Does a Tankless Water Heater Need Routine Maintenance?

Does a Tankless Water Heater Need Routine Maintenance?

When homeowners are looking to save money by installing high-efficiency home comfort systems, they often look to their heating and cooling systems. After all, your HVAC system makes for about half of all your home’s energy use! Therefore it makes sense that you want them to operate as efficiently (a’hem, affordably) as possible!

There’s one more system you could stand to upgrade to boost efficiency, and that’s your water heater. If you haven’t done so already, you may want to look into replacing your tank water heater with a tankless system.

But before you jump into this purchase, there is something important you should know–tankless systems need maintenance just as much as storage tank systems do! Wondering why? Read on to find out.

Tankless Water Heaters Accumulate Scaling

Wondering what scaling is? Well, the first thing you should know is that it is something that could negatively affect your tankless water heater in such a way that could lead to its premature failure if you don’t schedule regular maintenance (once a year). Scaling happens due to something called hard water–that is, water with a high level of minerals in it.

These minerals typically consist of calcium, magnesium, and iron. If they sound harmless, that’s because they are harmless for us, in fact, many of us need more of those minerals in our diet! What they’re not great for though, is your plumbing system.

You see, in your plumbing system, these minerals build up into hard deposits, and this is what scaling is. Scaling can collect on the burners and heat exchanger of your tankless water heater, and therefore make it harder for water to actually get heated. So, your tankless water heater is working hard but not actually effectively doing its job.

“How Often Does My Tankless System Need Maintenance?”

The short answer to this is “it depends.” If you don’t have a huge hard water problem in your area, or if you have a whole-house water softener in place, you may be able to go 2-3 years between maintenance sessions. If you do have hard water in your area and you’re not treating it, then it’s best to only go a year between tune-ups.

By the way, you can find out if hard water is a problem fairly easily. First, you could give us a call to test your water. But you can also check for tell-tale signs, like limescale and soap scum buildup around drain openings, as hard water doesn’t allow soap to dissolve as easily. Another sign is that your clothes are fading too fast after you wash and dry them. Additionally, if you’re noticing white spots on your glassware after rinsing it, this is also likely due to hard water.

Whether you’re unsure if you have a hard water problem or you know and it’s being treated, if you’ve never had your tankless water heater maintained, it’s a good idea to give us a call and get that on your schedule!

When you need service on your Rio Rancho, NM tankless water heater, contact Roadrunner Air Conditioning, Heating & Plumbing.