Do Tankless Water Heaters Need Maintenance?


Tankless water heaters are great. They provide hot water to any faucet instantly. These small yet powerful heaters save money, time, and headaches. Unlike traditional water heaters, instant water heaters don’t have a tank. You may wonder: do tankless water heaters need maintenance, too? The short answer to this question is definitely yes. While these small appliances don’t hold water for days or weeks on end, they still process a ton of water full of minerals and substances that build up within the system. In today’s post, we’ll talk about why maintenance is critical for tankless water heaters. Keep reading to learn why.


Do Tankless Water Heaters Need Maintenance?


Instant water heaters are different than their traditional counterparts. Traditional water heaters have big holding tanks that accumulate minerals and sediment from your water over time. With these larger heaters, you should drain them out completely and flush them out. Do tankless water heaters need maintenance, though? Many people don’t think so since they don’t have a tank. Actually, tankless water heaters need to be serviced and cleaned at least once a year. If you don’t clean your tankless heater at least once a year, you risk shortening its lifespan or causing unnecessary wear and tear. If you live in an area with hard water, you may need to flush and clean the system out more often to prevent excessive mineral deposit buildup.


How Do You Clean A Tankless Water Heater?


So, you’re ready to learn how to clean your instant water heater. Cleaning out the heater at least once a year will prevent a limescale buildup which puts the heat exchanger to work harder than it should. A water heater without sediment and mineral deposits runs more efficiently and will save you money. So, let’s dive into how to clean a tankless water heater. First, you need to locate the water shutoff to the heater. Once you’ve done that, turn it off. Next, you’ll want to cut the gas or electricity to the unit off. Here’s a list of everything you’ll need to get the job done:

  • a bucket
  • a small sump pump
  • hose
  • vinegar

There are also tankless hot water tank flush kits available, like this. They usually include a bucket, hoses, and a pump.


Next, if your heater has a pressure relief valve, open it to release residual air pressure. Then, hook up the hoses to both the hot and cold water inlets. Place the pump into the bucket and attach the cold water hose to the pump and let the hot water hose sit freely in the bucket. Now, fill the bucket up about three-quarters of the way to the top with vinegar. Finally, turn on the hot and cold water ports to allow the heater to circulate the vinegar for an hour or more. After that, cut off the pump and dump the vinegar. Close the cold water port and open the cold water shutoff to flush the heater with fresh water. Once that’s rinsed out, cut off all the valves.

If your heater has an inline filter, rinse it out or soak it in vinegar, and after that’s clean, put it back on. If you don’t have an inlet filter for your heater, consider getting one. It’s an extra line of defense to prevent buildup in the system.


Let The Pros Handle It


Now you know how to clean out a tankless water heater. Sure, you can probably handle this project on your own, but you can have peace of mind by letting a professional plumber handle it. Give us a call today, and we’ll be sure to help you!