If you have a tankless water heater, also known as an on-demand water heater, you probably don't notice it much unless it's not doing its job right. This is probably why not getting enough hot water fast enough is one of the most common reasons people complain about their tankless hot water heaters. And it makes sense that if it's billed as an on-demand heater, you'd expect to get hot water pretty fast. Here are three things that may cause this problem and that you can potentially fix at home if you're so inclined.
Your water heater does have a couple of parts that actually require maintenance. For example, there's a water filter that could become clogged and an aerator as well. Check both of these for clogging or other malfunction. If needed, clean them out and/or remove mineral deposits so they'll function again as intended.
The pipes themselves can get buildup of sediment inside them, which can reduce the flow of water and make it difficult for the heater to provide enough hot water fast enough. This is more likely to happen if you have hard water, which tends to leave limescale on the insides of the pipes. In this situation you may wish to route softened water through your water heater to avoid allowing the pipes to close up totally. You can also flush the water heater to remove buildup, a process that requires some tools, five gallons of vinegar, and a sump pump but is definitely doable for the handy homeowner as long as you take proper precautions.
3. Heating element burnout
Complete failure to heat water may indicate that the heating element has simply gone kablooey. In this scenario, you'll want to replace it with a brand-new one. These are generally quite affordable, and the repair once again falls squarely into the realm of totally doable if you have the time, tools, and experience. Like any water heater repair, of course, you may be able to save a great deal of time by having it done professionally, especially if you don't have the DIY experience. However, if time is what you have most of and money isn't, feel free to attempt the repair yourself (once again, being sure to take all necessary safety precautions, such as switching off the electricity).
These three problems can all be diagnosed and solved at home if you know what you're looking for and have the correct tools, methodology, expertise, and safety precautions. For more elaborate plumbing repairs, talk with a local plumber.
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