When it comes to storage tank water heaters—the more “traditional” type of water heater–they can be pretty big, and noticeable, sometimes even a bit noisy depending on where on your property they’re located. In other words, it can be hard not to pay attention to these systems, and you probably do think about the care they need throughout the years.
If you’ve never heard of this problem before, tank water heaters can suffer from something called scaling, which is when mineral buildup forms inside the tank, leading to problems with temperature, water pressure, and potentially even corrosion. Because of this, they need to be professionally maintained and flushed on an annual basis.
What many homeowners don’t realize is that tankless water heaters need maintenance too, and for the same reason!
That’s right… despite their unique setup, much of the maintenance that’s needed for a conventional storage tank water heater is actually needed for a tankless water heater as well. Read on to learn more.
The Impact of Scaling on a Tankless Water Heater
Scaling affects a tankless water heater in a way that could lead to its early demise if you fail to schedule routine maintenance. Hard water creates this issue. Hard water is water with a high level of minerals in it. Iron, calcium, and magnesium are the most common threats. And when we say threats, we don’t mean to you–these minerals are relatively harmless to ingest. But they are a threat to your plumbing system, tankless water heater included.
When hard water leaves behind mineral deposits in the pipes or in your plumbing appliances, this is called scaling, as we alluded to above. This can negatively affect the heat exchanger part of the system. As you probably already know, the heat exchanger is the component that actually heats up the water to begin with. You want this component to be clean, so that water can be efficiently heated. Scaling can actually prevent the burners from doing their job, eventually overworking a tankless water heater to the point that it prematurely breaks down.
When Should Tankless Water Heater Maintenance be Scheduled?
For some tankless water heaters, annual maintenance is vital to keeping your system running smoothly throughout its entire lifespan. For others, however, maybe in areas that don’t suffer from hard water as much, maintenance can be done every few years.
How do you know the difference? Well, you can contact us for professional water testing. We’ll not only check for hard water, but we’ll look to see that there aren’t any contaminants or pollutants in your potable water—an added bonus! If we do find hard water, it’s recommended that you have a whole-house water softener installed. Not only will this help prevent scaling in your tankless water heater, but it will also protect the rest of your plumbing system as well.
Remember, of course, even if you tackle the hard water problem, water heaters still need routine tune-ups. Please feel free to reach out to our team for a better idea of how often your tankless water heater maintenance should be scheduled.