If you require an energy-efficient system that provides hot water on demand, you should consider installing a TANKLESS WATER HEATER in your home. These water heaters differ from traditional storage tank models in that they do not continuously heat and store water. Rather, they only heat water when needed, saving you money on your energy bills. Tankless water heaters, in addition to being more energy efficient, have a longer lifespan than traditional models. However, they still require some maintenance to keep them running properly. Here’s how often you should perform maintenance on your gas tankless water heater, as well as a checklist of what to do and the kit and cost involved.
In general, you should have your tankless water heater serviced at least once a year. If your water is hard, you may need to service it twice a year. During each service, a technician will perform several tasks, including cleaning the filter and flushing the system. This removes any sediment that has accumulated over time and keeps it from clogging the system.
What is a Tankless Water Heater?
Tankless water heaters are a type of on-demand water heater that heats water only when it is required. Without the need for a storage tank, they can heat water. When a hot water faucet is turned on, cold water flows through a heat exchanger in the unit before being heated by a natural gas burner. Without the need to wait for a storage tank to fill, this ensures a continuous supply of hot water.
Gas tankless water heater’s energy efficiency and small size are two of their main benefits. This means that these systems not only save money but also take up less space in an area. However, minerals can accumulate within the heat exchanger over time, causing clogs and slowing the rate of water flow. As a result, tankless water heaters necessitate regular maintenance to ensure peak performance.
Tankless Water Heater Maintenance Checklist
You should have a reputable company perform routine maintenance on your gas tankless water heater. Spending a little money now to ensure that your water heater works properly will save you money in the future. Poorly maintained water heaters expire much faster than water heaters that receive regular maintenance. Here is a checklist for gas tankless water heater maintenance.
- Flush and descale the heat exchanger
- Clean fan and burner assembly
- Remove and clean the air inlet thermistor
- Inspect and clean the igniter and flame sensor
- Remove and clean the water filter before it enters the system.
- Carefully inspect the vent for proper slope and blockages.
- Verify the pressure in the gas line
- Test fire unit
- Verify the flow rate
- Verify the operating temperature
The Benefits of Tankless Water Heater Maintenance
Because it must be cleaned regularly to remove mineral deposits, a tankless water heater requires a little more maintenance than a standard water heater with a storage tank. How hard or soft the water is where you live typically determines how frequently you must perform this maintenance. Your tankless water heater may require cleaning once a year because hard water causes more sediment buildup. You might be able to get away with cleaning it only once every couple of years in areas with softer water.
The majority of tankless water heaters require routine maintenance that primarily entails cleaning the system in two ways. First, extensive descaling is required if minerals have caked onto water heater components. However, it is recommended that the system be flushed regularly if there is a small amount of silt that has accumulated in the tankless water heater.
Regular gas tankless water heater maintenance provides the following advantages:
- Durability: Tankless water heaters typically last 20 to 25 years. But with the right maintenance, you can extend the life of your water heater by a few years. As a result, the money you spent on maintenance was well spent.
- Energy efficiency: To maintain preset water temperatures, a tankless water heater that is clogged with mineral sediments will consume more energy. Proper tankless water heater maintenance keeps the heating elements free of mineral deposits and your water energy bills low while your flow rates are high.
- Prevent further heater damage: Calcium and magnesium deposits can cause tankless water heaters to fail beyond repair, necessitating a replacement of the unit. This type of damage is not covered by the manufacturer’s warranty, so preventative maintenance may help you avoid it.
Maintenance Procedures for a Tankless Water Heater
For people who want energy efficiency and hot water on demand, tankless water heaters are ideal. They are small in size and are quickly becoming the best choice for residential and commercial water heaters. You must perform proper water heater maintenance on your tankless water heater. Routine maintenance can extend the life of your water heater to twenty years or more.
Your water heater should be serviced at least once a year. If you live in an area where you have hard water or where you keep the water temperature set high, tankless water heater maintenance should be done twice a year. This will assist in ensuring that all of the heater’s components function properly.
Several tasks will need to be completed during maintenance.
#1. Flushing the System
At least once a year, the water heater needs to be flushed. Minerals build up inside the water heater throughout the year. This might accumulate more quickly if your water is hard. Mineral buildups can damage the heat exchanger in your unit. The efficiency of the tank could fail, and you could end up with a higher energy bill each month. You can significantly reduce the lifespan of your tankless water heater by not flushing it. Unfortunately, damage caused by mineral buildup will not be covered by your warranty.
Flushing will remove all of this mineral buildup. A vinegar and water mixture, two lengths of hose, and a sump pump are required to flush the tank. You will want to turn off all the power to your water heater. Before connecting the hoses, turn off the water to the pump. To push the vinegar water into the heater, you will then need to use the sump pump. After you have flushed the machine with vinegar water, you will want to flush it with plain water. You can find additional instructions on how to do this in the user manual for your water heater, or you can purchase a descaling kit that includes the instructions.
#2. Air Filter Cleaning
You will need to clean the air filter in your tankless water heater regularly. To clean this filter, remove it from the water heater. A soft brush should then be used to clean the area with a soap and water solution. Make sure to thoroughly clean it to ensure proper airflow. Before reinstalling it in the water heater, thoroughly rinse it and allow it to dry completely.
#3. Water Filter Cleaning
You must remember to check the water filter when performing water heater maintenance. A screen is typically included with tankless water heaters to help trap any sediment that may enter. To ensure the proper operation of your water heater, you will need to clean out these sediments regularly. The operation of your water heater may be severely impeded if sediment builds up.
The water supply to the water heater must be turned off to remove the filter. Remove the filter and thoroughly clean it. Warm, soapy water or cloth can be used to clean it. If you are unable to locate your water filter, consult your user manual.
#4. Cleaning the Tank
Wipe down the outside of the tank to remove any dust or debris that has accumulated. Before starting, turn off the power and water supplies. Wipe down the tank and the area around it. The water heater may become clogged with dust and debris.
Regular tankless water heater maintenance will help to ensure that your machine is functioning properly. Examine all of the heater’s other components while performing maintenance. Examine the heating elements, valves, and pipes to ensure they are in good condition and working properly. Look for any leaks, rust, or other anomalies. If you notice anything wrong, please report it as soon as possible. The longer you wait to address an issue, the worse and more expensive it can become.
Tankless Water Heater Maintenance Cost
The US national average cost for tankless water heater maintenance is between $50 and $400 per visit, according to Fixr, a website that provides hundreds of cost guides, articles, and illustrations on home remodeling projects. When determining the cost of repairs and maintenance, there are several factors to consider.
These expenses are further subdivided into the following categories:
- Fueling method
- Type of repair
- Type of replacement
Tankless Water Heater Maintenance Kit
A five-gallon flush tank, a submersible pump, five-foot hoses, and a complete how-to guide will be included in the best tankless water heater maintenance kit for less than $200. Purchasing a kit will allow you to perform this maintenance on your own rather than paying a professional. You will only need to purchase additional descaling solutions as needed after making the initial kit purchase.
Is there a kit designed specifically for my water heater brand?
The fact that tankless water heater maintenance kits are compatible with all tankless water heater models is one of their best qualities. Whether your water heater is gas or electric, you will not need to buy a separate flush kit.
Are cleaning kits safe to use?
Yes. Septic systems, sewer systems, and potable water systems can all use kits without any problems. Using a kit is completely safe, and performing this regular maintenance on your tankless heater system will improve its performance as well.
The Operation of a Tankless Water Heater Maintenance Kit
The actual flushing entails pumping vinegar or another descaling solution through the unit. This allows the solution to remove carbonates, sulfates, phosphates, rust, oxides, and other mineral deposits from the inner components. To flush your tankless water heater, follow these basic instructions:
- Connect the hoses.
- Connect the pump to the cold side supply hose.
- Run the hose from the hot side into the tank to complete the flushing loop.
- Run cold water for a couple of minutes.
- Remove the filter.
- Reinstall the components, relight the gas, and connect the unit to the wall.
Things to Consider Before Buying a Tankless Water Heater Maintenance Kit
Before purchasing a flushing kit, there are a few things to think about that could help you save even more money.
- Assemble your kit
- Buy a ready-made kit:
- Read customer reviews.
- Consider hiring a professional:
How often should I flush my tankless water heater?
Once a year
A tankless water heater may accumulate mineral buildup over time, which can erode the walls of the tank’s heating chamber. It’s crucial to flush those mineral deposits at least once a year to properly maintain and clean your tankless water heater.
What are common problems with tankless water heaters?
Here are the six most common tankless water heater problems and maintenance concerns:
- Mineral buildup.
- System overload.
- Cold water sandwich
- Air supply or exhaust blockage.
- Ignition failure.
- Flame failure.
What happens if you don’t clean your tankless water heater?
Mineral deposits may form. This could result in a clog within the unit, preventing normal heating activity. Your hot water may also fluctuate and overheat the system, reducing its effectiveness.
How much does it cost to flush a tankless water heater?
To flush a tankless water heater, you’ll need to pay around $150. If your well water contains a lot of iron, you should do it at least once a year. More sediment accumulates as a result. It takes about a half-hour to complete the process.
Do tankless water heaters need routine maintenance?
In general, you should service your tankless water heater at least once a year. You may need to service your water twice a year if it’s hard.
Do tankless water heaters need more maintenance?
The good news is that tankless water heaters are also low-maintenance. The routine preventive maintenance performed on heating and cooling systems should include a tankless system.
Now that you are aware of the significance of tankless water heater maintenance, contact a plumbing contractor to schedule service. The recommended frequency for future tankless water heater maintenance services will then be provided to you by your plumber.
If your tankless water heater breaks down, you may be forced to live without hot water for an extended period until the unit is repaired. In addition, the cost of repair is typically higher than the cost of preventative maintenance. While you won’t be able to avoid all problems, you’ll be much less likely to encounter one.
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