Tankless water heaters can be an incredible addition to your home, especially if there are several teenagers in the house. If you have a tankless water heater installed, it will eventually need repair, just like any other appliance. To help you make that decision about installing such a useful and efficient appliance, you should know about some of the more common repairs these appliances eventually require, and how they are resolved.
A tankless water heater has two ports. One port brings water into the appliance to be heated on demand. The other port sends the water up into the hot water pipes that are drawing water into sinks, shower/tubs, and the dishwasher. These pipes, being pipes, can and will leak at some point in the future. It usually is not too terrible; replacing the pipes in and out of the ports is a quick fix.
Heating Element Fails
Inside every tankless water heater, there is a heating element. It acts like a burner on a stove, getting red-hot to heat water, and then cooling off to die down after the demand for water has subsided. The heating element may fail after several years of use. Your repair technician only has to open up the tankless water heater, remove the worn out heating element, and replace it with a new heating element.
Hard water can do some serious damage to a tankless water heater. There is not a lot of room inside these appliances for a ton of water, since that is not what they are designed to do. The water generally flows in, is heated, and is sent on to the open hot water tap.
Hard water will collect lime and calcium inside the workings of the water heater, eventually clogging it up and making it nearly impossible to get consistent hot water flow. If you start by installing a water softener system in your home a few weeks before installing the tankless water heater, your tankless water heater will last a very long time. If you do not have softened water before installing the tankless water heater, you may need to replace this water heater less than a decade after you install it because the hard water will cause that much internal damage.
Are You Ready?
HVAC technicians can install a tankless water heater for you and help you maintain it. They will also repair it for you when it eventually experiences any of the above problems. If you are okay with these trade-offs, you can swap your tank water heater for a tankless.