Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Descaling our Tankless Water Heater

This blog post is completely for me, unless any of you have an interest in descaling tankless water heaters. We have been meaning to do this for a while, but were hesitant to call an expensive plumber since all of the Youtube tutorials rave about how easy it is to do yourself!

I am writing this post so I remember how to do this next year when it's time again.

This is the youtube video we used. He explains it so well:

4 Gallons Vinegar
5 Gallon Bucket

Today I went for it, even though Alan and I are not at ALL "handymen". Alan was working from home, which turned out to be great, because even though I did all the research on how to do it, he seemed to know how to troubleshoot all the issues I encountered.

First make sure all water is shut off to the house, by turning all these red switches perpendicular. (They are on in this picture.) I didn't turn these off at first (I didn't hear it mentioned in the video :P), and got shot with cold water right in the stomach while trying to attach the washer hose to the cold water side. Alan mentioned it might be a good idea to turn the water off.

Turn off cold water coming into water heater, hot water going into house and gas. Leave electricity on.

Unscrew hose attachments and open up the valves directly underneath them. Let water from water heater run out. (Should not be very much. Unlike the first time I unscrewed them with the water still on...) Then take out pre filter and clean if dirty. (Our filter was stuck, I had to use a pair of scissors to grab it and get it out. Alan's idea.)

Pour vinegar into bucket and insert submersible pump. Attach rubber washer hose from pump to cold water side. Attach second hose to hot water side, and other side directly into vinegar. At first I couldn't get a seal, and vinegar was spraying across the garage from the cold water hose attachment. Of course I consulted Alan, and he added a second rubber sealer inside to fix it.) Do you see the pattern that Alan figured out all of the issues. Glad he worked from home today. :)

Turn on pump for 90 minutes, then close up everything in reverse (including washing the pre filter out again). And, done! Yay!

Did I mention 3 kids under 4 were all in the garage with me as I was trying to figure this out? I feel like I graduated to a real adult today :P