The traditional water heater—the storage tank model—is pretty big, usually very noticeable, and often a bit noisy. As such, many homeowners realize a system such as this needs occasional maintenance, and are likely to schedule that service on a regular basis.
After all, scaling can have a major impact on a water heater, enabling a mineral build up that clangs around noisily inside the tank, causing issues with pressure, temperature, and potentially even corrosion. They also may need flushing on occasion to offset this issue.
What many homeowners don’t realize, however, is that if they have a tankless water heater, it also needs maintenance. And you may be surprised to learn that much of the maintenance performed on tankless systems is similar to that of storage tank water heaters. Keep reading to learn more, and be sure to call our team for your next water heater maintenance appointment.
Scaling and Its Impact on Tankless Water Heaters
Scaling affects tankless water heaters in such a way that if it’s not managed, it could shorten the lifespan of the system. Scaling is caused by hard water—water with a high concentration of minerals, namely magnesium and calcium, in it. Hard water impacts all parts of your plumbing system, and while it’s not particularly unhealthy for you and your family, it is certainly unhealthy for your pipes and your water heater.
The scaling caused by hard water impact the heat exchanger of your tankless system—the component responsible for heating up the water to begin with. You need this component to be clean in order for the water to be heated as efficiently as possible. Scaling can forces your burners to work harder, and can overwork your tankless system to the point that it breaks down entirely.
How Often Should You Schedule Maintenance?
Annual maintenance is necessary for most tankless water heaters, to keep them operating smoothly throughout their entire lifespan. For some, though, maintenance can wait a year or two longer. It will depend on the level of hard water in your community. Mineral deposits are far more common in some areas than others.
The good news is, an expert plumber can test your water for you to determine if you are, in fact, suffering from hard water. Or, you might be able to tell on your own. If you frequently notice a chalky white or yellow buildup around your faucets or drains, you likely have hard water, which means your tankless water heater is at risk.
When Should You Replace a Tankless Water Heater?
Annual or semi-annual maintenance is vital for tankless water heaters—but it won’t make the system last forever. Eventually, you’ll need to replace your tankless system with a new one. With proper maintenance and care, a typical tankless water heater should last about two decades. But you really should be sure to keep up on those tune-ups, and consult with a professional plumber about how often those tune-ups should be.
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!