How To Clean Tankless Water Heater

How to Flush a Tankless Water Heater (Step-by-Step Procedure)

Please keep in mind that this content may contain affiliate links. This means that, at no additional cost to you, we may gain a small profit on purchases made via our links. Knowing how to clean a tankless water heatercan assist you in getting the most out of your investment in terms of efficiency and longevity. Consider the following steps in detail, as well as some helpful tools and crucial considerations.

The Importance of Flushing Tankless Models

Tankless water heaters are less expensive and more energy efficient to operate when compared to standard water heaters. They also demand significantly less maintenance and operating area. That is why it is essential to understand first why and when it is necessary, followed by how to flush a tankless water heater, whether it is gas or electric. Examine how the naturally existing sediment in your water impacts the heater, as well as how to make flushing more convenient and safer.

Tankless Water Heaters and Scale Buildup

Anyone who has had a conventional water tank is aware with the necessity of flushing the tank on a regular basis in order to remove sediment. Tankless heaters are not an exception to this rule. Hard water includes minerals that can cause lime scale to build up on the surface of the water. An explosion from the accumulation is less likely with a tankless heater than with a tank model, but it can still result in some expensive complications with a tankless heater. The heat exchanger is particularly susceptible to scale buildup.

This can result in a considerable reduction in the lifespan of this component, as well as a large rise in your electricity expenditures over time.

How Often Should You Flush a Tankless Water Heater?

It is recommended that your tankless water heater be cleansed once a year to keep it operating at peak performance. However, the hardness of your water plays a role in this, and you may find that flushing twice or three times a year is preferable if your home’s water is of very low quality in this regard. To a certain extent, a sediment trap or a water softener can help with hard water.

Isolation Valves

It is critical that we explain isolation valves before proceeding with the rest of the processes. As the name implies, an isolation valve allows you to isolate (isolate) a segment of your pipeline’s liquid or gas supply without having to shut down the entire supply line (as would otherwise be the case). Essentially, the word is equivalent with the term “shut-off valve.” From your stove to your toilet, a wide range of objects in your home are equipped with some type of isolation valve for maintenance or emergency purposes, depending on the item.

In some cases, depending on the manufacturer and if a professional installed your tankless heater, an isolation valve may or may not be put on your tankless heating system.

If your heater does not have this function, we highly advise you to get one installed as soon as possible and to engage a professional to flush the system while you wait, since it may be a significant safety issue while doing a flush or other maintenance tasks.

Using Pumps and Flush Kits

A submersible pump is one of your greatest friends when it comes to flushing a tankless water heater. Instead of enormous volumes of water to sweep up and remove the sediment from a tank heater, a high-quality pump such as the91250 from Superior Pump can save you hours if not days of manual flushing and will save you money in the long run. Flushing will necessitate the use of a large bucket to contain the pump, since there is no easy drainage option available, as there is with a typical tank model, necessitating the use of a submersible model pump.

These kits often include everything you’ll need, including a pump, bucket, descaler, and hoses, among other things.

My favorite kit is made by My PlumbingStuff, and it not only works well and is simple to use, but it is also ecologically friendly down to the last component, making it the greatest tankless water heater flush kit in my opinion.

How to Flush a Gas Tankless Water Heater

Check the owner’s handbook for your water heater, since it may provide specific instructions on how to flush and descale the unit. Rinnai, Rheem, and Noritz are the three most popular manufacturers of gas tankless versions. For your convenience, we’ve included particular guidelines for each of the brands listed below:

  • Procedures for flushing a Rinnai tankless water heater, a Rheem tankless water heater, and a Notritz tankless water heater are all available online.

No matter what type of gas tankless water heater you have, there are a few steps in the flushing process that must be completed in the proper order, but they are all rather straightforward to complete.

Phase 1: Preparation

  1. In order to properly cleanse your gas tankless water heater, there are a few steps that must be completed sequentially, but they are all rather straightforward to complete.

Phase 2: Flushing

  1. Make sure that the hot and cold service ports are open and that the pump is running. Make sure the vinegar is allowed to flow through the heater for at least one hour (longer if the pump runs at less than four gallons per minute). As a result of this, the scale is broken down and the silt is flushed away. Turn off the pump and empty the vinegar into a trash can. Close the cold water service port and disconnect the hose that is connected to it. Open the cold water shutoff valve to let any residual vinegar to be flushed out through the second hose into your bucket for around ten minutes. Close the cold water shut-off valve on your faucet. Allow the water to drain completely before disconnecting the second hose. Close the hot water service port on the boiler. Remove the cold water intake filter as well as the hot water inline filter (if applicable). Remove any retained sediment by flushing the filters with water in a sink.

Phase 3: Cleanup

  1. Reinstall the filter(s) in a secure manner, and then turn off the hot and cold water valves
  2. Replace the access panel
  3. Turn on the gas shutoff valve
  4. And remove the access panel. The electrical supply should be reconnected.

How to Flush an Electric Tankless Water Heater

Flushing out an electric tankless water heater is a little different than cleaning out a gas tankless water heater, and some disassembly may be necessary. Generally speaking, Navien models are easier to understand, however some Takagi models require additional steps in order to properly place the water control valve.

  • Technique for flushing a Navien tankless water heater
  • Procedure for flushing a Takagi tankless water heater

Descaling an electric model is similar to descaling a gas model in that it may be divided into three stages.

Phase 1: Preparation

  1. Switching off the electrical power at the circuit breaker
  2. Close the cold water shut-off valve on your faucet. Open your taps to let any water that has accumulated in the heater to drain
  3. Close the shut-off valve for the hot water supply. Remove the access panel and check the terminal with a non-contact voltage tester to ensure that there is no longer any power coming through it. Disconnect the wires from the heating elements by removing the screws that hold them in place. Extraction of the heating element is accomplished by loosening the hexagonal brass top of the heating element in a counterclockwise manner
  4. Make a visual inspection of the heating components for evidence of damage. A broken element should be replaced as soon as possible. Storage of the heating elements in the cooper chambers of the heater to allow for cleaning of the heating elements

Phase 2: Flushing

  1. Fill the cooper chambers with virgin food-grade white vinegar that has not been diluted
  2. Pour vinegar into the chamber and allow it to rest for 90 minutes to two hours. Using this method, you may break up any scales on the components. Remove the vinegar from the mixture. Replace the heating elements and reattach the cables as necessary. Open the cold water shut-off valve and let the tank to fill up with cold water
  3. Observe the tank for any evidence of leakage (the paper towel test is quite effective in this situation)
  4. To turn off the hot water, turn the shutoff valve. Fill the sink with warm water from various hot water taps and let the water run for about five minutes to flush out the vinegar and remove any air pockets from the line

Phase 3: Cleanup

  1. Turn off all hot water faucets in your home. Close the cold water shut-off valve on your faucet. Clean any dirt from the cold water input filter by flushing the filter under a cold water faucet. Replace the filter in a secure manner. Power should be restored at the breaker once you close the access panel

How to Flush Out a Tankless Hot Water Heater

An on-demand hot water heater, as opposed to a tankless hot water heater, warms water on demand rather than holding it in a storage tank, resulting in significant energy savings. Tankless water heater manufacturers recommend that their units be cleansed at least once a year in order to prevent the buildup of calcium and other minerals within the unit – and even more frequently if you have hard water – to ensure that the device operates efficiently. There are certain units that have an indicator that the unit needs to be flushed.


  • An on-demand hot water heater, as opposed to a tankless hot water heater, warms water on demand rather than holding it in a storage tank, allowing for significant energy savings. Tankless water heater manufacturers recommend that their units be cleansed at least once a year in order to prevent the buildup of calcium and other minerals within the unit – and even more frequently if you have hard water – to ensure that the device functions properly. The need to flush the unit is indicated by an indicator on certain devices. A tankless hot water heater may be flushed out in about an hour and fifteen minutes.


  • Remove the cover plate from the water heater unit using a screwdriver in order to get access to the wiring within the unit. To test the wiring coming into the terminals, place the tip of a non-contact electrical tester against the wires. As long as the tester light is illuminated, keep turning off circuit breakers or the main circuit breaker for the home until checking all cables reveals that no power is being delivered to the system. Remove the cover plate and replace it.


  • The water supply valve that supplies cold water to the water heater should be turned off. Turn off the main hot-water valve, which is responsible for delivering hot water to the local fixture or many fixtures across the home.


  • Using a 6-foot garden hose, connect the output of a pond pump or sump pump to one end of the hose and the other end of the hose to a cold-water isolation valve. Connect a second garden hose to the hot-water isolation valve to complete the installation. An adjustable wrench should be used to tighten the garden hose couplers.


  • Fill a 5-gallon bucket halfway with water and add the pump and open end of the second hose. Fill the bucket halfway with 5 gallons of freshly harvested, pure white vinegar.


  • Start by opening the hot and cold isolation valves on the water heater, and then turning on the pump in the 5-gallon bucket to circulate the vinegar through the heater.


  • Allow the pump to circulate for 45 minutes, then switch off the pump and allow the vinegar to drain from the water heater via the hoses into a pail (see illustration). Close the cold-water isolation valve to prevent ice formation.


  • Remove the vinegar from the bucket and insert the open-ended hose back into the bucket to complete the process. Turn on the cold-water supply valve and allow the water to run into the bucket for five minutes while the valve is open. Close the cold-water supply valve and detach the garden hoses from the inlet valves to prevent them from bursting.


  • Turn off the hot-water isolation valve if it is still on. Remove the inlet filter screen from the water heater according to the instructions in the owner’s handbook, then rinse the screen to remove any sediment. Reinstall the screen if necessary.


  • The hot-water supply valve should be turned on first, followed by the cold-water supply valve. Open a few of hot-water faucets throughout the home to bleed any air out of the hot-water pipes before starting the project. Once there is no more air in the lines, turn off the faucets.


Ensure there are no leaks in the water heater’s connections by visually inspecting them. Turn on the gas supply valve, if the water heater is equipped with one, as well as the circuit breaker for it. Check to see whether there is hot water coming out of the faucets.

Things You Will Need

  • To make sure that there are no leaks in the water heater, inspect the connections. Install a circuit breaker for the water heater and activate the gas supply valve if it is fitted. Check to see whether the faucets are producing hot water.


  1. It is not recommended to cleanse the water heater without first shutting off the electricity and the gas (if it is a gas heater), as this might cause harm to the appliance. As a precaution, always open the unit and use a non-contact electrical tester to ensure that all power sources have been disconnected before proceeding with the system flushing. It is possible that the device will be damaged if all power sources are not turned off before flushing.
See also:  How To Flush A Gas Water Heater

How do I flush clean my Rinnai tankless water heater? (R)

It is possible for a tankless water heater to collect mineral build-up over time, which can corrode the walls of the heating chamber within the tank. For regular maintenance and cleaning of your tankless water heater, it is necessary to rinse those mineral deposits out at least once a year using a hose. Follow this straightforward procedure to guarantee that your tankless water heater performs and operates at peak efficiency. Please take the time to go through all of the directions before starting, as you’ll want to ensure that you have all of the essential items on hand for the procedure.

Remove the tankless water heater’s power supply by following these steps: 1. 2. Turn off the main gas valve or the circuit breaker for any electrical equipment that are not in use. 3. Turn off (close) the three water valves that are connected to your tankless water heater. 4.

  • During the cleaning procedure, this stops cold water from entering the water heater and hot water from exiting the water heater. The water valves are comprised of three parts: a cold water valve (which is colored blue), a hot water valve (which is colored red), and a main valve, which is responsible for bringing water into your home.

4. Remove the purge port valve caps from the purge valves situated on each of the cold and hot water valves one at a time, taking care not to damage them.

  • The purge valves are distinguished by their little handles that mimic the letter “T.” In order to alleviate any pressure that has built up inside the valves and to avoid excessive hot water from pouring out during the cleaning process, this step must be carried out. Because there may be pressure when removing the purge port valve covers, it is critical to double-check that the hot water valve has been properly switched off for your safety. Make sure to handle each cap with care to ensure that the rubber sealing discs remain in place. These are required in order for your valves to operate correctly.

5. Connect a hosing line to each of the three valves in the system.

  • Tankless water heater hosing lines are available at any home improvement store that carries water heaters if the manufacturer did not include them with your tankless water heater. There must be adequate length between the water heater and the bucket for the hosing lines to be effective. Please refer to the tankless water heater manufacturer’s instruction manual, or contact the manufacturer directly if you require specific instructions on how to do this step. In certain situations, you may be required to utilize a sump pump and connect hoses in order to discharge and flush water from the tankless water heater’s cold and hot water valves during this operation.

6. Twist the purge port valves so that they are perpendicular to the positions of the cold and hot valves, and then close them. 7. To clean your tankless water heater, fill a 4-gallon (15.1-liter) bucket halfway with undiluted white vinegar. Never apply any type of chemical solution on your skin.

  • Given that the majority of your home’s drinking and bathing water is most likely routed through your tankless water heater, employing chemical cleaning solutions might be highly hazardous to your health.

8. To complete the flushing and draining operation, according to the directions provided in your manufacturer’s handbook. 9: When the flushing operation is finished, shut the purge port valves by twisting the T-shaped handles. 10. Disconnect and remove the hosing wires from each of the valves in the sequence listed. 11. Attach the purge port valve caps to the purge valves using the hose clamps.

  • Tighten the caps all the way down and securely. Take care not to overtighten or damage the rubber sealing discs that are contained within the caps, though.

12. Refer to your water heater’s owner’s handbook for specific advice on how to properly restart the unit.

  • If this is the case, you may need to rotate and open the cold and hot water valves so that they are parallel to one other and the main valve’s position.

Pick a sink tap within the house and turn on the hot water gently, allowing enough time for air to travel through the pipe.

  • Make sure to keep the water running until it flows consistently and there is no air escaping (you may recognize this by a slight sputtering sound). It might take up to 2 or 3 minutes for all of the air pockets to be expelled from the system.

How to Flush a Tankless Water Heater and Clean the Air Intake Filter

Water heaters that do not have tanks will accumulate calcium and debris on the heating components and filters within the unit. It’s critical to cleanse your system with food-grade white vinegar at least once every 12 to 18 months to keep it running smoothly. The performance and life of your water heater will be extended if you do this straightforward maintenance. This is also a good opportunity to remove and clean the air filter inside the tankless water heater while you’re conducting your regular cleaning.

However, this procedure may be used to any tankless water heater so long as you can identify the necessary components on your machine.

Step 1: Gather Your Materials

You should note that the knobs under your tankless water heater are color coded for your convenience. These levers are responsible for turning off the water and gas to your tankless water heater. If the levers are parallel to the pipe, it implies it is turned on, and if they are perpendicular, it means it is turned off. Make sure they are all perpendicular to the pipes before turning them on. As a result, the gas (yellow handle on the right side linked to the silver pipes), the central yellow handle, the cold water input (blue), and the hot water outflow will all be turned off (red).

Step 3: Unscrew the Cold Water Service Valve

A service valve is located just above the red and blue levers. The service valve can now be opened once the levers have been rotated such that they are perpendicular to the pipe and the water has been turned off to the tankless hot water heater. But first, gather your stuff and get ready to start. Please keep in mind that there is an external pump that is hooked to the wall near the ground level. The electronic components of the gadget are visible via the vents located at the top of the device.

  1. Make sure you have a bucket ready to capture any excess water that may come out of the faucet.
  2. Even though it is a small amount, you do not want it on your garage floor.
  3. Make sure one end of the hose is inserted into the bucket so that when you remove the service valve cap, you may try to plug it into the opening fast and divert part of the water into the bucket.
  4. Our water heater is only set to 120 degrees Fahrenheit, which I believe to be the case.
  5. The water that comes out of the hot water service valve should not be too hot if you have been taking hot showers, using the dishwasher, and running the washing machine just before doing this.
  6. If the water is hot, you may want to unscrew the service valve carefully so that you don’t burn yourself while doing so.
  7. It occurred to me at that point that the water was not hot, but rather warm, so I completed unscrewing the service valve, plugged in the hose, and allowed the water to drain into a pail.

Take note that the hot water side of the faucet releases water considerably more quickly and in greater quantities than the cold water side.

Step 4: Setup Your Vinegar and Pump

The hoses you used to connect to the service valves in the previous step should be ready to use for this step by now assuming you did so in the previous step. Make sure you empty your 5-gallon bucket of any water that has accumulated in it from the service valves. Approximately 4 gallons of food-grade white vinegar should be added to the bucket. I purchased a generic brand from Safeway, and the total cost for four gallons was $16. Attach the line that connects to the cold water (blue) service valve to the sump pump’s top outlet.

  1. Do not connect the pump at this time.
  2. Because there is no on/off button, it will automatically turn on as soon as you connect it into a wall outlet.
  3. It is not necessary to screw it into the pump; instead, it should be put loosely in the vinegar bucket.
  4. Connect the pump to the electrical outlet as soon as possible.
  5. At the very least, you’ll keep it like way for at least 60 to 90 minutes.

Step 5: Cleaning the Air Intake Filter

Additionally, while the vinegar is being circulated, you should wipe out the air intake filter. If you’ve been noticing an error message on your screen that says “027,” you’re not alone. This indicates that you should clean the air intake filter. The tankless water heater’s air intake filter is situated within the tankless water heater. Don’t worry, it’s not difficult to get to, but you must first remove the tankless water heater face plate before you can get to it. A total of four screws hold it all together.

  1. It is necessary to first remove all of the screws from the face plate before lifting upwards and releasing the hook that connects the top of the face plate to the top of the tankless water heater frame.
  2. Then you’ll want to look for the single screw that holds the air intake filter in place.
  3. As soon as you have unscrewed the one screw that holds the air filter, pull the whole thing slightly towards you and then slant it slightly so that it will slide over the motor, and you have successfully removed the air filter.
  4. Afterwards, I just strolled over to my water spout outside my garage and ran it on full blast, thoroughly rinsing the filter.

Replacing the tankless water heater face plate and allowing the pump to continue to operate for the remaining 60-90 minutes is recommended. It is not necessary to plug the tankless water heater into an electrical outlet until after you have completed the flushing procedure.

Step 6: Rinse Your Tanless Water Heater After the Vinegar Treatment

Now that the vinegar has been pumped through the tankless water heater for 60-90 minutes, it’s time to rinse the vinegar out of the tankless water heater. Remove the sump pump from the wall outlet by unplugging it and lifting it out. Allow it to drip into a vinegar bucket and save it aside for later usage. I made the decision to put the vinegar into the toilet rather than on the grass or plants in order to prevent hurting the plants or grass. Now that you have a bucket that is empty, place the bucket back beneath the tankless water heater to keep it there.

  • Replace the service valve cap with a screwdriver and tighten it.
  • Next open the lever that regulates the cold water intake and let roughly 4-5 litres of water to flow through the tankless water heater and out the hot water hose into the bucket.
  • After everything has been completed, it is necessary to inspect the water filters.
  • These may be unscrewed with just your fingers if necessary.
  • After removing the filters, make sure to thoroughly check the area for debris.

Step 7: Reattach Everything and Turn It on – Moment of Truth

It’s time to flush away the vinegar from the tankless water heater now that the pump has cycled it for 60-90 minutes, depending on how much vinegar was used. Remove the sump pump from the wall outlet by unplugging it and lifting it away. Set aside the vinegar bucket in which it has been collected. For the sake of avoiding damage to the grass and plants, I chose to flush the vinegar down the toilet rather than on them. You may now re-position the bucket under the tankless water heater, since that it is no longer full.

  1. The service valve cap has to be replaced and screwed back on.
  2. Allow around 4-5 litres of water to flow through the tankless water heater and out the hot water line into a bucket by releasing the lever controlling the cold water intake.
  3. You will then need to inspect the water filters when that is completed.
  4. The screws can be unscrewed with just your fingertips.

Remove the filters and thoroughly check the area for dirt once you’ve finished cleaning it. Remove the filters from the machine and thoroughly clean them with water before replacing them.

Be the First to Share

Homes are becoming more refined in their mechanical component selection as the technology underpinning building systems continues to advance. Once buried beneath concrete-block foundations, inefficient and bulky machinery has been replaced by sleeker, more energy-efficient machines with longer life spans that purr while providing consistent comfort. The combination of flexible hoses with these flush kit valves allows users to pump descaling solution into the system through the cold-water side and out of the system through the hot-water side.

  1. Photograph courtesy of Matt Risinger Tankless water heaters are an excellent illustration of this.
  2. Although performance improves considerably with tankless technology, the amount of maintenance required increases dramatically as well.
  3. “A 200,000 Btu tankless system is comparable to a Ferrari engine.” And, as with moving from a little Honda to an Italian sports car, the maintenance requirements will grow in tandem with the increased performance.
  4. “As a result, scale can accumulate much more quickly, requiring a tankless water heater to be cleansed more frequently than a tank-style model.” David Federico, brand director for Rinnai America, concurs with this statement.
See also:  How To Change Water Heater Element

Flushing the system

A system flush is the most important piece of preventative maintenance for tankless water heaters. This procedure entails circulating a vinegar solution through the device in order to break down scale accumulation. Even while many plumbing businesses are willing to execute the job for a charge, manufacturers often provide instructions and supplies requirements for homeowners who want to do it on their own time. “These days, flush kits are installed in practically all tankless systems,” adds Risinger.

A series of YouTube films has been created by Risinger to describe the technique in detail.

After that, homeowners will only have to purchase the descaling product as and when they require it.

How often to flush

An annual system cleanse is the most important piece of maintenance for tankless water heaters. Cleaning the device by running a vinegar solution through it to break down scale accumulation is a common practice. Even while many plumbing professionals are willing to execute the job for a charge, manufacturers often provide instructions and materials specifications for homeowners who want to do it on their own. As Risinger points out, “flush kits are now standard equipment on practically all tankless systems.” Essentially, it resembles the connection of two garden hoses, and it allows you to circulate vinegar around the device in a loop.” A number of YouTube videos have been created by Risinger to describe the technique in detail.

Residents will only have to purchase the descaling solution as needed after that.

Water softening helps

One of the contributing factors to Risinger’s regular tankless water heater flushes is the fact that his family resides in a hard water location. The accumulation of minerals (mostly calcium) in scale is what causes it to form, which means that hard water will produce more scale than softer water. Risinger and Federico both agree that installing a water softener in a home with a tankless water heater can be advantageous. “Water softeners may be really beneficial, particularly in locations where the water quality is not of the highest quality,” Federico explains.

Not flushing is hazardous

Calcium particles created by scale accumulation in tankless water heaters can block faucet aerators such as this one or become stuck in screens behind shower valves, causing them to clog or fail to function properly. The outcome can be expensive behind-the-walls repairs, but this is avoidable by doing regular water heater maintenance on a regular basis. Photograph courtesy of Matt Risinger Even though the majority of a home’s mechanical systems are rather hands-off, Risinger warns against neglecting tankless water heater maintenance.

The particles will build behind aerators and valve screens throughout the home’s plumbing system, making it more expensive and cumbersome to repair or replace the components.

” “A lot of people don’t perform any maintenance until there’s an issue, so if you’re considering of installing a tankless water heater, make sure you’re prepared to keep it up to date.”

9 Helpful Tips for Tankless Water Heater Cleaning and Maintanence

Previous PostNext PostHot water at your fingertips! One of the advantages of installing a tankless water heater is that it saves space. Another advantage of a tank water heater is the potential for energy savings of up to 50% over a normal tank water heater. In the same way that any other household appliance performs more effectively with proper maintenance, your water heater will work more efficiently with proper care as well. The first step is to do routine maintenance! Read today’s post for six suggestions on how to clean a tankless water heater and perform other essential maintenance activities.

You might even be able to extend its usable life!

1. How Often Should You Clean a Water Heater?

Whatever your experience level with tankless water heaters is, whether you’re a new convert or have had your unit for several years, you’ve probably had queries about how often you should clean the unit. The majority of water heater manufacturers recommend cleaning your water heater once a year. To be sure, the frequency may vary depending on your location and the quality of your drinking water. In the case of hard water, you may need to cleanse your water heater more frequently than in other circumstances.

Residents in all cities are provided with monthly or quarterly updates on the state of municipal water systems by city staff.

Concerning the cleaning of the unit’s outside, we’ll get to it in a minute.

2. Taking Care of Exterior Maintenance

The majority of homeowners take pleasure in performing at least a few house maintenance tasks themselves. In order to ease into water heater maintenance if you are new to the game, taking care of the outside of your water heater is a good first step. Exterior upkeep does not necessitate the expenditure of a significant amount of time or resources. Begin by wiping down the cover of the book. Using a non-abrasive cleanser and a soft cloth to clean the device helps to maintain it clear of dust and avoid the formation of rust.

  1. Checking pipes during cold weather is important for our northern neighbors to avoid frozen pipes.
  2. Finally, if your tankless water heater is equipped with a pressure release valve, you should make sure it is working properly.
  3. If you have any questions concerning your water heater, you should consult with a plumber.
  4. The process of flushing the water heater will take a bit more time.

3. Why You Should Flush

Water heaters, like other appliances, accumulate limescale deposits over time. Failure to descale conventional tank models can result in an explosion in some instances. Tankless water heaters will not explode, but if the sediment is not flushed out of the unit, it may cause the heat exchanger to work harder than it needs to, increasing the risk of failure. The ability to keep sediment washed out not only allows the water heater to operate more effectively, but it can also assist prevent additional issues.

Consider an isolation valve to be similar to the shut-off valve on a normal tank water heater in terms of function.

It is possible that your water heater does not have an isolation valve. If it doesn’t, you might want to consider having a plumber install one. When doing maintenance, the absence of an isolation valve might pose a serious safety threat.

4. What Supplies Do You Need to Clean the Water Heater?

We’ve covered safety; now it’s time to speak about the supplies you’ll need to flush the unit. These are the materials you’ll need: While you may purchase each component separately, a flush kit contains everything you need in one convenient package. Alternatively, you may use 4 gallons of undiluted white vinegar instead of the descaling solution included in the flushing package.

5. How to Descale a Tankless Water Heater

We’re presenting the simple methods for descaling a water heater since it’s one of the maintenance activities that many homeowners can complete with little or no help from a professional. The first step is to turn off the power that is feeding your water heater. Locate and close the gas isolation valve if one exists. Shut off the hot and cold water shut-off valves while you’re working on the unit to prevent water from entering the unit. If your machine is equipped with a pressure relief valve, carefully open it to relieve any built-up pressure.

  1. Next, put the submersible pump in the bucket you just made.
  2. You may either pour four gallons of vinegar into the bucket or use the descaler that came with the flush package to remove the scale.
  3. Allow at least an hour for the descaling solution of your choice to circulate through the hot water heater.
  4. Following completion of descaling, switch off the pump.

6. Final Steps for Tankless Water Heater Cleaning

Closing the cold water service port and opening the cold water shut-off valve are the next tasks you need to do. This step removes any vinegar that may have remained. Following that, you’ll close the valve and allow the water to drain completely. It is now necessary to shut the hot water port. Finally, if there is a cold water input filter, make sure to remove it as well as the hot water in-line filter before continuing. Flush both of them in the sink to ensure that any remaining sediment is removed.

Keep in mind that, while it might be a fun DIY project, you may feel more comfortable having a professional plumber complete the task.

Need to Schedule Tankless Water Heater Maintenance?

Closing the cold water service port and opening the cold water shut-off valve are the next actions you need to take in order to complete the installation. This step removes any vinegar that may have remained after the previous step was completed. Afterwards, you’ll shut off the water supply and wait for the water to drain completely. Closing the hot water port should be completed at this point. Finally, if there is a cold water input filter, make sure to remove it as well as the hot water in-line filter before moving on.

Remove any remaining sediment from the sink by flushing both of them. You should now be able to clean a tankless water heater with relative ease. Keep in mind that, while it might be a fun DIY project, you may feel more comfortable having a professional plumber complete the task.

How To Clean A Water Heater The Simple Way

If you maintain your water heater properly, there is no reason why it shouldn’t survive for more than a decade or more. Knowing how to clean a water heater is one of the most important skills to have in order to do this. Our goal with this essay is to provide a comprehensive walkthrough of the process of cleaning your water heater, regardless of its make or model.

How To Clean Your Water Heater: The Basics

If you’ve read our article on drinking tap water in Phoenix, you’ll know that the water that arrives at your house in Arizona (or any other state in the United States, for that matter) includes silt, minerals, and chemicals. In the course of time, these impurities might accumulate in your water heater, causing it to operate inefficiently. Inefficiencies such as inconsistent heating, an element that fails to stay lighted, and a blocked drain valve are all examples of inefficiencies. All of these will result in bills that are greater than planned.

The most effective technique to avoid this is to flush the system on a regular basis.

How Often Should You Flush Your Water Heater?

At the absolute least, you’ll want to flush the system once a year, if not more frequently. However, it is dependent on the composition of your local water supply as well as the equipment you have in your house. If you want to know more about the drinking water in your region, contact the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). If you have a high-efficiency water softener installed, your heater may not need to be flushed as frequently since the softener will lower the amount of sediment in the water.

As a result, if you do not have a water softener installed, you may want to flush the heater as frequently as once or twice a month or two in order to prevent problems.

Signs It’s Time To Flush Your Water Heater

Water heater flushing on a regular basis is a successful technique, but it is also beneficial to be aware of the warning signals that suggest a flush is necessary in order to avoid costly repairs later on. Here’s a brief review on what each of these indications means.

You Can’t Get Hot Water

If you are having trouble getting hot water from your heater, it is possible that sediment has accumulated within it to the point where it is either preventing the element from lighting or stopping the heat from passing to your water. Regardless of the situation, this is a hint that you need to flush the heating system.

Your Water Heater Is Making Strange Sounds

It is possible that silt can cluster together and create calcified stones that will smash against the sides of your water heater in areas where water is very harsh. This is a warning indication that you should flush the heater before the stones grow to such a size that they choke the drain line.

Your Water Smells Funny

While sediment accumulation is often the most serious issue you should be concerned about when cleaning your water heater, germs can also form within a tank that has not been flushed in a long period of time if the tank has not been cleaned.

This bacteria has the potential to cause a strange odor in your water. Not only will you need to flush the tank, but you’ll also need to sterilize it, which we’ll go over in more detail in the next section.

How To Clean Your Hot Water Heater: The Process

When cleaning your water heater, you will need to open many taps around your home and allow the water to drain entirely out of the tank. This is a necessary part of the process. Cleaning your hot water heater is actually pretty simple if you follow the correct procedures. You’ll discover that these procedures become second nature to you as time goes on.

Step1: Prepare The Heater For Flushing

Before you do anything else, be sure that the thermostat on your water heater is turned off. For many tanks, merely switching to “Pilot” mode will suffice to get the desired results. As a result, you will not have to go through the hassle of reactivating the pilot light, which is a simple but time-consuming task. You will also avoid the need to turn off the gas if you follow this procedure. It will be necessary to turn off the electricity to your water heater if you have one. The proper switch will be located on the device.

See also:  Who Fixes Water Heater

The valve for this operation is normally found on top of the heater, which makes sense.

Step2: Open The Hot Water Faucets In Your Home

This will aid in the drainage of the tank. If you do not complete this step, a vacuum will build in your tank, which will keep the water trapped within. It’s a strange physics effect, similar to how water remains caught in a straw if you maintain your finger on the tip of the straw while drinking.

Step3: Connect A Hose To Your Tank’s Drain Valve

The drain valve should be situated near the bottom of the tank, preferably on the side. In order to avoid damaging your home’s foundation, you’ll want this hose to either lead into a very large container or (ideally) to the outside and away from it. If you use a little bucket, you run the chance of flooding your basement or the area where the tank is located, which is not ideal. If your basement has a drain, you may be able to divert the water to it by placing the other end of your hose near the drain and directing it there.

Step4: Open The Drain Valve And Let The Tank Empty

Depending on how much sediment has accumulated in your tank, you may be able to see bits of sediment being discharged from it as they pass through. With increased frequency of cleaning, you’ll be able to determine whether or not you’re maintaining a high level of consistency based on the quantity of sediment that comes out.

Not Getting Any Water Out Of The Tank? Try This!

You will not see any flow if you open the drain valve when there has been an excessive buildup of silt in the tank, which has clogged the drain valve. To correct the situation, use a wet/dry shop vacuum to remove the obstruction. The majority of the time, this will enough. If it does not, the situation may necessitate the involvement of a professional.

Step5: Reactivate The Cold Water Supply

Before you unplug your hose from the drain valve, be sure the cold water supply has been reactivated. This water will aid in the dislodgmentation of any further sediment that may have accumulated in your tank. Continue to allow for a few minutes of drainage until the water escaping from the hose is clean. (Optional) After that, switch off the cold water supply one more time.

Step6: Shut The Drain Valve Off

After you have disconnected the garden hose from the drain valve, turn the valve back on before turning on the cold water supply.

Step7: Close The Faucets After A Minute Or So

During the refilling process of your water heater’s tank, you may notice that discolored water is coming out of your faucets. If you wait a minute or two, this should be resolved. Once this has occurred, you may turn off the faucets.

Step8: Return Your Water Heater To Its Ready State

It entails resetting the thermostat to its default setting, relighting the pilot light if you chose to turn it off, and re-connecting the electricity if you’re using an electric heater to complete the task.

How To Clean A Hot Water Heater With Vinegar

You may need to use vinegar to cut through sediment accumulation if you suspect that your water heater has become seriously clogged with sediment. As far as how to clean a hot water heater with vinegar is concerned, the procedure is simply a few steps longer than what we previously described in detail. Before you proceed with the actions outlined above, do the following.

Remove The Anode Rod

Please refer to your tank’s owner’s handbook for the specific procedure to be followed. In most cases, a recessed bolt will require the use of a wrench to be unfastened.

Use A Funnel To Place Vinegar Inside The Tank

When you remove the anode rod, you will see a hole in the area where it was previously located. This is the location where the funnel should be placed. Fill the tank with no more than four gallons of vinegar after passing it through this funnel.

Replace The Anode Rod And Activate The Cold Water Supply

Reinstall the anode rod and turn on the cold water supply again. This will cause the tank to fill up with water again. Make sure to let the tank remain with the vinegar-infused water for the whole 24-hour period. During that time, the acidity of the vinegar will begin to work its way through the sediment.

Go Through Steps1 through8

To completely remove the vinegar (as well as any sediment that should have dissolved) from your tank, follow the instructions in steps 1 through 8 to the letter.

How To Clean A Tankless Water Heater

The fact that your water heater does not have a tank does not rule out the possibility of silt and minerals accumulating inside it over time. Essentially, a tankless heater does not store water and instead heats it on demand, as the name suggests. As a result, becoming familiar with the process of pumping water into the system and then directing it out is essential to knowing how to clean a tankless water heater. The following are the steps to follow in order to do this correctly.

Step1: Switch The Power And Gas Off

To begin, turn off the electricity and gas (if your tankless heater is powered by gas).

Step2: Remove The Unit’s Panel And Test The Electricity

It is possible to detect whether you have correctly unplugged the electricity from the tankless water heater by using a no-contact electrical tester. This is a safety measure in case you accidentally turned off the wrong switch on your circuit breaker. It will alert you if you have done so. Once you are positive that the electricity has been turned off, go to the following step.

Step3: Turn Off The Water Supply

Shut down the water supply line that runs directly into your tankless heater.

Step4: Connect The Hoses

In contrast to a traditional water heater with a tank, you’ll have to actually bring water into your tankless heater as part of the cleansing process.

That is why you will require two hoses. There are two connections: one links the unit to a pump (which pumps water into it) and another connects the unit to an isolation valve (catching the water as it expelled from the tank after making its way through).

Step5: Prepare A Five-Gallon Bucket With Your Pump And Hose

Prepare the vinegar by filling a five-gallon bucket halfway with vinegar and placing your pump and the open end of your second hose inside.

Step6: Let The Pump Run For An Hour

Turn on the pump and let it running continuously for an hour. The pump will circulate the vinegar through your tankless heater in a closed loop configuration. Hopefully, the steady flow (together with the acidity of the vinegar) will be powerful enough to wear away at any built-up sediment in your heater.

Step7: Remove The Pump And Activate The Cold Water Supply

Allow the pump to run nonstop for an hour to complete the cycle. The pump will circulate the vinegar via a loop in your tankless heater. As a result of the continual flow (and acidity of the vinegar), any sediment that has accumulated in your heater should be removed.

Step8: Return Your Tankless Heater To Its Operational State

Disconnecting the hoses, replacing the panel, and reactivating the water supply valves are all steps in this process. The final step should be to re-establish electrical power to the device.

How To Clean Out Your Water Heater: Conclusion

By the end of this article, you should have gained an understanding of the fact that knowing how to clean out your water heater does not involve any specialist knowledge of the system. You should be able to do this task without difficulty if you follow the procedures outlined above. To summarize, let’s take a look at some of the specific considerations you’ll need to make based on the sort of water heater you have.

How To Clean An Electric Water Heater: Special Considerations

The procedure for cleaning an electric water heater is much less complicated than the procedure for cleaning a gas water heater. Because everything is powered by electricity, you won’t have to relight the pilot light when you’re finished with it.

How To Clean A Gas Water Heater: Special Considerations

As far as the proper way to clean a gas water heater is concerned, there are two important aspects to keep in mind. Before beginning the operation, you must turn off the gas valves in the house. Because turning off the thermostat will deactivate it, you will also need to relight the pilot light after you are finished.

Cleaning A Tankless Water Heater: Special Considerations

The fact that your heater does not have a reservoir for fluid means that you will need to introduce water and clean it out.

Feel Like This Is Above Your Pay Grade? Trust American Home Water and Air

Don’t be concerned if you find all of this to be a bit overwhelming. If you live in or around the Phoenix, Arizona region, we would be delighted to assist you with the upkeep of your water heater. For additional information on our straightforward pricing and worry-free service, please contact us.

How to flush your tankless water heater and save $$$!

Despite the fact that tankless water heaters are efficient and effective, they require regular maintenance to guarantee that scale does not build up in the system. Flushing your tankless heater is a straightforward process that should take no more than 1-2 hours to complete. Accomplish this activity once a year is sufficient for the majority of water quality issues, but if you have really hard water, you may want to complete it more frequently.

Step by step

Tankless hot water heaters are a wonderful technology that not only are more energy efficient than their tank-based counterparts, but they also give customers with a limitless supply of hot water. Every year, much like traditional tank hot water heaters, tankless hot water heaters require flushing to guarantee that they operate at peak efficiency. Failure to flush your tankless hot water heater may result in the formation of scale, which are hard mineral deposits, inside the device, which will reduce its efficiency.

It is possible to avoid long-term difficulties by doing easy annual maintenance!

First, check to see if you have flush valves installed; if you don’t, you’ll need to hire a plumber to do so before you can continue.

Let’s get this party started! The video below, created by Matt Risinger, demonstrates how to accomplish this process. For additional information on building science and exquisite craftsmanship, make sure to subscribe to Matt’s YouTube Channel. Preparation Unit

  1. Check for Flush Valves if there are any. Check to see if your unit is equipped with a set of flush valves. These will be similar in appearance to a hose bib and will feature screw-on caps. Please install these first if they are not already installed on your computer before continuing. In order to complete this work properly, we recommend that you engage a professional plumber. Shut off the gas or electricity supply. By utilizing the inline valve, you may turn off the gas supply to the machine. Utilize the disconnect or breaker if you have an electric item
  2. Otherwise, use the fuse. Turn off the water supply. Open the Flush Valves if necessary. Shut down all of the cold and hot water valves that come into and out of the unit. Once this is completed, remove the caps and open the flush valves. Ensure that the filter is clean. If necessary, remove and clean the inline filter. This will be situated just above the cold-water intake pipework. Remove the detachable filter and clean it by swishing it around in with vinegar, followed by some water, before reinstalling. System of flushing
  3. Make the Vinegar according per package directions. Submerge the Pump in water. Connect the hoses together. Fill your 5-gallon bucket halfway with ordinary white vinegar (three gallons). Submerge your pump and connect the hoses that run from the pump to the flush valves on the side of the tank. Make certain that your pump is only turned on while it is immersed, or it may overheat. Run the pump for a total of 90 minutes. Turn on the pump and let the vinegar to circulate throughout the system for 90 minutes. The mild acidity of the vinegar is what causes the scale to break down on the inside of the pump
  4. Turn off the pump. Disconnect the hoses from the boiler. Pump should be turned off and hoses should be disconnected after 90 minutes. Fill up the spaces between the flush valve covers and close the flush valves. Double Take a look at the Filter Check the filter once again to ensure that it is free of obstructions. Restore the flow of water, gas, or electricity. Open the cold and hot water valves on your faucets. Re-open the gas valve or re-energize the electric system. Due to the fact that gas tankless hot water heaters do not have a pilot light, there is no need to be concerned about re-igniting anything. Complete the form. All done and you have plenty of hot water accessible from your clean and clear heater to last you another year. Finished! Don’t forget to mark this activity as completed on your dashboard after you are finished.

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