Go Tankless: 4 Simple Steps To Clean Your Tankless Water Heater

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If you have a tankless water heater, you want to make sure it provides you with continuous hot water. One way to ensure that you always have plenty of hot water at your fingertips is to clean your water heater out at least once a year. Over time, minerals and hard water deposits can build up inside the heating chamber. When that happens, you'll no longer receive sufficient supplies of hot water. You might also notice that the hot water you do get is dirty. That's from the minerals and dirt that have built up in the heating chamber. Here are some simple instructions that will help you clean your tankless water heater, and keep it working properly.

Turn the Water Heater Off

Before you start cleaning your water heater, you'll need to turn the system off. If your unit is powered by natural gas, simply turn the pilot light to the "off" position. If your unit is electric, turn the power switch to the "off" position, and then turn the power to the unit off at the main circuit breaker. This will ensure that electrical power is completely off while you service the unit. Once the power is off, you'll need to allow the unit to cool down. While the unit is cooling down, turn the three water release valves to the "off" position. This will prevent water from flowing through the pipes.

Remove the Valve Caps

Once the water heater has cooled down, you'll need to remove the purge port valve caps. They're located on the hot and cold water valves. Locate the purge port valves—they are small handles that look like the letter "T." Removing the valve caps will release the pressure that has built up inside the valves. Carefully remove the caps and allow the pressure to drain from the unit.

Drain the Heating Chamber

Now that the pressure has been released from the water heater, you'll be ready to drain the unit. Since this is a tankless system, there won't be much water to drain, but you'll still need a bucket under the release valve. Locate the hosing line that came with your water heater and attach the hoses to each of the water release valves. There should be one hose for the hot water and one for the cold. After the hoses are attached, open each of the purge ports and allow the water to drain into the bucket.

Turn the Water Heater Back On

Once the water has been drained from the heating chamber, remove the hoses, close the purge ports and replace the caps. Turn the power back on to the water heater and allow the heating chamber to refill with water. While the heating chamber is refilling, turn one of your hot water faucets on and allow it to continue running for several minutes. This will allow any air to work through your water pipes.

If you have a tankless water heater, you can keep it running smoothly by performing routine maintenance. Use the instructions here to clean the heating chamber, and prevent malfunctions. For more information, go to websites of local plumbers and heating technicians.