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how to: Tankless Water Heater

Maintenance and tips

A tankless water heater, also known as an on-demand water heater or instantaneous water heater, provides hot water without the need for a storage tank.

The main advantages of tankless water heaters are energy efficiency and endless hot water supply. Since they heat water on-demand, they don’t constantly maintain a large volume of hot water, which reduces standby energy loss. However, it’s worth noting that tankless water heaters have a limited flow rate, so their capacity to provide hot water simultaneously to multiple fixtures may be lower compared to traditional water heaters.

As advanced as they are, tankless water heaters require regular maintenance to ensure optimal performance and longevity.

Tankless Water Heater Tips

Choose the right fuel source. Both gas and electric tankless water heaters can be highly efficient, but there are some differences. 

Gas models are more powerful and often have higher flow rates, allowing them to handle higher hot water demands simultaneously. However, gas tankless water heaters require proper venting to remove combustion byproducts, which may involve additional installation steps and costs. Electric tankless water heaters, on the other hand, do not require venting.

Do you really need all that power? If it’s just you and a spouse, an electric water heater is more than sufficient. If you have a larger family requiring more demand, you may want to spend a little more now and go with gas. Use this handy calculator to determine your home’s hot water demands.

Always register the warranty. Most water heaters are priced more not because they’re that much better than the cheaper model, but because they’re warranted for longer. Often, if a manufacturer’s support team determines that you need a new part while under warranty, they’ll ship you that part at no cost. We’ve even seen them send out brand new water heaters as a replacement!

Don’t set your temperature too high! The recommended temperature for a water heater is 120ºF degrees Fahrenheit. Once you go over 130ºF, scalding can happen within seconds. You may enjoy the feeling of liquid fire rushing over your skin. But what about kids? The elderly? Can you be sure that at no point someone else won’t be hurt by your hot water? 

Not only that but setting your temperature higher costs more money out of pocket. A water heater set at 140ºF can waste anywhere from $36 to $61 annually. In addition, you can save as much as $400 a year from other appliances, such as your dishwasher and clothes washing machine, which also use that 140ºF. So just by keeping your water heater at the recommended 120ºF, you can save almost $500 a year.

Additional savings will be realized by the lower temperature for consumption (from water demand or use in your home, such as clothes washing, showers, and dishwashing). These may amount to more than $400.

There are also rebates and tax credits designed to help offset the cost of upgrading home appliances to more efficient models and technologies.

Tankless Water heater Maintenance

Read the manufacturer’s instructions: Start by thoroughly reading the user manual provided by the manufacturer. It will provide specific instructions and recommendations for maintenance. Every tankless water heater is different. Some have specific information that pertains to that particular model. 

Flushing the system: Over time, mineral deposits can accumulate in the heat exchanger and other components of the water heater, affecting efficiency. Flushing the system annually or as recommended by the manufacturer can help remove these deposits. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions on how to flush your specific model.

Check and clean the inlet filter: Most tankless water heaters have an inlet filter that prevents debris from entering the system. Regularly inspect the filter and clean it if necessary. A clogged filter can reduce water flow and affect performance.

Inspect venting system: Ensure that the venting system is clear of any obstructions, such as debris or bird nests. A blocked vent can lead to improper combustion and potentially dangerous situations. Consult the user manual for guidance on inspecting and cleaning the venting system.

Check for leaks: Inspect all connections, fittings, and pipes for any signs of leaks. Leaks can lead to water damage and should be addressed promptly. If you notice any leaks, turn off the water supply to the heater and contact a qualified plumber for repairs.

Professional servicing: Consider scheduling periodic professional maintenance. A qualified technician can inspect and service your tankless water heater, ensuring it operates efficiently and identifying any potential issues early on.

Plumber Points

I encourage you to consider the specific requirements and sizing guidelines for tankless water heaters based on your household’s hot water needs and the recommendations provided by the manufacturer.

Should you have any further questions or require additional information, please don’t hesitate to reach out.S.E. Tradesmen is here to assist you.