How to Prevent Scale in Tankless Water Heaters

Tankless water heaters continue to grow in popularity, thanks in large part to the guarantee of always having access to hot water.

While the initial cost of a tankless water heater is something to strongly consider, the long term benefits typically outweigh this drawback. Tankless models conserve energy by heating the water as it’s needed. Therefore, there’s no energy wasted by constantly heating the tank.

The other potential disadvantage is lime scale buildup, as this often comes into play with this type of system.

It may not sound like a big deal, but even a small amount of lime scale build can cost you hundreds of dollars per year. Furthermore, it can reduce the lifespan of the tankless water heater (thus costing you more in the long run).

Why Does This Happen?

Generally speaking, lime scale forms when hard water is heated, which occurs time and time again in a tankless water heater.

Since this only occurs when hard water is heated, the best way to prevent scale in a tankless water heater is to use a water softener.

With a water softener in place, hard minerals, such as magnesium and calcium, are removed from the water to prevent lime scale build up.
Additional benefits of using a water softener include:

  • Roughly 50 percent less cleaning agents are required with softened water
  • Clothes are brighter, white, and softer when washed in softened water
  • Hard water can dry out your hair and skin, but this is not a concern with softened water
  • Fewer spots in the dishwasher
  • Less buildup on fixtures and shower

Other Problems with Hard Water

By now, you understand that lime scale can take a toll on your tankless water heater. However, there are many other reasons why you don’t want hard water entering your home:

  • Can damage appliances, such as coffee makers, dishwashers, and washing machines
  • Can clog your water pipes over time, especially if your home has steel pipes
  • Soap scum build up on surfaces, such as showers and sinks

    Just the same as the impact on your tankless water heater, you never want to find yourself dealing with these problems. The best way to prevent scale in tankless water heaters is by installing a water softener.

    By taking this step, you can improve the efficiency of your tankless water heater and extend its life. You can also prevent a variety of other issues typically associated with hard water.

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