Troubleshooting Titan Tankless Water Heater Problems

Thanks to their energy efficiency and affordable price, Titan tankless water heaters from American Water Heaters are among the most reputable brands in the industry. However, even the best sometimes fail. That’s why it’s essential to know a few basic things about troubleshooting Titan tankless water heater problems.

Titan tankless water heaters are generally reliable, but they can break and require you to troubleshoot to fix your unit. You can solve many Titan water heater problems by cutting power to the unit, waiting a few minutes, and turning it back on. If problems persist, you may need to call a plumber.

In this article, I’ll walk you through how to reset your Titan tankless water heater. I also created an in-depth guide on how to adjust its temperature. To wrap it up, I will also be discussing common issues with Titan tankless water heaters and how to fix them. So, keep reading.

Common Titan Water Heater Problems and Troubleshooting Procedure

Below are common water heater problems and how to troubleshoot them:

1. Cold Water

Titan water heaters offer cold water instead of hot water due to the loss of electrical energy to the heating element. This is mainly because of a tripped circuit breaker in your main electrical panel. 

Resetting a tripped circuit breaker is likely to restore electrical power to the heating element and hot water. The Titan tankless heater also has an internal high limit switch that automatically shuts off the heating element’s power if water rises highly. 

You should never reset a high limit unless a certified plumber isolates the cause of the high temperature. 

2. Lukewarm Water

Water in your household not being hot enough may be due to several reasons, including your high household water consumption and simple adjustments. In such a case, set the temperature control knob on the lower front panel to the default position of 120 degrees Fahrenheit. 

If you don’t get a solution from advancing the thermostat, the thermostat might be defective. For a compact heater, the peak water usage might be outpacing your heater’s capacity to reheater the water. You should therefore reduce the water consumption to match your unit’s peak demand. 

The problem could also be due to sediment accumulation and lengthy pipe distances.

3. Leaks

A dripping pressure relief valve is the leading cause of leakages in hot water systems. When excess hot water is discharged, the valve might fail to seal effectively after an actuation. 

The valve might also weep small amounts of water because of the thermal expansion of the tank and the excessive tank pressure. You can operate the valve manually by lifting its spring-loaded lever and then letting it close. This flushes out debris, thus restricting proper valve sealing. 

Turn off your heater if leaks persist. You should also turn off your cold water inlet valve and contact a certified plumber to facilitate the replacement of the pressure valve.

4. Water Odor

Another common problem is the rotten egg-like smell coming from hot water due to the water’s low oxygen content and high sulfate concentration. It could also be from a surplus of hydrogen and harmful bacteria contamination in your water system. 

Calling an expert will be the best thing to do as the water most likely needs to undergo a sanitation process.

How Do You Reset a Titan Tankless Water Heater?

There are times when you turn on your hot water faucet, but no hot water comes out. It becomes frustrating, especially if you get in a shower and wait for about two minutes without hot water

When such a thing happens, your Titan heater might be giving you an error code that informs you of the real problem. You need to consult the manual to find out the real meaning of such an error. In most cases, however, a reset solves most of the Titan water heater problems and is worth considering.

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Identify the reset button.

Most Titan heaters are designed with a user-friendly manual that makes it easy for you to identify a reset button. Identifying the reset button or switch is the first step to resetting your Titan water heater. 

Even though there are different models of the Titan brand, the reset button is mostly the red button on the top thermostat of your water heater. In certain situations, you might be forced to remove a panel to reach it. 

If your reset button is lit, which means the switch has tripped, you must make a reset immediately for effective performance. In such a case, you can reset your water heater by pressing the red button

In some units, the reset button is available on the lower thermostat. In such a scenario, you still have to push the reset button. 

If you push the reset button, but it refuses to reset immediately, there are parts of your Titan heater that might cause challenges. 

There are several reasons why the reset button may trip, and one of them causes water to be very hot. A faulty thermostat in the lower and upper heating elements might also cause the problem.

The thermostat isn’t the only thing that wears out, leading to the tripping of your reset button. This is true, especially if you’ve to reset the Titan heater more frequently than expected. 

Below are situations that can force you to reset the button: 

  • The heating element has loose wiring: this is the reason why the heat trips the high-limit switch. 
  • When the high-limit switch isn’t in good shape: once this switch malfunctions and overheats water, there is a high risk of the high-limit switch tripping. 
  • The heating element might have an electrical short: the thermostat could still be okay in such a situation, but the short will cause the high-limit switch to trip. 
  • The problem could also result from something else apart from your water heater: for instance, electricity in your house could potentially cause a problem.

How Do You Adjust the Temperature On a Titan Water Heater?

Since Titan water heaters are available with different interfaces, the settings vary significantly from one model to another. However, the procedure of adjusting the temperature is similar. 

For an electric or gas water heater, there is a thermostat behind the access panel. You might find two thermostats; one at the bottom and one at the top. 

There are also two types of tankless heater systems. The first group involves the large household units that offer instant water to the whole house. There are also point of use devices that you can mount closer to the delivery point. You can adjust these heaters for a specific application, depending on your needs. 

Most Titan tankless heaters come with a user-friendly display with readouts and controls to help you customize the temperature. 

Setting your Titan heater temperature is similar to adjusting the thermostat for your AC. You should operate the digital control panel and customize your temperature using the down and up arrows. 

Modern heaters have LED control that allows you to control the temperatures comfortably compared to traditional water heaters. 

If you’re using different Titan water heaters in your home, you should set the temperature independently for each of them. For instance, your bathroom requires hotter water than your washing machine. When using a tankless gas heater, you should customize the vent controls. 

Regardless of the Titan water heater you have, it would be best to test the water before making suitable temperature adjustments. Turn on the water in your bathroom or kitchen sink and allow it to run until it’s hot. Using a thermometer, take a precise reading of the temperature. 

Why Titan Heaters Sometimes Don’t Create Enough Hot Water

There are several reasons why you aren’t having enough hot water. Below are the top reasons: 

1. Sediment Accumulation on The Heating Element

There are times when the water getting into your Titan tankless water heater system carries too many sediments. The water will accumulate over the walls of the heating element over time, thus reducing the heater’s efficiency to transfer heat energy to the water. 

You can easily solve this problem by simply installing a cold water filter in your cold water pipe. 

2. A Non Functional Heating Element

The power rating of a Titan water heater varies with the power rating and the number of heating elements. Most Titan heaters have between one to four heating elements. If one of the heating elements breaks or opens, the heater will still work but with reduced capacity. 

The result will be the heater producing water that isn’t hot enough. 

3. Inappropriate Heater for The Climate or Application

If you’re using a Titan heater for the purpose it is not intended, you’ll get water that isn’t hot enough. For instance, a Titan heater designed to serve a one-bedroom house won’t supply enough hot water for a two-bedroom house. 

The same thing applies to the climate of your region. If the incoming temperature of the water is high, expect to get instant hot water within a short period. 

4. Low Input Voltage

Let’s consider the Titan N-120 tankless heater with a rating of 11.8 KW on a 220V and 54 Amps supply. If the same heater is connected to a 240V supply, it will be rated 13.9 KW, 58 Amps, and will deliver higher temperatures. However, if you connect the same heater to a 208V, it’ll be rated 50.4 Amps, 10.5 KW, and will offer less hot water. 

The same N-120 water heater won’t work with a 120V power supply. Depending on what you’re using the hot water for, the voltage will or won’t affect the temperature enough to be noticed. 

5. Defective SCR (Silicon-Controlled Rectifier) or Electronic Board

Even though this isn’t a common problem, there are times when the SCR (Silicon-Controlled Rectifier) or Electronic Board stops responding. When this happens, they won’t let current flow through the heating elements that they control. 

There is another challenge of only a portion of the electronic board handling SCRs becoming defective. In such a case, you’ll also not get enough hot water. 

Why It’s Important To Have Your Water Heater at the Right Temperature

Adjusting the temperature on your Titan water heater is critical for your safety and your health. Most Titan heaters are designed to enable you to either lower or increase the temperature based on your needs. 

Whether the reason for setting a proper temperature range is your comfort or safety, there are several other reasons to consider.

If you set your temperature very low, there is a high chance of you showering with lukewarm water. In such a case, you might not catch a cold, but you stand a chance of developing bacterial growth like Legionnaires disease. 

It would be best to set the temperature to a range that won’t allow the Legionella bacteria to thrive. The Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) recommends that all water heaters, including the Titan tankless ones, be set above 140 degrees Fahrenheit.

This temperature reduces the chances of the legionella bacteria and other disease-causing organisms from thriving. Water temperatures higher than 140 degrees Fahrenheit can scald most people, especially older adults and children. 

For kids, it will only take water at 150 degrees Fahrenheit to cause third-degree burns. As per the Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC), you should set the heater temperature above 120 degrees Fahrenheit to reduce scalding risks. 

Setting the temperature on your water heater very high also increases your electricity bill. Remember cutting down the energy costs is among the reasons you switched to the tankless heaters. 

Every household has its particularities. The distance between your tankless heater and the faucet is sometimes very long. The heat will be lost when the faucet is far from the heater, especially when your pipes don’t have proper insulation. For this reason, you should set the temperature above 120 degrees Fahrenheit.

Always use common sense while setting your Titan water heater temperatures. A temperature range of between 120 to 140 degrees Fahrenheit is good enough. When you want to adjust the temperature, run several tests until you have a clear idea of the best temperature for your household. 

Conclusion

As we have seen above, Titan tankless water heaters are not immune to problems. When such issues arise, you should be in a position to troubleshoot them and correct them before they escalate. 

Adjusting the temperature of your tankless heater is critical for your safety and personal health. Titan heaters enable you to lower or increase their temperatures depending on your needs. 

However, if you don’t understand how to troubleshoot your Titan water heater, you should contact a professional plumber or electrician to assist you where possible.

Sources

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Hubert Miles

I've been conducting home inspections for 17 years. I'm a licensed Home Inspector, Certified Master Inspector (CMI), and FHA 203k Consultant. I started HomeInspectionInsider.com to help people better understand the home inspection process and answer questions about homeownership and home maintenance.

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