Water Heater Maintenance

Water heater maintenance is one of the most important ways to save money over time and delay replacement costs for as long as possible. This is especially true of tankless water heaters that require annual maintenance due to calcium and limescale build up.

Our goal with this site is to help save you money by performing water heater maintenance yourself, saving on contractor costs as well as replacement costs.

Hot Water Tank Maintenance

We’ll start with the traditional hot water tank. For many people, hot water tanks are rentals from their utility company and as such maintenance of the water heaters fall on the provide.

Since hot water tanks require very little maintenance, it’s rare that a utility company will come in to provide service unless something goes wrong.

If you own your own hot water tank and want it to last as long as possible, you can do the following steps every 3 – 4 years

  1. VERY IMPORTANT – SHUT DOWN THE POWER SOURCE BEFORE TOUCHING THE WATER HEATER.
  2. Once the power is off, you can use a series of buckets and drain the tank using the pressure relief valve located directly on the tank.
  3. If when you release the valve you do not see any pressurized steam, you should replace the valve before turning the hot water tank back on.
  4. After all the water is drained, any sediment from your water should have been drained in the buckets. If you do not see any sediment, then consider delaying your maintenance schedule for your tank.
  5. Once everything is drained, turn the power back on to the heater (gas or electric) to fill up with fresh water

Tankless Water Heater Maintenance

Compared to a water tank, tankless water heaters require much more maintenance, especially if you have hard water.

The biggest procedure you’ll need to do is remove the build up of limescale and calcium inside the unit. Please follow these steps every year:

  1. Completely shut off all power to your tankless water heater, gas or electricity.
  2. Completely shut off the water.
  3. Open all the valves on your heater, there should be three located on the outside of the unit.
  4. Drain all the water into buckets that you have set aside. This “flushing” will be part of what we need to do with our cleaning agent.
  5. Many people choose to use all natural vinegar to descale the water heater. There are also natural solutions available to purchase at amazon or your local hardware store. Try to avoid using solutions that have harsh chemicals since this is the source of your drinking water!
  6. Run the vinegar or all natural solution through the machine 5 – 10 times, or until the cleaning solution is running clear. You’ll notice sediments flushing through on each cycle.

You should really perform this maintenance at least once per year, and it should take you less than 2 hours. At the very most you can stretch it to two years. In some areas with very hard water, and no water softener before it gets to the hot water tank, you may even want to perform this maintenance twice per year.

We hope that our maintenance guide has made it easy and clear for you to perform your annual maintenance. If you have any questions, I’d be glad to help, you can contact me using this page.