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Do Tankless Water Heaters Need Maintenance?

tankless-water-heaterTank water heaters are the conventional types of water heaters found in most homes—large, noticeable, and sometimes noisy, they’re pretty hard to ignore! As such, you probably know they need professional water heater services every now and then—particularly, maintenance. Scaling, after all, which is the buildup of hard water minerals, can have a major effect on the tank. It leads to problems with pressure, temperature, and eventually, corrosion.

What many homeowners don’t realize, though, is that if they have a tankless water heater, they don’t get to escape the need for maintenance. And much of the maintenance that is done for tank water heaters is also done for tankless systems. Keep reading to learn more!

Scaling and Your Tankless Water Heater

Scaling impacts a tankless water heater in a way that could lead to its premature demise, If you don’t schedule regular maintenance for the system. Scaling, as we mentioned above, is the buildup of hard water minerals—namely calcium, magnesium, and sometimes even iron. These minerals enter the water and are harmless to ingest, so you don’t hear much about them. But, it is when they accumulate in your pipes and plumbing appliances that they leads to what we call scaling.

Scaling effects the heat exchanger of your tankless water heater. As you probably realize, the heat exchanger is the component that heats up the water to begin with. You need it to be clean so that the water can be heated efficiently. Scaling can make your burners work harder, or can overwork a tankless water heater to the point that it breaks down.

How Often Should You Schedule Maintenance?

For some tankless water heater systems, annual maintenance is key to keeping the system running smoothly throughout its entire lifespan. For others, maintenance can wait a year or two longer. How often you schedule maintenance depends on how hard the water is in your area. In some parts of the country, mineral deposits are far more common than in others.

A plumber can test your water for hardness, or you might be able to tell. If you often notice a chalky yellow or white buildup around your faucets or drains, you likely have hard water, which means your tankless water heater is at risk.

When Should You Replace a Tankless Water Heater?

While annual or semi-annual maintenance is important for a tankless water heater, it won’t make the system last forever. Eventually, you will need to replace the tankless water heater with a new one, although a tankless water heater may last more than 20 years.

If your system started failing before this, it’s usually due to a lack of maintenance. Keeping up with the maintenance is the only way to be sure your system lives out its full lifespan. Consult with a technician to learn more about the state of your tankless system.

At Dalton Plumbing, Heating, Cooling, Electric and Fireplaces, Inc., your comfort is our promise! To set up an appointment, give us a call at the number above, email customerservice@daltonphc.com or schedule an appointment online.

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