Tankless water heaters are sensitive appliances that require a lot of maintenance. It should be flushed out once or twice a year to eliminate the mineral salts that accumulate at the base of the heater. This sludge erodes the walls of the heater reducing its efficiency.
It is also important to install a filter before the heater to minimize the amount of dirt that reaches it. Filtering should also be done at the actual water source that supplies water to your house.
While performing a cleaning procedure, clear any hot water that is trapped in the heater. This is mostly the case if you just used it before the procedure. Some hot water might be remaining in the purge port valves.
Adhere to the manufacturer's guide on how to clean the tankless water heater. Manufacturers give specific maintenance tasks that should be followed. These instructions vary from one model to another.
Use white vinegar instead of chemical formulations to clean the heater. It is usually diluted before use. Vinegar solution is better than chemicals solutions which might be harmful especially if this water is used for drinking purposes. Discard the vinegar after use instead of reusing it.
The cleaning tips for each heater model are dictated by the manufacturer in the manual. However, there are general tips of cleaning tankless water heaters as discussed below. Put off the power source, take off the heater lid and turn off all the valves that supply water to the heater. Remove the purge valves and attach the hosing lines provided by the manufacturer. Open the purge port valves while turning them perpendicularly to the position of the cold and hot water valves. Clean with white vinegar, flush and drain as instructed in the manual. Close the purge port valve and disconnect from the hosing lines. Replace the purge port valves and tighten. Restart the heater as instructed in the manufacturer guidelines.
Choosing a Size
The size of tankless water heater to be installed should be dictated by the amount of hot water required for domestic use. Higher demand requires a bigger size of the tankless water heater. Get a model designed to serve the entire house if a large amount of hot water is needed. You could also opt to install a number of heaters to meet the demand. This initiative is important to ensure that the heater is not overworked. When a heater is burdened, it produces inconsistent water temperature.
The best tankless water heaters give a higher amount of hot water compared to electric ones. It is important to consider this fact when choosing the type of heater to install.
The size and type of the unit that is installed determine the amount of money you spend on bills. Bigger units cost more while smaller units cost less. It is therefore important to install a heater that specifically meets the demand of your household to avoid unnecessary costs. Invest in an energy saving models.
Leaking water or steam coming out when the heater is in use is a sign of a faulty heat exchanger. Replace the heat exchanger instead of replacing the whole unit. Replacement of the faulty part is less expensive. Buy and replace broken parts instead of installing new units. The thermocouple should be replaced once or twice a year. The anode should also be inspected once a year. The anode can cause a bad smell when it is rotten. Routine maintenance ought to be carried out to prevent more serious breakdowns.
A tankless water heater should be replaced when you notice water shortage or leakage in some cases.