You want to ensure your water heater is in top condition. But you might wonder, how do you maintain it?
A tankless water heater requires proper maintenance since it’s more sensitive to damage. This way, it stays clean and functional for a longer time.
So, here’s a step-by-step guide on tankless water heater maintenance. Let’s start!
Tankless Water Heater Maintenance Materials
Water heater care generally doesn’t require a lot of tools. In most cases, you only need the following equipment and materials:
- Hose lines
- A bucket
- A recirculation pump
- Cleaning solution for flushing
If you aren’t too familiar with the technicalities of your unit, you can have the manual with you. For convenience, you can also check if pre-made water heater maintenance kits are available for your unit.
How to Maintain a Tankless Water Heater
Most tankless water heaters can get by with an annual flush to stay in good shape. Note that maintenance is different from repairs since it focuses on ensuring the water heater functions correctly despite having no issues.
By following the proper steps, you can extend your water heater’s lifespan up to about 20 years compared to its 12 to 15-year life expectancy.
You can make it work with the following steps:
Step 1: Shut the Unit Off
Start preparing the water heater by turning it off. Locate the natural gas supply valve or propane control knob and shut it off. If your unit is electric, unplug it from the power source and turn it off from the circuit breaker.
Step 2: Close the Main Water Valves
Find the three pipes running from the bottom of your water heater. When you locate the three colored handles or knobs, twist them all, making them parallel to the pipe. Doing so will keep water from entering the water heater.
Step 3: Remove the Purge Port Valve Cover
Instead of a drain valve, a tankless water heater comes with purge ports. You want to look for it in the water valve assembly or check your manual for its placement.
Twist the handles on the unit so it becomes parallel to the purge port to protect you from scalding water. Hold the purge port covering and gently take it off by pulling it.
Make sure you don’t put too much force to prevent accidentally dislodging the rubber washer. Be sure to do the same for the remaining two ports.
Step 4: Connect the Hosing Lines
Tankless water heater manufacturers usually include purging lines in their maintenance kit. But when you can’t find one, it’s vital to get your purge port’s diameter and find the correct hose line size.
Give yourself a refresh by scanning the manual for specific instructions when connecting the hoses.
Check if the flexible pipe is enough to reach your bucket. After you adjust and confirm this, connect one hose to the blue or cold water purge port and the recirculation pump to the other end.
You can pour your cleaning or flushing solution into the hose. Secure the other hose to the red or hot purge port and place the other end in a bucket filled with your chosen solution.
When you finish, reopen the port valves by turning them back to their original place.
Step 5: Descale the Unit
Thoroughly clean the unit by submerging the recirculation pump into the bucket containing your solution before turning it on. Let the pump do its work, pushing the cleaning mixture through the hose and into the heater through the blue port. You will notice the solution come out from the red port back into the bucket.
Step 6: Flush the Unit
The pump should be recirculating the solution through the water heater’s internal pipes, so let it take time. You want to give it a few minutes to an hour before checking the results. Note that you can extend the time as much as necessary.
Step 7: Finish Up the Process
You want to finish up by reversing the steps! After flushing the unit, let distilled water pass through the pipes to remove any of the solution’s residue.
Switch off the recirculating pump and twist the purge port to make it parallel to the pipe. Remove the hoses from each purge port and empty the bucket.
Put back each purge port cap and ensure they are secure before you finish up. Twist the three colored water valves so water can continue flowing into them again.
Quick Tankless Water Heater Maintenance Tips
While it’s good to ensure you follow the right steps to maintain your tankless water heater, you want to consider more tips. The following are a few you can check out:
Be Consistent With Annual Flushing
The key to tankless water heater maintenance is being consistent with annual flushing. You usually do it once a year, so it’s easy to overlook after time passes. Even so, you can work on other ways to ensure you remember to do it, like setting reminders.
Keep the Water and Air Filter Clean
The purpose of a tankless water heater is to minimize buildup, but it can still collect dirt in its water and air filters. So, you want to look out for them and keep them clean to prevent damage or quicker deterioration.
Regularly Check for Repairs
You want to make it a habit to check your water heater for damage, even when you don’t notice anything wrong. Making water heater repairs sooner allows you to keep it in good condition and avoid major issues.
Clean the Vents
Proper vent cleaning is vital in preventing debris buildup in tankless water heaters. It could also keep you from encountering fire risks with a gas unit.
Try a Water Softener
Consider adding water softeners to your water heater to reduce the amount of minerals in your water. It also contributes to your health, so be sure you use it correctly in the right amount.
Get Tankless Water Heater Services
You can opt for a regular tankless water heater service if you don’t feel too confident about remembering to check and maintain it. Moreover, the company you choose provides the necessary equipment and skills for the job.
Keep Your Tankless Water Heater Functional With Proper Maintenance
Tankless water heater maintenance requires little tools but lots of work. Even so, it’s easy to go through as long as you know how to navigate your unit.
Proper maintenance also lets you keep your unit in top condition, extending its lifespan to a few more years!
Check out the rest of our blog to learn more.