Tankless Hot Water Heater Maintenance

Tankless hot water heaters are a great alternative for homeowners, especially as the new federal hot water heater regulations have been put into effect. For those with smaller utility closets, tankless hot water heaters may soon be the only option.

While they are more efficient and in many cases easier to maintain than their tank counterparts, there are still a few things that must be done to help your hot water, ensuring it will last longer. Take the steps to protect your hot water heater from damage through regular maintenance and care.

How to Flush a Gas or Electric Hot Water Heater

To flush a gas or electric hot water heater the steps are largely the same. This process is especially important for those living in areas with hard water:

  • Turn off the gas or electricity to the water heater
  • There should be isolation valves for in and out connections of the water. These are used for maintenance of the hot water heater.
  • There are products you can use to attach to the isolation valves, creating a loop between your descaler and the water heater itself.
  • Add vinegar to remove mineral buildup. One shot of the vinegar to one gallon of water should be sufficient.
  • Make the flush and drain by following instructions for your tankless hot water heater. This will vary from model to model. The flush itself can take 45 minutes.
  • Once it’s finished, close the valves and disconnect the hoses.
  • Replace the isolation valves and connection.
  • Consult the manual for your water heater before restarting to ensure you do it right.
  • Once everything is back up and running, turn on the hot water from a tap in your home slowly, allowing air to come out. This process may take a few minutes.

It is recommended that you take care of this maintenance on your hot water heater about once a year. This will increase the life of your appliance, as well as the efficiency.

How long your tankless hot water heater will last still depends a lot on the maintenance. With proper care, even a water heater that is exposed to hard and poor quality water can last twice as long as a tanked heater, about 20 years.

If your hot water heater is going out, consider a tankless heater. Not only will you have an endless supply of hot water, you’ll increase the time between maintenance, saving you money over time.