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The flame sensor on your tankless water heater

Tankless water heaters are a great way to save energy and money on your water heating bills. However, like any appliance, they require occasional maintenance to ensure that they continue to work properly. One of the most common issues that tankless water heaters experience is a malfunctioning flame sensor. If you suspect that your flame sensor is bad, it's important to replace it as soon as possible to avoid further damage to your unit.

What is a flame sensor?

A flame sensor is a small device located near the burner in your tankless water heater. Its primary function is to detect whether the burner is producing a flame. If the sensor detects a flame, it sends a signal to the control board, allowing the burner to continue heating the water. If the sensor doesn't detect a flame, it sends a signal to the control board to shut off the gas supply to the burner, preventing a dangerous buildup of gas in your home.

How to know if your flame sensor is bad

There are a few signs that your flame sensor may be malfunctioning. The most common symptoms include:

  1. The burner won't ignite: If the burner won't light, it's possible that the flame sensor is not detecting the flame and shutting off the gas supply.

  2. The unit shuts off prematurely: If your tankless water heater shuts off before it has reached the set temperature, it's possible that the flame sensor is malfunctioning and shutting off the gas supply prematurely.

  3. The unit displays an error code: Many tankless water heaters have a display that shows error codes when something goes wrong. If you see an error code that relates to the flame sensor, it's likely that the sensor is bad.

Replacing the flame sensor

Replacing the flame sensor on your tankless water heater is a relatively simple process that can be completed in just a few steps. Here's how to do it:

  1. Turn off the power and gas supply to the unit: Before you begin, it's important to turn off the power and gas supply to your tankless water heater to prevent any accidents.

  2. Remove the cover: Using a screwdriver, remove the cover from your tankless water heater to access the flame sensor.

  3. Locate the flame sensor: The flame sensor is a small device located near the burner. It's typically held in place by one or two screws.

  4. Remove the old flame sensor: Using a screwdriver, remove the screws that are holding the old flame sensor in place.

  5. Install the new flame sensor: Take the new flame sensor and install it in the same location where you removed the old one. Make sure to tighten the screws securely to hold the sensor in place.

  6. Replace the cover: Once the new flame sensor is installed, replace the cover on your tankless water heater.

  7. Turn the power and gas supply back on: Finally, turn the power and gas supply back on to your tankless water heater and test to make sure that the burner ignites and the unit is functioning properly.

Conclusion

Replacing a bad flame sensor on your tankless water heater is a quick and easy process that can save you money in the long run by preventing further damage to your unit. By following these simple steps, you can ensure that your tankless water heater is running smoothly and efficiently. If you're not comfortable performing this task yourself, it's always best to contact a professional for assistance.

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