Tankless water heaters have unique advantages over traditional tank models but require routine care to stay operating at 100% efficiency. Some maintenance tasks most homeowners can do themselves, but an annual visit from your Mr. Rooter® Plumbing will take care of the more complicated maintenance that will protect your unit’s efficiency, extend its lifespan and make it an appliance you can depend on daily.
Tankless Water Heater Maintenance Steps
Most homeowners can, and should, routinely clean and inspect their tankless water heaters. Here are three things you can do to keep your unit operating correctly—check your owner’s manual for instructions specific to your model:
- Perform a tankless water heater flush at least once every year. If you have especially hard water, more frequent flushes will protect your unit from mineral buildup.
- Some tankless models have air filters or cold-water inlet filters, which must be cleaned regularly to prevent a reduced flow of water.
- Clean the exterior cabinet of the unit (but not the fan blades, heat exchanger, or burner) with a damp cloth. This will allow you to perform a more effective visual inspection of the unit. If you see any signs of rust, call your local Mr. Rooter Plumbing for assistance.
Tankless Water Heater Maintenance That Should Be Performed by a Licensed Plumber
Some maintenance tasks should always be entrusted to an expert plumber. These are the services homeowners should always hire a plumber for:
- Descaling is the process of removing mineral deposits. Have your plumber descale your tankless water heater yearly if you have soft to normal water or more frequently if you have hard water.
- Have a plumber use compressed air to clean the fan blades, heat exchanger, and main burner. Ask them to inspect these parts as they clean.
- If your unit has a pressure relief valve, have your plumber test its functionality yearly.
- Ask your plumber to inspect the motor, fan, and vents and perform any necessary preventative repairs or lubrication.
Should you have any questions or concerns about your tankless water heater’s performance or maintenance needs, remember that Mr. Rooter Plumbing is an expert in tankless water heater repair.
Tankless Water Heater Maintenance Near Me
Count on your local Mr. Rooter Plumbing for annual tankless water heater maintenance services. We work hard to make sure that your unit is working to its full potential and meeting the needs of your household. You can request a job estimate online, or call us.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the benefits of tankless water heaters?
Tankless water heaters offer several advantages over traditional models, including:
- Better energy efficiency and less expensive to operate
- Faster access to hot water
- Longer expected lifespan (by more than double)
- Occupies less space
- Improved safety
- Greatly reduced chance of flooding due to malfunction or wear
How long do water heaters last?
Traditional water heater models with holding tanks can last six years to a decade. With regular maintenance, a tankless water heater can last up to 25 years!
What size tankless water heater do you need?
Tankless water heaters are measured by how many gallons of hot water they can produce per minute. Models are available that produce between two and 12 gallons of hot water per minute. For average households 5-10 gallons per minute (GPM) is appropriate.
Energy efficiency is another consideration. Electric models are a good choice if you need up to 8 GPM. For hot water needs greater than that, you’re better off with a gas model, though gas models pose risks associated with any gas appliance.
What causes tankless water heater temperature fluctuations?
Several situations can lead to water temperature fluctuations with tankless water heaters, including:
- The unit cycling on and off can lead to a “cold water sandwich effect,” where sections of water inside the pipes alternate between hot and cold. A hot water cycling pump can alleviate this phenomenon.
- For gas units, if the water pressure flowing into the unit is too low, it can trigger the gas burner to turn off. If you have a well, check your pressure tank.
- When the inlet filter screen becomes clogged, it reduces water flow and turns off the gas burner. Check your owner’s manual for information about how to clean the filter, and how often it’s recommended.