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Old 10-28-2017, 06:49 PM   #1
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Rheem Tankless Water Heating Making No Hot Water

I need help with the tankless hot water unit on a portable shower trailer unit used by a volunteer group making no hot water. I looked at it and it has electricity, power to the thermostat set to 120, water and two large full gas tanks. Water and gas line valves are on. When you first turn on the water, a whirring sound (like a fan) is heard from inside the unit. The sound stops within one or two seconds and does not resume. There's no sound of an igniter nor is there any indication of any ignition or heat being generated. There does not appear to be any display of error codes, or any display on which error codes could be shown. There were no lights on the control board, although I do see red and green LEDs on the board, which are not lit.

The unit is Model RTG-53PVP. It is well used but looks new inside. Any and all suggestions would be welcome. I will have access to the unit again tomorrow night. Thanks!

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Old 10-29-2017, 04:45 PM   #2
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Bumping up in the queue. Thanks!
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Old 10-29-2017, 05:03 PM   #3
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Plumber here... Rheems are notorious for having igniter issues. Look in YouTube for where this is at on your model. Once you find it, remove it and use a dollar bill to clean the ends of the igniters. Hope that helps.
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Old 10-30-2017, 03:15 AM   #4
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I had a tankless Rheem water heater similar to that one. I got rid of it because the flame rods in the burner box get a coating on them and prevent the flame from staying on. I was taking apart my burner assembly and cleaning them every 4 months or so before I got tired of doing that.

There is a wired remote control that can be attached to those units. It will display the error code that I am sure you are getting.
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Old 10-31-2017, 09:40 AM   #5
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Thanks for both comments. The wired remote showed no error codes sorry that's good in that sense.
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Old 10-31-2017, 09:56 AM   #6
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Chris has good advice being as he is experienced with Rheem water heaters. You stated:"When you first turn on the water, a whirring sound (like a fan) is heard from inside the unit. The sound stops within one or two seconds and does not resume." On most gas appliances there is a "sail switch" which must be made before the gas valve will open allowing gas to enter the burner assembly. A sail switch is an actual piece of metal, maybe plastic, which has to be moved by air coming from a fan. This activates a switch telling the system that air is moving and to allow the gas valve to open. You also state:"The sound stops within one or two seconds and does not resume. There's no sound of an igniter nor is there any indication of any ignition or heat being generated." This is further indication of the sail switch not being made. The controls for the unit does not recognize the sail switch being made and shuts the system down as it is designed to do. IF you feel confident enough to open up the unit you should find the piece of metal/plastic close to where the air comes out of the fan. See if this moves easily, it doesn't move much either. At times I have found that this piece doesn't move easily and will spray just a short burst of WD-40 at the hinge points to free this up. PLEASE be sure to turn off the electrical and gas supply to the heating unit before any attempt to work on it. Hoping this helps.
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Old 10-31-2017, 10:17 AM   #7
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Is this the remote you have?
https://www.amazon.com/Rheem-RTG2000.../dp/B000JGJC18

Just so you know, the unit will not turn with the cover off unless you depress the switch near that vent door. Mine had that switch although I don't see it in your photos.
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Old 10-31-2017, 10:26 AM   #8
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When I was having the issues with mine, they sent a service manual file out that normally only the techs get. It allows you to put the remote control in a diagnostics mode. I think I deleted it but will look to see if I can locate it.

BTW...bought a Noritz for the replacement to my Rheem. Way better unit.
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Old 10-31-2017, 10:38 AM   #9
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The fan comes on once the heater detects a flow of water. It does a pre-purge to make sure the vents are cleared before it allows gas to flow and turn on the igniters.

If there is a blockage, it should produce a warning code.
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Old 11-01-2017, 09:13 AM   #10
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Thanks all!!
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