How Do You Flush A 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

Undoubtedly, a submersible pump will be 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 hand flushing and will save you money on labor costs. It will be necessary to use a large bucket to place the pump in for flushing because there is no simple drainage option available like there is with a typical tank type, necessitating the use of a submersible model pump for flushing.

They often include everything you need, including a pump, bucket, descaler, and a variety of hoses.

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 undoubtedly the greatest tankless water heater flush kit in my opinion, regardless of price.

  • 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. Disconnect the electrical power source that is feeding the heater. 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. Discover where the gas isolation valve is located and close it. To prevent any water from entering the unit while you are working, locate the hot and cold shut-off valves and close them accordingly: To release any pressure, locate the hot water pressure relief valve, which should be located somewhere along the hot water line. Take cautious, because the hot water will be quite hot
  2. The service port for cold water and the service port for hot water will be separate. Hoses should be connected to both of these ports. Fill a five-gallon bucket halfway with water and submerge your submersible pump. The cold water pipe should be connected to your pump. Into the bucket, insert the free end of the hot water line
  3. Pour four gallons of undiluted virgin food-grade white vinegar into a pail and set it aside. In addition, Noritz recommends diluting one gallon of CLR with three gallons of water for heavy-duty applications.

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

Technique for flushing a Navien tankless water heater; procedure for flushing a Takagi tankless water heater.

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. Typically, it takes roughly an hour to flush out a tankless hot water heater.

1.

  • Then, at the breaker panel, turn off the electrical circuit that serves the water heater. To turn off the gas to the water heater if it is powered by a gas heater, spin the gas cutoff counterclockwise around the device.

2.

  • 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.

3.

  • The wiring for the water heater unit may be accessed by removing the cover plate with a screwdriver. To test the wiring coming into the terminals, press the tip of a non-contact electrical tester against the wires. Continue turning off breakers or the main circuit breaker to the home until all lines are tested and it is determined that no power is being supplied to the system via the breakers or main circuit breaker. The cover plate must be replaced.

4.

  • 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.

5.

  • 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.
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6.

  • 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.

7.

  • 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.

8.

  • 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 bucket (or other suitable container). Isolate the cold-water supply by closing the valve

9.

  • 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.

10.

  • 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.

11.

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.

Warning

  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.

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.

2.

3.

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.

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 may be exceedingly hazardous to your health. 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

As a rule of thumb, you should clean your tankless water heater once a year (or more frequently if you have hard water or bad water quality). Not only does this remove calcium and other hard water mineral buildups, but it also has the potential to boost the efficiency and durability of the system. Using this method, you will be able to correctly flush a tankless water heater in a short amount of time while maintaining safety standards.

Gather Plumbing Supplies

For example, these are some of the items you will need to accomplish a tankless water heater flushing project:

  • Tools: a screwdriver, an adjustable wrench, and needle nose pliers are all recommended. Hose: Approximately 6 feet of washing machine hose is required. Electrical Tester: A voltage tester that does not make contact with the circuit. You’ll need a submersible pump for this project. A 5-gallon container to collect any extra water is provided. Vinegar (four gallons): virgin, food-grade vinegar or commercial deliming solution

Preparing to Flush a Tankless Water Heater

  1. Turn off the gas feed to your tankless water heater if it is powered by gas. Disconnect electrical power from electric water heaters by turning off the appliance and turning off the circuit breaker for the circuit
  2. Make use of the non-contact electrical tester to ensure that there is no electrical current flowing into the device after opening the access panel Next, find the shut-off valves for the hot and cold water. These should be closed in order to prevent water from entering the water heater. A pressure relief valve is installed on the hot water supply pipe. Using caution, open it to release any pressure that has built up
  3. Avoid contact with boiling water. You may now connect hoses to both the cold-water port and the hot-water port on the faucet. Place the submersible pump in the five-gallon bucket and fill it with water. Next, connect the cold-water line to the pump and insert the other end of the hot-water hose into the bucket to complete the installation. Fill the bucket halfway with the white vinegar that you’ve set aside earlier.

Flushing Your Tankless Water Heater

  1. When you’re ready to start flushing, open both the hot and cold water ports on the faucet, switch on the pump, and let the vinegar circulate for roughly an hour. It is necessary for any mineral scale in the copper lines to break down and for sediment to be cleaned away
  2. Remove the vinegar from the bucket and shut off the cold-water supply port to complete the task. Remove the hose and turn on the cold water shut-off valve to flush any residual vinegar out of the system. Allow it to run for approximately 10 minutes before shutting off the valve.
Once the water finishes draining:
  1. The second hose should be disconnected and closed, and then the cold-water input filter and, if your tankless water heater has one, the hot-water in-line filter should be removed. Using the sink, flush out the sediment. Replace the filters, reinstall the access panel, and reconnect the gas or electricity supply, depending on the unit
  2. Reinstall the access panel.

Note: When you need to flush a tanklesswater heaterthat’s electric, you’ll also need to remove the heating elements.

  1. To do this, unscrew the screws that are holding the wires to them and spin the hexagonal brass top of the heating element in a counterclockwise direction to release it. When you have finished examining the heating components for damage, place them in the copper chambers and let them soak in vinegar for 90 minutes to two hours
  2. Afterward, drain the vinegar out of the system and reconnect the heating elements and cables
  3. Start by turning on a couple hot water faucets and letting them run for about five minutes to flush the system of vinegar and air pockets
  4. Then switch off the water shut-off valves. Prior to removing/cleaning the cold-water input filter, turn off all faucets and shut off the cold-water supply valve. Replacing the filter, closing the access panel, and re-energizing the unit are all recommended.

Contact Home X PlumbingRooter

If you want assistance when flushing a tankless water heater, we are available to assist you.

We’re also known for our water heater repair services in Anaheim and throughout Southern California. To make a service request, please contact us through the online or by phone at 714-515-7588.

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.

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

  • 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.
  • Then you’ll want to look for the single screw that holds the air intake filter in place.
  • 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.
  • 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.

  1. Replace the service valve cap with a screwdriver and tighten it.
  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. After everything has been completed, it is necessary to inspect the water filters.
  4. These may be unscrewed with just your fingers if necessary.
  5. After removing the filters, make sure to thoroughly check the area for debris.

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

Following the complete descalement and cleaning of your tankless water heater’s air intake filter, it is time to reassemble everything. Before opening any valves, double-check that all service caps are securely fastened. After you’ve made certain that everything is properly sealed, you may begin opening valves. I’d start with the cold water valve and work my way up from there. You’ll hear the sound of water streaming inside your body. After that, turn on the hot water faucet. After that, the gas and central circulation valves are opened (yellow).

As soon as the display turns on and the machine begins to cycle, you may observe various symbols on the screen.

I hope everything goes as well for you as it did for me.

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.

  • Photograph courtesy of Matt Risinger Tankless water heaters are an excellent illustration of this.
  • Although performance improves considerably with tankless technology, the amount of maintenance required increases dramatically as well.
  • “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.
  • “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.

“Tankless water heater maintenance is modest,” adds the expert, “but, like with any appliance, if it is not properly maintained, it can have an adverse effect on the product’s long-term performance and life cycle.”

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

Tankless water heaters that are newer than five years often have flush kits installed during the installation process, making DIY flushing a simpler task. A professional will be required to do the maintenance on an older tankless device that does not include a flush kit. Photograph courtesy of Matt Risinger Tankless water heaters should be cleansed once a year, as opposed to tank-style ones, which can operate for several years without needing maintenance. In most cases, the frequency is annual, unless the water quality is low, in which case it is advisable to do so more regularly, according to Federico.

Some systems can even be remotely monitored by the plumbing business that serves the house.

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

Having a hard water location nearby is another contributing element to Risinger’s recurrent tankless water heater flushing. The accumulation of minerals (mostly calcium) in scale is what causes it to form, and so hard water will result in more scale than softer water. Risinger and Federico both agree that installing a water softener in a home with a tankless water heater might be a wise investment.

‘Water softeners may be really beneficial, especially in locations where the water quality is less than ideal,’ explains Federico. In addition to extending the product’s life, they can aid to reduce the frequency with which a unit must be flushed.

How to Flush a Tankless Water Heater: Gas and Electric

Flushing a tankless water heater on a regular basis is the single most critical action you can conduct to ensure that your heater is operating at top efficiency. It is possible that failing to flush your tankless system can result in a shortened service life as well as increased fuel expenditures. Though it is strongly recommended that you have a professional inspect your unit on an annual basis, the flushing operation is not too difficult and might save you money if you complete it yourself.

Knowing what has to be done, whether you intend to handle it yourself or hire an expert, will help you get the most out of your tankless water heater.

Preparing to Flush Your Tankless Water Heater

In order to maintain top performance from your tankless water heater, flushing it on a regular basis is the single most crucial chore. It is possible that failing to clean your tankless system can result in a shorter service life and increased fuel costs. Despite the fact that we strongly recommend having a professional inspect your unit once a year, the flushing process is not too difficult and may save you money if you do it on your own. The majority of the maintenance activities required to maintain your tankless system operating at top efficiency may be handled by the homeowner with minimal assistance.

  • When working with your tankless water heater, you should use extreme caution at all times. The water within the system can be quite hot, especially if the heater was just turned on
  • We highly advise against flushing your tankless water heater with chemicals. A natural cleaning product that is both safe and effective, vinegar also has a low environmental impact. Always refer to your tankless water heater’s owner’s handbook for exact installation instructions for your particular model.

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Necessary Supplies

Flushing is required on a regular basis for both gas and electric tankless water heaters. It is crucial to note that the methods for each kind of tankless water heater are completely different. Electric systems are simple to flush, and in most cases (apart from the vinegar), you will just want a screw driver and a wrench, which you most likely already have on hand. Gas distribution systems are more complicated. The following is a list of the items that are often required to flush limescale from gas tankless water heaters: Some manufacturers include Isolation Valves with Service Ports with their gas tankless water heaters, which may be found here.

Isolation Valves with Service Ports are highly recommended if your gas tankless heating system does not already have them.

They are a good purchase that you will not be disappointed with.

Flushing techniques for electric heating systems are completely different from those used for gas heating systems. Isolation Valves with Service Ports are a type of isolation valve. Isolation valves make cleansing a gas tankless water heater considerably easier than it would otherwise be.

Deliming Solution

There are various commercial solution solutions available that may be used to remove lime scale build-up; however, most manufacturers advocate using vinegar instead of these products. It’s safe, it’s ecologically friendly, it’s cheap, and it’s quite effective. Tankless water heater repair may be performed for as little as the cost of a few gallons of vinegar if you have all of the essential equipment and supplies on hand. Find a Local PlumberToday is the day to fix your plumbing emergency!

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How to Flush aGasTankless Water Heater

The flushing processes outlined below are for tankless water heaters that are powered by natural gas. If you have an electric tankless water heater, please refer to the instructions for electric tankless water heaters for further information. As is always the case, your greatest source of information is your owner’s handbook, which will provide instructions particular to your tankless system. The techniques outlined here should only be used as a guide, not as a set of absolutes. The amount of time advised for the vinegar to circulate varies from maker to manufacturer, but as a general rule of thumb, the longer the period, the better.

For those who do not have have them installed, we recommend that you call a competent professional to either install them for you or flush your tankless system.

Flushing Procedures for Gas Tankless Water Heaters

  1. The electrical power to the tankless water heater should be turned off
  2. Removing the access panel and using a non-contact voltage tester to check the wires flowing into the terminal to ensure that all power has been unplugged is recommended. DISCONNECT THE HOT AND COLD VENTILATION VAULTS. As a result, cold water will be prevented from entering your unit and water will be prevented from entering your home’s plumbing system
  3. Open the Hot Water Pressure Relief Valve located on the Hot Water Line to relieve the pressure buildup. Use cautious since any water that is discharged may be extremely hot
  4. The cold water service port on one end of Hose1 should be connected to a Submersible Pump on the other end of Hose1. Connect one end of Hose2 to theHot Water Service Port and the other end to the Submersible Pump in a 5-gallon bucket. Into the bucket, insert the end of Hose2 that is not attached. Pour 4 gallons of virgin, food-grade white vinegar into the 5-gallon bucket that holds the submersible pump (see illustration). DON’T dilute the vinegar in any way. Allow for at least 60 minutes of circulation of vinegar through the tankless water heater by opening the hot and cold service ports, turning on the submersible pump, and allowing the vinegar to flow through the tankless water heater. The lime scale build-up will be broken down and flushed away as a result of this procedure. This should be done at a pace of 4 gallons per minute
  5. If your pump circulates at a slower rate, you should let the pump to run for a longer period of time. Immediately turn off the Submersible Pump and dispose of the vinegar.

Rinse the Vinegar from the Tankless after Flushing

  1. Remove the unattached end of Hose2 from the bucket and dispose of it in a drain or on the street
  2. HOSE1 should be removed and theCold Water Service Port should be closed, followed by the Cold Water Shut-off Valve being opened. Ensure that you do not open the hot water shut-off valve. As soon as theCold Water Service Valveis turned on, fresh water will begin to flow through the device, flushing away any vinegar that may have remained. Allow the water to flow for 10 minutes before closing the Cold Water Shut-off Valve to prevent the water from freezing. As a result, the water will no longer flow through the device. Take out Hose 2 and close the Hot Water Service Port after the water has stopped draining.

Clean the Inlet Filter

  1. Remove the Cold Water Inlet Filter from the system. (A Cold Water Inlet Filter is included with every tankless water heater.) A few manufacturers additionally include a Hot Water In-Line Filter, which should be cleaned at the same time as the rest of the system.)
  2. Remove any sedimjavascript:void(0)ent that has accumulated within the housing and screen of theCold Water Inlet Filter by flushing it with tap water. Replace theCold Water Inlet Filter in a secure manner, and then OPEN theCold Water Shut-off Valve. Repair or replace the access panel cover, then re-energize the unit’s electrical power supply

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It is recommended that you follow the flushing methods outlined below for electric tankless water heaters. For those of you who have a gas tankless water heater, please refer to the guidelines mentioned above, which are particular to gas tankless water heaters. These processes should only be used as a reference; as is always the case, your tankless water heater’s owner’s handbook will be the most reliable source of information for your particular tankless water heater. Please see this page for further information on why it is vital to consult your owner’s manual.

The maintenance requirements for electric tankless water heaters are lower than those for gas heating systems; nonetheless, they still require periodic maintenance and inspection.

The majority of manufacturers recommend flushing once a year, although it should be noted that the frequency of flushing is ultimately controlled by the hardness of your water.

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Flushing Procedures for Electric Tankless Water Heaters

  1. The electrical power to the tankless unit should be turned off at the circuit breaker
  2. SHUT OFF THE COLD WATER VENTILATION VALVE. As a result, water will not be allowed to enter the tankless system
  3. By opening the taps in your house, you may drain the water from the tankless water heater. Close the hot water shut-off valve if it is not already closed. Removing the lid and using a non-contact voltage tester to double-check that no electricity is reaching the device is recommended.

Remove the Electrical Heating Elements

  1. Removing the screws that hold the wires that are attached to the top of the heating elements is necessary. To release the hexagon brass top of the heating element, use a wrench to turn it clockwise. Remove the heating element from the copper tank by rotating it in the counter-clockwise direction. Inspect the heating components for wear and tear. If any of them are cracked, they should be replaced immediately. Placing the heating components within the copper chambers of the tankless unit is the best option.

Fill Copper Chambers with Vinegar

  1. Virgin, food-grade white vinegar should be used to fill the copper chambers (which contain the heating components). Leaving the vinegar to soak in the chambers for 90 to 120 minutes is recommended
  2. After draining the vinegar, replace the heating components with new ones that are tightened in a clockwise rotation. The cables should be secured to the top of the heating elements by using a screwdriver.

Flush the Vinegar from the Tankless

  1. RELAX and allow water to flow into the tankless system by opening theCold Water Shut-off Valve. Keep an eye out for leaks as the tank is full. Open the Hot Water Shut-off Valve if necessary. INSTALL a number of hot water faucets throughout your home and leave them running for approximately 5 minutes. This will aid in flushing out the vinegar and removing any air pockets that may have formed inside the hot water pipes.

Clean the Inlet Filter

  1. The Cold Water Inlet Filter should be removed from the cold water line. Remove any silt and debris from the filter housing by flushing it with water
  2. Reinstall the filter with care.

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Importance of Checking your Owner’s Manual

When purchasing an electric tankless water heater, it is crucial to read the owner’s handbook carefully because there might be major design variances between manufacturers. When a tankless unit is not properly flushed, it is more likely to be damaged and require servicing or repair. A number of manufacturers, such as EcoSmart, provide the option of installing Isolation Valves with Service Ports, which allow the user to flush the system in the same manner as you would a gas tankless water heater.

Several other manufacturers, including Bosch, employ a design that has narrower water flow channels and requires a whole new technique of cleansing the system.

If this occurs, professional repair will almost certainly be required.

The electrical heating elements should be removed and soaked in vinegar for 60-90 minutes, according to their flushing recommendations.

After soaking, a brush can be used to assist remove the lime scale that has accumulated due to exposure to the environment. The canister can then be closed and sealed when the replacement O-ring has been inserted in its proper position.

How Often Should a Tankless Water Heater Be Flushed?

Flushing a tankless water heater is an important element of ensuring that the system continues to work at its peak performance. Although manufacturer guidelines differ, the majority of them recommend that you cleanse your tankless system once every 12 months. Tankless water heaters are fundamentally different from their tank-style counterparts; nonetheless, both are adversely affected by limescale build-up in the water supply. Tankless systems will not spring a leak if preventative maintenance is not performed, but they will develop extremely serious problems that may be both expensive and inconvenient if not addressed immediately.

Impact of Hard Water

When it comes to the suggested flushing frequency, the hardness of your water supply is usually the most important factor to consider. Water hardness relates to the amount of minerals present in the water, and certain places are more prone to hard water than others. Learn how to keep your tankless water heater safe from hard water. Put another way, when the water has a high mineral content, your tankless heater will experience increased lime scale build-up within the device. If you reside in a region with high amounts of hard water, this is unfortunately the way things are, and you’ll want to take preventative measures to avoid problems in the future.

Tankless water heaters transmit heat to the water through the use of a heat exchanger.

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Damaging Effects of Lime Scale Build-up

It is inevitable that the quantity of lime scale build-up in your tankless system will rise over time, and as more and more build-up occurs, the number of burner cycles in the heat exchanger will increase as well, in order to compensate for the efficiency that is lost. The increase in the number of burner cycles necessitates the tankless system working harder than it should in order to get the same outcomes as previously. Along with decreasing the efficiency of the heater, this will have a detrimental influence on the service life of the heat exchanger and, as a result, on the tankless water heater’s overall performance.

It’s also important to be proactive when it comes to cleaning your tankless water heater since lime scale build-up may wreak havoc on your tankless water heater, causing damage, loss of efficiency, and limited service life.

Diagnostic codes are frequently shown on higher-end systems to notify the homeowner when the limescale build-up has reached a point where it is no longer possible to operate the system.

Although these features are there, it is recommended that you cleanse your tankless water heater prior to the code being triggered by the system.

Keeping Your Tankless Water Heater Healthy

We strongly recommend that you read our other articles on how to care for your tankless water heater, even though this one dealt especially with flushing a tankless water heater. A tankless water heating system may have a service life of up to 25 years if it is maintained properly, and it can save you money on your electricity bills every month. The following articles will assist you in getting the most out of your tankless heater:

  • We strongly recommend that you read our other articles on how to care for your tankless water heater, even though this post deals especially with flushing a tankless water heater. A tankless water heating system may have a service life of up to 25 years if it is properly maintained, and it can save you money on your electricity bills every month. You can get the most out of your tankless heater if you read the following articles:

In the event that you are a first-time tankless water heater owner, you may want to consider hiring a professional to cleanse your system the first time around. You will have the opportunity to observe, ask questions, and make notes. It will be money well spent, and you will have the satisfaction of knowing that you will know exactly how to accomplish the responsibilities in the future as a result of your training. Repair and Installation of Water Heaters at the Lowest Possible Price Now is the time to call!

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