Your hot water heater plays a pivotal role in your home. Not only does it help protect your pipes, but it also keeps your water at a comfortable temperature allowing you to sanitize your dishes, enjoy steamy showers and bathe your children. Knowing that it’s an inconvenience when your tankless hot water system or direct hot water system fails to work, it’s important to prioritize preventative water heater maintenance.

Maintaining Tankless Hot Water Systems

Tankless hot water heaters are becoming an incredibly popular system for homeowners. Many homeowners appreciate the fact that these systems provide instant hot water — they don’t have to wait for several minutes while their water warms up to the desired temperature. In addition, they use less energy and are the most cost-effective to operate.

All of this sounds great, but these tankless hot water systems still need to be properly maintained in order to deliver the best possible results. Here’s what you need to know:

Example of a tankless water heater

DIY Maintenance for Tankless Hot Water Heaters — One task that has to be done regularly with these systems is cleaning. While many professional contractors will clean a tankless hot water system for you, you also can do it yourself. Installing an inline filter is an ideal way to keep your unit clean, but you also will want to change that filter regularly. In addition to the filter, you can descale the system. It’s pretty simple to descale your tankless hot water system, but the process can vary based on the brand of your unit. You may want to consult with a professional before you descale it for the first time.

Professional Maintenance Services for Tankless Hot Water Heaters — Tankless hot water heaters should be flushed at least once per year, and sometimes twice per year if you live in an area with hard water. Flushing the system helps to keep it as clean as possible and can prevent more significant repairs in the future. Given the fact that the flushing process is more involved than descaling or changing the filter, it’s best to hire a professional contractor to flush your tankless hot water system for you. The company that installed your system usually can also flush your equipment and keep it in good working condition for you, preventing you from being without the hot water you both need and want.

Water Heater Maintenance for Storage Tanks

Example of a hot water heater storage tank.

Similar to tankless hot water systems, hot water tanks need to be maintained in order to operate as effectively as possible. Here’s what you need to know:

DIY Maintenance for Hot Water Storage Tanks — In some cases, all your hot water tank needs is a quick cleaning or an adjustment. These are easy tasks to do yourself. For example, you can flush your own hot water tank by draining the tank, stirring up the sediment and continuing to flush the tank until the water runs clear during the draining process. You also can quickly adjust the temperature on your hot water tank to make it more comfortable for your needs or better for your budget. (See blog article “Turn Down Your Water Heater”)

Professional Maintenance Services for Hot Water Storage Tanks — There are some more intensive hot water tank maintenance issues that should be tackled by a professional. For example, a professional should be hired in order to insulate the hot water tank and the pipes that are connected to the tank. In addition, a professional may be needed in order to fix the pilot light that fuels the hot water tank.

Whether you have an instant tankless hot water system or a hot water storage tank, it’s imperative that you invest in maintenance that will help you maximize the lifespan of your equipment. Knowing what you can do yourself and what is best left to the professionals will allow you to enjoy a fully-functional hot water system throughout the entire year.

To learn more about installing and maintaining your water heater and other heating and cooling equipment, contact us at HomeWorks Energy today.