The short answer to this is “yes,” but don’t worry, we’re going to explain below.
The conventional storage tank water heater is large, always pretty noticeable, and can even be a bit noisy, right? In other words, the average homeowner who has one of these systems probably knows that it needs attention and care by way of professional maintenance. After all, scaling can have a big impact on the water heater. It allows mineral buildup (calcium and magnesium mainly, but also iron in some cases), that creates problems with water pressure, temperature, and even eventual corrosion. As part of professional maintenance, tank water heaters require occasional flushing.
But a tankless system is different, right? So why does it need maintenance? Well, for the same reasons a conventional storage tank water heater does, actually. Read on as we uncover the impact of scaling on a tankless system, and therefore why tankless water heaters need maintenance.
Tankless Water Heater Maintenance
Without routine maintenance, scaling from the mineral buildup we mentioned above—the product of hard water—can lead to an early demise for a tankless water heater. The minerals we mentioned are harmless to ingest, and therefore people often don’t see them as a threat. But even though they’re okay for us, they’re not okay for our plumbing systems.
They leave behind deposits in plumbing appliances, including your tankless water heater. This scaling can coat the heat exchanger components of your tankless system, therefore making it impossible for heat exchangers to actually heat the water going through the tankless system effectively.
Heat exchangers need to be completely clean so you can achieve hot water—the whole purpose of your water heater.
When You Should Schedule Tankless Water Heater Maintenance
The “when” of this service can depend. If your community has a big problem with hard water, then it makes sense to schedule this service annually. If not, you could probably stand to go a couple of years between maintenance sessions. The best way to know for sure is to contact our professionals so we can do an assessment.
Your water will need to be tested to determine if your home is suffering from hard water or not, and from there we can determine not only when maintenance would be the most beneficial, but if you would also benefit from the installation of a water softener in your home.
When You Should Replace a Tankless Water Heater
Annual or semi-annual maintenance is important for a tankless water heater, but it’s important to remember that it won’t make your system last forever. Eventually, the system will need to be replaced. A tankless system, when well cared for and properly maintained, can last for more than 20 years.
If you notice that the water in your home doesn’t seem to be getting as hot anymore or you need to frequently call for tankless water heater repairs for an aging system, it may be time to replace it.