Navien tankless water heaters are popular for homeowners looking for efficient and on-demand hot water solutions. Unlike traditional tank water heaters, these units heat water as you need it, saving energy and providing endless hot water. However, to keep your Navien tankless water heater running smoothly, it’s essential to understand the importance of routine maintenance, particularly Navien tankless water heater descaling. In this guide, we will talk about the significance of descaling. How often should you do it? And the options available for DIY enthusiasts and those who prefer professional assistance. We’ll also introduce Navien’s innovative PeakFlow scale prevention system as a preventive measure against scaling.

Why Descaling is Essential

Mineral buildup can cause problems for tankless water heaters. Over time, these deposits can build up inside the unit’s water passages, similar to how limescale builds up in a coffee maker. This buildup can cause a variety of problems, including:

  • Reduced Efficiency: Mineral deposits act as insulators, making it harder for the heat exchanger to transfer heat efficiently. As a result, your tankless water heater works harder and consumes more energy.
  • Decreased Flow: The buildup of minerals can restrict water flow, reducing the amount of hot water your unit can produce and causing frustration when you need a steady supply.
  • Lowered Overall Performance: Reduced efficiency and flow translate to an overall decrease in performance, resulting in lukewarm or inconsistent hot water.
  • Potential Damage: In severe cases, mineral buildup can damage the heat exchanger and other components, leading to costly repairs or premature failure.

How Often to Descale

The frequency of descaling or cleaning depends on several factors:

1. Water Mineral Content: If your water supply has a high mineral content, you’ll likely need to descale more often.

2. Set Water Temperature: Higher water temperatures can accelerate mineral buildup and require more frequent descaling.

3. Water Usage: The more hot water your household consumes, the more frequently descaling may be required.

Navien recommends descaling your tankless water heater at least once a year, but it’s essential to monitor these factors to determine the optimal schedule for your unit.

DIY Descaling

With the right equipment and materials, you can tackle descaling if you’re a DIY enthusiast. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • You can use an approved tankless water heater descaling solution or household white vinegar.
  • Use a washing machine hose with two ends to drain your washing machine.
  • An underwater pump.
  • A 5-gallon collection bucket.

Follow these steps for DIY descaling:

1. Shut off the Power: Turn off the power supply to the water heater.

2. Disconnect Water Supply: Disconnect the water supply to the unit.

3. Prepare Drainage: Connect the double-ended washing machine hoses to the water heater’s hot and cold ports. Position the other ends in the 5-gallon bucket.

4. Mix Solution: Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to mix the descaling solution or vinegar with water.

5. Pump the Solution: The underwater pump circulates the descaling solution through the water heater. Follow the recommended time for circulation.

6. Flush with Fresh Water: After descaling, flush the unit thoroughly with fresh water for at least 10 minutes to remove any residual solution.

Always prioritize safety and follow manufacturer directions when using chemicals.

Pros & Cons of DIY Descaling

While DIY descaling offers cost savings and convenience, it has some downsides. You need to have basic plumbing skills and the right equipment. If you don’t do it right, descaling your water heater could cancel the warranty.

Consider these factors before deciding to tackle it yourself.

Professional Descaling

Professional descaling services are available for those who prefer to leave the maintenance to the experts. These professionals have the tools, experience, and knowledge to perform descaling efficiently and safely. To find a Navien service provider in your area, visit the official website’s service provider page.

Consequences of Neglecting Descaling

Neglecting the descaling routine with your Navien tankless water heater can lead to severe problems over time. Mineral buildup can damage the heat exchanger and interfere with standard heating. It may also cause your heat exchanger to malfunction and overheat the water, resulting in damage and premature failure of your tankless water heater.

Prevent Scaling with PeakFlow

Navien offers an innovative solution to prevent scaling before it starts. The PeakFlow scale prevention system is a chemical-free water treatment system designed to keep your tankless water heater free from mineral deposits. By installing PeakFlow, you can ensure your unit operates efficiently and prolongs its lifespan.


Navien tankless water heater Descaling is a crucial part of its maintenance. Regular descaling ensures optimal performance, energy efficiency, and longevity. Whether you choose the DIY approach or opt for professional descaling services, make it a priority to keep your tankless water heater free from mineral buildup. Additionally, consider Navien’s PeakFlow scale prevention system as a proactive measure to prevent scaling and keep your hot water flowing reliably.

Don’t wait until scaling becomes a problem; take action to ensure your Navien tankless water heater continues to provide endless hot water whenever you need it.

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