Rinnai Customer service issues

by Rob Young
(Missoula, MT)

I purchased a Rinnai R53 tankless water heater when i built my house. The contractors sub installed the water heater and it functioned well for 3 years.

Then came the MOANING and the JACKHAMMER noises followed by serious vibration. So, i hired a second plumber and authorized Rinnai dealer to troubleshoot the issue. At $80/hour, this adds up fast when the Rinnai tech support people can't solve the issue. So i burned through $320 dollars in labor.

Rinnai, wanted the plumber to replace one part at a time as they sen them out. We requested them to send multiple parts but they wont do that. As you can see at $80/hour this adds up fast and very quickly you figure out that buying a new unit is cheaper.

The second plumber told me that they have experienced this exact problem with Rinnai Customer service as well. So i dealt with the moaning noise until it was unbearable and i felt it posed a problem for a gas leak or a flood given the constant violent vibration.

I called a third plumber, who was recommended by a friend who works for Gensco, Montana who is the Rinnai Wholesaler. He came out and was awesome but still no solution for my Rinnai R53. I wind up buying another water heater, $1248.00; labor for that, plus labor to fix the old one, a couple of ancillary charges, and i am in $1900.

The third plumber who will remain my plumber suggested i call Rinnai about a warranty credit. Rinnai called me back and said no. The lady on the phone, Roberta, is very good at regurgitating the corporate party line but was useless as a customer service representative made me ashamed that i bought a second Rinnai Product. She was terrible at her job....customer service. They have TERRIBLE TECH SUPPORT, and TERRIBLE CUSTOMER SERVICE. Their policies are not geared towards helping you out because it might cost them a little money.

They don't understand that sending one part at a time quadruples your labor rate. they want to compare their policies to that of the automobile industry but failed to understand that if your car is covered under warranty, YOU PAY NO LABOR! I have talked to Rinnai 5 times, and each time i get the, "i dont know i just work here"....or "the company party line that absolves them of any responsibility".

In the end i did buy another Rinnai but from a plumber who warranties his work for 5 years and a wholesaler whom i feel is responsible. The new unit is fine.

I have NOTHING positive to say about Rinnai customer service after years of trying to deal with them, as their policies are not geared towards helping the hard working people that make them a successful company. If i had found a product that had the same specs and personal reviews by people i know......i would never give Rinnai another dime!

do your research.....look for a better company and product to support. this is what was available locally in a rural area.

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Feb 06, 2018
Rinnai vibration fix
by: Martin brennan

You need to clean the inlet water filter - it’s low water flow causing steam build up.

Dec 29, 2016
poor customer service- they do not back up their products
by: Mitch M

recently purchased a Rinnai FC824 convection heater for my garage. Unit does not work from day 1. Unit runs for ten seconds then turns off. Unit is obviously defective. Called Rinnai tech support & customer service and they said I should get it fixed at my own cost. They thought it was maybe a defective thermocouple. I should not have to pay to get something fixed that did not work properly from Day 1. Really a terrible customer support experience and company does not stand behind its product(s). don't buy Rennai

Jul 20, 2016
by: Dan

The best unit I have used. If u ever have some complaining about moaning and vibration...its very simple...the intake air does not have a fine enough screen on it and allows bugs and debris to get into the fan. You must open the front and carefully unplug wires to make room to slide the rubber sleeve off of the fan. Clean fan carefully and thoroughly. This WILL fix the vibration problem. Then go get a fine metal screen and cover the intake and exhaust pipe.

Apr 07, 2012
Hard to fix
by: Mary

My condo came with a Rinnai water heater. I bought it three years ago. It worked fine all this time but it stopped suddenly. I researched the internet for possible solutions. Did what i could as the unit is no longer under warranty.

Finally i called a plumber who could not figure out why the unit was not working. He cleaned the inlet filter and the water heater worked for one more day. Called him again and this time he said the unit had to be flushed. For one fifth of the quoted price, i did it myself and the unit started working better than ever.

But the next day it was back to the same problem. After reading the previous comments on other Rinnai owners, i am tempted to buy another unit of a different brand. And i live in a major city in Canada, so there should be no excuse for this inability to fix a malfunction.

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