Tankless water heaters have become all the rage over the years.
This has become so much so that it is now a requirement for all new construction homes in the local areas!
And just like denim jeans, they come in all different quality and price ranges.
Below is a random sample of Navien, Rinnai, Rheem, Ruud, Bosch and Noritz. Trust me, there are many more! These are just some of the most popular brands in this area.
Why buy a tankless?
Most commonly is due to its high efficiency, less gas is normally used as the gas does not have to run to keep the water hot, endless hot water, takes up a lot less space, and is able to operate at a water temperature to tackle the most common bacteria found in our water tables.
What about quality and brand name?
As mentioned about denim jeans. Some of you only want a pair of jeans to get the job done and for the time being. Others want jeans that are a fashion statement while others buy them more focused on durability.
One thing is for sure about jeans and tankless water heaters…. they all need to be kept clean, (for the best results and for the longest life span), regardless of how much you spent.
What does THAT mean????
All tankless water heaters run at such high heat capacity that minerals in the water can bond to the water tank and all internal water ways. Failure to keep it maintained we shorten the life of a tankless water heater exponentially!
Damage can occur quickly.
Now, unlike taking care of your jeans, our job is to let you know that all manufacturers of tankless water heaters suggest cleaning them every 12 to 18 months. If you live in a hard water area, or if you are not sure about your water quality, put it on the calendar to have it cleaned every 12 months.
Don’t be shocked.
Some units do NOT come with service valves for cleaning. This is normally a feature that a good installation company has done with future service in mind. If your valves are not there, your plumber will give you the cost to add them. Then you will be all set for a more affordable way to keep the unit clean.
You think, “don’t be shocked” is that the valves might have to be added? NO, be shocked that most plumbers don’t like doing this service and most are happy to teach you how to maintain your own unit so that you can save money!
If not, no big deal. The cost of adding service valves is well worth it in your energy and water savings over the course of the year.
What to look for when a tankless service is done?
We like to do a “drain down” of the cold and hot water lines. It gives us an idea of how clean your water is. In most case, be prepared to see the water being not to good. (We are going to discuss whole-home water treatment with them…more on this in a bit).
See an example of house water. below.
In this application, the inlet air comes into the heater from the 2” PVC pipe on the left side. In this home, the homeowners are handy people who use the garage for hobbies that entail welding, sanding, painting and more. Normally you might not think anything about how that might affect the unit.
Below are pictures of the inlet air screen before and after service. In this case we are recommending running an inlet air line from the outside wall of the garage. Can you understand why?
Drain trap and catch plug.
This is where burnt debris in the water settles and pulls out of the water ways. Notice the bugs and sludge that came through the water system.
Inlet water screen / filter
The inlet screen / filter helps to trap large particles from coming into the water passages. But it DOES NOT stop fine sludge / mud. Pictures below is a piece of solder left over from soldering the copper water lines at one time.
The process and findings.
An approved descale solution should be used for the best and quickest method. Many technicians and plumbers have resorted to the use of household vinegar as it is low grade acid approved for descaling. However, it takes a much longer time if the system is as dirty as this was. If you are persistent in keeping it clean, vinegar is just fine for descaling.
The brown is combination of scale (mineral build up) and poor-quality water from their water provider.
We always recommend water treatment for a home. The water treatment of your choosing will help all water side appliances cleaner, make them last longer, promote healthier living / eating, bathing and drinking for everyone at the home.
To get a free quote for tankless water heater installation / service and indoor water treatment:
Carruth Home Solutions at 916-257-8310
Visit our website at www.chsforme.com
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