Tankless water heaters are becoming a popular addition to households across the globe. This is because of their ability to minimize the space covered in the house as well its capability to provide hot water instantly when needed, unlike the tanked hot water heaters that you have to wait for before getting hot water. These tanks are also referred to as instantaneous or instant-on-demand water heaters. These heaters are connected to the building’s plumbing system and instantly heats water as it flows through the system. This machine does not retain any water during the heating except for the little that is left in the heat exchange coil.
Just like any home installation, these tankless water heaters need maintenance and servicing from time to time. If you are not a plumber or electrician, it is advisable to seek a professional’s help to do the job effectively. This way, they can identify any faults in the heating system and make the right call. Before looking at the tasks you can engage in to maintain the heater at home, here are a few things to consider about maintaining the heater.
The Importance of Maintaining Your Tankless Water Heater
It helps to remove limescale
Water contains several dissolved minerals that accumulate over time inside the heater’s heating chamber. These minerals could cause potential danger to the overall working of the heating system. To avoid this, you need to regularly flush the unit to get rid of the piled-up minerals. This should be done at least once a year and varies from model to model. However, the process usually involves flushing the tank using vinegar.
It helps get rid of accumulated debris
The water flow over time may contain debris or dirt. For that, you need to regularly clean the in-line screen filter to remove the accumulated debris and dirt. All you need to do is turn off the water supply, unscrew the plug, remove the filter, rinse the filter, and reattach it.
Practices to help in maintaining your tankless water heater
Here are key maintenance tasks you can participate in to ensure your heater continues to operate optimally for a long time.
Clean the water line filter
Most manufacturers fit their brands with a water line filter to block debris and dirt from building up inside the heating chamber. These filters are also designed to protect the heater from hard water and scale that may contaminate the heater as well as pass-through to the rest of your plumbing system and other appliances. There are different types of filters, with others having easy to clean and reusable filters while others having those that need replacement. We recommend that you go through the manufacturer’s manual to ascertain the best course of action. For heaters without a filter, it would be wise to fit one to improve the quality of water while protecting your heater from any potential damage.
Clean the Air filter
Natural gas tankless water heaters are usually fitted with a filter between the air intake pipe and the fan. In time this filter can get clogged with debris, dirt, insects, and dust particles that greatly hamper airflow. This could cause an electrical issue within the system. However, this can be easily remedied, either personally or by a plumber. Use the heater’s manual to know the basic steps needed to clean the filter, though this process most of the time involves unscrewing a plug, removing the filter, cleaning it well, letting it dry then reattaching it to the heater.
Descaling and flushing the system
As discussed before, the heater’s continued use leads to the accumulation of scales and minerals in the heater’s heating chamber. This maintenance exercise is probably the most time-consuming but also the one thing we recommend you do not overlook. Despite fitting your unit with an inline water filter, certain minerals such as lime and calcium can pass through building up over time. This problem is mostly faced by people living in regions with hard water.
We recommend that you do this at least once a year, that is for people with hard water. However, those who use soft water can do this after every three to five years. For this process, we advise that you use white vinegar, or you can hit the store for a specialized descaling solution. You also need a submersible pump to cycle the descaling solution through the unit for a minimum of 45 minutes. After this, you now have to flush the entire unit using fresh, clean water. Connect a hosepipe to the hot side service valve and let in the water.
Maintaining your heater is an exercise you can do on your own with a little help from the manufacturer manual. However, we encourage you to seek the help of a professional plumber just to be on the safe side. There is a benefit of working with a professional firm or expert as you are guaranteed exceptional service.
Bodenheimer Plumbing Services of Winston-Salem, NC, is a great option for Winston Salem residents looking to get a second opinion on their plumbing systems. At Bodenheimer, we encourage our clients to take advantage of our exemplary customer service in emergency plumbing response, residential plumbing, and remodeling.