2 Units failed within 4.5 years each. Rinnai not interested. Do not recommend.
Failed after 4.5yrs. Rusted at outlet. Replaced under warranty at cost of >$400. Second unit rusted at inlet &failed 4.5yrs later. Rinnai contacted on 3 occasions but totally unhelpful - not interested. Not a water supply issue. Awful & expensive experience.
Purchased in March 2010.
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.
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.
- Sunmaster Flat Plate System
- Verified purchase
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 offe...
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
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.
- Sunmaster Flat Plate System
- Verified purchase
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 th...en 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 co...
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 c...ommon 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...
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
Questions & Answers
I have a Rinnai Sunmaster Flat Plate system installed in 1999.
What is the life expectancy of this system
Thanks for the question, in 1999 when your unit was installed Rinnai offered a 5 year warranty on the Sunmaster tank. However, Rinnai Australia are committed to continuous improvement and through innovation have enhanced the efficiency of the Sunmaster Flat Plate System which has sanctioned an extension of the warranty from 5 to 10 years on the Sunmaster tank.
If you are having trouble with your unit we would recommend booking a service call. Please refer to our website with the following link https://www.rinnai.com.au/support-resources/online-service-booking.
That does not really answer my question!
The unit is currently working fine,what I am asking is how long would you expect the unit to last! Ie life expectancy.
We cannot provide an exact age for life expectancy, due to a number of factors. Actual life can be impacted by water quality, usage and improper maintenance.
It is recommended that our customers regularly service their products to ensure optimal operation.
If you would like to organise a general service, please refer to our website with the following link:
Please let us know if there is anything else we can help you with.
Is it ok to leave power off to hot unit when house is empty can this damage panels on roof
Thank you for the question Gary Pond.
TURNING OFF THE WATER HEATING SYSTEM
If you plan to be away for only a few nights, we suggest you leave the water heating system switched on. If it is
necessary to switch off the water heater, do so as outlined below:
Electric Boosted Systems
• Switch off the electrical supply to the supplementary heating element. The switch is usually marked and
located in the electricity meter box of the dwelling.
• Switch off the electric supply to the solar controller and pump.
Gas Boosted systems
• Switch off the electric supply to the gas booster.
• Switch off the electric supply to the solar controller and pump.
Turning off power to the solar controller will prevent operation of the pumped water circulation
used in low temperature mode. (See page “Frost Protection Mode” on page 22 for details). This
may be required for warranty on the solar collectors. Refer to the supplied warranty booklet.
Please contact our Technical help desk if you require further assistance on 1300 555 545 option 3.
My house is 3 years old and my hot water system has broken! The plumber told me that these solar systems are not suitable for Melbourne weather it got cold and it froze and when the sun hit it in the morning it cracked the solar panels! Water was gushing out! Now I need to purchase another system and plumber suggested that I not get solar! Have you had any other issues with this product?
So sorry to hear what happened to your hot water system you pay a lot of money for these systems. You would think that Rinnai should repair it or give back your money.
If you replace your system I can recommend a great system. Most of The older Plumbers recommend Aquamax because of the stainless tank and reliability and low maintenance.
We had one for 23 years with no problems.
I had a very minor problem when the panels were installed, one had a minor leak - Rinnai replaced the panel no problem. If you are in a frost prone area, you should have been told that you needed to have Frost Tolerant Collectors ie those that have FTC after their name eg SP200A FTC. The frost tolerance comes from water recirculating from tank to panels at night (or day) and safety mechanism in the panels themselves to allow for expansion and stop it from freezing. If solar systems weren't suitable for Melbourne, Rinnai wouldn't be selling any, and there would be huge complaints. By the way, the sun didn't crack the solar panels, the freezing of the water caused the panels to fail by cracking the tubes... the sun just melted the ice and so water was able to flow - gush out in your case. Get the correct panels and your problems will go away. The plumber/installer ordered the wrong system for you - go see him. Hope this helps.
Hi Frank, we are sorry to hear of the issues you have faced with your solar collector but there should not be any reason to replace the entire system. We would like to investigate this matter further, can you please email us via email@example.com mentioning this review and we will contact you to discuss.
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