Tankless water heater maintenance should be your priority if you want an appliance that’s high on energy efficiency and is reliable. Many homeowners are opting for tankless hot water heaters for the simple reason that they are compact in size and provide sufficient hot water on demand.

Another plus point is that tankless water heater maintenance is much easier than the upkeep of storage water heaters. Failing to maintain a tank water heater can lead to tank corrosion, which can be a costly and inconvenient affair.

If you too own a tankless water heater, you need to ensure its routine maintenance. These preventive maintenance steps can help your appliance last beyond its lifespan of 20 years.

Follow regular tankless water heater maintenance

hot water heater

It’s a good idea to get your water heater serviced once a year. This annual maintenance schedule is especially necessary if you’re living in an area that experiences hard water or you generally set the water temperature high or you have many family members using the same appliance.

Routine maintenance ensures good system performance – that all the components in the heater work as they should and that there’s no scaling or mineral deposit or buildup inside the heat exchanger. 

With proper tankless water heater maintenance, your appliance will be more energy-efficient, reliable, and have a longer service life.

Flush the system

It’s important to flush your hot water heater at least once a year. It will help you clear out any mineral deposits from inside the water heater. As we mentioned above, the buildup is more if your region has a hard water supply. It can damage the heat exchanger – as a result lowering the efficiency of the heating unit. If that happens, you could end up with a higher energy bill every month. Moreover, the buildup can erode the walls of your heater or its heating chamber over time. It would also shorten your water heater’s life expectancy.

A good way to remove the mineral buildup is with flushing. You’ll need a mixture of vinegar water, two lengths of hose, and a sump pump to start flushing your water heater. Start by turning off the main power supply to your hot water heater. Then, turn off the water and attach the hoses to push the vinegar water into the water heater. Finally, flush it with plain water.

Another method to prevent mineral buildup is to buy a descaling kit and complete the task according to its instructions. The third option to take care of your tankless water heater maintenance is to hire a professional plumber. They will charge approximately $150 to flush a tankless water heater but the labor cost will be worth it. 

Clean the air filter

You need to clean the air filter in your tankless system regularly. Remove the filter from the water heater. Take a soft brush and clean the filter with a solution made with soap and water. Rinse it well to remove any accumulated gunk and then let it completely dry. Put the filter back in the water heater. A thorough cleaning will ensure proper airflow. 

Wash the water filter

Most tankless systems come with a screen that aids to trap any sediments. Cleaning out the sediments regularly will ensure that your heating machine is working properly. Use your heater’s user manual to determine the location of the water filter. Before removing it, cut off the main water supply. Clean the filter well with warm soapy water. You could even wipe it down with a cloth. 

Read more: Gas line sediment trap

Check the parts

Creating a budget for maintenance

You need to ensure that your water heater is working how it should. Take out time to look at all the vital parts of the heater. Inspect the heating elements, water valves, and pipes. Twice a year, clean your filters, igniters, fans, and burners. Check the gas pressure relief valve and make sure there’s proper venting. Keep an eye out for any water leaks or rust. If you spot a faulty component, get it repaired at the earliest or it will turn into an expensive water heater repair down the line. 

Keep the exterior clean

Remember to wipe the heater clean from time to time. Use a non-abrasive cleanser and a soft cloth to clean the device. It will keep it dust-free and prevent rusting in the future.

Last thoughts

Investing in a tankless water heater vis-à-vis one with a storage tank is a great way to reduce your energy costs and enjoy a steady supply of hot water on demand. That’s why it’s extremely important that you do not, in any way, overlook the importance of preventive maintenance. Tankless water heater maintenance will ensure its optimal performance and high efficiency.

Read more: Hot water heater financing

Useful tips for tankless water heater maintenance was last modified: December 28th, 2022 by Ramona Sinha
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Some will believe that the maintenance of this equipment is something for professionals, but even my oldest son is in charge of flushing the pipes…