One of the most important aspects of tankless water heater maintenance is cleaning. Deposits such as calcium and other minerals can build up in the tank over time, causing it to corrode and shorten its life. To fix this problem, the tank must be flushed to remove these minerals and other unwanted residues.
Whether you hire a professional or do it yourself, you should include flushing your tankless water heater in your list of annual maintenance tasks. By doing so, you can improve the efficiency of your water heater and delay costly water heater replacement in the future.
Why you need to flush your tankless water heater
Mineral deposits of calcium and magnesium can build up in your water heater over time, reducing its efficiency and shortening its lifespan. Mineral deposits can also cause loud, unpleasant noises coming from your water heater. When cleaning a water heater, the cleaning products used will help restore the machine while removing the buildup.
Water heaters are not cheap, and regular maintenance, such as cleaning, can extend their life.
How often should tankless water heaters be cleaned?
Your water heater should be cleaned at least once a year. This will keep it running smoothly and ensure that it doesn’t need to be replaced prematurely. If you live in an area with hard water, you’ll need to flush even more often.
How to flush a tankless water heater. Step by step
Step 1: Shut off the shut-off valve and gas
First, close the water shutoff valves connected to the water heater: the blue inlet valve for cold water and the red outlet valve for hot water. The valves are closed when they are perpendicular to the pipe. If the valve points in the same direction as the pipe, the valve is on. Always check that the valve is closed. The gas shut-off valve must also be closed using the same procedure as above. It is not necessary to turn off the water heater.
Step 2: Connecting the hoses
Connect the hoses to the inlet and outlet valves. Both valves may have plugs in the service port that must be removed before connection. If you did not purchase a flush kit with hoses, you can use the hoses from the water treatment system. Connect the hose to the valve and use pliers to check that the hose and valve are tight. You don’t want the water to start dripping in the middle of the flush.
Step 3: Connect the hose to the circulation pump
Now use the circulation pump that came with the water heater cleaning kit. Connect the other end of the inlet hose to the circulation pump and place it in the bucket. On the discharge side of the pump, simply connect the suction hose. The drain hose can simply be placed in the bucket.
Step 4: Add the cleaning agent
When the system is ready, fill the bucket with detergent. The bucket should be filled with at least half a liter of water before you begin.
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Step 5: Open the valve of your tankless water heater
Now simply open the water valve to let the water flow and start the pump. You will need to circulate the water for at least 45 minutes and up to 1.5 hours. The detergent instructions will tell you how long you need to circulate the water, but you should wait at least an hour. If you use vinegar, it will take even longer, between 1.5 and 2 hours.
Step 6: Rinse off the cleaning solution
When the time is up, turn off the pump and the circuit. Then close both valves and disconnect the hose from the inlet valve. Now rinse out the remains of the cleaning solution or vinegar. To do this, open the cold water inlet valve while leaving the hose connected to the hot water outlet valve. This will force the water up into the system and flush everything into the hose on the hot water side; let the water run for 5 to 10 minutes, then close the service port and cold water inlet valve again. Finally, disconnect the remaining hoses.
Step 7: Reconnect
After the tankless water heater has been cleaned, put everything back together. Replace the service port plug and open the water and gas valves.
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