You purchased a tankless water heater for its efficiency. It helps lower your heating bills because it only heats the water at the time it is needed. On-demand hot water means no one has to experience the outrage of a cold shower because three other family members showered before you.
On-demand heating means a tankless water heater does not work as hard as a large tank heater. They have a longer lifespan. They are a lower maintenance option. This does not mean tankless water heaters are maintenance-free.
How Does a Tankless Water Heater Work?
A tankless water heater has many parts that ensure hot water is available when you want it. When you call for your hot water, a flame ignites and heats two heat exchangers. The water moves through the secondary heat exchanger absorbing the heat as it flows. The water repeats this process while moving through the primary heat exchanger. It reaches its desired temperature and then flows through your pipes to your showerhead or faucet. The flame adjusts to ensure the temperature is maintained while the water is in use. The flame extinguishes when you are done with the water. The parts in this process require regular maintenance to keep them operating efficiently.
Maintenance for a Tankless Water Heater
Hard water is the enemy of a tankless water heater. Hard water is loaded with minerals such as calcium, magnesium, and iron. Hard Water is a common problem for tankless water heaters in Sacramento, CA.
These minerals build up inside your tankless water heater. When build-up occurs, it restricts the flow of water through the system. Your system has to work harder to pump the water through. Eventually, the system becomes overworked and fails. The decrease in the efficiency of your system may increase your heating costs as well as result in emergency repair costs.
The minerals in hard water can also cause erosion within your tankless water heater. Over months or years, this erosion can lead to parts within the system breaking down.
It is common in large tanks for acidity from hard water to drop onto the heat transfer. This causes damage and eventual failure of the heat transfer. A similar failure can happen in tankless water heaters, although it may happen more slowly.
How Often Should You Schedule Proactive Maintenance for Your Tankless Water Heater?
Annual maintenance to flush your tankless water heater will remove any scale build-up. The technician can also use the time to check for erosion or acid damage.
Your technician may recommend installing a water softener to extend the lifespan of your tankless water heater. This may help extend your regular maintenance schedule to every couple of years.
Sierra Pacific Home & Comfort is happy to use our three decades of experience to help keep your tankless water heater working on-demand with top efficiency.