Rheem is a reputable brand that offers a range of tankless water heaters for different needs and preferences. These water heaters are designed to provide hot water on demand, saving energy and space. They also have features such as digital display, self-modulating technology, and recirculation pump.
However, like any appliance, rheem tankless water heaters require regular maintenance and cleaning to ensure optimal performance and longevity. Cleaning your rheem tankless water heater can prevent problems such as mineral buildup, corrosion, leaks, noises, and reduced efficiency.
In this blog post, we will show you how to clean rheem tankless water heater in a few simple steps. We will also answer some frequently asked questions about rheem tankless water heater maintenance.
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Why Should You Clean Your Rheem Tankless Water Heater?
Cleaning your rheem tankless water heater is important for several reasons:
- It can extend the lifespan of your water heater by preventing damage to the heat exchanger, burner, and other components.
- It can improve the efficiency of your water heater by removing scale and sediment that can reduce the heat transfer and water flow.
- It can enhance the safety of your water heater by preventing gas leaks, carbon monoxide poisoning, and scalding injuries.
- It can save you money on energy bills and repair costs by keeping your water heater in good working condition.
How Often Should You Clean Your Rheem Tankless Water Heater?
The frequency of cleaning your rheem tankless water heater depends on several factors, such as:
The hardness of your water source
Hard water contains high levels of minerals such as calcium and magnesium that can form scale inside your water heater. Scale can reduce the efficiency and lifespan of your water heater. If you have hard water, you should clean your water heater at least once a year or more often if needed.
The usage of your water heater
The more hot water you use, the more scale and sediment can accumulate in your water heater. If you use a lot of hot water, you should clean your water heater more frequently than if you use less hot water.
The model of your water heater
Some rheem tankless water heaters have features that can reduce the need for cleaning, such as self-cleaning technology or built-in scale detection. If you have such features, you may be able to clean your water heater less often than if you don’t have them.
As a general rule of thumb, you should clean your rheem tankless water heater at least once every 12 to 18 months or whenever you notice signs of scale buildup or reduced performance.
What Do You Need to Clean Your Rheem Tankless Water Heater?
To clean your rheem tankless water heater, you will need the following tools and materials:
- A bucket
- A hose
- A submersible pump
- A pair of pliers
- A screwdriver
- A pair of gloves
- A pair of goggles
- A vinegar solution (about 2 gallons of white vinegar mixed with 2 gallons of water)
- A soft brush
- A cloth
How to Clean Your Rheem Tankless Water Heater: A Step-by-Step Guide
To clean your rheem tankless water heater, follow these steps:
Step 1: Turn off the power and gas supply
Before you start cleaning your rheem tankless water heater, make sure to turn off the power and gas supply to the unit. This will prevent any electric shocks or gas leaks while you are working on it.
To turn off the power supply, locate the circuit breaker that controls the unit and switch it off. To turn off the gas supply, locate the gas shut-off valve that connects to the unit and turn it clockwise until it stops.
Step 2: Turn off the water supply and drain the unit
Next, you need to turn off the water supply and drain the unit. This will prevent any water from flowing into or out of the unit while you are cleaning it.
To turn off the water supply, locate the cold water shut-off valve that connects to the unit and turn it clockwise until it stops. To drain the unit, open a hot water faucet in your home and let the water run until it stops.
Step 3: Remove the front cover and air filter
Now, you need to remove the front cover and air filter of the unit. This will give you access to the heat exchanger and other components that need to be cleaned.
To remove the front cover, locate the nut on the right side of the unit and unscrew it with a pair of pliers. Then, pull out the cover and set it aside. To remove the air filter, locate it on the bottom left side of the unit and pull it out gently.
Step 4: Clean the air filter
The air filter is a device that prevents dust and debris from entering the unit and clogging the fan and burner. If the air filter is dirty or clogged, it can reduce the air flow and affect the combustion and efficiency of the unit.
To clean the air filter, rinse it under running water and use a soft brush to remove any dirt or debris. If the air filter is damaged or too dirty, replace it with a new one. Then, let the air filter dry completely before reinstalling it.
Step 5: Connect the hoses and pump
Now, you need to connect the hoses and pump to the unit. This will allow you to flush the heat exchanger with a vinegar solution that will dissolve any scale and sediment inside it.
To connect the hoses and pump, follow these steps:
To begin cleaning your hot water unit, you will need to locate the hot and cold water service valves on the bottom of the unit. These valves are marked with red and blue caps respectively. Using a screwdriver, remove the caps from the service valves and set them aside.
Next, attach one end of a hose to each service valve and tighten them securely with a pair of pliers. Make sure the hoses are securely attached to avoid any leaks.
Attach the other end of the hose connected to the hot water service valve to the outlet of the pump. Attach the other end of the hose connected to the cold water service valve to a bucket. Fill another bucket with about 4 gallons of vinegar solution and place both buckets on a flat surface near the unit.
Submerge the pump in the bucket with the vinegar solution and plug it into a power outlet. This will circulate the vinegar solution through the unit and help clean out any buildup or sediment.
By following these steps, you can effectively clean your hot water unit and help extend its lifespan. Remember to always take proper safety precautions when working with electricity and hot water.
Step 6: Flush the heat exchanger
Now, you are ready to flush the heat exchanger with the vinegar solution. The heat exchanger is a device that transfers heat from the burner to the water. If the heat exchanger is scaled or clogged, it can reduce the heat transfer and water flow.
To flush the heat exchanger, follow these steps:
- Turn on the pump and let the vinegar solution circulate through the unit for about an hour. You should see the vinegar solution coming out of the hose connected to the cold water service valve and into the empty bucket.
- After an hour, turn off the pump and unplug it from the power outlet.
- Disconnect the hoses from the service valves and the pump and drain them completely.
- Replace the caps on the service valves and tighten them securely with a screwdriver.
Step 7: Rinse the unit
Now, you need to rinse the unit with clean water to remove any traces of vinegar solution. This will prevent any corrosion or damage to the unit.
To rinse the unit, follow these steps:
- Turn on the water supply and gas supply to the unit.
- Open a hot water faucet in your home and let the water run for about 10 minutes. This will flush out any vinegar solution from the unit and pipes.
- Check the water temperature and adjust it if needed.
Step 8: Replace the front cover and air filter
Now, you are almost done with cleaning your rheem tankless water heater. The last step is to replace the front cover and air filter of the unit.
To replace the front cover and air filter, follow these steps:
- Make sure that the air filter is completely dry before reinstalling it.
- Insert the air filter into its slot on the bottom left side of the unit and push it in gently.
- Place the front cover over the unit and align it with the holes on the sides.
- Insert the nut on the right side of the unit and tighten it with a pair of pliers.
- Check and ensure safe operation and performance of the water heater.
Cleaning your rheem tankless water heater is a simple and effective way to keep it in good working condition and extend its lifespan. By following the steps in this blog post, you can clean your rheem tankless water heater in about an hour and a half.
You should clean your rheem tankless water heater at least once every 12 to 18 months or whenever you notice signs of scale buildup or reduced performance.