Do you have a tankless or conventional hot water tank? I bet you do.
It needs to be flushed!
Well, actually I lied, if it’s less than 2 years old it doesn’t.
If your tankless is any more than 2 years old it really could use a flush to make it more efficient and clean. A water heater will decrease in efficiency by 2-3 percent a year as minerals build up on the heating surfaces. These minerals effectively insulating the heat from the water forcing your heater to burn more fuel longer to heat the same amount of water.
The best part is that there is a simple solution.
Flushing a water heater requires that vinegar be circulated though the system repeatedly with a small pump for about 30-40 minutes. The acid in the vinegar quickly dissolve away the deposits that have accumulated on the walls of the heater revitalizing the past efficiency of your water heater.
Tankless Flushing How To
A tankless is incredibly efficient and thus susceptible to scale and mineral build up. Thankfully, most tankless systems are installed with flush valves so that this process is easy and fast.
- Unplug the unit
- Shut the water and gas off
- Use the isolation valves to direct flow though the tankless and isolate your homes water incoming and outgoing water supply.
- Hook up the hoses
- Start the pump and run the vinegar thought the tankless.
- Your done, just reverse the steps.
This is really an easy process most homeowners can do on their own. There are a few items that you would need to complete a tankless flush and they really don’t cost much more than what a company might charge for a single flush. i added a YouTube video below that shows a great example and instructions on how a tankless should be flushed.
Items Needed For A Tankless Flush
First make sure your tankless has isolation valves, you need them to properly complete your task. You will find the tankless isolation valves installed on the bottom of your tankless. They should look similar to the ones pictured here. These are two different styles of isolation valves, both are very effective and do the exact same thing. A contractor might install one vs the other simply because that is what they have on hand or if its a tight install they may need to use one with a shorter valve handle.
If you find your tankless doesnt have isolation valves you can buy some below. They can be a bit tricky to install as you will need to be able to solder, if thats out of the question a contractor or plumber should be able to install them fairly quickly.
Tankless isolation valves in Canada
- Twinkle Star 3/4 Inch IPS Isolator Tankless Water Heater Service Valve Kit
- HQMPC Tankless Water Heater Isolation Valve Kit, Lead Free, 3/4 inch
If you’re in Canada, check the links for USA as they may still be cheaper with duty and currency conversion, just a bit of a longer shipping time.
Tankless isolation valves in USA
On To The Descaling and Flushing
Now that we know if your tankless has isolation valves it is on to the flush kits. You can buy these as a fully assembled kits (bucket, pump, hoses, descaling agent) or piece by piece as you may have a few of the items around your house already.
Fully Assembled Tankless Flush Kits Canada
Fully Assembled Tankless Flush Kits USA
- Chromex Tankless Water Heater Flush Kit
- Kelaro Tankless Water Heater Flushing Kit
- Allied Science Tankless Water Heater Flush Kit
Hoses – You will need two hoses total, length is your choice.
Pump – Just need one of these, this pumps the descaling agent though the tankless.
- Superior Pump 91025 1/5 HP Thermoplastic Submersible Utility Pump
- BLACKHORSE 1/5 HP Submersible Utility Pump
Descaling Agent – Buy actual descaling agent or high percentage cleaning vinnegar
- Heinz Cleaning Vinegar 6%
- Lucy’s – Natural Distilled White Vinegar 5%
- J.C. Whitlam FLOW32 Flow-Aide System Descaler
- Rectorseal Calci-Free Tankless Water Heater Flush
This is a great video on the procedure for flushing your tankless. You can alternate the vinegar for a tankless descaling agent if you prefer.
Conventional Tank Flushing
This type of water heater is a bit more difficult and rarely if ever flushed, but it can be just as important to have the system flushed and cleaned. The problem is that in 99 percent of homes a conventional tank is plumbed in to not allow for the system to be flushed.
- Unplug if necessary
- Shut water and gas supply off
- Drain tank
- Pump vinegar through system
- Rinse and flush a second time
- Done, reverse steps to hook everything back up
That should pretty much clean both types of water heaters sufficiently to bring them efficiency back to nearly factory standards. It is important to have this done on a relatively regular basis.