If you use a tankless water heater, at some point you will need to flush out your unit. Flushing the unit prevents scale buildup that can throw off the system, and if done properly and regularly, can help your water heater last up to 20 to 30 years. Depending on the number of people using hot water in your home, the unit should be flushed every 12-20 months.
If your water heater has a tank, or you use soft water, ignore this guide. For the rest of you, here is what you will need:
- 5 gallon bucket
- 3 gallons of distilled white vinegar
- Submersible utility pump (1/6 to 1/3HP)
- Set of washer hoses
This process takes about 90 minutes and will save you the cost and hassle of a boiler repair or replacement.
- Double check that the unit has a flush kit installed. There should be two valves on the outside of the unit that look like host bibs. If you don’t have these two valves, you cannot complete this process.
- Turn off the gas to the unit. You know it is off when the lever is perpendicular to the pipe on which it is located. Keep the system’s power on.
- The two valves that make up the flush kit are the cold water going into the water heater and the hot water going into your home. Turn both of these off as well.
- Drain any water that is left in the unit out.
- Remove the pre-filter from the unit and check that it is clean. If it appears dirty, drop it into a bucket of water to remove any grime. Once it is clean, put it back in place for the flush.
- Pour the three gallons of distilled white vinegar into your five gallon bucket. Then, place the submersible pump into the bucket so it almost sits at the bottom.
- Connect the valve from the pump to the cold valve on the unit so the vinegar will run through the pre-filter first. Attach the second line from the hot valve back into the pump.
- Plug in the pump and run it for about 90 minutes. This process recycles the vinegar through the boiler, removing any scale that has built up.
- Repeat the process in reverse, and once finished, check the pre-filter again to make sure it is clean.
It’s that simple to maintain your water heater and ensure it lasts its full lifetime. This process will also ensure that everyone in your household will be able to enjoy warm water during the upcoming winter.
Courtesy of JLC