As with any item that experiences constant water flow, a tankless water heater will need regular maintenance to remove mineral deposits that can cause performance issues, as well as potential long term damage.
Performing the proper maintenance just once per year will help to ensure that your water heater consistently performs to optimum levels, while also extending the life of the unit’s parts.
While this task may sound daunting, it is in fact very straightforward.
This article will present six easy to follow steps that will enable you to properly maintain your tankless water heater for the duration of its life.
Step 1: Turn off power
Whenever you perform maintenance on any piece of equipment that has electrical connections, the FIRST step is to ALWAYS turn off the power supply.
This can be as simple as unplugging a unit, or it may require you to shut off the appropriate breakers in the breaker box.
Either way, this step must always be followed before any other action is taken.
Always remember to put safety first — using every safety measure and precaution at your disposal.
Step 2: Turn off water supply
The second step is to turn off the water supply.
First, close the three water valves located at the water heater to prevent water flow while performing maintenance.
Next, slowly remove the purge port valve caps from the purge valves on the water valves.
This process will relieve existing water pressure, and thus prevent scolding water from exploding onto you when you remove the lines.
Step 3: Attach hose line to each water valve
You will need heavy-duty hosing lines to flush out the hot water valve, whereas standard hoses are considered enough for cold water flushing.
If the hoses didn’t come with the unit, they will be easy to find at any hardware store.
Attach a hose line to each water valve, ensuring that the connection is tight.
Open the purge valves by turning them to a position perpendicular to that of the water valves.
Be sure to have a bucket at the other end of your hoses for the water to flow into.
Step 4: Flush the system
Following the instructions in the manufacturer’s manual, use 2.5 gallons of white vinegar to clean the interior of your tankless unit.
Do not dilute the vinegar, as this will lessen its cleaning potential.
Flush and drain the unit multiple times, carefully following the instructions provided in the manufacturer’s manual.
If you cannot locate your manual, be sure to call the manufacturer or contact them online for a replacement before performing this project.
Step 5: Remove hoses from valves
After you have successfully flushed your tankless system, remove the hoses from the valves and restore the purge valve caps to their proper position.
Tighten the purge valve caps securely, without over tightening.
Step 6: Restore power and water to your system
Once you have the system back to its original condition, it’s time to turn everything back on.
Carefully follow the instructions in your manufacturer’s manual on the safe and correct way to restart your tankless system, including when to restore water and power to the unit.
Following these six simple steps, along with the instructions in your manufacturer’s manual, will enable you to perform the necessary maintenance to your tankless hot water system to ensure a long life of high performance.
As always, be sure to be safe, using every precaution and safety measure available.
Also, be sure to follow the instructions in the manufacturer’s manual precisely, as failure to do so may result in damage to the system or even personal injury.
Always be safe!