Question: Robert, I read your article faithfully weekly. Thank you for all the insight you give, it helps us to be more consumer-savvy. We had a tankless water heater put in a little over a year ago and now the installer is saying that we need to clean it annually, needing a service. Are we being taken advantage of or is this legitimate? We weren’t told this at the time of purchase/install. Judy.
Answer: Judy, absolutely this needs to be done. However, the cleaning schedule is based on usage and not time. If the home is used by yourself and perhaps one other family member, that is very light use and you can stretch the cleaning cycle to perhaps every two years. Any more use than that I recommend going with the installer’s recommendation and do it annually.
There isn’t much to this process. However, it is important to have it done. In fact, you can even do it yourself if you are even slightly handy. You need a bit of equipment from the big box store and if you watch a few online videos of cleaning a tankless water heater, you can absolutely do it. The only way I wouldn’t recommend this is if you are not comfortable or if your original contract stated that it needed to be serviced to maintain warranty. Otherwise, it is completely possible for the non-professional to service this. Best of luck.