How to troubleshoot and repair Rinnai water heaters when there is no ignition, followed by the error code 11. Check out for the possible causes that generate the error code 11 on the digital display of the heater, and explore potential solutions.
Here is the summary of what can go wrong with your Rinnai and what to look for after the error code 11 shows up on the remote controller. This includes the following:
Make sure that there is no interruption in a gas supply to the water heater.
The gas type must be according to the rating plate found on the unit. The dip switch on the electronic board must be set for the right gas type.
There must be a proper gas pressure and according to the rating plate. There are several causes for the improper gas pressure; the gas system was not properly sized (the manufacturer specs were not met), dirt and debris are present in the system.
Ensure that the air is removed (purged) from the gas lines, after the installation.
Test the unit's igniter for proper work, by cycling the unit and checking is there a spark. If there is no spark, look for the loose, bad or no connection and the damaged element. Verify the correct voltage on the electric board when the unit is in the ignition cycle.
The igniter and its ceramic insulation must be securely tightened to the mounting bracket and in the correct position. A loose rod can cause no sparks or create a short if it touches other metal components. When installing a new element make sure to install a new gasket too.
Inspect the igniter and if there are carbon and scale buildup clean as instructed by the manufacturer.
Make sure that there is no loose connection in the wiring of the flame rod(s), and that wiring is plugged into the correct rod.
Inspect the flame rod for debris and dirt - clean as needed and replace if there are cracks. With the rod, replace the gasket as well.
Always look for the manufacturer's instruction for the correct vent installation; the recommended material, size, length and proper clearance around the vent. For example, an incomplete combustion (not enough fresh air, or blockage) leads to an incomplete combustion (yellow/red flame instead of blue) and carbon build up on the flame rods.
Check the venting system (both intake and exhaust) for blockage.
Check for water leaking and excessive moisture as it can lead to corrosion and wet electrical connections.
Make sure the heat exchanger (the space between fins) is clean from debris and dirt, so as the gas burner - to prevent irregular combustion.
Pictures - courtesy of Rinnai WH company