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Roadrunner Air Conditioning, Heating & Plumbing Blog

How to Care for Your Tankless Water Heater

The type of water heater that most homeowners are familiar with is the tank model. They’re big, often noticeable, and maybe even a little bit noisy depending on where you have it on your property. This is the conventional water heater, and most people know that it needs maintenance in order to prevent scaling—the buildup of hard water minerals that cause problems with pressure, corrosion, and temperature settings.

What many people don’t realize, however, is tankless water heaters need care for the same reason, pretty much. So if you have a tankless system or if you’re debating getting one, it’s important to know that maintenance will still be a necessary part of your life. Otherwise, scaling could lead to various problems, not excluding premature replacement.

How Scaling Impacts Your Water Heater

Scaling negatively impacts a tankless water heater in a way that could lead to it’s premature demise—at least that’s the case if you don’t schedule routine maintenance tune-ups for the system. Scaling comes from hard water, which is defined as water with a high level of minerals in it. Namely, this means calcium, magnesium, and iron. They’re in most water supplies throughout the country and are relatively harmless to people, but not so harmless to your plumbing system!

Scaling can impact the heat exchanger of your tankless water heating system. As you probably know, the heat exchanger is the component actually responsible for heating up the water in the first place. You need the heat exchangers to be clean so water can be effectively and efficiently heated. But scaling makes it harder for the burners to do their job, and can essentially overwork the water heater.

“How Often Should I Schedule Maintenance?”

The short answer is “it depends.” For some systems, annual maintenance is necessarily for keeping your tankless water heater running as it should throughout its entire lifespan. For other tankless systems—those in areas with less of a hard water problem—you could maybe go 2-3 years between maintenance appointments.

This will really depend though. The best thing you can do to determine when you need maintenance is to contact our professional plumbers to find out. One sign to watch out for that scaling is already occurring is noises coming from your water heater system, and if you notice a chalky white or yellow buildup around your faucets or drain.

“When Should I Replace My Tankless Water Heater?”

Let’s say you do keep up on your annual maintenance appointments and keep your tankless water heater in good shape. It won’t last forever, unfortunately, but you can reasonably expect it to last a couple of decades.

After this point, it won’t have the ability to work as efficiently as it once did and it may be the best option to look into your upgrade options.

For quality Santa Fe, NM water heater services, contact Roadrunner Air Conditioning, Heating & Refrigeration today!

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