What is a tankless water heater?
When you have a tankless water heater, that means your water heater doesn’t come with a large storage tank. It instead heats water directly while it flows through the cold water line. It will be activated once you use hot water. So you don’t have to wait until water is heated before bathing.
Tankless water heater maintenance is needed for both gas and electric units. If you maintain them regularly, they can last a long time.
Now you might wonder how to maintain them when they don’t have a storage tank. You will be surprised because the maintenance process is the same for both tankless and traditional water heaters. The reason is because hard water affects the two models similarly.
Hard water comes with minerals, mostly magnesium and calcium, that will build up and plug up the passages over time. Therefore, the water flow will be slower and the water heater has to work harder to deliver hot water.
You need to clean out the unit every six months or every year, depending on how often you use hot water. Otherwise, not only is your water heater’s longevity affected, but also your energy bill increases dramatically. More importantly, it can even cause serious damage and you have no choice than to replace the entire unit.
How do you maintain a tankless water heater?
It is best to hire a professional service for the maintenance. They know exactly how to remove the buildup without damaging any part of the unit. Keep in mind that you should have your water heater maintained at least once a year. However, if you tend to set the temperature high, you might need to hire the service every six months. In addition, if the water in your area has a bigger amount of minerals, you also need to maintain it more often.
If you don’t want to hire a service, it’s possible to do it on your own. However, you need to read the instructions from the user’s manual carefully. In most cases, you need to begin with turning off the tank’s power and removing the lid.
The water valves must be closed before you take off its caps to relieve any built-up pressure inside. It also stops excess water from shooting out.
Then you need to attach the hose lines to all valves. You can find them included with the unit when you buy the water heater.
When you have done those steps, you can open the purge port valves by twisting the T shaped handles. Then clean out and remove any built-up mineral using white vinegar. Afterward, drain and flush, and your water heater is now clean.
Now you need to close the purge port valves, disconnect the hose lines and tighten the caps properly. Then locate the filter, clean and replace it.
As we mentioned, a tankless gas water heater or an electric tankless water heater needs to be maintained properly. If you are not confident, you should just hire someone to do it for you.