How to Clean a Rinnai Propane Heater: A Comprehensive Guide

Maintaining your Rinnai propane heater is crucial for ensuring its optimal performance, energy efficiency, and longevity. This comprehensive guide will walk you through the step-by-step process of cleaning your Rinnai propane heater, including detailed instructions on filter maintenance, error code troubleshooting, and tankless water heater flushing procedures.

Preparing to Clean Your Rinnai Propane Heater

Before you begin the cleaning process, ensure that the heater is turned off and unplugged from the power source. This is a crucial safety step to prevent any accidents or injuries during the cleaning procedure.

Locating and Accessing the Air Filter

how to clean a rinnai propane heater

The air filter in your Rinnai propane heater is typically located at the back of the unit, behind the control panel. To access the filter, you will need to remove the back panel using a screwdriver. Carefully pull out the filter, taking care not to damage it.

Cleaning the Air Filter

Once you have accessed the air filter, use a vacuum cleaner to remove any debris or blockages. Avoid using solvents or spray aerosols, as these can damage the filter and other components of the heater. If the filter is excessively dirty or damaged, it may need to be replaced.

Reassembling the Heater

After cleaning the air filter, carefully place it back into its original position. Ensure that the filter is properly seated and secure. Reattach the back panel of the heater and screw it back in place.

Rinnai Gas Heater Maintenance Tips

To keep your Rinnai propane heater in top condition, follow these maintenance tips:

  • Never use solvents or spray aerosols around the heater.
  • Avoid storing flammable materials near the heater.
  • Do not place any items on or against the heater.
  • Always unplug the heater before cleaning.
  • Use a soft, damp microfiber cloth to clean any part of the heater.

Rinnai Error Codes and Troubleshooting

Rinnai gas heaters are equipped with a self-diagnostic electronic device that monitors the appliance during startup and operation. If a malfunction occurs, the heater will shut off, and a pair of flashing digits will appear on the digital display. Two common error codes related to the air filter are:

  1. Error code 10: Oxygen shortage, indicating the need to clean the air filter, ventilate the room, or call the service team if the issue persists.
  2. Error code 14: Filter blockage or overheating, requiring the air filter to be cleaned or the service team to be called if the problem continues.

Rinnai Gas Heater Filter Cleaning Frequency

Rinnai recommends cleaning the gas heater filter every two years to ensure optimal performance and efficiency. This will help maintain the heater’s energy-saving capabilities and extend its lifespan.

Rinnai Tankless Water Heater Flushing Procedure

In addition to maintaining your Rinnai propane heater, it’s essential to properly flush your Rinnai tankless water heater at least once a year to remove mineral deposits. Follow these steps:

  1. Turn off the power source for your tankless water heater.
  2. Shut off the main gas or turn off the circuit breaker for electrical devices.
  3. Close the three water valves attached to your tankless water heater.
  4. Remove the purge port valve caps slowly from the purge valves.
  5. Attach hosing lines to each of the three valves.
  6. Open the purge port valves.
  7. Use 4 gallons (15.1 liters) of undiluted white vinegar to clean your tankless water heater.
  8. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the flushing and draining procedure.
  9. Close the purge port valves.
  10. Disconnect and remove the hosing lines from each valve.
  11. Replace the purge port valve caps onto the purge valves.
  12. Safely restart your water heater according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  13. Choose a sink tap inside and turn on the hot water slowly to allow the air to pass through the pipe.

By following these detailed instructions, you can effectively clean and maintain your Rinnai propane heater, ensuring its optimal performance and energy efficiency for years to come.


  1. How to clean a Rinnai Energy Saver Gas Heater – YouTube
  2. Maintaining your portable gas room heater and the benefits of … – YouTube
  3. How To Clean Rinnai Gas Heater Filter – Tropical Coast Plumbing
  4. Flushing My Rinnai Tankless Water Heater – Rinnai US