You’re probably used to seeing tank water heaters–in fact, you may even have one in your home. You know that they’re large, often pretty noticeable, and can even be a bit noisy at times. In other words, it’s really hard to ignore a tank-style water heater, right?
So, you know that it needs maintenance. Any large appliance or home comfort equipment does. Scaling, after all, is a huge enemy to these water heater systems. Scaling is caused by mineral buildup from hard water.
What you might not know is that scaling doesn’t just impact tank water heaters, it also affects tankless water heaters. And so, tankless water heaters need professional maintenance, too. Read on to learn more.
The Impact of Scaling on a Tankless Water Heater
Scaling affects tankless water heaters in a way that can lead to their early demise if you skip out on routine tankless water heater maintenance. Hard water is what causes this problem. If you’re wondering, hard water is water that has a high level of mineral deposits in it–namely calcium, magnesium, and sometimes iron. While these minerals are harmless for us to ingest, they are not harmless to our plumbing systems.
The problem is that when mineral deposits get left behind in plumbing appliances, they lead to problems such as building up and creating a clog, or even corrosion. Scaling from hard water can even coat the heat exchangers of the tankless water heater, preventing them from doing their job of heating up the water. The burners can be affected too, and all of this can overwork your tankless water heater to the point of breakdown.
How Often Should You Schedule Tankless Water Heater Maintenance?
The good news is that generally speaking, tankless water heater maintenance doesn’t have to be done as often as maintenance for a conventional storage-tank water heater. But this will really depend on the level of hard water in your community.
If hard water isn’t that big of a problem in your area, and/or you have a whole-house water softener installed in your home, then you can probably go 2, maybe even 3 years between tankless water heater tune-ups.
If hard water is an issue though, then you’ll want to bump this up to annual appointments.
When Should You Replace Your Water Heater?
If you go ahead and keep up on maintenance as we outlined above, then you can expect your tankless water heater to have a useful service life of about 20 years. Beyond that point, it won’t work as efficiently as it once did, and may eventually even start suffering from corrosion.
The good news is, our professional plumbers can help you assess your water heater needs. Not only will we ensure you know the difference between tank and tankless water heaters, but we’ll also help you make informed decisions on which is best for your specific home and needs. Please don’t hesitate to give us a call with any questions you might have.