Tankless water heaters are a great option for homeowners seeking more simplicity, affordability and energy efficiency. Generally, tankless heaters reduce energy use up to 35 percent when compared to traditional water heaters, saving consumers time and money on costly utility bills each month. They are also smaller in size, helping maximize space in basements, laundry rooms and other areas where a water heater may be housed.
Another reason people opt for this type of water heater? They typically last twice as long as traditional water heaters. However, in order to preserve the longevity of a tankless unit and keep it performing at its best, you must take the necessary steps to maintain it properly.
How a Tankless Water Heater Works
What is scale?
Over time, mineral deposits like calcium and magnesium (also called scale) found in water attach to the inside of the metal pipes and heat exchangers that make up a tankless heater. Scale build-up is also common in many everyday household appliances and fixtures such as coffee makers, ice machines, faucets, etc.
As more scale accumulates, the less efficient a tankless unit becomes. Scale causes a tankless heater to work harder by increasing the amount of energy needed to heat water to a desired temperature. Severe scale build-up can potentially result in clogged water lines and significantly restrict water flow throughout the entire heating system.
How do you properly descale/delime a tankless water heater?
Fortunately, with the right descaling solution and tools, it is typically simple for homeowners to quickly remove scale build-up from their tankless heaters on their own.
Below, we’ve included a step-by-step video guide using our Hercules Haymaker Tankless Water Heater Descaler, a solution that removes scale by dissolving mineral deposits that restrict water flow and heat transfer efficiency. Before selecting and using a chemical descaler, be sure to check manufacturer instructions and safety guidelines for best results.
How often should you clean your appliance?
Maintaining a routine descaling schedule is key to prolonging the life of your tankless unit, whether you have an electric water heater or gas water heater. Most manufacturers recommend descaling your system once per year. For homes with hard water, equipment may require more maintenance. However, you should always check the manufacturer instructions specific to your equipment to ensure the safest and most effective maintenance schedule.
To check the hardness of your water, you can purchase an at-home test kit, or you can look for some simple clues. Signs your home may have hard water include stiff-feeling laundry and white residue on shower doors, bathroom faucets, etc. If hard water is present, installing a water softener will aid in removing pesky mineral deposits and hard water staining.