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Does My Tankless Water Heater Need Maintenance?

tankless-water-heaterYes, your tankless water heater needs maintenance from professionals, and it needs it every year—the same as other types of water heaters in Salt Lake City, UT. The reason we must address this question is tankless water heaters are often misleadingly advertised as “no maintenance” or “low maintenance.” This is false. Although you can expect a tankless water heater to last longer on average than a storage tank water heater (sometimes around 20 years), that doesn’t mean it can skip maintenance. If you want your tankless water heater to last for as long as possible, it must have yearly professional maintenance.

Lack of a Tank Doesn’t Mean Maintenance Is Optional

A tankless water heater is a smaller appliance than a storage tank water heater because it lacks a tank where a supply of water is kept heated for use. This is what leads people to erroneously believe the system needs less maintenance. Among the basic tasks for maintaining a storage tank water heater are cleaning and flushing the tank and replacing the anode rod to prevent corrosion. So without a tank … what’s the big deal? What needs to be done?

Plenty! The maintenance for the two systems is similar in many ways. We’ll start with a basic one: energy source. You probably have a gas-powered tankless water heater. Any gas-powered system in a home requires routine maintenance to ensure it works safely and correctly. Technicians must check gas pressure and gas valves. A tankless water heater has a heat exchanger where heat from the gas burners transfers from the combustion gas safely to the water moving through the system when there’s demand for hot water. Corrosion on the heat exchanger makes it possible for cracks to start, which are hazardous. Any leaks within the water heater can rapidly lead to corrosion.

Hard Water Minerals and Scale Buildup

A major concern with tankless water heaters is mineral buildup—and yes, this is the same concern with the tank of a storage tank water heater. Hard water minerals pose a significant threat to the performance of any water heater.

In a tankless water heater, hard water minerals build up on both the heat exchanger and intake and outtake passages where water passes through the system to receive heat. These passages are small, so it doesn’t take much scale buildup to begin to block them. This will increase pressure inside the water heater and make it much less energy efficient. If the buildup continues, not only can it mean the tankless water heater will stop working, but it can cause catastrophic damage that will require having to replace the unit early.

Professional Maintenance at Work

When you have routine maintenance for your tankless water heater from our professionals, we will descale the unit and make sure any buildup is removed. You don’t have to live in an area with hard water to need this service—there are always minerals in the water. However, if your home does have higher mineral content than normal, we can help with water treatment systems to counteract this. It’s a better strategy than having to schedule water heater maintenance twice a year because of the immense scale buildup. Plus, you don’t want hard water in your home for many other reasons.

At Design Comfort, your comfort comes first! Schedule service for water heater maintenance or other water heater services in the Greater Salt Lake City Area.

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