3 photos
Rinnai Sunmaster Range

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.

Build Quality
Value for Money
Cleaning & Maintenance
Household Size 1 person(s)
1 comment
Hi ASM, we're sorry to hear about this and have sent a private message to discuss the matter further. Thanks, Rinnai Australia

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!!

Date PurchasedNov 2016

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.

Date PurchasedJan 2012
1 comment
Thank you for the positive review Geoff. We are pleased to have been able to assist you.

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.

Date PurchasedJun 2016
1 comment
Thank you for the review Ravi, we are sorry to hear of the issues you have faced with your solar hot water. We have introduced a call back service this year so our customer do not have to wait on hold to keep their position in the queue, it is this message you have heard on the 1300 555 545 number.

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.

Date PurchasedMar 2011

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!.

Date PurchasedOct 2016

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.

Date PurchasedSep 2017
1 comment
Thanks for the review RFitzy, we are very glad to hear the upgrade to Evacuated Tubes has been such a success. The recent frost events across Victoria in particular have hit areas not traditionally considered to be high frost and the evacuated tubes are definitely the best option for high frost areas.


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

Date PurchasedJun 2016

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. .

Date PurchasedApr 2017
1 comment
Thanks for your review Eddy, we are sorry to hear of the issues you have faced with your solar. Condensation inside the collector will not cause it to burst, in some cases the collectors can be affected by heavy frost depending on the collectors installed. We would like to investigate further. Can you please email your details to enquiry@rinnai.com.au mentioning this review and we will be in touch.

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.

Date PurchasedFeb 2009

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.

Date PurchasedMay 2008

Terrible service

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.

Date PurchasedNov 2017

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.?

Date PurchasedApr 2017
1 comment
Thanks for the review and the question Peter. It is difficult to diagnose the issue with the unit as the symptoms you have described could be caused by a number of issues. Without inspection we cannot confirm if there is a problem with the unit itself or with something external. If the plumber has identified the Pressure Limiting Valve as the issue, this is not something provided or installed by Rinnai and you may have to contact the builder to check that this was correctly installed. Our technical help desk can discuss the matter further on 1300 555 545 and may be able to offer advise as to what can be checked.

Sunmaster 215L

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!

Date PurchasedFeb 2010
Bleed valve crapped itself again after just one year in service! Going to replace it with a 3/8" brass ball valve - this is the option Rinnai should take and stop being cheapskates!Thanks for the review Grumpy Techie. We'd like to help further with the information you are after. Can you please email enquiry@rinnai.com.au with your details, mentioning this review and we will have one of our technical staff contact you.

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.

Date PurchasedMay 2013

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.

Date PurchasedJan 2016
Thanks for the review Cam T. There can be a number of reasons for the symptoms you have described, it can be related to both the unit and the way it has been installed. We would like to follow up with the service work you have booked to ensure the issue is resolved if you would like to private message us with your contact details.Hi rinnai, thanks for the response. You can contact me on 0430490438 apparently the technician is attending today to attemp to fix the problem for the 3rd time4th technician call in 5 months, system only installed 8 months ago on a brand new house I have built. To make things worse property is a rental property. Not good when your tennant is paying top dollar in rent only to have cold water in the morning. Have had nothing but headaches from day 1.

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.

Date PurchasedSep 2013
Thanks for your review Brian, we are sorry to hear of the issues you have faced with the pump. If the pump is running continuously this can be an issue with the temperature sensors not picking up the correct temperature of the water in the tank. if there is a manufacturing issue with the unit within warranty, you would not be charged for the work.Thanks for your response. The warranty is only 12 months but the components should reasonably be expected to last quite a bit longer than that for the cost. I contrast your "it's out of warranty" response to Miele, who fixed a gas cooktop that was a little while out of warranty. I've learnt since then that, despite what I was told, you should have been obliged to fix the system under current Australian consumer law, which says that the product must functional for a reasonable time, not just for the warranty period. http://www.accc.gov.au/consumers/consumer-rights-guarantees/consumer-guarantees

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

Date PurchasedSep 2008
1 comment
Thanks for the review Fitzy, we're pleased to hear Phil and the team at Celsius have managed to fix the plumbing issues that were interfering with the correct operation of your solar hot water. Plumbing failures cause a lot of issues with solar and can be hard to diagnose. We wish you many more years of trouble free operation.

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

1 comment
Thanks for the review Jezza, we are sorry to hear the issues you have faced with your unit and would like to investigate this matter further for you. Can you please email enquiry@rinnai.com.au with your details and we can follow this up for you.

Totally unreliable

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

Thanks for the review Richard, we are aware of the situation and have been working with the technician onsite to resolve the issue. We understand the frustration you are feeling but we are committed to finding a solution for you.I look forward to seeing the technician onsite and am very glad you are committed to finding a solution.The local Rinnai service agent visited on 19 Feb and replaced the bottom sensor. The unit worked for a day before reverting to the usual situation whereby it pumps the hot water to the cold roof all night. Not happy Rinnai!

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Questions & Answers

We have a 315lt evacuated gas boosted unit. Every time you turn the tap on the gas boost starts up and keeps running. I could understand this first thing in the morning after a cold night but today was 21° and sunny for 95% of the day although with a cool wind. Our panels face north. Why is it doing this we have just had a sensor at the tubes replaced. The system is only 6 months old.
No answers

i need to replace my 315L Sunmaster tank and have found a replacement but the solar return and hot water outlet ports are on the opposite side to my original tank. Is there a difference between the hot water outlet and solar return ports? Can i connect the hot water outlet to the solar return port and the solar return to the hot water outlet?
No answers

Actewagl solar They installed a Rinnai sunmaster system 6 weeks ago.every week a technician has to come and fix it as i have no hot water. They fix a valve or whatever and it works for 3 or 4 days and then goes cold .this has gone on for 6 weeks. I am disgusted with this installation. I feel i have had a lemon installed.
3 answers
Hello Deidre .. If I were in your situation, speak directly to the installation company, they have the consumer rights to fix your problem. Mention that if the situation is not resolved within say 7 days, you will contact Consumer Affairs in your State. In the mean time I would contact Consumer Affairs anyway and get their view and information. I would also contact Rinnai both by email (written record) and by Phone (they have a consumer line). Advise them of your ongoing issues and let them know of the installers inaction. Advise the installation company that you are thru talking, and immediate action is required to permanently fix you system. Consumer Affairs will advise of the next steps to take. A few sparks flying will get the message across and will get you an outcome. Good luckThank you Geoff for that advice.Geoff. Rinnai have come everyweek to fix the solar heater. Each time I think that it is fixed now. Then for 4 days I have hot water and then luke warm water the next day. This has happened every week since they installed it on 12 th March.last Friday when it failed again technician said he had put a new sensor on the roof tubes. That was 2 days ago and I have had hot water for two days now. We will see.