How Often Do Tankless Water Heaters Need Maintenance?


If you need an energy-efficient system that produces hot water on demand, then you might want to install a tankless water heater in your home. These types of water heaters are different from traditional storage tank models because they don’t continuously heat and store water. Rather, they only heat water when you need it, which can save you money on your energy bills.

How Often Do Tankless Water Heaters Need Maintenance

In addition to being energy efficient, tankless water heaters have a longer lifespan than traditional models. However, they still require some maintenance in order to keep them running properly. Here’s a look at how often you should perform maintenance on your tankless water heater:

Generally, your tankless water heater should be serviced at least once every year. If you have hard water, then you might need to service it twice yearly. During each servicing, a technician will carry out several tasks including cleaning the filter and flushing out the system. This helps to remove any sediment that has built up over time and prevents it from clogging the system.

Flushing The System

Your hot water heater should be flushed at least once a year to remove any sediment that has built up in the system. This is a simple process that involves hooking up a hose to the draining valve and allowing the water to run out until it’s clear. If the water you have hard water in your home, then you might need to flush the system more frequently as minerals will deposit quicker. Mineral build-up can affect the heat exchanger and the efficiency of your unit. This will lead to higher energy bills and a shorter lifespan for your tankless water heater. Worse is that your system’s warranty does not typically cover any damages caused by a mineral build-up.

Flushing prevents mineral build-up and keeps your tankless water heater running efficiently. To flush your tank, you’ll require a mixture of vinegar water, a sump pump and two lengths of hose. Now follow these steps:

  • Shut off the power to your tankless water heater.
  • Turn off the gas supply if you have a gas-powered unit.
  • Turn off the water supply to the pump and attach the hoses.
  • Using the sump pump, force the vinegar water into the water heater.
  • After flushing with the vinegar water, also flush with plain water.

For further instructions on how to do this, consult your tankless water heater’s user manual or buy a descaling kit that comes with the instructions.

If you still cannot do this successfully or you’re worried about damaging your system, then it’s best to hire a professional plumber to do it for you. Our plumbers at All American Plumbing, Heating & Air are experts at servicing and repairing all types of water heaters, including tankless models. We also offer maintenance services to help keep your system running smoothly.

Cleaning The Air Filter

Your tankless water heater has a filter that helps to screen out impurities from the water before it’s heated. This filter needs to be cleaned on a regular basis, or else it will become clogged and won’t be able to do its job. To do this, take it out and clean it using a soft brush along with soap and water. Once you’re sure it’s clean, rinse thoroughly. Then, put it back in place.

Cleaning The Water Filter

If your tankless water heater has an inlet water filter, then this will also need to be cleaned on a regular basis. The frequency will depend on how often you use your system as well as the quality of your water supply. The water filter traps incoming sediments. Accumulated sediments can hamper the water flow and reduce the efficiency of your system. To remove the filter, cut off the water supply to your hot water heater. Now remove the filter and clean it thoroughly with warm soapy water. Alternatively, you may wipe it with a soft cloth. If you fail to find your water filter, consult your user manual.

Cleaning The Tank

It’s important to also clean the outside of your tankless water heater on a regular basis. This will help to remove any dirt or grime that has built up over time. You can do this using a soft cloth. Simply clean the tank and the surrounding area. If you don’t do this, dust and debris can slip into your hot water heater and cause problems. Remember to always shut the power and water off before attempting to clean your tank.

Regular tankless water heater maintenance helps to improve the efficiency of your system and prevents costly repairs. If you don’t feel confident servicing your own tankless water heater, then hire a professional to do it for you. This will ensure that it’s done properly and that your warranty remains valid. During maintenance, it is important to also check other parts of the heater. The valves, heating elements and pipes should all be checked for any damage or wear and tear. You should also look out for rust and leaks. If you spot anything that looks unusual, call your plumbing contractor as soon as possible. The earlier you fix a tankless water heater problem, the easier and cheaper it will be.