Water heater with a heating element covered in mineral deposits.

Do Tankless Water Heaters Need Maintenance?

Your tankless water heater can last up to 20 years with regular maintenance. Some may be confused as to how a water heater without a traditional tank needs maintenance--after all, what is there to maintain? However, the tank isn’t all that’s covered in a routine maintenance check for either kind of water heater.

Texas is ranked 6th in the United States for hard water. While the rate of hard water can vary from city to city, minerals such as calcium and magnesium in the water supply can affect your water heater over time. When there’s an abundance of minerals in your area’s water supply, minerals can build up around the heating element inside your water heater. For a tankless water heater, failing to provide regular maintenance can result in minerals plugging up the passages where water flows, which significantly affects the speed of the water. This forces your water heater to work harder than it needs to, which adds to the overall wear and tear on your system.

Another factor that determines how often you need professional maintenance is how high the temperature is set on your water heater. If you’ve noticed any crusty green or white substances on your showerheads or faucets, you have limescale. What is limescale? Limescale accumulates when the heat from the water separates calcium from the water. Built-up scale makes your system work harder to heat the water to the set-point temperature.

How Do You Maintain a Tankless Water Heater?

When you schedule an appointment for water heater maintenance on a tankless unit, a professional plumber will delime or descale the water heater to remove the build-up around the heating elements. Your water heater will need regular maintenance annually--however, if you live in an area with very hard water or if your water heater is set to any temperature higher than 120° F, you may need maintenance every 6 months.


Having a plumber inspect your water heater can save you money by preventing future issues and reduce the need for future repairs. If you need water heater repair or replacement in Austin or the surrounding areas, or you would like to schedule a routine maintenance call with our team, contact S & D Plumbing today! We offer upfront pricing for every service we take on and our clean, uniformed technicians will arrive on time, ready to get to work.

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