Important Notices Regarding Products

2014/08/07

Notice Regarding Replacement of Component in Bathroom-Installed Gas Water Heaters

This notice is related to bathroom-installed fan-forced gas water heaters with bath-filling functions manufactured by Gastar Co., Ltd. and sold by Rinnai Corporation after January 2006. Among units sold, it has come to light that certain models manufactured between March 2013 and July 2014 may have potential problems, such as the hot-water supply burner igniting immediately after being turning off or, on rare occasions, while bathwater is being reheated. For this reason, Rinnai has decided independently to replace a component of the aforementioned units.

The Company takes this situation very seriously and sincerely apologizes to customers for the inconvenience. We will work hard to prevent this happening again.

On June 17, 2014, a caller contacted us, saying that "When I turned on the shower, very hot water hit the back of my hand, which I treated with cold water." An investigation by Gastar revealed that, immediately after hot-water supply is turned off, the water supply burner ignites on rare occasions, causing very hot water to come out when the shower or tap is next turned on. This was caused by insufficient attention to design detail when specifications were modified in March 2013, the result being that, while the fan is rotating immediately after turning off hot-water delivery, or while bathwater is being reheated, the water volume sensor (sensor that monitors differences in water volume when water for heating is flowing) is impacted by electrical noise and produces an erroneous signal. The control unit, in turn, cannot process the signal properly and erroneously detects that water is still flowing and accordingly reignites the flame. In such cases, very hot water is produced for several seconds when a shower or tap is turned on. (In one case, the water temperature reached 90 degrees, it was found.) Looking back at our history of after-sales service, we confirmed two cases of breakdown caused by the same issue, although no physical injuries resulted.

Having determined the cause of the problem, Gastar suspended production of the relevant models on July 26, 2014.

To ensure the safe usage of the aforementioned products, Rinnai has decided to undertake a component replacement. Specifically, we will replace the control unit with one that is not affected by electrical noise. Manufacture of the new component will take about two months. Until replacement is done, we ask customers to take the precautions described below.

We sincerely apologize for the inconvenience caused by the component replacement and ask for your understanding and cooperation.

Request to customers using the models listed below

Until the aforementioned component is replaced, please take the following precautions when using the products.

* When turning the shower of hot-water tap on, please do not allow immediately contact of hot water with the body. Rather, please wait for several seconds, then test the temperature by hand.
It is possible that very hot water will initially be produced when the shower or tap is turned on.

* After turning off the shower or hot-water tap following use, please also turn off the main operating switch.
Even after hot water delivery has been turned off, the water delivery burner flame may stay ignited (lighting up the combustion lamp), resulting in very hot water being produced initially when the shower or hot-water tap is next turned on.
When turning the main operating switch back on, please first confirm that the fan rotation sound has stopped (around 20 seconds after turning hot water off).

* When reheating the bathwater, please do not use the shower or hot-water tap. After reheating, please immediately turn the main operating switch off.
Once bathwater is reheated, please wait around 20 minutes before using hot water from the shower or tap.

This is because very hot water may be initially produced from the shower or tap during or immediately after bathwater reheating.

1. Relevant models and number of units

(1) Manufacturing period: March 2013 to July 2014

(2) Number of units: 1,025 (1,025 town gas; 0 LPG)

Model number No. of units Serial numbers
RF-61FF1-RX-R-T 252 13.03-******~14.07-******
RF-61FF1-RX-L-T 257 13.03-******~14.07-******
RF-61FF2-RX-R-T 148 13.03-******~14.07-******
RF-61FF2-RX-L-T 150 13.03-******~14.07-******
RF-61FF1-S-RX-R-T 57 13.07-******~14.05-******
RF-61FF1-S-RX-L-T 59 13.06-******~14.06-******
RF-61FF2-S-RX-R-T 37 13.03-******~14.07-******
RF-61FF2-S-RX-L-T 65 13.03-******~14.07-******
Total 1025  

2. Notice for customers

Rinnai will contact customers by direct mail about the free-of-charge component replacement. Relevant information is also posted on our corporate website (http://www.rinnai.co.jp/en/)

3. Component replacement details

Rinnai is currently preparing to undertake the component replacement. Once preparations are done (around mid-October 2104), we will contact customers and arrange a visit by a qualified technician.

If the model installed is on the aforementioned list, we will replace the component. The whole process should take between 40 and 60 minutes.

4. Customer inquiries

(1) Phone 0120-418-410 (toll free, Japanese only)
  Fax (0570) 200-377 (normal phone charges apply)
(2) Inquiries accepted From August 7, 2014 (Thursday)
(3) Inquiry periods
  August 7, 2014: 16:00-19:00
  August 8-17, 2014: 9:00-19:00
  On/after August 18, 2014: 9:00-17:00 (except weekends and public holidays)

* Relationship between Rinnai and Gastar

Rinnai Corporation and Gastar Co., Ltd. have a business alliance covering development, manufacture, and sales of water heating equipment. Rinnai has an 11.1% equity share in Gastar.

Gastar's corporate website: http://www.gastar.co.jp/

Reading the model and serial numbers

Please read the Specific Maintenance Product label on top of the unit or the label on the front of the unit.