Do Tankless Water Heaters Need Maintenance: An Honest Opinion

Beginner Info, Tankless Water Heater

Do Tankless Water Heaters Need Maintenance
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Well, if you’re planning to bring home a premium quality tankless hot water heater then definitely, you would’ve thought about the maintenance cost similar to other parameters such as features, price, warranty, etc.

And, it’s good to be inquisitive about the product features, aren’t it?

Anyways, today I’m gonna end up the age-old debate, do tankless water heaters need maintenance?

Trust me, after going through this comprehensive guide, you would be able to guide your fellow men as well.

So, without any further ado, let’s begin…

Honestly speaking, we’re gonna do the postmortem of the title of this post, and of course, for a good reason, indeed.

In my last article, I explained to my avid readers, why a tankless heater is worth buying wherein we discussed the benefits of owning one.

By reading that post, chances are very high that you’ll opt for a tankless heater rather than a tank-styled one.

Unfortunately, we’re not able to highlight the know-how of maintaining a tankless heater in our last post.

But, don’t worry at all, we’ll dig very deep so that the last stone is also turned around perfectly.

If you’ve been a user of a tank-styled water heater then definitely, you would be knowing that it requires maintenance at least once a year to clear the mineral buildups, etc if any.

In the case of a conventional tankless heater, maintenance is a must and you can’t even think of skipping it.

For a longer lifespan, high efficiency, and smooth operation, a tank-based heater requires maintenance now and then.

But, you don’t have to worry at all in case, you’re planning to buy a tankless hot water heater.

I’ll not say that it doesn’t requires maintenance, it requires but minimal.

Unlike conventional water heaters, in the case of a tankless unit, you don’t need at all to hire a certified technician.

In fact, you can expedite the maintenance task on your own with minimal to no help.

In layman’s terms, you can save a good lump sum over a period of time on maintenance cost.

Not to fake anything, but it’s true that there are some special considerations for maintaining a tankless hot water heater.

If you own a tankless heater or planning to buy one, you should use a water softener as a buildup from hard water can wreak havoc through staining, scale buildup, and erosion on both the system itself and your pipes.

Nonetheless, if you’ve got really hard water in your reason, then chances are quite high that would be using a water softener.

Hard water is a problem for storage tank systems because as water passes through the tank, its acidity causes buildup that drops to the bottom.

Moreover, this eventually affects the efficiency of the heat transfer, which can lead to premature system failure.

Frankly speaking, the same thing can occur with tankless units but more slowly.

Unfortunately, the tankless water systems lockup when buildup occurs.

You can reset them without attending to the problem, but they will lock up again.

But, don’t worry, we’ve got a feasible solution for you.

All you need to do is use a flush kit to remove these buildup.

On the other hand, if you’ve been using a tank-styled water heater, then you must be well aware of the fact that storage tank units have no remedy for buildup.

Definitely, tankless water heaters are the correct choice for some applications.

Needless to say, you can’t ignore the importance of flow rate.

Flow rate signifies the true potential of a tankless water heater.

Let’s understand it with an example.

Suppose you want to run 4 fixture at max simultaneously and needs a GPM of 1.5, 3, 2, 3 respectively.

Then, you need to look for a tankless water heater that comes with at least a FLOW RATE of 1.5+3+2+3= 9.5 GPM.

While the tankless water heater comes with an endless hot water supply, the gallons per minute should also be taken into the account.

And, for the same reason, quite a few contractors that I know are offering one tankless unit for shower and bath, and a second one for kitchen and laundry.

Keeping A Tankless Water Heater Efficient

Trust me, whether you’re a newbie or a seasoned professional, following these simple steps can go a long way when it comes to keeping your tankless water heater efficient.

In order to make things simple and quick for you, I’m attaching a self-explanatory video for your perusal.

Part 1:

Part 2:

The thing that I really appreciate about a tankless water heater aka on-demand water is that it offers homeowners the convenience of having hot water available whenever it is needed.

Removing Lime Scale From A Tankless Water Heater

Well, an ongoing maintenance requirement is to make sure your heat exchange elements are free from scale buildup, usually limescale.

Even a light coating of scale buildup can have serious impacts on the efficiency of a tankless heater.

Moreover, if you’ll leave such issues unchecked, then such buildup can cause longer burner cycles, leading to a strained system and a shorter lifespan.

Limescale buildup will differ based on the quality of the water being used, location, use amount, etc.

In order to prevent any last hour misadventure, you need to obtain specific information from the manufacturer.

Step-by-step Maintenance

  • First and foremost, you need to review manufacturers’ cleaning instructions
  • Before you expedite the maintenance process, make sure to turn off the power source
  • Then, remove the lid from the water heater which will not consume much of your time
  • Once done, you need to close off three water valves supplying the water heater
  • In the next step, you need to purge port valve caps from the purge valves located on each of the cold and hot water valves, but do it slowly and gradually
  • Attach hosing lines to each of the 3 valves. In most cases, you don’t need to buy them as these are usually supplied by the manufacturer
  • Open the purge port valves, twisting them perpendicularly to the position of the cold and hot valves
  • Moving further, you need to use somewhere around 2.5 gallons of undiluted white vinegar to clean the tankless hot water heater
  • Flush and drain, following the directions provided by the manufacturer
  • Furthermore, close the purge port valves by twisting the “T-Shaped” handles after the flushing process is complete
  • Disconnect the hosing lines from each water valve
  • Now, you need to replace purge valve caps with the purge valves. Well, make sure everything is properly tightened
  • So, it’s high time that you find the filter, and then remove it by unscrewing it, and clean out the housing and inside the screen of the filter by just running it under tap water in the sink. Once you’re done, you need to replace the filter
  • Refer to the manufacturer’s manual for exact instructions on safely restarting the water heater, including replacing the cover and affixing it with the screws you removed earlier
  • And, the last thing that you need to do is, slowly turn on the hot water lap in your sink so that the air passes through the pipe freely

My Top 3 Picks

Well, in case, you’re interested in buying a tankless hot water heater, then it’s my humble request that you check my top 3 picks.

I hope it will serve your purpose.

[Also Read]

Wrapping Up

First and foremost, I would like to thank you for being with us till the end.

Secondly, I would like to bring to your notice that I along with my core team have put loads and loads of effort into coming up with this idiosyncratic superlative piece of information.

And, in case, you want to appreciate our efforts, then feel free to share this piece of information with the ones who are in need of it.

After all, sharing is caring, isn’t it?

Well, it goes without saying that a tankless hot water heater like any other device needs maintenance.

However, the maintenance needed is very minimal which can be performed by the house owners on their own with minimal to no help from the experts.

Not only that but also the maintenance steps are simple and easy and can be quickly expedited.

On the other hand, tank-styled heaters’ maintenance steps are tedious and time-consuming.

Remember, before starting any maintenance or cleaning work, make sure power is turned off.

Also, close and turn off the water valves.