Maintaining your home can be challenging due to the different cleaning and repairs that are necessary. However, cleaning and repairs are essential to protect the value, appeal, and function of your home. Unfortunately, your water heater may not be receiving enough attention. Without properly maintaining this important appliance, your household will lack the hot water needed to wash dishes, do laundry, and shower and bathe. Considering a tankless water heater uses 30 to 50 percent less energy than traditional units, maintaining this appliance is imperative to continue heating water in a more efficient manner. Using this guide, you will understand the proper techniques used to maintain your home's tankless water heater.
Traditional water heaters should be flushed out every year to prevent heavy buildup inside the water tanks. While your tankless unit does not use a water tank, lime scale may build up on the unit's heat exchanger. This stubborn residue is not only unappealing, but it can also increase the time your system takes to heat water, which will decrease its energy efficiency. Tankless units do not have as much buildup compared to traditional water heaters, but flushing the system each year is smart.
To get started, disconnect the power to your water heater system. If you have a gas water heater, be sure to disconnect the gas line, as well.
You will also need to stop the flow of water to your water heater. This will require closing off the 3 water valves. Locate the following valves to get started:
- Main Valve – This is the main valve to stop and allow water to your water heater.
- Red Valve – The red valve on your tankless water heater controls the supply of hot water.
- Blue Valve – The blue valve on the unit controls the supply of cold water.
Turn your main water valve to shut off the water supply to the appliance. Then, remove the caps on the red and blue valves to release pressure inside the water lines of your water heater.
Flushing the Lines
Flushing out your tankless water heater will require some time, a few garden hoses, white vinegar, and a small sump pump. Once you have all of your supplies, connect a garden hose to each of the valves on your tankless water heater. Each hose should be long enough to reach into a bucket on the ground. Be sure to connect the cold hose to a small sump pump to circulate the water and white vinegar through the system.
Pour a few gallons of white vinegar into the bucket and place the hose connected to the sump pump inside the bucket. In addition, place the hose connected to the hot water valve into the bucket.
Turn the valves to open the ports and power on the sump pump. Allow the white vinegar to circulate through the hose lines and the water heater for 30 to 45 minutes.
The acidic properties of the white vinegar are naturally antibacterial, so flushing your lines with this natural ingredient will kill bacteria while eating through heavy lime scale and mineral buildup.
Turn off the pump after the time and allow the water heater to finish draining into the bucket. Close off the cold water valve. Then, open the main water valve to allow fresh water to flow through the water heater's lines, rinsing away leftover buildup and vinegar.
Close the main water valve and remove the filter screen from your tankless water heater. This filter is located in the cold water inlet. Use a soft-bristled brush to remove dirt and debris from the filter. If necessary, rinse the filter using warm water. Reinstall the filter and turn on all water supply valves.
Be sure to reconnect gas and electrical lines after flushing your tankless water heater. Move around the home to test each faucet, showerhead, and spigot to ensure hot and cold water is properly running.
Your tankless water heater is an excellent investment for energy efficiency, but proper cleaning and maintenance is necessary. With these tips and the help of a repair specialist, such as StateWide Mechanical II Inc., your tankless water heater will continue working in an effective, efficient manner.