Tankless water heater maintenance

Insert bad pun about tankless jobs

My job as a home inspector is not at all what the realtor does. The real estate agent is a lot like a matchmaker; I’m more of a marriage counselor. I tell the buyer that neglect of the home is like neglect of a pet or partner; It can get pricey.

So this article is about tankless water heater maintenance.

You probably know what hard water is. The underground water  that many of us use has been filtered by the earth. It’s a great system, and has been for ever.

If, however, the soil that filters the water is limestone, some minerals get dissolved in the water and ride along to your house. One such mineral is calcium carbonate.

The high heat of the water heater distills the mineral back out, causing a build up. Regular maintenance of the heater requires flushing out the system. It isn’t too hard to do, and takes just a couple of hours and maybe $150 or so for the equipment, and a few dollars for the white vinegar. A quick Google search shows a wide range of kits available, as well as a YouTube video about making your own.

There’s also a pretty comprehensive video regarding the cost of “differed maintenance” AKA neglect, where the shower and faucets get plugged and need to be serviced.

You can look at that video by clicking: Here.

You could hire the job out. The cost of having someone do it for you would be about $150 each time.

The question that does not have an easy answer is “how often should this be done?” If your water is hard, and you use a lot of water, yearly. The most common answer for situations where the water is not hard, or where a water softener is in place? “Around 5 years.” This is a good time to refer to a previous blog about Water Softeners.

So, maybe hire the job out the first time, and ask the plumber how much calcium was pulled out. Then decide how long you want to go to do it again, based on the length of time it took to build up to that point.