If you want your appliances to last, you need to care for them. And your tankless hot water heater is no exception to that rule. A poorly maintained water heater will require frequent repairs and have a short lifespan. To minimize your expenses and maximize your comfort, you need to perform tankless water heater maintenance. 

Don’t Mistake Low Maintenance for No Maintenance

One of the reasons people often switch from traditional water heaters to tankless ones is the reduction in maintenance. If you want to keep a traditional heater working well, you need to perform frequent maintenance. In addition to hiring a professional for annual maintenance, you also need to take steps on your own to keep your heater working well. 

Tankless heaters don’t require nearly as much maintenance as traditional ones. However, some homeowners make the mistake of thinking that this means a tankless heater doesn’t need any attention. It might not need monthly maintenance, but a tankless heater does need you to provide care for it. With the proper maintenance, your tankless heater will endure through time.

What You Need to Do to Care for Your Tankless Heater

The secret to maintaining your tankless water heater is to perform all of the following tasks:

Ensure an Experienced Evanston Plumber Does the Installation

Believe it or not, your maintenance work starts before you install the tankless heater. A poor installation or a wrongly sized system could cause trouble for you down the line. To save yourself from costly repairs, you need to hire the right person for the installation. 

When you work with an experienced plumber, you receive guidance while picking a new heater. You also can be confident the installer knows the proper way to install the heater. Equally important, you can count on your technician to give you maintenance tips.

Descale the Heater

In most of Evanston and surrounding areas, hard water is an issue. The minerals in the water build up inside your rank. Although sediment build-up tends to be more of an issue in traditional heaters than in tankless heaters, you still need to be cautious. You can prevent build-up by descaling your tankless heater every six months.

If you don’t descale the system, minerals settle in the bottom and cause water to thicken. This makes your heater work harder than necessary and could result in complications. To descale your heater, you need to run vinegar through the system. The vinegar breaks down the debris in the unit. After you place vinegar in the system, you should either rinse or flush the system. Failing to do so leaves some of the vinegar and minerals in your heater.

Flushing the Tankless Heater

Just as you need to flush a traditional water heater, you need to flush your tankless heater. Even if you don’t descale it, you need to flush it either once or twice a year. The process varies according to the make and model of your heater, so you need to check your heater’s manual for directions. Generally, it’s a straightforward process that involves the following steps:

  • Shut off power and water to the heater
  • Connect a hose to every isolation valve
  • Attach a pump to the other side of the cold water hose
  • Get a bucket and use it to hold the hot water and pump inlet hoses
  • Turn the pump on for approximately one hour

If you have concerns about flushing the heater or can’t find the directions for your water heater, consult with your plumber. Flushing the unit is the only way to clean it and remove minerals effectively.

Receive Regular Service

You should also be sure to work with a plumber to receive regular service on your tankless water heater. Even if you want to flush the system on your own, you need a professional to ensure the heater is working the way it should. Without years of training and experience, you can’t be sure your heater is in prime condition. 

If you’re tempted to take a DIY approach to your water heater maintenance, think again. Tankless water heaters might seem simple, but they are complex appliances. It’s best to rely on experienced plumbers for all of your maintenance needs. 

One of the benefits of working with a plumber for your maintenance is the advanced scheduling. If you try to handle your own maintenance, you might forget to descale or flush your heater. This leaves you vulnerable to issues with the system. You can get on a service plan to ensure you don’t forget to care for your water heater.

Be on the Lookout for Abnormalities

As time goes by, don’t forget about your tankless water heater. Pay attention to any changes you notice, such as strange noises, colored water, or lukewarm water. Additionally, be wary of high spikes in your energy bill. These subtle changes are all signs of trouble with your water heater.

As soon as you notice a change in your hot water, call an Evanston plumber. There might be nothing wrong, but your diligence could catch a problem before it causes serious trouble. 

The Importance of Tankless Water Heater Maintenance

Without proper maintenance, you face several problems. First, you may need to live without hot water. You could wait until your system fails to call a plumber, but by then, you have no hot water. As you wait for your appointment, you live without the convenience of using your washing machine and dishwasher. You may need to check into a hotel to get a hot shower.

Maintaining your system prevents your water heater from breaking down. Furthermore, it extends the life of your water heater. The average tankless water heater can last for over 20 years, but a poorly maintained one won’t make it that long. With excellent maintenance, you can put off the replacement of a new heater for as long as possible. You also make your system more energy-efficient.

To make the most of your tankless heater, you can rely on us at J. Blanton Plumbing. Give us a call for your tankless water heater maintenance today.