Reviewer Photos & Videos
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, i...t 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.
- 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
Problematic At Best
A new Sunmaster with evacuated tubes, no older than three months started to fail about 2 weeks ago and the installation plumber had a shot at repairing it but only made it worse. Started with the hot water spitting pretty violently and has now reached the point at where there is pretty much no flow at all. Called Rinnia service who subsequently called an agent who said we would have to wait 2 days for a service call. That will mean we are 4 days without hot water. I used to have a high opinion of Rinnia but would now like them to remove the system and will be asking them to do so, it is clearly not fit for purpose and their service arrangements are far from optimal.
My Rinnai Sunmaster, what a waste of money
I installed a Rinnai Sunmaster in April of 2011and monitored its performance carefully since, over the cooler months March to November its contribution to household hot water ranges from mediocre to non existent due to the early activation of the frost protection system (FPS) which effectively turns the unit into a water cooler overnight whenever the temperature falls to 10 degrees C and under. Rinnai's resident engineer Mr [Name Removed] visited my home and tested my unit and found it was operating precisely to specifications, he agreed with ...my findings that the FPS activates at 10 degrees C and not at 3 degrees as Rinnai quote and it cannot be adjusted [Name Removed]quoted OFF THE RECORD that the unit was unsuitable which means that there are 1000"s of units in southern Australia similarly effected but going undetected because of the gas boost. Rinnai's official stance is that it is that it is suitable. Rinnai quote overnight tank heat loss at under 1% .yet I've detected losses of up to 65% warm enough to use at dusk to cold to use at dawn, by contrast its summer performance is excellent. My attempts to raise the matter with MPs have been futile. My conclusion install glycol roof panels or evacuated tube variants and avoid any unit with water running through its roof pane, my unit was a waste of both my and government money.
Rinnai sunmaster 315 - rusted out tank
My rinnai 315 sunmaster tank has corroded out. 5 years 2 months after install. Warranty is only 5 years. Rang rinnai to get their help - hoping for some goodwill support, maybe a discount on replacing it. Too sad, too bad mate, nothing we can do. The tanks are made in china - the vitreous enamel lining would have been poor quality - and it rusted out well before it should have. My last aussie made tank lasted 17 years. Same water quality, the only thing that has change is the poor quality materials used by rinnai. Now $1780 to replace the tank. That's $350 a year for 5 years. Would have been cheaper to forget solar all together, just pay the power bills, and have a hws that lasts for 10 years or something.
Poor quality system
Purchased gas boosted system 2009,cold showers in winter(be warned)overheats summer months spewing hot water out of the relief valve(unsafe). Unreliable and exspensive to fix.Next door installed at the same time and has had the same problems. The gas booster works poorly as the water is never hot just luke warm.
Cold showers during winter(temp set to low,fixed cannot adjust ) bad engineering,quality,unreliable .
I had a similar experience as Chris. Quoted $690-00 for a replacement pump (labour cost $250-00 ) total $930-00. hunted round lowest price for the pump $530-00 inc GST. I have since found that a identical pump can be had for $196-00!!!!!!!!!!!!! I changed to Solar HWS to save money due to everincreasing power cost. & green house gas emissions In my opinion it would have been cheaper to stay normal HWS as the intial purchase cost plus the rip off price for a simple pump replacement far exceeds the benefits!
Very expensive maintenance
After 2 years the pump has gone and they want to charge a fortune to have it fixed. A pump should be longer than two years, considering the expense of these products. Understand the 10 year warranty isn't valid for the pump (which has 2 years) but had no compassion from them, it's more just tough luck. They want to just bill you for the pump, plus $176 for the first 45 minutes, then $33 for every 15 minutes. Not a great way to treat a customer.
Pumps don't last.
Unreliable solar hot water system
Prior to Sunmaster solar system-gas boosted installed in October 2009, I specifically requested a frost-friendly system and was assured it was frost rated. Stopped working July, 2010, September 2010, July, 2011, July 2012. To date I am still waiting 6 weeks later for the system to be repaired with frost-rated panels. Each time the panels or valves have cracked due to exteme cold weather, water pours off my roof and into the gutter - wasteful and expensive. This system is under warranty. The gas boosted hot water is efficient but never feels...hot enough, apparently set to 60 degrees. Not good enough for a solar system which cost almost $6000! When operating in summer it is energy efficient System stops operating beginning of every winter since installation (3 years). Very frustrating.
Questions & Answers
how to turn of water to taps need to change tap washer regards Peter
Hi Peter L,
Thank you for your question. Please contact our Technical team on 1300 555 545 and they can assist you further.
We have a brand new unit and we run out of hot water after 1 shower - how do we turn the thermostat up??
Hi Dirk, firstly, contact your plumber because he will know how to sort this out.
We have a tempering valve on the side of the hot water tank that allows you to adjust the temperature going into the house but that’s not going to sort out your problem.
Do you have solar panels or evacuated tubes connected to you hot water system?
Hi Dirk A,
Thank you for your question.
Please contact our Technical team on 1300 555 545 Option 3 to discuss this further.
I have a Rinnai Sunmaster 175 solar hot water system installed at my property. The pump began making noises and when I contacted Rinnai a sub contractor come out, checked it and advised that that pump needs to be replaced and is not under warranty. The pump is only under warranty for 1 year! I was also charge for the subbie to come out even though the issue wasn't fixed. The entire unit is only 2.5 years old from new! I contacted Rinnai to enquire about the statutory warranty for all products and the customer service person was not sure what I was talking about. I have checked the Consumer affairs website and in general terms it should be covered under the statutory warranty but I cannot find an exact timeframe. Can anyone here assist? It takes Rinnai days to get back to me and I do not feel I should be paying this bill!
Hi Alex J,
We have sent you a private message to discuss further.
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