My tank-less water heater stopped working with an error code 11.

I had somebody out to take a look at it. relatively quickly we went through the troubleshooting steps and concluded the flame rods/sensors were the issue. We cleaned them and it started working again.

He is recommending that we replace them, do a dry cleaning and move the gas line because the regulator is only 6 inches from the bottom of the unit.

He claims that a new building code now requires it to be at least 3 feet away. I have no idea if this is true or if it needs to be done. I do believe the rods needs to be replaced (sorry if this is the wrong name for the three small metal rods that light the flame and detect if it is working.) The house is only 4 years old.

All said, he wants to come back and do all of this for $600. The parts are under warranty, so Rinnai is shipping them free. I don't know if I should just pay for him coming out and just install the new parts myself, or actually let him do the extra work that is needed.. and if so, if $600 is reasonable? If it is I don't mind paying him, I just hate the idea of being up sold.


  • I could see the 600 being hard to swallow.But if he is a honest guy and does a stand up job above and beyond..I can see why ,he might do more than some, and he gave you a price, and if more is needed wont charge you. – user101687 Jun 5 '19 at 22:42
  • Thanks, It's not just the price, it's the question of whether the building code really changed in the last 4 years to make moving the regulator needed If somebody can say, yes having the regulator that close to the water heater can cause an issue I would feel better about the price. – Greg machamer Jun 6 '19 at 0:13
  • Even of code has changed there is no requirement to change it unless a new heater is being installed. And in some states no changes , just depends where you live. – Ed Beal Jun 6 '19 at 13:18
  • Yes, I realize I don't have to change it, but he is using the fact that the code has changed as a selling point for me to go ahead and do it. Honestly, if the code did change, then there was likely a good reason for it to change... I just can't find anywhere that it has changed (North Carolina.) If it hasn't, then he is lying to me and I don't want anything to do with him if that is the case. – Greg machamer Jun 6 '19 at 17:46

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.