A lot of people say that tankless water heaters are maintenance free, as if you can set it and forget it. Really that’s not true. A tankless water heater is going to need either an annual or bi-annual flush depending on your usage and your water hardness. If you have soft water, meaning you have a softening system, you are not going to have to do this very often at all, in fact, maybe never. But if you’ve got hard water like I do, I need to flush mine on a regular basis (at least annually).
While owning a tankless water heater can save you in the neighborhood of $90 to $100 per year in lower electric and/or gas costs over a tank water heater, you'll want to put those savings into your bank account, because with hard water, once a year you are going to need to flush it. A plumber will charge from $80-$150 to do it, or you can do it yourself (DIY) with the right materials. Two popular tankless descaler kits are Whitlam’s Flow-aide System Descaler Kit and the Tankless Water Heater Flushing Kit by My Plumbing Stuff. Below you will see these and other similar kits to choose from.
The traditional tank water heater has hardly any maintenance with the exception of draining the tank regularly to remove scale build up to help the heating rods last longer. The problem with this simple yet inconvenient maintenance is that most homeowners don’t drain their tanks as often as recommended thereby shortening the life of their tank’s heating rods and even the tanks themselves.
FYI...not all flushing "kits" come with descaling solution, but the Whitlam Flow Aid solution is our top choice to go with any of the kits below.