Tank water heaters have a pretty apparent presence in your home—they’re large, noticeable, and usually at least a little noisy. This is the water heater most often found in homes, and because they are so obvious, it’s probably pretty easy to remember that they need to be serviced from time to time.
But what about tankless water heaters in Bellaire, TX? These are certainly less noticeable and less noisy, and therefore easy to forget about, but we urge you not to! Many homeowners don’t realize that tankless water heaters need service, particularly maintenance, as well—and much of this maintenance is actually similar to the maintenance performed on tank water heaters, due to a process called scaling.
The Impact of Scaling on a Tankless Water Heater
Scaling can have a significant impact on water heaters, allowing for a mineral buildup that could eventually lead to a premature demise for your system, whether it’s tankless or not. At least, this is what can happen if you don’t schedule routine maintenance for it.
Scaling is what occurs when hard water is present in your plumbing system—that is, water with a high level of the minerals magnesium and calcium in it. They aren’t necessarily harmful to us, however they can be hazardous to our plumbing systems.
So the mineral buildup that we refer to as scaling can affect the heat exchanger of your tankless water heater. This is the component that actually heats up the water to begin with. You need the heat exchanger to be clean so that the water can be heated efficiently. Scaling, however, can make your burners work harder, or can overwork a tankless water heater to the point that it breaks down.
“How Often Should I Schedule Maintenance?”
The short answer to this is “it depends.” For some homes, maintenance should be done once a year for a tankless water heater, in order to keep it running smoothly throughout its entire lifespan. For others, maintenance can wait a year or two longer. How often you schedule maintenance will mostly depends on how hard the water is in your area. After all, in some parts of the state and even the country, mineral deposits are more common than in others.
Our plumbers can test your water for hardness. Or, you may be able to tell on your own. If you notice a chalky white or yellow buildup around faucets or drains, then you likely have hard water, which means your tankless water heater is at risk.
When Maintenance Can No Longer Help
Annual, or semi-annual, maintenance is vital for a tankless water heater to last as long as possible. However it’s important to remember that just like any other system or piece of equipment in your home, it will not last forever—no matter how well cared for it might be. Tankless water heaters typically last about 2 decades.
If your system starts failing sooner than this, it can be from lack of professional maintenance. Staying on top of your maintenance appointments is the only way to ensure that your system lives out its full lifespan. Talk to a technician today to learn about the state of your tankless system, and be sure to follow professional advice on when to maintain versus when to replace.