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Do Tankless Water Heaters Require Maintenance?


While any kind of water heater is ultimately doing the same job—heating up water—they don’t do it in exactly the same ways. This means the different systems might not have the same needs, right? Well, there are definitely some things that are not quite the same. But whether your water heater is a tank system or tankless, it still needs care. Here are the details about tankless water heater maintenance.

Tankless and Tank System Differences

Because the tank or storage type water heater holds water at all times, it’s more prone to corrosion. It contains a component called an anode rod, which needs to be replaced with some frequency. This rod will attract the molecules responsible for oxidation, thereby allowing the rod to rust while preserving the tank. 

A tankless system doesn’t require this component, so replacing it isn’t part of regular tankless water heater maintenance. Even so, your tankless system will last longer than a tank water heater would! By only heating the water that’s called for, right when it’s needed, this system avoids the risk of corrosion (as well as the wasted energy) that would occur with a tank system.

Minerals in Your Water

The biggest issue that tank and tankless water heaters have in common is the risk posed by minerals in your water. All water contains some dissolved minerals because water is such a good solvent. It dissolves a tiny bit from the rocks it passes through on its way to your home. 

Some water, called hard water, contains a particularly high concentration of these minerals, most commonly calcium, magnesium, and iron. These minerals don’t pose a health risk. If your water’s hard enough, it can cause annoying issues like soap not lathering well or skin and hair being dry and crackly. 

But the biggest issue is that the minerals are deposited out of your water and onto surfaces like the insides of your plumbing, including your water heater. Imagine it like a stalactite: every drop of water leaves a speck of minerals behind, creating layers of rock. Even if your water isn’t especially hard, this will gradually happen.

Water Heater Flushes

The most critical part of water heater maintenance, then, is flushing this scaling out of the system. If it’s not washed away, the scaling can cover parts like the heat exchanger or heating elements, making the heating process much less efficient. It can even impact the burners, adding to wear and tear and leading to water heater repairs or even a shortened system lifespan.

Your plumber can make specific recommendations about your tankless water heater’s flushing needs. If your water is extremely hard, you may need to have this done twice a year, to prevent the scaling from narrowing your pipes to such a degree that you can’t get enough hot water through! If your water isn’t hard at all, you might need it done once a year or less.

By making sure you get tankless water heater maintenance in Des Plaines, IL, you’ll be getting the most out of that system for as long as possible. 

For expert plumbing service, installations, or maintenance, contact Reliance Plumbing Sewer & Drainage, Inc. Our knowledgeable plumbers serve the North Shore and Northwest Chicago suburbs. Rely on Reliance!

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