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An average hot water heater will have a quite worktime in most of the homes it gets used in. Based on manufacturer's suggested service life, the life expectancy of a water heater is about 8 to 12 years. This can obviously changed based on the severity of local weater, design of the unit, quality of the installation and the amount of maintenance one puts in into the unit. There are some issues when it comes to rinnai tankless hot water heaters which are pretty common to be found. Some of those issues are listed below

Mineral Build-Up
An indicator light identified the problem. This is a common problem that can decrease efficiency and prematurely damage or break the water heater. Such a breakdown likely won’t be covered by a warranty.
If you have hard water, you will need to use a water softener, install a scale filter or flush the unit regularly with a vinegar solution, according to the owners’ manual. This may require professional service for some models.

On-demand water heaters are less subject to corrosion than tank-type heaters. However, if corrosion does occur, it can lead to serious problems. Condensation may drip onto on the gas burner and cause corrosion that blocks the gas supply. Though unlikely, even a small restriction could cause the sensitive computer in modern on-demand water heaters to shut down the system.
A poorly installed heat exchanger could also be damaged by corrosion. If installed properly, this should not be an issue for the lifespan of the heater. However, in the unlikely event of a corroded heat exchanger, replacement can be very costly.

Demand Overload
If you demand a large amount of hot water at once, such as taking a shower and running the dishwasher at the same time, the heater may not be able to meet the demand. The heater’s computer could simply shut down if it cannot get enough natural gas to heat enough water to meet your demands.
You may need to expand or upgrade your natural gas line to properly install an on-demand water heater. This can add significantly to the installation costs, but may be necessary to make sure the water heater is getting enough gas to function properly.

Combustion Shutdown
On-demand water heaters also must be vented carefully to avoid other computer-generated shutdowns. The heaters have very hot exhaust which must escape quickly and efficiently. If venting is restricted, the computer may shut down the heater. Venting tubes that are too long or convoluted typically cause this type of problem.
Hard water, corrosion, excessive demand and improper installation all cause problems with on-demand water heaters.