There are many differences between tank and tankless water heaters. The tankless options are smaller, quieter, and more efficient. But they do have some things in common. The most important thing to remember is that, just like the tank models, your tankless water heater does need regular maintenance.
Why is the maintenance necessary? What is done during maintenance? How often should it be done? And how can you keep your tankless system running for as long as possible before you have to replace it? We’re so glad you asked.
Why Maintenance Is Necessary
All water has minerals in it, and some water (referred to as hard water) has particularly high levels, especially of calcium, magnesium, and iron. When those minerals settle out of the water and build up inside plumbing or appliances, it’s called scaling. It happens with all water, but the harder the water, the faster it builds up. This can cause problems with water pressure, decreased efficiency, and trouble keeping your water at your desired temperature. This is the main reason that water heaters of all types need regular maintenance, but all components of your tankless system should be inspected to ensure that everything is working as well as it should.
What Happens During Maintenance
Your professional plumber will flush your tankless system with a solution that will dissolve and wash away the mineral scaling, and then they will rinse it clear with fresh water. They will also clean or replace the water line filter, and if there is an air filter (which some natural gas tankless systems have) that will be cleaned or replaced as well. And just as with a furnace, all electrical or gas components will be inspected.
How Often Maintenance Is Required
In most cases, annual maintenance is ideal. However, if your water is very hard, you may find that your scaling problem becomes too severe after such a long interval. You might already know that your water is particularly hard by the buildup on and around plumbing fixtures in your home. In order to avoid having maintenance twice a year, it might be a good idea to discuss your water softener options with your plumber. Softer water won’t just mean a happier water heater, it will also provide the benefit that soap will suds up better, helping you to have cleaner clothes and dishes and even bubblier bubble baths! With regular maintenance, your tankless system will operate more efficiently, encounter fewer repair needs, and last longer before needing to be replaced.
When Replacement Is Required
A tankless water heater can last about twenty years with regular maintenance, although they rarely last anywhere near so long if they are not professionally maintained. It is worth making the effort to extend the life of the system, but when you do need a water heater in Stamford, CT, we’d be happy to discuss your needs and help you find an option that best suits your home and your budget.