If you’ve ever seen a storage-tank water heater, which you probably have, then you know they are big, pretty noticeable, and can even be a bit noisy. In other words, it’s difficult not to pay attention to a traditional water heater, if that’s what you have in your household.
You probably know that it needs maintenance every now and then from a professional plumber. A condition known as scaling can have a negative effect on it, allowing mineral buildup from calcium, magnesium, and iron. These mineral deposits cause problems with temperature, water pressure, and eventually corrosion if left for too long. Therefore, your tank water heater needs occasional flushing.
So, if you install a tankless water heater, does this mean you won’t need maintenance? Negative–you will need to have a tankless system professionally maintained as well. Perhaps not as often, depending on some factors, but much of the maintenance done on tank systems is also needed on their tankless counterparts, due, again, to scaling. Read on to learn more!
Why You Don’t Want Scaling
Scaling affects a tankless water heater in a way that could cause it to fail years before it actually should, without proper maintenance. Remember the mineral deposits we talked about above? Water with a high present of these minerals is called hard water, and this is a pretty prevalent problem in our area. The minerals that reside in hard water are not harmful to ingest, but it’s a different story for your plumbing system.
When hard water leaves behind scaling–mineral deposits–in a plumbing appliance or within the pipes, it sticks to components of the plumbing. In the case of your tankless water heater, it can stick to the outside of the heat exchanger.
The heat exchanger is the component actually responsible for heating up the water, and if it gets too caked up with scaling, it cannot efficiently or effectively do its job. This can eventually overwork the tankless water heater, to the point of a breakdown.
When You Should Schedule Tankless Water Heater Maintenance
For some tankless systems, it’s necessary to have maintenance done once a year to keep the water heater operating smoothly throughout its entire lifetime. For other tankless systems though, in areas that don’t have a big problem with hard water, you can likely go every few years.
The best way to know what’s right for your specific tankless water heater and your specific household is to contact our plumbing professionals!
Also, you can prevent damage from hard water to begin with, with the installation of a whole-house water softener. This not only will help your plumbing system, it will help your quality of life. Your water will taste better, it will wash your clothes better, and it won’t leave white spots on your dishes and glassware after you wash them.
Whether you’re interested in replacing your tank water heater with a tankless model, or if we’ve just piqued your interest in water treatment systems, please don’t hesitate to give us a call!