Caring For Your Tankless Water Heater

Dec 21, 2020

An Ounce of Prevention

Benjamin Franklin once said, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Life offers us plenty of things we can’t control. But a little preventative maintenance can offer peace of mind and one less thing to worry about.

Everyone knows that changing your oil keeps your car running properly and having your teeth cleaned prevents cavities. But have you thought about what type of maintenance will keep your tankless water heater operating at maximum efficiency and protect your investment?   

How to Care for Your Tankless Water Heater

Often referred to as on-demand water heaters, many tankless water heaters are advertised as no or low maintenance but don’t let that fool you. Tankless water heaters definitely need annual maintenance. And if you have hard water or your water heater is set to a high temperature, you may need bi-annual maintenance. With proper care, tankless water heaters can last up to 20 years! While it’s not possible to prevent every single problem, with regular maintenance, you’ll lower the risk substantially.

On-demand water heaters heat water directly as it flows through the cold water line. The water heater is only activated when you use hot water. Tankless water heaters use heating elements known as heat exchangers to heat the water.  

You may wonder why a tankless water heater needs any maintenance since it has no storage tank. The culprit is hard water – and San Diego has plenty of that! Hard water is loaded with minerals like calcium and magnesium. Over time, these minerals can plug up the passages where water flows which affects water flow speed. This makes the water heater work harder to deliver hot water and water temperatures may fluctuate. This buildup can shorten the lifespan of the water heater and increase your energy bill.  In some cases, the heat exchanger or even the entire unit may need to be replaced.

A high water temperature setting can increase the risk of scale buildup. Heat makes chemicals dissolve faster, and so minerals will build up faster around the heating elements.

Flushing Your Tankless Water Heater

No matter the hardness of water in an area, tankless water heaters need a regular cleaning, called descaling or flushing. Flushing a water heater means to clean it out with a descaling agent, which removes sediment and buildup. Benefits of an annual flushing include:

  • Reduces clogging by flushing out mineral buildups.
  • Prevention of system malfunction associated with rust and corrosion
  • Reduces noise caused by buildup. 
  • Heating speed improvement.
  • Assurance of an easy, free-flow supply of clean, fresh water.
  • Increases equipment lifespan.
  • Saves on energy costs because the water heater doesn’t have to work so hard.

To learn more about the maintenance requirements of your specific water heater, read the user manual, and check the manufacturer’s recommendations. While it’s possible to perform flushing yourself, it is best to leave it to experts. With over 25 years of experience, we at Arnett’s Water Systems have learned the ins and outs of every tankless water heater.

If you’d like to have peace of mind and save money, check out our VIP membership program. Benefits include:

  • Annual inspections.
  • Emergency services at NO additional cost.
  • Priority service for routine and emergency calls.
  • 10% off service and repairs (excluding replacements or new installs).
  • Your membership can be transferred to your new home or to the buyer of the home you sell.

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