Don't Buy... Will not buy again. Pump Failure, Frost Valves Constantly leaking
18 Month old system was installed on new home and is on 3rd warranty call out. Frost valves leak & have been replaced twice, last set have not lasted 8 months. Pump failed tripping the circuit breaker shutting down all hot water supply in a drizzly cold Victorian evening in July and required our 6 month old daughter to be driven to friends house for several days for bathing until Rinnai sent out a technician to replace.
Requested support from Rinnai on full replacement system however pushed back onto technician suggesting they will provide a solution. Next step ACCC to request full replacement.
Purchased in April 2017.
Reported pump 3 times in last year - it still whines all night!!
I’ve reported that the pump on our Sunmaster 26 has been running all night 3 times since we moved into our new house 18 months ago. Rinnai tell me there’s nothing wrong when there clearly is. The pump whines all night. And you can hear it from our bedroom upstairs. It’s infuriating! Our guest room is downstairs on the adjoining wall and guests complain about the noise too. I do not recommend this system at all!!!!!!
I also fail to understand why the pump runs in the middle of the night. The electricity bill probably negates the benefit of having the panel in the first place.
Rinnai please take this seriously for once and do something about it!!
Warranty periods and labour costs
We purchased a brand new complete Rinnai solar hot water system in Jan 2012. Three weeks ago one of the solar collectors was leaking badly, so I contacted the original company that installed the system. They came out and disconnected/bypassed the collector. The tradesman also noted the main tank was corroded and would need to be replaced as well. As this was only 6 years ago since we purchased it and main tank covered for 10 years and collectors 7 years "BUT" the labour costs of removing and replacing these items was not covered. I explained to the installing company that I was not happy about paying for something that was covered by warranty, and I also phoned and emailed Rinnai with the same opinion. I also contacted the Department of Consumer Affairs and everyone in the same position should read (all online) the information about Australian Consumer Law and particularly the "Consumer Guarantee". After explaining to Rinnai through emails that I had not received the full value of the product I had originally purchased, I should not have to pay for the labour costs to replace the warranted parts of the system. These labour costs alone were around $1400. After some deliberation by Rinnai, they agreed to cover all the labour costs and replace the items under warranty. So persistence and understanding of your rights as a consumer are very important, and not backing away is the key. In my particular case outlined, I have to thank Rinnai for their understanding of my opinion on the "Consumer Guarantee" and we have had a good outcome. I have found my interaction with them to be fairly good and the outcomes all that we wanted. Thanks again Rinnai, good customer relations go a long way to repeat business.
Worst product and very unfriendly customer service
It seems the company RINNAI has the policy of pushing their products hook and crook through the builders rather than delivering quality product that withstand changing weather conditions. More worse is their attitude on customer service. My solar hot water flat panel has burst this morning and despite several calls to 1300555545 the person is not registering the fault and does not provide reference number, simply saying that some would call me back. I am stuck now without hot water. It was a similar problem last year, ten days after booking fault their personnel attended and said they have replaced one of the burst valves. If it is a quality product how does it become faulty in less than a year. If the company is doing thousands of installations in Melbourne suburbs as heard from their personnel why can't the company expand the service level at least during these worst weather events. Do not recommend RINNAI products to anyone.
Not designed for the intended purpose - Split Solar Hot Water Pannel
Well our second Solar Hot water panel has now started leaking just out of the 7 years warrant by 5 months, the first one started leaking in 2015 and was replaced under warranty. Now just after 3 years the replacement panel is now leaking water from the inside again onto the roof.
The system is a Sunmaster by Rinnai with two solar hot water panels on the roof with the Rinnai continuous flow gas boost, the system is not designed for the intended purpose.
A very poor product that should last more than 3 years without fail, I have been quoted $930 for a replacement panel without any labour. This should be still covered under warranty.
Bad Product and Worst Service Support
I have a Rinnai Solar Hot Water Panel unit installed for less than 2 years by my builder on my newly built home. Recently I found out that the Flat Plat on the roof has a small leak that causes my water bill to soar. Since the unit is supposedly still under warranty, I called up the service center to book a service and had one of the worst customer service call response I've ever had:
1. Waiting period of around 45 minutes
2. The customer service personnel can't really advise on whether the unit is still under warranty or not even when I offer to give them the serial number of the unit. They can only take your booking then leave it out their certified technicians to determine whether the unit is still under warranty or not. To me this is a HUGE risk because, if they say it's not then you immediately out of pocket at the minimum of $195 plus any other parts & labour cost. Why can't Rinnai confirm over the phone that the unit is under warranty based on serial? This is so uncommon as any other electrical appliances vendor would check first and give warning to the customer if not under warranty before sending the service technicians.
3. When asked whether I can arrange my own plumber to check (which has much lower call-out charge out fee of $80), I was advised that I may void the warranty and was not advised any procedure for my plumber to report that it's a warranty issue.
So now I'm basically stuck with a less-then 2 years old Solar Hot Water Unit that is leaking because Rinnai does not have an open book policy in relation to their warranty claim and after-sales support cost, etc.
If you are building a new home, please help yourselves: ask your builder NOT to use Rinnai for your Solar Hot Water unit!.
Working well in bad frost area. Be mindful of flat solar panels from any supplier in frost prone are
Our Sunmaster was working very well for years, with the gas booster costs very low, but like other reviewers this year's frosts have caused issues, even if you had a frost protection kit. Like others, our panel developed a leak after a bad frost which rendered it useless. After checking with plumbers, I contacted Rinnai, provided copies of all my paperwork and after a couple of conversations was able to repair the system, under warranty, with the evacuated tubes. Rinnai organised for the work to be done and kept me informed about the process. The team was friendly and professional. The installation/repair went very well and I'm very happy with the evacuated tubes. We have experienced some bad frosts since and no issue and I would say the system is working better than ever. Given the changing climate and the fact global warming doesn't mean less intense cold weather (the opposite in fact) as a consumer who's done some research into the panels (recently) I would recommended the evacuated tubes, that I'm told are rated to -15 degrees and again we've had no issues with the rest of the system.
Panel exploded first time with frost. Could not get through to Rinnai for 4 days as their phones ring out. Then Rinnai tell me it is my fault for calling an independent plumber and paid the plumber. I am very ill and could not wait nearly a week just to get through to Rinnai and ask them to send a plumber to bypass the solar panel. 3 months later am s waiting for a panel Rinnai. Have asked Rinnai to upgrade me to evac tubes but again they are not talking to me. Perhaps I am too polite to them. Do not buy Rinnai
Leaking solar Panels
Our Rinnai Hot water units with solar panels have major water leaks from the solar panels after being installed a few months ago in our new house. There is no hot water until the problem can be fixed. The problem started with just condensation inside the panel. The Rinnai technician investigated this about 3 weeks ago and said we should wait until the summer to see if the condensation goes away. Today the panels started gushing water onto the roof on 2 of the new houses just build and occupied only 3 weeks ago. When I read the reviews today, it seems this problem is a know issue for many years and is known by Rinnai. It is very disappointing that a company like Rinnai has not implemented a robust fix for a problem they have been aware of for many years. For this reason I have given a very low rating as it is not acceptable to have such a major failure in a new house for a problem that has been known for many years. .
Not Long Out of Warranty and Solar Panels Fail
Bought a new house in 2009 and the Rinnai Sunmaster was the system the builder had installed. Admittedly, I've have had trouble free hot water for many years, but isn't that what hot water systems are supposed to do. Anyway, about a month ago my suburb had a really severe frost and one of my solar panels failed. I came home to find water gushing out of the top of the panel and over the roof. Of course it happened on a Sunday! Couldn't get response on the Rinnai 'Hotline' so I had resort to calling a local plumber. He was sympathetic but couldn't come until the next day as he was booked out for the whole day. Seems there were many, many others in the same boat as me with frost affected panels.
Local plumber managed to get to me on the Monday and didn't even want to look at the panels. He seemed to think it wasn't worth even getting up a ladder so he just 'capped off' the system. I am now just relying on the gas booster. 20 mins work $165.
After a lot of thought I rang Rinnai. I really just wanted a second opinion from an expert. I mean, what is the point of having panels on the roof if they're not being used? I was told that I would have to wait nearly 2 weeks for someone to come out and it would cost $195. Well, o.k I guess. The system was looked at and it was found that a metal stopper/end cap had been forcible ejected from the top of a panel when the water expanded as it froze. Simple, I thought. But wait, you can't just put the stopper/cap back on, you have to buy a kit for that. Mmmm, how much for the kit and then fitting? $230. Plumber then explained that it might not be that simple. It has been his experience that I could go to the trouble and expense of getting the panel repaired and then the panel fail by cracking from next severe frost. Hang on, I thought the panels had some some kind of frost protection? He said that panels with frost protection only get installed in designated severe frost areas. These areas, I was told, are designated by the local Councils. Apparently I'm not in one of the designated areas, therefore no frost protection. In his opinion I would be better off not to bother trying to salvage the panels and just solely rely on the gas booster. Sometime in the future, when I can afford it, I will be paying someone to remove the panels and patch up the roof. Very annoying.
To sum up, I'm upset that such an expensive system can fail just due to frost. I definitely wouldn't have another Sunmaster.
Update: Aug 2018 It is now many, many months since I had faulty Rinnai Sunmaster tank and solar panels disconnected. I have had a plumber remove the bypassed water tank and the solar panels from the roof. I am just using the instantaneous gas hot water booster that has now been mounted on the wall. I have been reading my gas bills carefully over the past year and have honestly not noticed an increase in my gas consumption since not having the solar panels preheat the water. Seems that the solar system was not saving me any money at all. All I can assume is that the system wasn't working properly for a long time before the major fail?
I guess the moral of the story is to check (not sure how?) that the system is working correctly and not assume that all is well.
Good system if installed properly
Hot water system works flawlessly once installation issue rectified. Temperature sensor wasn't installed properly and the pump ran all night. Once this was fixed it works great. Use very little gas boosting in summer. Always have hot water available.
After 9 years a record frost resulted in one of the panels leaking. I would have thought it's frost protected, so a plumber will have to come and check it. Hence only 4 stars. But overall, happy with the system.
System has a frost protection value that has been leaking at ~12 deg. Service call placed, technician visited, said they needed to order a replacement part. Technician assistant then called afterwards to say Rinnai rejected the change and that we were liable for the visit. Called Rinnai to understand technical operating limits for the frost valve, told they could not help me due to computer issues, got put through to their technical department and asked where I could reference the information, was told it should start operating a 4deg and then stop at 6deg. Asked for owner reference information and I was told it was internal knowledge only. Went back to customer service, computers still down, no offer to call back, I was told to email to escalate. Customer service people were rude. Simply not good enough. Date purchased is when new house was first occupied.
Solar hot water does not save money bad water pressure after install
We have a new home . Builder installed Rinnai sunmaster SG215 with gas booster. The water pressure from garden tap is excellent . The pressure inside our house is very bad , when I have a shower and my wife turns the hot water tap in the kitchen or anywhere in the house the pressure is reduced . It takes 15minutes to fill the washing machine.
We have spoken to a person at rinnai and he said thats normal .He told us that the flow rate should be not be less than 9lts a min. Which is what we are getting. We have had plumbers out to see if they could do something . They told us that there is a pressure limiting value that has been set and can't be altered. Also comparing our water and gas bills we are paying more when using the mj usage per day t. Our home is 6star rating. We are disappointed in this product..
We are asking if anything can be done.?
System works well when it has no faults! Minor problems I've had to date: Plastic non return valve built into system melted - not rated to handle the high temperatures (replaced with a 250deg external one). Bleed valve on collectors failed - replaced - expensive for what it is - bad design - needs to be more than what looks like a bicycle valve!. Hot sensor failed (three times open/intermittent) so pump runs at night cooling the hot water - defeats the purpose of solar hot water. Technical documentation regarding sensors (are they PTC or NTC & resistance change per degree of temperature) non existent and not forth coming from Rinnai (very frustrating) just buy an expensive new one from Rinnai! +$40, for a 50cent part!
Pump runs nearly continuously
Too scared to call in a technician because of all the complaints and horror stories about the Rinnai Sunmaster tank system. Neighbor just replaced a Solahart rooftop system after 20 years uninterrupted service. Wishing we had done the same. Considering replacing the rattling pump and setting up a timer, but it sounds from another review like the tank may rust out prematurely too.
Pump runs continuously
Pump runs continuously day and night, technician has been out and replaced the controller component, pump still running day and night. Technician is back today. Haven't heard outcome of today's visit yet. It seems as though this is a common problem with this unit, when I spoke with rinnai though they denied this was a common issue.
Similar Problems to others - unreliable
First, my Rinnai Sunmaster system kept turning on and off at night, cooling the water that had heated during the day - this MUST be a design fault. To defeat this, I put a timer on the pump connection. Also, after about 2 1/2 years the pump started making a rattling noise and not pumping properly. Rinnai offered to come out and "look at the problem" for several hundred dollars, even though this is, obviously, a common problem with the pump - to the extent that there's an "improved model". There should have been some sort of recall for the two common issues affecting these systems. Actually, in hindsight, in Melbourne, it's better to invest in a heat pump hot water system to run off your solar and get zero cost hot water all year. I'm sure there are solar hot water systems that work better than this one, though.
Loss of Hot Water Pressure returned
Hi I just thought that I would add this to the forum.
We have a Rinnai Sunmaster flat panel solar system and over the last approx. 2 years when we turned on the hot water anywhere in the house there was very low pressure We had plumbers come out they did what they do and went away sometimes the water pressure would be better but if it was it would not last.
Any way just last week I found Celsius Heating & Cooling here in Ballarat I believe they are service people for Rinnai anyway they had a contractor by the name of Phil he came out listened to what was happening then rang the chap a Rinnai and between them they worked out that it could be the pressure limiting valve of the main water supply as some of these had problems with them 8years ago anyway I said to Phil to replace it he did and we now have showers with normal pressure.
Just a note we had 4 other plumbers come and look at the Sunmaster solar booster over the 2years and they could not fix it
Good on Phil & Celsius
Solar hot water
Never buy one these stay away from rinnai ... during winter no hot water .. summer hot during day then cold in morning old solar hart had no problems for 25 years ... got bigger one for bigger family ... now been through 6 heater elements over 3 winters ... just blew another one then would like find the guys house who sold us this so i can go dump it on his lawn
This unit is great when it works. Unfortunately for most of the time the circulating pump runs day and night. This means that the hot water generated during the day is cooled overnight resulting in cold showers in the morning. Repeated visits by the service agents have resulted in the replacement of most components but the system still does not work properly. Support from Rinnai is all but non existent
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