For tankless water heaters, scale and lime flushing is something that must be performed on occasion. Most manufacturers and professional plumbers recommend flushing your tankless water heater once a year; however, there are a number of factors that can affect how frequently it needs to be done. The most important of these is the hardness of your water.
Water hardness is defined as the number of mineral compounds, like magnesium or calcium, that are found in your region’s water supply. The levels of water hardness vary from one region to the next. For example, Western states tend to have high levels of water hardness, while Southern states tend to have some of the lowest levels in the country.
The harder the water incoming to your home is, the more quickly mineral deposits will begin to accumulate in a water heater, even tankless models – like these.
In a traditional storage tank water heater, minerals accumulate at the bottom of the storage tank. By comparison, tankless water heaters tend to push most of the mineral deposits through its system. If the deposits begin to build up in a tankless water heater, the heat exchanger will be forced to work much harder to properly heat the water, which could damage its components.
If you live in an area with very hard water, you may need to service your tankless water heater as much as two or three times a year, but if you live in a community with soft water, then you could go as long as two to five years without having service it (although this practice generally isn’t recommended).
Most experts recommend investing in a tankless water heater that has deposit detection software, which will provide you with an error code when the tankless water heater needs to be flushed.
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When it’s time to service your tankless heater, you have two main options:
- Your first choice is to call a professional plumber, which can quickly become expensive.
- Your second option is to buy a tankless water heater flush kit, and do it yourself. These kits generally cost between $75.00 and $200.00. Most kits come with a five gallon bucket, distilled white vinegar, connection drain hoses, and a submersible pump. The process of flushing a tankless water heater is fairly straightforward, but before purchasing a kit, always make sure to read the consumer reviews to gauge what experiences others have had with the product.
Ultimately, the question of whether or not you need tankless water heater flush kits depends on which option you choose.
Even if you decide to do it yourself, most experts recommend having your tankless water heater serviced by a professional once every two years just to ensure that it is in proper working order.