Does a Tankless Water Heater Need Regular Maintenance?

Most of us go through the bulk of our lives without thinking about the performance of our home’s tankless water heaters. This is true, at least, until our water heating system gives out and we are left with cold water throughout our entire home. This is not a pleasant experience, especially when you just want to take a nice, warm shower or bath at the beginning of the day, or after a particularly long and stressful one.

Fortunately, there are some basic measures homeowners can take in order to keep their tankless water heaters going without any major hiccups. Read on to learn more about issues you may face with your tankless water heater, why regular maintenance is needed, and which maintenance tasks you may be able to do yourself.

Common Issues With Tankless Water Heaters

Tankless water heaters do not typically present too many issues. They are usually reliable and efficient machines that work hard to give your home hot water. The main problem tankless water-heater owners may run is scaling from hard water. Hard water has high concentrations of minerals that can build up on surfaces and lead to appliance inefficiency or damage.

The easiest way to prevent scaling and hard water buildup on your tankless water heater is by ensuring that your water softening system is working properly. If you don’t currently have a water softening system, getting one installed in your home can not only make your water look and taste better, but it can allow your home’s appliances to work more efficiently and run into fewer issues.

Another common issue with tankless water heaters is overloading, which occurs when a household uses more water than the water heater can keep up with. This results in showers that turn from hot to cold on a dime, or the need to turn water on and wait a minute or so for it to heat up adequately. When this occurs, you may need to upgrade your tankless water heater or install an additional unit to keep up with demands.

Problems like mineral buildup can be prevented through some basic maintenance tasks that you can either do yourself or have a professional do for you!

DIY Tankless Water Heater Maintenance

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Inability to get adequate hot water or pressure in your home’s showers and faucets may indicate that professional maintenance is needed.

Many homeowners hesitate to call a professional for routine maintenance on their appliances because they want to avoid paying a hefty maintenance bill. As a result, many people try performing maintenance duties or repairs on their own to save a few dollars, but they end up causing damage that leads to even larger repair or maintenance bills.

When it comes to tankless water heater systems, however, there are a few procedures homeowners can do on their own to enhance the performance of their unit and extend the life of the system.

Descaling

One such task is descaling your tankless water heater. As discussed earlier, hard water scaling can make your machine less efficient. Descaling is a simple process that helps clear away any residue.

Generally speaking, descaling involves using vinegar or other descaling agents to dissolve hard water buildup. This is then followed by a thorough flush of clean water to clear out the mineral deposits.

Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for your particular tankless water heater model.

Flush the System

Another maintenance project you can do on your own is flushing the system. You can, and should, do this every six to twelve months, even if you don’t live in an area with hard water. Flushing the system involves circulating water throughout the system for about an hour. This can clear away any hidden blockages or debris that may have accumulated over time.

Once again, it’s important that you refer to the manufacturer’s instructions when doing any home maintenance on appliances to ensure that you do not inadvertently cause your unit any harm.

Although there are a few tasks you can do on your own, most of the other tasks your tankless water heater may need should be done by a trained professional.

When to Call a Professional for Tankless Water Heater Maintenance

Tankless water heaters are typically very low-maintenance machines, but problems may still occasionally arise. If you notice a difference in how your tankless water heater is performing and you aren’t sure what might be the cause, it may be time to contact a professional. Signs that your machine may need maintenance or replacement include:

  • Sudden cloudiness or presence of sediment in water
  • Inability to get adequate hot water or pressure in your home’s showers and faucets
  • Abrupt change in the flavor of drinking water
  • Loud noises emitting from tankless water heater unit

A tankless water heater expert can evaluate and diagnose the problems your tankless water heater is experiencing, perform routine maintenance, offer solutions for repairs, and suggest when it may be time for a complete water heater replacement.

When to Replace a Tankless Water Heater

Tankless water heaters typically last 20 years or more, especially when owners take care to properly maintain their unit. If your unit is around 20 years old or older, it may be time to upgrade to a new system. You might want to invest in a replacement tankless water heater when you notice your water contains rust, the unit itself leaks or makes rumbling noises, or you run out of hot water mid-shower.

If you are unsure about whether it’s time to replace your tankless water heater, a professional plumber can work with you to decide what would best suit your family’s needs.

Contact Aquarius Water Conditioning Today!

The staff at Aquarius take pride in helping families like yours get clean, comfortable, and great-tasting water into their homes.
If you have any questions about the services or products we offer, or if your tankless water heater is in need of some routine maintenance, please contact us today!

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