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Serving Northern and Central New Mexico

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Roadrunner Air Conditioning, Heating & Plumbing Blog

Caring for Your Tankless Water Heater


If you don’t already have a tankless water heater in your home, you may be wondering what all the hype is about. You’re also probably pretty used to seeing the standard, large, storage tank water heaters in most homes today. Tank water heaters need special care and maintenance, as scaling can have a negative impact on the water heater and allow for mineral buildup that clangs around noisily in the tank and causes problems with pressure, temperature, and potential corrosion.

What many people don’t realize is that as much as a tank water heater needs proper maintenance and care to fend off scaling, so too does a tankless water heater. And much of that maintenance is similar. Keep reading to learn more!

The Effect of Scaling on a Tankless Water Heater

Scaling negatively impacts a tankless water heater—in fact it can lead to the system’s premature demise if you do not schedule maintenance for it on a regular basis.

Scaling comes from hard water—that is, water with a high content of minerals in it. Calcium and magnesium are the most common minerals, and they’re found in water supplies across the country. They’re harmless for us to ingest, but this scaling process is harmful for your plumbing in the long run.

Scaling can hurt the heat exchanger of your tankless water heater. As you might already realize, the heat exchanger is the component responsible for actually heating up the water in the first place. You need it to be clean so that the water can be heated efficiently. Scaling coats your burners and makes them work harder, and can overwork your tankless water heater to the point that it breaks down.

Scheduling Tankless Water Heater Maintenance

For some tankless water heaters, yearly maintenance is essential for keeping the system running smoothly throughout its lifespan. For others, maintenance may be able to wait a couple of years more. It actually depends on the level of hard water in your community. In some parts of New Mexico, mineral deposits are far more common than in others.

A plumber will be able to test your water for hardness—and you can watch for signs too. If you notice a chalky white or yellow buildup constantly forming on your faucets and drains, you likely have hard water, which means your water heater is at risk.

“When Should I Replace My Tankless Water Heater?”

The good news is that tankless water heaters tend to last a lot longer than their storage tank counterparts, particularly when they are well-maintained. That doesn’t mean they’ll last forever, though! Eventually, you’ll need to replace it, but it will likely last more than 20 years.

If your system starts failing sooner than this, it could very well be due to lack of maintenance. Keeping up with tankless water heater maintenance is the only way to be sure that your system lives out its full term. Consult with a technician to learn more about the state of your tankless system, and listen to the pros’ advice about when your system is reaching the end of its useful life.

For professional plumbing in Taos, NM, contact Roadrunner Air Conditioning, Heating & Refrigeration today!

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