Tankless water heaters have revolutionized how we access hot water in our homes. They provide a continuous supply of hot water while being energy-efficient and space-saving. However, like any appliance, maintaining tankless water heaters is essential to ensure they perform optimally. This comprehensive guide will help you keep your tankless water heater with tasks you should never skip.

How Often Does Your Tankless Water Heater Need Maintenance?

Maintenance frequency is crucial in ensuring your tankless water heater’s performance and longevity. In general, you should service these systems at least once a year. However, if your home has hard water, maintaining tankless water heaters may require yearly maintenance to prevent scale buildup.

Maintenance Frequency

How often you need to clean your tankless water heater depends on how hard your water is. You should clean your water yearly to stop mineral buildup if it is hard. But if you have soft water or a water softener, you can usually wait 3 to 5 years before doing this maintenance.

Required Maintenance Tasks

Exterior Cleaning of your tankless hot water heater is very important because it prevents dust and debris buildup. Now, let’s explore the essential maintenance tasks.

1. Perform Cleaning or Replacement of the Water Line Filter

Tankless water heaters often feature a water line filter. This part helps stop stuff like chalky stuff, dirt, and bad things from building up in your pipes. If you don’t take care of this filter, it can make your water heater not work well and create problems in all the pipes in your house. So, it’s essential to keep an eye on inlet filter.

It’s important to note that different types are available when maintaining tankless water heaters. Some filters can be reusable, extending their lifespan and minimizing the need for replacements. Filter replacement is necessary after a certain period to ensure they continue working well at cleaning the water.

For precise instructions on how to care for the filter in your specific tankless water heater model, it’s always advisable to consult the user manual provided by the manufacturer.

Furthermore, suppose your tankless water heater lacks a built-in water filter. In that case, you can still enhance water quality and safeguard your plumbing by considering the addition of an external water filter. This proactive step can help maintain the integrity of your plumbing system and prolong the life of your tankless water heater.

2. Clean the Air Filter

In the case of gas-powered tankless water heaters, the air filter is an additional crucial component demanding regular maintenance. Over time, this filter can gradually gather debris, such as dust, insects, and other particles. When this happens, it can disrupt the airflow within the system, leading to errors and diminished performance.

To keep your air filter in good shape, check the manual with your tankless water heater first. This manual has special instructions just for your type of water heater. It helps you do the maintenance right.

Cleaning the air filter is pretty straightforward. You’ll need to unscrew a few things to get to the filter, then take it out carefully. You should rinse it with water to get rid of the dirt. After rinsing, ensure the filter is completely dry before returning it to the water heater.

Following these steps will ensure your gas-powered tankless water heater’s air filter stays in good condition. This helps air flow nicely and stops problems that could otherwise make it not work well.

3. Descaling and Flushing the System

Now, let’s address one of the more intricate maintenance tasks: descaling and flushing the tankless water heater system. Over time, even with a water filter in place, lime and calcium deposits can build up within the system. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to perform this maintenance cleaning:

The Descale Process

To start cleaning your water heater, you have two good choices. You can use white vinegar, which you probably have in your kitchen, or get a special cleaning liquid. 

No matter which one you pick, you’ll need a pump that can go underwater. This pump will help the cleaning liquid go through the water heater. Let it run for at least 45 minutes to do a good job breaking down and getting rid of the mineral buildup inside.


After completing the descaling process, it’s crucial to flush the tankless water heater system with clean water thoroughly. Connect a garden hose to the hot side service valve. Flushing ensures that any remaining traces of the descaling solution and loosened deposits are removed from the unit, leaving it clean and ready to provide efficient, uninterrupted hot water.

By following these steps, you can effectively tackle the challenge of descaling and flushing your tankless water heater, maintaining its performance, and extending its lifespan, regardless of the mineral content in your water supply.

Seeking Professional Assistance

Seeking professional assistance for maintaining tankless water heaters is prudent, especially if you need more certainty about performing the tasks yourself. Professionals have the experience and expertise to ensure that care is carried out correctly and can identify and address any potential issues that might go unnoticed during DIY maintenance. These experts are well-versed in the intricacies of tankless water heaters, guaranteeing that your system receives the best care possible. So, don’t hesitate to contact a qualified professional to schedule a maintenance appointment and keep your tankless water heater running at its best for years.


In short, maintaining tankless water heaters is essential for longevity and ensuring your home’s continuous hot water supply. These innovative systems offer energy efficiency and space-saving benefits but require attention to keep them running optimally. From cleaning or replacing water line filters to addressing the air filter in gas-powered units and performing the complicated descaling and flushing process, this comprehensive guide has covered the critical maintenance tasks you should always pay attention to.

This guide has talked about essential tasks like changing or cleaning filters, dealing with the air filter in gas heaters, and doing a detailed cleaning process called descaling and flushing. How often you do these tasks depends on how hard your water is, so check your user manual for the proper schedule. And if you need more clarification on doing the maintenance, getting help from an expert is okay.

Following these tips, your tankless water heater will keep giving you hot water right when needed, work efficiently, and last a long time.

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