Maintaining your tankless water heater
Tankless water heaters, also referred to as on-demand or instantaneous, are becoming more common in Canadian households. They’re great for small spaces and offer efficiencies as high as 98 per cent. Better yet, a well-maintained tankless water heater can last about 20 years*—some manufacturers even offer 25-year limited warranties.
A tankless water heater doesn’t store water like a standard storage tank water heater. It heats the water only as it’s needed. Smaller than a storage tank, it can be hung on a wall.
In comparison, standard storage tank water heaters only last between 10 and 13 years. To ensure you get the most out of your tankless water heater have it serviced annually by a licensed gas contractor.
What should a tankless water heater service include?
- checking operating and safety controls
- testing ignition device and burner operation, clean as required
- examining vent connector and venting system
- flushing out heat exchanger as per manufacturer’s instructions to remove hard-water deposits as any scale build-up may cause damage to the heat exchanger
Tankless water heater safety tips
- Inspect and keep the area around the water heater clear and free of flammable items, such as laundry, papers, boxes, solvents, propane cylinders or gasoline-powered equipment.
- Check the fresh air supply vent (outside) for blockage such as dust, garden debris, snow, etc. and remove build-up with a vacuum cleaner or damp towel.
- Wipe the outside surface with a damp towel to remove dust.
When to call a professional
Call a licensed gas contractor for service if you notice these signs of trouble with your natural gas tankless water heater:
- water leaking from the unit or piping
- dust or soot around the exhaust vent at the top of the unit
- abnormal sounds during operation