Plumbing Essentials for Your Tankless Water Heater
Tankless water heaters can last for a very long time and allow you to save money on your utility bill. They are more energy-efficient than those that use storage tanks and save up to 30% of energy comparatively. However, there are conditions that you have to maintain to realize this efficiency. Read along to understand the requirements that you need to follow for your tankless water heater.
Test the Temperature and Pressure Valve
High temperatures can lead to a dangerous build-up of pressure. This is why the tankless water heater has a T&P relief valve, which should be in working condition all the time. Should such a scenario arise, the automated valve opens so that the pressure can go down.
You should schedule an annual or biannual routine of testing the temperature and pressure valve to ensure that it works. The testing procedure can be a simple do-it-yourself procedure, or you may contact a Tankless Water Heater Repair and Plumbing professional to do it alongside other services. Manufacturers recommend testing at least once a year to prevent a possible explosion.
The temperature and pressure valve must be able to open and let water out. Should it fail the test, you will have to replace it immediately.
How Do You Conduct the Test?
First, locate the valve, which should be either at the top or on the sidewall. Ensure you place a container to collect water under the discharge tube that releases hot water from the valve. Open the T&P valve by twisting its lever so that water can come out for a while.
The valve will have failed this test if water does not come out through the discharge tube. This failure would mean that the valve does not open. Hence it cannot regulate pressure. To avoid possible hazards, replace it immediately.
Set the Water Heater Temperature to the Recommended Maximum
The United States Department of Energy recommends the maximum temperature to be at 120 degrees Fahrenheit (49 degrees Celsius). According to the recommendations by DOE, setting the temperature is essential because of the following reasons. It reduces standby heat loss, thus effectively helping you save on energy costs.
Any temperature above 120 degrees Fahrenheit can be hazardous, especially to kids- extremely hot water can cause scalding.
Locate the thermostat on the tankless water heater, and consult the manual for instructions on setting the correct temperature. Your tankless water heater may have one or two digital thermostats. As such, they display the temperature accordingly as you adjust. In most cases, you may find that the thermostat is outside the unit. Hence there would be no need to open the panels.
Take precautions by switching off power before opening the panels to prevent a possible electric shock. If you are unsure of what to do, have a Tankless Water Heater Repair, and Plumbing technician perform these repairs for you.
Clean Your Tankless Water Heater
Cleaning helps prevent mineral build-up, reducing the chances of corrosion and inefficiency of the water heater. The degree of hardness or softness of the water determines how regularly you should clean. Hard water has many mineral deposits, which means you need to clean at least twice a year. If you are using soft water, you may not need to clean the water heater until after two or three years.
- Turn off the power source, which could be electricity or gas.
- Ensure that you also turn off the cold and hot water valves on the unit to avoid compromising the plumbing system while working.
- Turn off the main valve that connects to the outside pipes.
Your tankless water heater may have cleaning hoses for attaching to the purge port. The pipes usually come with the tankless water heater as part of the accessories. In case you do not have them on hand, they are available at most plumbing or home improvement stores.
Cleaning involves opening the valves on the purge port to allow water to flow out towards a collecting bucket or a drain. After that, you may choose to use natural products like vinegar to clean and flush out mineral deposits from the tankless water heater. Never use chemical agents in cleaning since they can be health hazards.
Take your time while cleaning the unit to ensure thoroughness in flushing out stubborn deposits. You will need up to one hour of continuous cleaning before you can be sure the device is clean. You may then restart your tankless water heater after closing the valves on the purge port.
If you use a plumbing expert’s services, they would advise you to open various water outlets. This will allow any trapped air to come out of your home’s plumbing system if water runs out freely for about 5 minutes.
Insulate Hot-Water Pipes
Sometimes, you may find that it takes much longer before your water is warm enough for your shower. This is because the water loses a significant amount of heat to the non-insulated pipes that it travels through. In such cases, the energy cost goes up since the water will require extra energy to heat to the optimum.
Target the insulation on any exposed pipe in your plumbing system. The insulation will serve as a buffer between the hot water and the pipes, thus preventing heat loss. Insulation should be a straightforward procedure if you can find the right insulation sleeves.
You can use fiberglass pipe wraps for gas water heaters and neoprene foam insulators for the electric ones. You may also need a tape measure for establishing the internal diameter of your pipes, gloves, a cutting object, and duct tape to hold the sleeves in position.
After measuring the diameter, cut the pipe sleeves to their fitting sizes before performing the repair. You can then establish intervals of length at which you can fix the tape to support the insulation. The owner’s manual should have recommendations and instructions for the insulation procedure.
If you can maintain all these conditions, you will give your tankless water heater a longer lifespan of twenty years or more. You will also save a significant amount of money that could otherwise be spent due to wasteful energy consumption. To achieve this, it is important to get the best tankless water heater and plumbing system.
Consult the best Tankless Water Heater Repair and Plumbing professionals for excellent installation and maintenance service. Contact Bluefrog Plumbing + Drain if you are within Orange County, CA, as our experienced and highly trained experts will conduct any repairs necessary.