The short answer to this is, “Yes.” Of course, we’ll elaborate on that more below.
Look, we understand why you may not think a tankless water heater needs servicing just like a tank system would. While tank systems are large, sometimes fairly noisy, and have a pretty obvious presence in or on your property, a tankless system is just a small addition to the home.
But yes, they do need maintenance, and actually that maintenance is pretty similar to what a conventional storage tank system needs!
Even Tankless Systems Accumulate Scaling
What is scaling? Well, it’s something that could impact your tankless water heater in a way that will lead to its premature failure if you don’t schedule routine tune-ups for it. Scaling occurs due to hard water–water with a high presence of minerals in it. These minerals typically consists of calcium, magnesium, and iron. They’re found in water supplies everywhere and are harmless to ingest, but they are not harmless to your plumbing system!
When these mineral deposits accumulate in plumbing appliances and pipes, it’s called scaling. Scaling hurts the heat exchanger of your tankless water heater–you know, the component actually responsible for heating up the water to begin with. You need this to be clean so your water can actually be heated efficiently. Scaling disallows your burners from working as effectively as they should, and can essentially overwork your tankless water heater.
“How Often Do I Schedule Tankless Water Heater Maintenance?”
For some tankless water heaters, every two to three years will suffice. Ultimately it depends on the level of hard water in your area. For other tankless water heaters, for instance, maintenance should be done every year just like with a tank system.
Our plumbers can test your water to see if you suffer from hard water. You may be able to detect this on your own–if you notice a white, chalky substance around your faucet and drain openings, white spots on your glassware after they’ve been in the dishwasher, or a filmy residue on your skin after showering, you could very well have hard water.
Tankless Water Heaters Don’t Last Forever!
An important thing to remember is that with regular maintenance, a tankless water heater system can last years longer than a tank system. Still, it won’t last forever. You can expect about two decades out of a well-manufactured and well-cared-for system.
If your tankless system was properly installed and starts to fail earlier than this, it could be due to a lack of maintenance. We can’t understate the importance of keeping up on this service as a way to ensure your system lasts as long as it’s meant to.
Please don’t hesitate to reach out to our team with any water heater questions you may have! We’re happy to discuss not only your maintenance options but whether your current water heater is the most efficient option for your home.