You may be sold on the benefits of tankless water heaters but wonder if they require more maintenance than traditional storage tank systems. While the latter are less efficient due to standby losses, they generally don’t require a lot of maintenance. The good news is that tankless water heaters don’t require much maintenance, either.
A tankless system should be serviced as a part of the regular preventive maintenance that heating and cooling systems receive. Electric or gas components should be inspected.
Aside from that, there are some special considerations for maintaining a tankless system. Homeowners should use a water softener, as buildup from hard water can wreak havoc through staining, scale buildup and erosion (on both the system itself and your pipes). However, if you have really hard water, you’re probably already using a water softener.
Hard water is a problem for storage tank systems because as water passes through the tank, its acidity causes buildup that drops to the bottom. This eventually affects the efficiency of the heat transfer, which can lead to premature system failure. The same thing can occur with tankless units, but more slowly.
Tankless systems lock up when buildup occurs. You can reset them without attending to the problem, but they will lock up again. In this case, a flush kit will remove buildup. Storage tank units have no remedy for buildup.
Tankless water heaters are the correct choice for some applications. But keep in mind that the flow rate is an important consideration. While tankless water heaters offer “unlimited” hot water, the gallons per minute should also be taken into account. Because of this, some contractors are offering one tankless unit for the shower and bath, and a second for the kitchen and laundry.
Considering their low maintenance, efficiency and ability to remove buildup, the benefits of tankless water heaters become even clearer. With a lifespan nearly ten years longer than traditional systems, tankless models break away from the pack. If you’re considering tankless water heaters, contact Arpi’s. Our expert water heater service and installation technicians can get you started on the path to savings.
Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information, click here to download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.