Should water heaters be cleaned

A clean affair - clean the water heater

Which parts of the instantaneous water heater should be cleaned regularly?

Good news for all those who don't care about cleaning: instantaneous water heaters are usually relatively low-maintenance and do not have to be constantly disassembled in order to be thoroughly cleaned. You should check these parts of the instantaneous water heater from time to time and clean them if necessary:

  • Dirt filter in the cold water inlet of the device
  • Clean the cover regularly
  • Rarely: Descale the instantaneous water heater

Clean the dirt filter in the cold water inlet of the device

In addition to the dirt strainer in the corner valve, some instantaneous water heaters also have a separate dirt strainer. This is built into the cold water inlet of the device. Modern instantaneous water heaters react very sensitively to contamination in the device and can no longer control the flow rate if there are too many particles in the inlet. Therefore, some manufacturers rely on a separate sieve. You can remove this sieve relatively easily. Please refer to the operating instructions for your device. By cleaning this sieve regularly, you can avoid some sources of error with instantaneous water heaters.

Descale the instantaneous water heater

This process is not necessary with modern bare wire devices. The heating wires have no direct contact with the water, the devices cannot calcify. However, especially with older devices, calcification can occur, which can severely impair the functionality of the instantaneous water heater.
Important: You may only descale a water heater if it is your own device. As a tenant, you should always contact the landlord if you have any problems, do not work on the water heater on your own

  • Disconnect the device from the power supply and, after removing the cover, check that there is no more current flowing anywhere in the device.
  • Dismantle the water heater.
  • Disassemble the device carefully and with the help of the operating instructions.
  • Treat calcified parts with a mild acid such as citric acid.
  • Rinse the descaled parts very thoroughly with water. Otherwise the acid will get into the withdrawn water.
  • Reassemble the water heater and reinstall the device.
  • After thoroughly venting the lines, reconnect the power supply and switch on the device.

Descaling is not a trivial process: if you are unsure, it is better to hire a specialist company. You may be advised to buy a new device: Descaling is quite time-consuming, new devices can be purchased for as little as 200 euros. It can therefore actually make more economic sense to buy a new device instead of having the old device cleaned at great cost. In this case, of course, there is nothing to prevent you from trying it yourself before buying a new device.

Rita Schulz
Article image: neotemlpars / Shutterstock
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