How often to clean tankless water heater systems?

A tankless water heater only heats up water when it’s needed, meaning a significant savings in energy costs. Once one is properly installed and the appropriate codes are observed, there are only a few maintenance requirements for this type of water-heating system. However, many homeowners don’t have a clear answer on how often to clean tankless water heater systems. This makes it hard for them to properly maintain their system and will increase the money they spend on maintenance.

A tankless hot-water heater will actually last longer than one with a storage tank. This is because a tankless hot water’s design leaves little opportunity for sediment to build up inside the heat exchanger. However, over time a tankless water heater may accumulate enough mineral build up to erode the walls inside your tank’s heating chamber. 

Before we jump into how to flush your tankless water heater, let’s clarify the definition of a tankless hot water heater system.

What is a tankless water heater?

A tankless water heater, also known as an on-demand or continuous flow water heater, is an energy-efficient alternative to a traditional storage-tank water heater. These systems can eliminate hot spots and cold spots, since they deliver water on demand as it’s needed. 

There are several models of tankless water heater systems, with capacities ranging from 12,000 to 165,0000 Btu/hr. When you hire an HVAC contractor like Controlled Climates’ professionals, we’ll be able to answer any questions about your tankless water heater.

Why should I flush my tankless water heater?

Tankless water heaters may seem like an easy fix for homeowners who are looking for a way to cut down on their energy bills. However, to ensure the best possible performance from your water heater, regular maintenance is recommended. 

Mineral deposits can build up over time.

One of the most crucial aspects of tankless hot water heater maintenance involves clearing mineral deposits from the heat exchanger. The heat exchanger, sometimes referred to as the gas-burner section, is where build-up can occur over time.

Many homeowners are choosing tankless water heaters because they’re more energy efficient and provide plenty of hot water on demand. But, if tankless hot water heaters aren’t properly maintained, the system will slowly become clogged with minerals and sediment over time. 

Many DIYers don’t realize that some chemicals can damage their hot water heater. That is one of the reasons why you should hire a professional HVAC contractor. When you call an experienced HVAC company like Controlled Climates, our certified technicians use cleaning methods that will not harm the tankless system. 

Scaling will damage your tankless water heater.

One big drawback to a tankless water heater, other than the initial cost, is that they are very sensitive to limescale buildup. This can be a really big problem, depending on where you live. 

Limescale buildup can seriously impact the efficiency and economy of any tankless water heater. For example, a sixteenth of an inch build up could end up costing you hundreds of dollars a year in energy costs. Further, a buildup will reduce the lifetime of your tankless water heater by several years. 

How does limescale form in a tankless hot water heater?

Limescale forms when hot, hard water – like what a tankless water heater produces – comes into contact with certain types of minerals. A physical reaction occurs where the minerals precipitate out and form the hard and destructive limescale. One way to prevent limescale buildup is with a water softener. A water softener removes these hard minerals – calcium and magnesium – before they can cause any damage, thus preventing the formation of limescale.

Annual flushes are needed for tankless hot water heaters

One of the most critical components of a tankless water heater is the heat exchanger. The narrow passages in the heat exchanger can be blocked by scaling to prevent enough water from passing through. When this happens, the burners must work harder to heat water to compensate for lost efficiency, leading to a reduced lifespan.

Thus, tankless water heaters need to be flushed once per year. Homeowners with hard water should consider flushing and cleaning the unit even more frequently. Consider flushing your hot water system every 6 months to get rid of the excess magnesium and calcium in hard water. If you have questions, contact Controlled Climates today!

What happens if I don’t flush my tankless water?

If you don’t regularly flush your tankless water heater, it will develop mineral deposits, which could cause a clog and prevent normal heating activity. The hot water could also fluctuate, impact efficiency, and overheat the tankless water heater system.

Need help with flushing out your tankless water heater? Call Controlled Climates!

Here at Controlled Climates, we help homeowners and business owners stay comfortable indoors throughout the year. If you’re not getting hot water when you need it, a tankless water heater is the perfect solution. Just call Controlled Climates to schedule an appointment with one of our technicians. Whether your tankless water heater needs to be installed, repaired, or replaced, we’re ready to help you!