Navien Recalls 13,000 Tankless Water Heaters for Carbon Monoxide Risk
The makers of Navien tankless water heaters have recalled approximately 13,000 of the units because they can put people at risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. The report comes from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).
As Maggie Shader writes in the Consumer News section of ConsumerReports.org:
An unstable connection can cause the water heaters’ vent collar to separate or detach if pressure is applied. A detached vent collar poses a risk of carbon monoxide poisoning to the consumer. No injuries have been reported in relation to this recall.
Navien tankless hot water heaters are white with ‘T-Creator’ and ‘NAVIEN’ printed on the front. Manufactured in 2008, the recalled model numbers are CR-180(A), CR-210(A), CR-240(A), CC-180(A), CC-210(A) and CC-240(A) . A label on the side of the water heater lists the model number along with the manufacturing year.
Wholesale distributors sold the recalled water heaters for $1,500 to $2,100 to in-home installers nationwide from February 2008 through March 2009.
A U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission press release tells consumers to stop using recalled products immediately unless otherwise instructed. Navien America Inc., of Irvine, California, imports the tankless water heaters from a South Korean manufacturer, Kyung Dong Navien Co. Ltd.
CPSC says that consumers who have the recalled water heaters should immediately contact Navien to schedule a free repair. The company will replace all Nylon 66 vent collars with PVC collars. Consumers who continue use of the water heaters while awaiting repair, should have a working carbon monoxide alarm installed outside of sleeping areas in the home, CPSC writes.
For additional information, contact Navien at (800) 244-8202 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. PT, Monday through Friday, or visit the company website at www.navienamerica.com.
CPSC also writes:
NOTE: Regardless of the type of water heater that is used, every home should have a CO alarm outside all sleeping areas and consumers should ensure that their CO alarms have working batteries.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is interested in receiving incident or injury reports that are either directly related to this product recall or involve a different hazard with the same product, and writes: “Please tell us about your experience with the product on SaferProducts.gov. Firm’s Recall Hotline: (800) 244-8202 CPSC Recall Hotline: (800) 638-2772 CPSC Media Contact: (301) 504-7908.”
As ConsumerReports.org writes in a 2008 overview, tankless water heaters work by using high-powered burners to heat water as it runs through a heat exchanger, as opposed to storing water in a tank that is heated at all times. Because of the technology, the tankless heaters were 22% more energy-efficient in Consumer Reports’ tests than the gas-powered storage models. Based on 2008 energy costs, they represented a savings of about $70 to $80 a year, but because the tankless heaters cost a lot more than the tank type heaters, it could take up to 22 years for a buyer to break even.
Another disadvantage is that the tankless heaters sometimes provide an unwelcome “cold water sandwich” between streams of old and new hot water. And the tankless heaters do not provide hot water instantly, as it takes time for them to heat the water. Finally, ConsumerReports.com writes: “Tankless models’ electric controls mean you’ll also lose hot water during a power outage.”
Image by U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, used under Fair Use: Reporting.