Why Do I Have A Dead Bosch Water Heater On My Porch?

When we moved into this house, we decided that any time we would replace an appliance, we would get the most energy efficient appliance possible.

The refrigerator has LED lights on the front.
The bathroom mirror has dimmable CFL lighting.
The post light in front of the house has a very bright CFL in it.
The washer is low water use and front loading.

And then there’s this monstrosity.

Yes, the Bosch AG 250 SX LP water heater.  The bane of my showers.   This was a mistake from Day One.

We never were able to use a low flow shower head with this beast because it required a much too high a flow of water to keep the thing running.  That was always a thorn in my side.  It effected how we would do laundry and dishes as a result since it required a lot of water flowing through the heater element to keep it running according to programming.

At one point we were so frustrated that we contacted Bosch for relief and they sent us a completely new computer for the inside to go from “Rev 4” to “Rev 14” or something like that.   It only made it a little better.  The person at their helpdesk was very helpful but said it was “a problem with this model” and made happy noises.

When the freak storm came through two months ago, it rained down the chimney and flooded the unit.  Rather than being disappointed, I saw it as an opportunity to get rid of this beast and get something that actually WORKED!

We limped through a week of cold showers and other annoyances until the new tankless water heater was installed.

It is a Rinnai.  Much more efficient since the water flow to trigger the heater is somewhere around 4/10 gallon a minute, it will use much less propane.   At 95 percent efficiency, the Rinnai RU98 actually uses a piece of PVC pipe for a chimney.  It also has a very low current draw to the unit so if we were out of power, I could rig up a 12V battery with a car inverter and power it long enough to get work done.

That sort of thing is important for storm prone South Florida.

So frankly I am completely put off of Bosch appliances.  I will not have another once the washer and dryer die.  I will not recommend them to anyone else as a result.  It may be my own personal opinion but it reflects the frustration that we had with that horrendous water heater.

If you have one of these monstrosities, my condolences are offered.   Get a Rinnai.  I can turn the shower down to a near trickle and still get hot water.  They seem to be the water heater of choice in South Florida.

Why I Will Not Buy Another Bosch Product

Water Heaters are a conceptually simple device. 

Bring water into an area, add heat, and bring it out once it has gotten “hot enough”.

We have been building these things for centuries.   First it was called a kettle or cauldron and sat upon a fire in a hearth.  Then someone got the bright idea to containerize the lot and you have the familiar tank that sits in many homes as a result.  They don’t necessarily need electricity, but they do need a source of something to produce heat. 

When I moved into this house it had an ancient washing machine, creaky dryer, and a frightening water heater.

The Water Heater used no electricity at all.  I am in a hurricane zone and this would have allowed hot water and comfortable showers assuming that there were actually water being pumped into the house – which I understand is not a given.   It also was rusty and looked as if it would die at “any second”.

What went first was the Washing Machine.  This threw a coupling and could be fixed at a cost greater than a new washer.   All the mechanicals were broken as a result of the coupling breaking and left the carpet in the laundry covered by some rather soapy water.

We went out and bought a Bosch front loading washing machine.  The idea was that we’d get the most water and energy efficient machine we could find and save on water and electricity despite the greater cost. 

There was a problem.  Bosch in their wisdom went with a computer controlled washer.  Their programming was typically German Precise.  Perhaps a bit too precise as if you put too much soap into the machine, it will happily rinse out the extra soap for you.  It will do so by running an intermediate rinse – over and again until it determines that the soap is all washed out.  IT also requires this “HE Detergent” which has the benefit of being in big bright colored containers and costs more. 

Once the clothes have been washed, then spun at 1200 RPM and sounding like a distant Jet Engine threatening to fly them off to Boschland or where every flying washing machines go, it leaves them glued to the inside of the drum to be pealed off and put into the dryer.

The dryer seems to work well if you like to come back to a giant ball of clothes that is an illustration of how not to dry clothes.  Dry on the outside you reach the damp or wet center and put them back in.

This is particularly evident on Thursday Mornings.  I should say Afternoons as last week I pulled the bed apart and started the laundry at 6AM.  XXSanitary mode meant it was run through the hottest water I could provide, then heated electrically to something nearer steam, then washed thoroughly.  Over and Over until it is spun down to give me a wet ball of blanket, sheets, and pillowcase.

Needless to say this wretched machine needed a number of extra spin cycles and didn’t finish until 12:30 PM.

6 and one half hours of laundry for “one load” of linens.

Then onto the dryer which knowing that it has a penchant for turning things into a progression chart of wet, I put half the linens into then pressed the button.

The Dryer has a helpful time display of 1 hour and 8 minutes allowing me to count down the time until I have to unroll the ball and put them back in for another cycle.

The bed was finally made at 2:30 in the afternoon.  8 and a half hours for one load – two sheets, a pillow case, a light blanket all washed after being “Extra Rinse Foam”ed and spun until a wet sodden blob.

Once those two pieces were replaced we then bought a Bosch AquaStar Water Heater.  Tankless thing, I have a laptop brief case that is smaller than the heater.  Model number ag 250 sx lp

My contempt for this Water Heater knows no bounds.  AVOID this Water Heater!

It saves Propane by turning itself off with a helpful “E0” error code.   We really are not sure what that means, nor is the internet since the going wisdom is to turn it off then back on to reset the code.

I’m hoping for when the Washer launches to BoschLand it takes that bloody tankless water heater with it.  Right out of the wall and off to what ever dump it ends up in.

You see, while it uses on the order of a quarter of the Propane that the old beast of a water tank used, it doesn’t stay on when you need it.  Run the dish washer (thankfully a KitchenAid and very dependable and NOT a Bosch Product) and the water heater model ag 250 sx lp turns itself off.  There’s that E0 code.

Go take a shower.  It’s a crap shoot whether you will complete it without taking a cold shower as it will turn itself off at least twice a week.   So two in every seven showers are a rude surprise.

Today, it was more cantankerous than usual.   Today this beast of a water heater turned off five times in a rushed 10 minute shower.  It took two people to perform the shower.  When the water ran cold, reset the water heater, then jump back in washing what ever body part is needed and quickly because it would run cold again.

E0 anyone?

So my bottom line recommendation is to avoid Bosch Products.  When these go, I will NOT be replacing them with another Bosch Product.  German Precision aside, these things are not “Suitable for Purpose” as we learned.  The Water Heater came with a 12 year warranty which is a good thing since it hasn’t worked right since day one.

Kevin is now saying that they have some sort of fix that he can perform with a voltage meter himself.   This should be entertaining, and at least I Know CPR.