Decoding the Steps for Descaling Your Water Heater

When it comes to water heater maintenance, there are a few essential items to include on your “honey-do” list. Fortunately, most tasks necessary to prolong the life of your water heater only need to be done once every few years. Descaling your hot water heater is one of those “must-do” projects and one that should be completed every two years. 

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What is descaling and why is it important?

Your home’s water heater is almost constantly working. That water inside the tank also contains minerals such as calcium. When water is heated, partially dissolved sediment is left behind. If these minerals collect and build-up on the walls or bottom of the tank, your hot water heater is more likely to overheat or lose efficiency. Descaling is the process of removing these mineral deposits.

To avoid the need for an emergency plumber, you’ll need three basic items for a DIY descale:

  • System descaler. Which can be as simple a pump, hoses, and a bucket. 
  • Valves. You’ll need to have valves connected properly. If you’re unsure of what valves your hot water has or requires, refer to the owner’s manual or give Pratt Plumbing a call.
  • Descaling solution. This is a biodegradable, food-safe cleaning solution such as vinegar.

Steps for descaling your water heater.

  1. Turn off valves
  2. Remove the hose from second hot and cold water ports
  3. Attach system descaler hose to the hot valve
  4. Put the other end of the hose in the bucket
  5. Attach system descaler pump hose to the cold valve
  6. Turn on the cold water
  7. Turn on the hot water and let it flow to the bucket
  8. Once the pump is submerged in the bucket, turn the water off
  9. Add descaling solution to the bucket
  10. Check that all hoses are connected
  11. Turn on the secondary tap
  12. Plug in the pump and let it run for approximately 60 minutes
  13. Turn off the pump
  14. Turn off inlet and outlet valves
  15. Remove hoses
  16. Turn the hot water valve on and let the water run out (use a bucket to catch the water if necessary)
  17. Find the small screen on the underside of the tankless water heater. Unscrew this and make sure it is clean (you can clean it by dunking it in the descaling solution)
  18. Reattach the hose to the hot side. Leave hot isolation valve off
  19. Turn cold water on
  20. Turn the hot water hose port and gas on. Run water until it is warm
  21. Turn valve off
  22. Unscrew hose
  23. Replace hot water valve cover
  24. Turn isolation valve on
  25. Return unit to normal “on” positioning

Water heater maintenance in Amarillo, TX

If you are descaling the water heater yourself, we recommend printing or saving these instructions on your phone. If you prefer that a professional hand the job, call the team at Pratt Plumbing. We can take care of descaling and other important maintenance tasks. To schedule an appointment, call (806) 373-7866 today.

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