April 25, 2024

Tankless water heaters offer enhanced energy efficiency and unlimited hot water compared to conventional tank-based models. Regular flushing is a crucial part of proper maintenance that must not be overlooked. Over time, mineral buildup—notably calcium—can corrode the tank walls and significantly reduce its lifespan. Regularly flushing out stubborn deposits and other unwanted debris can effectively prevent this issue before it becomes problematic later on.

What a Tankless Water Heater Flush Does for You

The presence of mineral deposits and sediment is unavoidable in any water heater since most municipal water supplies have a hardness that causes it. Slowly, the limescale deposits will reduce the amount of hot water output or the appearance of spots and discoloration on the appliance. It leads to the unit’s inefficiency and consumption of more power.

The affected parts are the heat exchanger coils where the water is heating up. Flushing is essential to remove heavy minerals accumulated in your heater, bringing it back to prime working condition. Flushing from a qualified professional will get your unit back on its feet and prolong its lifespan to match its design specifications.

How Often Your Tankless Water Heater Should Be Cleaned

Most manufacturers recommend flushing tankless water heaters every two to four years. However, the frequency may need to be increased depending on your family size and water quality. Signs it needs cleaning include decreased hot water output, longer hot water recovery times, and spots or flakes visible in the water flow. In severe hard water areas, annual flushes may be necessary. Having water testing done can help determine if more frequent service is needed. Sticking to a routine maintenance schedule is vital to avoid unnecessary repairs or early replacement.

Why You Should Hire a Plumber to Flush a Tankless Water Heater

While flushing a water heater seems simple, there are real risks to consider if attempting it yourself. First, drained tankless water heaters still contain electric current, which can cause a severe shock hazard. Improperly turning the power off or on could damage the unit or injure you. Flushing also involves using harmful chemicals which need proper protection and ventilation. Attempting this yourself easily voids the manufacturer’s warranty.

Professional plumbers like BEST Air Conditioning Plumbing Repair are also specially trained and equipped with the right tools to get into all areas and pipes to ensure a thorough cleaning. A technician can assess your unit, diagnose any other issues, and ensure it runs safely and efficiently for many years.

The 7-Step Guide on How to Clean Your Tankless Water Heater

While it is possible to flush the tankless water heater by yourself, it is always advisable to hire a professional plumber. Assuming the flushing is done yearly, the system’s cost is minimal compared to replacing the whole water heater if it breaks down. Knowing that a professional plumber attends to your system will give you peace of mind. Here are the typical seven steps involved.

1. Isolate and Drain the Water Heater

The first essential step is properly isolating the water heater from the water supply lines and the power source. Our specialist will begin by carefully disconnecting the copper supply tubes leading into and out of the unit using industry-approved capping and plugging tools. This isolates the heater interior from the water pressure in your home’s plumbing lines.

Next, the unit’s power breaker must be safely switched off. Draining the unit is then initiated using a specialized flushing pump that is ruggedly designed for this application. High-quality hose attachments are designed specifically for the water heater model, and inlets and outlets are connected.

2. Removing Access Panels and Inspectable Parts

When the draining is complete, our professional fully exposes internal channels and surfaces for thorough cleaning. Removable outer panels are disconnected, allowing safer, easier access to internal coils and pipes.

Critical inspectable and serviceable parts like anode rods may also be taken out at this time. These rods require periodic inspection and replacement based on corrosion level to protect vital tank components. In some cases, small port plugs or caps also need to be removed to allow flushing of highly restricted areas. They then inspect components for signs of premature wear or issues that could be addressed during the flushing service.

3. Attach Specialized Flushing Lines

Proper setup of a closed circulation loop is imperative for effective flushing. Professionals employ high-quality tubing designed for rigid durability and compatibility with flushing chemicals.

Specialized quick-connect fittings compatible with the water heater model are mated to the inlet and outlet ports to create a closed pathway. These industry-proven connectors form leak-tight sealed links that withstand high-pressure pulses. The plumber should double-check the safe and correct attachment following installation. High-pressure testing verifies integrity before introducing any solutions.

4. Circulate Cleaning Chemicals

To begin active flushing, an approved mild acidic or alkaline cleaning solution is introduced. The plumber should carefully follow the manufacturer’s specified chemical and tested rates to effectively dissolve mineral scale and inorganic residues while protecting metal components.

With variable speed control, the flushing pump begins carefully circulating the heated cleaning agent through the entire closed-loop path within the heater at optimum flow levels. This process is run for the duration required to sufficiently break down accumulated scale and sediment deposits adhered to all surfaces over time. Multiple repeat cycles may be needed on heavily impacted units.

5. Manually Remove Remaining Deposits

Some stubborn particles may remain lodged in difficult-to-reach areas even with powerful chemical flushing. At this stage, the plumber should use specially designed flexible cleaning rods, brushes, and swabs to scrub interiors manually.

Small diameter tools allow thorough scrubbing of tight bends and restricted spaces within the heater exchanger coils and connecting lines where scale is commonly found. During this process, pressure rinses with a cleaning solution further aid dissolution and removal of dislodged debris.

6. Flush Residual Chemicals From the System

Once satisfied with manual scrubbing efforts, specialists thoroughly flush cleaning chemicals from the closed-loop system. Multiple fill-circulation-drain cycles using untreated potable water rinse away any residual solution before reassembly.

Proper pH neutralizing and testing confirm safe chemical removal below approved trace levels before restoring water connections is initiated. This step safeguards plumbing system integrity and water quality within your home.

7. Reassemble and Inspect Completion

To conclude, knowledgeable reassembly of the water heater occurs. New gaskets, anodes, and replacement parts will be installed as specified. Electrical and plumbing connections are securely re-established with tested tightness.

Comprehensive functional testing under pressure and temperature conditions validates successful cleaning and service. The plumber takes time to inspect internal and external surfaces for any lingering debris or issues needing remedy before release. Only after a thorough quality control process certifies the restoration of optimal performance are you informed of project completion.

Trust the Professionals

Regular flushing every two to four years is vital to maximize the longevity and performance of your tankless water heater. For reliable cleaning that extends the life of your unit, look no further than BEST Air Conditioning Plumbing Repair. As Southern Nevada’s highest-rated plumbing and HVAC contractor, our NATE-certified technicians have the expertise to thoroughly flush any model properly. We offer affordable packages with 100% customer satisfaction. Our team also handles heating and cooling repair, maintenance, and installation as well as duct sealing. Contact us today to learn more about our services in the Las Vegas area.

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