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Rheem Stellar Repair Or Replacement?
Rheem Stellar is the cream of the crop when speaking of gas hot water systems. It is currently the most efficient gas storage water heater available in New Zealand, well-loved for its sleek design and reliability.
But though it gives the best combination of durability, performance, and features, it may occasionally run into some issues (like all machines do). If you suddenly run out of hot water at home, don’t panic. There are a number of things you can check before enlisting professional help.
Can it be fixed? More often than not, the issue is just the lack of servicing. For instance, the pilot light might burn out due to debris build-up or a clogged fuel injector. Other times, the cylinder is simply broken.
If water is flowing from the hot tap but the water is cold, try doing the following:
- Make sure the power isolator beside the hot water cylinder is ON.
- Check the house switchboard to see if the circuit breaker for the hot water is ON.
- Check the outside meter box to see if the Hot Water Circuit Breaker is switched on.
- Check with your power company and ask if they have ‘hot water line faults’ in your area.
- Check that any cut-off valves in the gas line are turned on.
- Check the settings of the thermostat on the water heater, and readjust if needed.
- Check the pilot light found in the gas chamber to see if it is lit. This small light must remain alight at all times to power the main burner which heats the water. However, this can suddenly go out due to strong winds, interruptions in natural gas supply or debris build up.
Some troubleshooting information can also be found in the Owner’s Guide and the service contact details are written on the Stellar instructions label found on the back of the unit.
Other issues that may warrant a Rheem Stellar repair are gas leaks, water leaks and a noisy cylinder. If there is a leak, you would usually smell traces of gas down on the floor level, where gas normally accumulates. If you detect even the faintest trace, shut off the main valve and call in professional help. On the other hand, water around the base of the cylinder or the safe tray may mean the cylinder is leaking. If there is a leak, call a local plumber.
As for strange noises, your Rheem Stellar is supposed to work with minimal or no noise. So if your cylinder makes a noise when you turn the tap on or off, it could be a sign of a faulty valve or a water hammer problem. Again, ring a plumber.
After a thorough inspection, your plumber will decide whether your unit can be repaired or not. Even when repairs can be done, it won’t always be the most cost-effective solution. So a replacement may be a better option.
You may ask, what is the cost if it needs to be replaced? We usually offer Rheem Stellar replacements starting from $2790 (plus GST). Our service fee covers the unit itself, removal of old unit, installation of your new water heater, and certifications. We are Rheem-approved plumbers, which mean you can trust us to carry out the installation correctly. This ensures your safety and validates your cylinder manufacturer’s warranty.
Speaking of correct installation, we take into consideration a number of things, including:
- Gas pipe size. Proper sizing of the connection pipes is essential for optimal performance. An undersized gas system cannot support true mains pressure operation, which will lead to poor performance and efficiency. Reference to the water heater’s technical specifications, as well as local regulatory requirements, must be made. Wrong pipe size can also cause issues such as soot accumulation in the burners, condensation in the heat exchanger or pilot lights burning out. In addition to size, the pipes running downstream of the temperature pressure relief valve specifically must be capable of carrying water exceeding 93o Otherwise, it may result in damage to the pipework and your property.
- Access. A new Rheem model can simply be installed in the same space as your old cylinder. But if your previous cylinder is not located in an optimal location, we may install the new unit in a better location. The best spot is where the cylinder can easily be accessed for inspection and maintenance, whilst keeping the plumbing lines as short as possible. In a location where the pipes are prone to freezing, insulation must be applied.
- Fuel type. Rheem Stellar is compatible with natural gas, but some models are electric. If you currently have a different brand of hot water heater that needs replacement, a Stellar can easily be fitted in its place. If you are replacing an electric hot water system with a new gas water heater, a new hot water main valve or additional gas line to the nearest gas service may be required. This may add cost per metre of new piping. But this is a small price to pay considering that gas heaters have quicker heat recovery times than their electric counterparts. This means a relatively smaller unit can keep up with your normal hot water demand.
Of course, the considerations don’t end here. There’s a tall list of specifications for every single component of the installation.
Whether you need to repair or install a new Rheem gas water heater, make sure to use only a qualified and approved service technician. We here at Water Heaters NZ are fully trained and experienced with Rheem hot water systems.
Here are some of the jobs we did recently:
The Rheem Stellar units have remarkable flow rates of up to 40 litres per minute and operate at mains pressure, enabling them to keep up with the most demanding households. Not to mention, they have some of the highest Energy Star ratings.
Get your Rheem Stellar gas hot water cylinder up and running. Contact us!