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How Long Do Tankless Water Heaters Last?

a tankless water heater

Tankless water heaters are gaining in popularity. Tankless water heaters heat water on demand instead of pulling hot water from a storage tank. That means you can enjoy a nice hot shower even if you wake up late and everyone has had their turn. But, that’s not the only advantage of tankless units.

Another benefit of investing in a tankless water heater is its durability. Tankless models can be a better value for your money because they can easily outlast tanked units. You might have to pay more upfront, but its longevity makes up for that.

How Long Do Tankless Water Heaters Last? How Can You Maximize Their Lifespan?

They’re not cheap, so many homeowners want to know how long tankless water heaters last before taking the plunge. You’ll be happy to know they can work efficiently for 15 to 20 years. That’s a significant improvement from standard models, which tend to max out at 10.

Tanked water heaters deteriorate faster because of the tank itself. The heating process causes minerals in the water to break up. These particles then settle at the bottom of the tank, slowly accumulating over time. The sediment buildup can eventually damage the tank. When that happens, the only solution is to replace the entire water heater unit. You don’t have to worry about this issue with tankless models.

While tankless water heaters have impressive durability, that doesn’t mean they don’t need TLC. They require regular maintenance to perform their best. Here are some tips to help you extend the life of your tankless water heater:

Keep the Water Line Filter Clean

Most tankless water heaters have a water line filter that shields the unit from hard water and sediments. Eventually, these particles build up on the filter, hampering the unit’s performance. They can also seep into the plumbing system, affecting the pipes and appliances.

Some filters you can clean and reuse, while others require complete replacement. Browse through your unit’s manual to figure out which type of filter you have. That way, you know how to clean it once it’s clogged with dirt.

Keep the Air Filter Clean

If your tankless water filter runs on natural gas, it probably has a filter between the fan and air intake pipe. Check this filter regularly because insects, dirt and other particles can clog it up, restricting the airflow. It can even cause electrical issues and unit errors.

Cleaning it shouldn’t be too stressful. All it takes is removing some screws, rinsing the filter and letting it dry. It might differ per model, so refer to the manual for the exact steps.

Flush Out the System

The most tedious maintenance task for your tankless water heater is flushing out its system. While it’s not the most fun experience, your unit will thank you. Even with a water line filter, sediment can find their way in and cause long-term damage. Flushing prevents this issue.

If your area has hard water, try to flush out your unit at least once a year. If you have soft water or already have a water softener system, you only need to do it every three years. You can also descale your unit before flushing it so it’s extra clean. You can use white vinegar or a descaling solution.

Keep the Exterior Clean

Your tankless water heater will run for years if you keep its interior in good condition. While that’s the key to its longevity, it also helps to clean its exterior. Thankfully, it’s much easier than flushing out the inside. Spray some cleaner on a washcloth and wipe down the unit. That will keep grime and rust away and help preserve your heater.

If you live in a chilly area, make it a habit to check the water pipes. Look out for cracks and other signs of damage. The last thing you want is a flooded home from a burst pipe. Another maintenance task you can add to your to-do list is inspecting the pressure valve. This component can sense excess pressure inside the system, releasing water to relieve it. Check on it to prevent catastrophes in the bathroom.

Schedule Professional Maintenance

Professional maintenance is one of the best things you can do for your tankless water heater. Trust the pros to check on it regularly. Professional plumbers will inspect all components and ensure everything’s running smoothly. If something is amiss, they’ll perform the necessary repairs or replacements to prevent further damage.

a kitchen

Tankless Water Heater Benefits

Are you tired of never having enough hot water at home? If you don’t want to speed through another cold shower again, consider investing in a tankless water heater. There are many benefits to doing so, including the following.

Bottomless Hot Water Supply

With tankless water heaters, everyone in your household can enjoy hot showers whenever they want. That’s because tankless water heaters don’t depend on a tank’s capacity. They heat water on demand quickly, pulling straight from the water supply.

Energy Efficiency

Tanked water heaters work hard around the clock. They keep their temperatures up to heat the stored water, whether you need it or not. That’s a lot of energy and money spent. Tankless water heaters work smarter, not harder. They only heat water when needed, meaning less wastage and lower electricity bills.

Space Saving

Not everyone has enough space at home to accommodate bulky tanked water heaters. If you’re working with a tight space, tankless water heaters are the way to go. These space-saving appliances are much more compact. Some are even small enough to mount on a wall. That will give you so much more room for other household essentials.

Longer Lifespan

The price tags on tankless water heaters might scare some away. While they cost more than tanked units, they also last much longer. You won’t have to purchase another one for the next twenty years with proper maintenance. Tanked models’ lifespans are only half of that. You’ll end up saving more down the line if you go tankless.

Peace of Mind

Standard water heater tanks store over 50 gallons of water in their tanks. But these tanks aren’t indestructible and will corrode and develop leaks over time. Imagine all of that stored water flooding your home. It can lead to water damage and costly repairs. You don’t have to worry about this issue with tankless models. The most damage they can do is a leaky faucet, which is more manageable.

The benefits of owning a tankless water heater outweigh its initial cost. If you want to equip your home with one, a professional plumber can help you pick the best model. The plumber knows how tankless water heaters work, can install it for you and ensure everything runs smoothly. Have your plumber check on your unit regularly so it can keep performing its best and last many years.

a shower head

Why Your Tankless Water Heater Shuts Off During Shower

Tankless water heaters are better than their tanked cousins in many ways, but that doesn’t mean they’re perfect. One issue a homeowner may have is that their unit suddenly shuts off in the middle of a shower. No one wants to be surprised like that, especially on cold winter mornings.

If this has been happening to you, it probably means your unit is overwhelmed. It can’t provide the amount of hot water your household needs. While tankless models can give you infinite hot water, there’s a maximum amount per minute. That’s your unit’s flow rate. Most models can only handle two to five gallons per minute. Note that electric models usually have lower flow rates than gas-powered ones. You’ll get cold or lukewarm water if the demand in your home exceeds the water heater’s limit.

Using hot water appliances while someone’s showering is a common way to overload tankless water heaters. You can deal with this problem by installing more units in your home or upgrading your existing one to the correct size tankless water heater. A professional plumber can determine the best model for your family’s needs and install the unit for you.

Let the Pros Handle Your Water Heater Woes

Tankless water heaters are durable, lasting twice as long as tanked models. But that doesn’t mean you won’t ever run into problems. Schedule regular maintenance with a professional plumber to keep your unit in tip-top shape.

They have the tools and expertise to fix issues before they snowball into larger, more expensive problems. With professional maintenance, you never have to brave cold showers again.

ABC Can Take Care of All Your Tankless Water Heater Needs

There are many benefits of tankless water heaters. However, installing and maintaining a tankless water heater is a job best left to a professional. At ABC Home & Commercial Services, our specialists are highly trained and can take care of any water heater service you may need. We even have pros available 24/7 for those repairs that just can’t wait. They can also help you decide whether a tankless water heater or a tank water heater is best for you.

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