Installing an on-demand hot water system is a great way to maintain a consistent hot water flow most of the time. However, these hot water heaters do require some general care and maintenance. Here are a few common tasks you should complete regularly to help keep your tankless system in good condition.
Keep The Inlet Screen Clear
All of the water drawn into the system has to flow through the inlet screen first. This eliminates any physical particles that may be present in the water supply. That means that the filter will get clogged periodically if you don't keep it clean. A clogged filter hinders water flow, which can interfere with your hot water production. Just shut the water off to the tankless heater, then turn off the heater unit. Disconnect the inlet tube to expose the inlet screen. Take the screen out, rinse it completely, then put it back. Turn on the heater and the water supply to restore operation.
Flush The Heater Occasionally
Turn off the heater system and the water supply, then let the unit rest for about 20 minutes.Open the drain covers on the purge ports. They are valves fitted with small T's for handles. Direct the hose that's on the outlet port into an empty bucket. Put the inlet hose into a bucket filled with vinegar. Turn on the heater's water pump to draw the vinegar into the system and then cycle it out the hot water line. Repeat this process until the vinegar that flows out the outlet hose is clear. That tells you there are no other contaminants inside the heater.
After cleaning the unit, you'll need to flush the residual vinegar out. Replace the vinegar-filled bucket with one filled with clean water. Run a couple of buckets full of water through the system. You'll know it's all set when you can't smell the vinegar anymore in the water coming out of the heater. The frequency with which you need to do this kind of flush will vary based on the condition of your water. Try doing it every few months and then increase frequency if needed to keep things clean.
These tips will help you to keep your on-demand hot water system working properly. If you're not confident in your own ability to do these tasks, you can reach out to a local water heater repair technician. He or she can test the water's condition and set up a routine maintenance schedule that will help you get the longest life from your water heater.