Descaling Your Tankless Hot Water Heater

Installing a tankless water heater is a good way to save on your household’s monthly electric bill, but they are not without the need for regular maintenance. For tankless water heaters used with well water, they need to be regularly descaled using a mildly acidic solution. This is a simple procedure that any homeowner can complete, even if you do not have any plumbing experience.

Follow these steps to descale your electric tankless water heater:

Step 1: Before you work on your water heater, it is vital that you turn off its source of electricity. To do this, flip the breaker for the water heater to the “off” position in your home’s power panel. Once you have turned off the breaker, then you should test the water heater with a current testing tool to ensure that the power is indeed turned off.

Step 2: Your tankless water heater has two plumbing lines:

  1. the cold water inlet line
  2. the hot water output line

Locate each of these two lines and turn off the service valve for the cold water inlet. Once the service valve has been turned off, then you should remove the cold water connection from the tank. You can easily remove the fitting using a wrench.

Place a bucket below the hot water outlet and disconnect its plumbing line. The tank will drain a bit of water into the bucket.

Step 3: To remove the hard water scale buildup from inside the water heater, you can either use a bottle of tankless water heater cleaner or a cup of white vinegar. The water heater cleaner can be purchased at your local hardware store.

Place a funnel on the cold water service inlet and pour the water heater cleaner or vinegar into the water heater. Let the solution sit for a moment while you reconnect the cold water inlet hose back into position.

Step 4: Flush the water heater by turning on the cold water and letting it run out of the hot water outlet and into the bucket. Continue running the water until you no longer smell any cleaner or vinegar and there is no longer any white scale visible in the water. Once the water is running clean, replace the hot water plumbing and ensure that the fitting is not leaking.

Step 5: Turn on the power to the tankless water heater. It is now ready to use and is free from damaging hard water scale.

Author: Kim Wilkerson

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