One of the many benefits of using a tankless hot water heater is the fact that they are easier to maintain than tank heaters. However, low maintenance doesn’t mean no maintenance. If you want to keep your system up and running, you need to receive tankless water heater maintenance and cleaning. Learn the nine things your water heater needs to work up roots full potential.

1. You Need to Do an Annual Flushing

A traditional water heater needs to be cleaned at least once a year. Over time, sediment builds up in the tank and can cause issues. Because a tankless heater doesn’t hold large quantities of water for significant periods of time, it doesn’t need the same attention a traditional heater receives.

Despite that fact, your tankless heater should still receive an annual flushing. Although the job isn’t as tricky as it is with a traditional heater, flushing is necessary to prevent minerals from building up in the unit. If you have hard water, you may need to flush the heater more frequently.

You can always count on your Evanston plumber to advise you on the quality of your water or the recommended frequency of flushing your water heater. Furthermore, you can trust them to do the job. 

2. You Should Clean the Exterior Unit

The exterior unit on your system also deserves some attention. And if you enjoy working on projects around the home, this may be something you can do. Unlike other maintenance needs, cleaning the exterior unit doesn’t demand training or hard-to-find supplies. 

First, wipe down the cover of the unit with a soft cloth and a gentle cleaner. If you use anything harsh, it could corrode the unit. You only need something capable of removing dust and preventing rust from building up. 

While you’re out there, look at the pipes. Are there any cracks or splits in the insulation lining the pipes? If so, you should act quickly and call a plumber. It’s also helpful to look for the pressure relief valve and test it. Only some models have this feature, and you should look into the model’s features before searching for the pressure relief valve. 

3. Understand the Benefits of Flushing

It’s not enough to learn about your basic tankless water heater maintenance needs. In addition to having a checklist of things to do, you should also know why you’re doing those things. Specifically, you should comprehend the importance of flushing your heater. 

As time passes, your water heater develops limescale build-up. In a tank heater, the sediment could cause the system to explode. Fortunately, a tankless system doesn’t come with that risk. It does, however, come with the risk of inefficiency. 

Sediment in the system makes the heat exchanger work harder than it needs to as it heats your water. As a result, you spend more on your energy bill and decrease the lifespan of your heater. 

4. Install an Isolation Valve

Tankless water heaters have different features. As mentioned above, some tankless heaters have pressure relief valves, while others don’t. There are other features, like isolation valves, that also are only available on some models.

An isolation valve is similar to the shut-off valve on a standard water heater. If you have this valve, you can turn the water or gas supply to the unit off. When you do maintenance of your tankless heater, the isolation valve keeps you safe. If you don’t have an isolation valve, you can ask your plumber to install one. 

5. The Supplies You Need

There are a few supplies you might want to have on hand to handle your tankless water heater maintenance. Hoses, a submersible pump, a five gallon bucket, and descaler are all essential. If you don’t want to use descaler, you can substitute it with four gallons of undiluted white vinegar. 

6. You Need to Disconnect the Electricity Before Flushing

Before you attempt to descale a tankless water heater, you need to turn off the electricity to the unit. If you have a gas isolation valve, close it along with the hot and cold water shut-off valves. 

Depending on your unit, you may need to open the pressure relief valve and release the pressure inside the unit. Check your unit’s manual for more information.

7. There are no Shortcuts with Flushing

When it comes to tankless heater maintenance, there are no shortcuts. For instance, effectively flushing your system requires you to use a submersible pump to direct water out of your unit. Using a hose, you can direct the water into a bucket.

Flushing also requires you to use the descaler properly and to follow these steps:

  • Open the cold and hot service ports
  • Turn on the pump
  • Allow the solution to circulate through the heater for at least one hour

If you don’t wait long enough, the descaling won’t work well. All of your efforts could be for nothing.

8. You Can Hire an Expert for Your Maintenance

While you could choose to do the maintenance on your own, it’s not always ideal. Even though flushing your tankless heater doesn’t require special tools, it takes time. And there are things that can go wrong during the flushing process.

When you hire an expert, you take away any uncertainty. You learn more about your system and might learn about potential problems. By working with a professional, you get the peace of mind that your tankless water heater is receiving all the maintenance it needs to perform at maximum efficiency.

9. Only Use a Plumber You Trust for Your Tankless Water Heater Maintenance

Of course, hiring a plumber won’t do you any good if they take shortcuts. Before you schedule your maintenance, make sure to use a reputable company. Here at J. Blanton Plumbing, our team has years of experience and is ready to give your tankless water heater the maintenance it needs. 

If you’re ready for tankless water heater maintenance, give us a call today. Our experienced plumbers can handle all of your tankless heater maintenance.