What You Need to Know About Tankless Water Heater Maintenance
If you own a tankless water heater or are thinking of switching to one, you probably think it does not require much maintenance at all. You simply install the water heater and it will work whenever you want. While these tankless systems are very efficient they will require some attention from time to time if you want to get the maximum performance from your system.
Benefits of Having a Tankless System
Tankless water heating technology was developed as a more energy efficient alternative to standard hot water tank systems. With standard systems, large tanks are filled with water then heated to the desired temperature. It requires a considerable amount of energy to heat the water and then additional energy to maintain the temperature – even when you are not using the hot water. Another issue with these tanks is that when the hot water in the tank runs out, you have to wait for a full tank to heat up.
Tankless water heating systems, or hot water on-demand type systems, address those problems and more. Basically, the unit heats water on an “on demand” basis by utilizing heating coils, or a heat exchanger, to warm the required flow of water to the desired temperature. Since the water flowing through the unit is heated as needed, there is no need to wait to refill and heat storage tanks.
Since these on demand units only use energy when operating they will have a positive impact on your energy bills. They also do not take up much space to install so if your space is limited then swapping out the old tanks for a tankless water heater is the way to go.
Hard Water and You
Over the course of time as you use your tankless unit there will be mineral deposits building up. If your water has large quantities of calcium and/or magnesium, commonly referred to as hard water, the minerals will form a hard scaling inside the piping of your unit. This scale buildup will reduce the energy efficiency of the heater and over time may impact the life expectancy of the unit.
If you have hard water you should get the unit serviced by a professional, like Cooper Plumbing, to flush out the mineral deposits that form inside the pipes and on the heat exchanger. Even if you have a water treatment system to soften your water, scale will still build up. You should consider having your on demand system serviced on an annual basis to get the best possible performance.
We touched on how hard water can impact the efficiency of your tankless unit but we also need to discuss the right way to service the unit. You may be tempted to try and do the maintenance yourself, but that is not recommended. A qualified expert, like Cooper Plumbing, will have the equipment to properly flush away the scaling and check the parts to ensure it is working properly.