some families may "need" to take two showers at the same time. That would probably be a killer for my tankless, but that is easy to work around!
  19. Gary Swart

    Gary Swart In the Trades

    Messages:
    7,395
    Location:
    Yakima WA
    I did not mean to imply that there would be any time that hot water would be used that way, I wanted to point out that a good 50 gallon water heater will supply continuous hot water for as long as you could possibly want to be using it even if it was for multiple uses. I'm sure that larger families might use more hot water at any one given time that we do, but for a normal household, it just isn't a problem.:)
  20. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,313
    Location:
    New England
    A good tank WH can have as little as 1/4-degree per hour loss in temp. Standby losses are an issue with a tank one, but will never come anywhere near the extra cost to install and maintain a tankless. If your incoming water temp doesn't vary (you live in a mild climate) a lot or you are certain you'd never need to use multiple fixtures at the same time, and you will do the required maintenance, they may serve you well for awhile. It will cost you more. Thinking you'll save the difference in standby losses is totally false. Yes, many of the parts are replaceable in a tankless, but they aren't cheap and who knows if they'll be available when you need them. Where I live, the incoming water temps in the middle of winter are barely over freezing (I've measured it at 33-degrees). That will play hell with a tankless, either restricting the output flow radically, or lowering the outlet temp radically. Not something I want to deal with.
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