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Serving Northern California Since 1946

Serving Northern California Since 1946


DeHart Plumbing, Heating, and Air Inc. Blog

Do Tankless Water Heaters Need Maintenance?


The short answer to this question is “yes,” but we understand if you’d like more of an explanation than that!

Look, we get it. Tank water heaters are huge, have a number of components, and are really noticeable. So it’s easy to understand and remember, that these systems need maintenance from time to time. After all, scaling—the buildup of hard water minerals—can really wreak havoc on the system.

But did you know that tankless water heaters can suffer from scaling as well? And this is the reason that tankless water heaters need maintenance as well. Actually, much of the service that a conventional tank water heater needs is also necessary for tankless systems. Read on as we uncover the problem with scaling in your tankless system, and be sure to give us a call when you’re ready to schedule your tankless water heater maintenance session.

Scaling in Tankless Water Heaters

Scaling impacts a tankless water heater in a way that could lead to premature system failure, if you don’t schedule regular tune-ups for the system. As we stated above, scaling happens due to the build-up of hard water minerals. What are these, you ask? These minerals include calcium, magnesium, and in some cases iron as well. These are harmless for you to ingest, but not so great for your plumbing system!

This is because when mineral deposits get left behind, they have nowhere to go, and build up inside your water heater—which is what we call “scaling.”

The worst place for scaling to occur in a tankless water heater is on the heat exchanger. As you probably understand, the heat exchanger is the component that actually heats the water. You need this component to be clean so that the water can actually be heated efficiently. Scaling can force your burners to work harder and can overwork a tankless water heater to the point that it fails.

“Okay, So How Often Do I Schedule Maintenance?”

This actually depends. With some tankless water heaters, annual maintenance is absolutely essential to keep the system running as smoothly as possible throughout its entire lifespan. But if your home doesn’t have hard water, or at least doesn’t have a lot of mineral build-up, then you can maybe go 2-3 years between maintenance sessions. But even with scaling aside, it’s never a bad idea to have your tankless water heater checked on by a professional on a regular basis.

To find out if your community and home suffers from hard water, give us a call! We can have your water tested for hardness, and make recommendations to resolve this issue, such as having a whole-house water softener installed.

Remember, even with maintenance, no water heater is indestructible. We do recommend you keep up on your water heater maintenance appointments, but we also want you to know when it’s time to start considering a replacement or an upgrade. If your water heater has reached a couple of decades of age, it’s likely time—especially if you have an expensive repair need on the horizon.

Please don’t hesitate to contact our team to learn about your options!

Contact DeHart Plumbing, Heating, and Air Inc. for professional water heater services in Modesto, CA.

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