A tankless water heater is an excellent upgrade from the traditional-style water heater, offering on-demand hot water while taking up less space and using less energy. If you’re unfamiliar with one, a tankless water heater, often called a point of use water heater, is one that connects to the water supply and heats water as it is being used, instead of heating and storing water in a huge tank. This strategy is a more efficient way to heat water, so it costs less in the long run, even though tankless water heaters are more expensive upfront than their bulky tank counterparts. Additionally, not having a tank does not remove the need for periodic maintenance. The biggest maintenance task is descaling or flushing your tankless water heater, a task you should do every six months to two years (summer is a great time for this task). Read on to learn more about it.
Why Should You Flush Your Water Heater?
Hard water is water with minerals in it, and those minerals can precipitate out and cause buildup on the surfaces that come into contact with your water. This phenomenon is true of showerheads, faucets, pipes, shower stalls, and – yes – your water heater. The harder your water, the more quickly this buildup happens. If this buildup goes unchecked, it can eventually cause substantial damage. Descaling (yep, the same thing you do for your coffee machine) removes the buildup before it can cause harm.
What Tools Do You Need?
The biggest tool you need for this job that you might not already have is a sump pump, also called a submersible pump – the ideal power for this is 1/6 horsepower. You will also need a five-gallon bucket, two hoses that are 2-4 feet long, and the couplings that came with your unit. Finally, you will need roughly 3 gallons of white vinegar.
Is Flushing It Hard?
The task is not terribly difficult, but you can always get a professional to do it if you are uncomfortable. Start by turning off the power and water to the unit. Connect the sump pump by hose to the intact valve (use the cold water or the extra inlet) and place it in the bucket with the vinegar. Connect the other hose so that the water heater pumps the vinegar water back into the bucket, creating a closed loop. Let this run for about an hour to remove the limescale.
What Other Maintenance Tasks Are There?
You may also need to periodically clean the filter on your tankless water heater. The filter is a mesh screen that keeps large sediment from reaching the heating element, and you can usually clean it by running it under a faucet. These filters typically last the life of your water heater as long as they are maintained.
Get in Touch With B&D Today!
Dealing with any plumbing concerns that require a professional to step in? Struggling with an absolute plumbing emergency that can’t wait? Let B&D Plumbing know. B&D Plumbing Inc. services the greater Washington D.C. metropolitan area, including Maryland and Northern Virginia. Get in touch with us by calling (301) 595-1141 or follow us on social media including Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, and Pinterest. As a small, family-owned business, we understand how important your home is—and we offer exceptional service that matches!