Takagi TK1S - Won't stay on in summer

Discussion in 'Tankless Water Heater Forum' started by rotorhead27, Oct 3, 2010.

  1. rotorhead27

    rotorhead27 New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Location:
    SoCal
    I have a Takagi TK1S in southern California. Starting last year and now this year, in the warm summer months when the incoming water is warmer also, when turning on the warm water, the heater will come on, I'll hear the flame light, but try to light again anyway, then it will give up - the fan will jump to high speed then shut off (like if I had shut off the water). If I shut off the warm water and on again BEFORE the fan shuts off, it will usually light properly. Otherwise, I have the keep cycling the hot faucet off and on until the beast finally lights properly.

    The error code on the circuit board reports something about irregular flame (which is possible, the propane pressure may possibly increase in the warm weather as well) but it seems more to do with incoming water temp.

    Any thoughts, suggestions or additional troubleshooting ideas would be most welcome.
    Thanks in advance
    Dave
  2. Dana

    Dana In the trades

    Messages:
    2,840
    Location:
    01609
    Takagi customer support has a very good reputation for talking people through the more subtle debugging.

    Except for the part that it's a summertime-only phenomenon, it sound's like the flame sensor could be a bit crudded up with varnish/soot, which can be cleaned with a soft plastic pot-scrubber like Scotch Brite, or simlar ( nothing too abrasive should be used.) If you haven't already, download the manual and familiarize yourself with the exploded diagrams (p. 24 & 25) before diving in.
  3. rotorhead27

    rotorhead27 New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Location:
    SoCal
    Just wanted to follow up with a huge thank you for the advice.
    I pulled the sensor and polished it with some 800# wet-dry sandpaper until the varnish was gone.
    Other than a small hickup with the little sight-glass lens running off and hiding during the removal,
    all went acording to plan. Your suggestions was right on, and the water heater is operaqting perfectly.

    1000 thanks for your advice!
    -Dave
  4. Dana

    Dana In the trades

    Messages:
    2,840
    Location:
    01609
    I hope you havn't damaged the flame sensor into an early grave (or more-rapid revarnishing.) Sandpaper of ANY type/grit is too abrasive- it really should have been done with a fiber-tex or plastic scotchbrite type of pad. Don't be surprised if this becomes an annual maintenance job, which can often be the case even if cleaned up with softer stuff. But next time, keep the real abrasives away from it, use only the plastic fiber types.
  5. unhappy one

    unhappy one New Member

    Messages:
    1
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    I have the flame sensor problem too

    I have the same unit. I keep having the problem with the flame sensor. It had costed me a lot of money rather than saving. It was running ok in the first few years. Then it starts having a problem with the flame sensor every three to four months. Everytime the plumber has to clean the sensor. Once He has to take the unit apart and reinstalled it. He then suggested to replace the sensor. When I called the customer service. The supervisor slammed the door on me by say they discontinue the production. All she can say is "sorry". After several phone calls, I finally someone other the customer service. He then took on the case and provide solution for the unit. But he blamed on the plumber who installed the unit. After telling them that I got the unit and the termination kit from their sales rep. He then blamed on the sales rep. that he sold me the wrong kit. Interestly, the sales office shows me the Takagi manual shows the part is one of the acceptable fittings. Go figure. I would never buy another Takagi again!
  6. rotorhead27

    rotorhead27 New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Location:
    SoCal
    To Dana,
    I was very careful not to take it beyond the varnish, in fact I think I might have left a little bit on there, but in any case, it's working like a champ.

    To unhappy one,
    It sounds like you got caught in blame loop with a few people too secure in their jobs, but you can find them anywhere. I have had my unit for
    4+ years now, with the only problem being the varnish that Dana talked me through.
    No company likes bad press, particularly in these days of open communications. When I've had problems similar to yours, I simply and calmly ask
    to talk to their immediate supervisor, recording names at each level. You'll eventually get to someone whose job it is TO care, and usually you'll get
    satisfaction in getting your problem resolved and the underlings will get dealt with in their own organization.
  7. Dana

    Dana In the trades

    Messages:
    2,840
    Location:
    01609
    Flame sensor issues with gas-burner for any number of appliances are nothing new and certainly not unique to Takagi. All are susceptible to chemical contaminants in the combustion air- even old-school thermocouples on standing-pilots.

    Unfortunately, imperfect service from repair guys, nor confused messed up customer support from manufacturers on out-of-warranty parts & assemblies are also not new. That said, this is the worst report I've read of Takagi customer service though- most reports of their tech-support for homeowner diagnosis and resolution have been pretty favorable. You'd think SOMEBODY at Takagi would know which flame-sensor assembly was the correct one, and would be able to resolve any internal documentation issues pointing to the wrong one with a lot of mea-culpas and a quick followup with delivery of the right part. But there's a million ways to mis-communicate- I'd never survive a customer service job.
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