On-demand water heaters are amazing appliances that provide instant hot water in a home. Irrespective of the design, specifications, and efficiency of an on-demand water heater, proper maintenance will not only extend the lifespan of the unit but also enhance its effectiveness. As a homeowner, it is part of your responsibility to maintain your on-demand water heater to ensure regular supply of hot water whenever you need it for your dishwasher, washing machine, and showers. Although most homeowners do not keep in mind to maintain or service their on-demand water heaters, it is not complicated to service or maintain to ensure the best of service from the appliance.

How Often Should On-demand Hot Water Heater Be Maintained?

How often you should service your on-demand water heater depends on many factors. You might not have to do much except carry out some routine checks on your tankless water heater. The first reason you should service your on-demand water heater is that of scaling, which usually results from hard water. If the water supply to your home is hard and you set your appliance to an extremely hot temperature, then you have to flush your on-demand water heater once a year. You can use vinegar to descale it or delime the heat exchanger for efficient running. Some brands or models of on-demand water heater will notify you of the need to descale your water heater through error codes. Even if you do not get error codes or you do not have hard water in your area, you can flush your unit once every two years.

Maintenance: Descaling an On-demand Hot Water Heater

If you live in an area with hard water or you suspect that your on-demand water heater has lime buildup, you need to descale it for it to run efficiently. Each layer of scale would cause the energy cost to rise by 30%. This will in no time wipe off the benefits of using on-demand water heater over the tank system. Scale buildup will cause the heat exchanger to be strained in producing the hot water needed at home and reduce the durability of the appliance.

Read: 6 Common Problems with Hard Water, and Harmful Effects of Hard Water

Descaling your tankless water heater is not as difficult as it sounds; you can do it yourself without hassles. Meanwhile, you should read the manufacturer’s instructions about your water heater. Since models or brands come in different designs, some steps in the procedures may differ.

Items for the Descaling Procedure

1. 2 buckets- one for collecting water and the other for the solution to pump through the unit
2. Channel lock wrench
3. Vinegar or on-demand water heater descaling solution
4. Rubber hoses to attach to the valves
5. Pump for cleaning on-demand water heater

How to Descale an On-demand Hot Water Heater

Step 1: Put the water heater’s temperature at 150°F and allow hot water to flow in the heater for about one minute.
Step 2: Turn off all the power sources that connect to the water heater
Step 3: Keep the heater isolated by shutting off the incoming and outgoing water isolation valves. In case your appliance does not have isolation valves, ensure to purchase and install them.
Step 4: Prepare a bucket to collect water as it drains. About a liter of water will be in the pipes of an on-demand water heater.
Step 5: Connect hoses to the drain ports of the isolation valves “A” and “B” and drain the unit.
Step 6: Fill a bucket with water and descaling solution. About a half a bucket of water should be okay.
Step 7: Open the isolation valves A and B
Step 8: Turn on a circulation pump, and the solution circulates the on-demand water heater for about 30 minutes to one hour.
Step 9: Remove the descaling solution from the heater and flush fresh water through the heater by closing valve “B.”
Step 10: Open up valve “A” with a hose directed at an empty bucket.
Step 11: Turn on the inlet water valve for fresh water to run through the unit and drain it into the empty bucket.
Step 12: That is all it takes to descale an on-demand water heater.

How to Clean the Water Filter

The water filter is another essential part of the on-demand water heater that you need to check and clean periodically. If you are living in an area that has hard water or your water is from the well, there could be sediments in your filter. Replacement filters for on-demand water heaters are very affordable and easy-to-find.

Here are the steps to follow to clean the unit’s water filter:

Step 1: Turn off the power supply to the appliance
Step 2: Prepare a bucket to remove domestic hot water (DHW) inlet, the DHW outlet, and the Auto Feeder inlet drain plugs. You will drain about half a liter of water.
Step 3: Remove the water drain valves with water filter from the inlets
Step 4: Use a brush to remove the sediments or buildup during the time you ran it under a faucet
Step 5: Re-install the filter.
Step 6: Shit off the valves and turn on the water
Step 7: Turn on the Power.
This is very easy to do; you do not have to call a professional.

When Should You Call a Technician to Service Your On-demand Hot Water Heater?

All the procedures involved in maintaining your on-demand water heater are simple; however; you should call a professional if:

1. You have health problems, mobility challenges, or fear of making a mistake
2. You get alerts from your on-demand water heater (via integrated App or error codes on the LED display unit) about some maintenance issues.
3. You get an alert that your on-demand water heater is not firing correctly or the unit has a pressure problem.

Remember that a well-maintained unit performs efficiently and helps you to save a lot of cash and last for a long time.

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