Does My Tankless Water Heater Need Softened Water?

on September 29, 2022 water softener household

If you plan to transition to a tankless water heater in the near future, or you already have, investing in a water softener alongside it could make a huge impact. Yes, a tankless water heater can function effectively without a water softener but allowing them to work in tandem will prove worth it over time.

How Tankless Water Heaters Work

In order to fully understand how a water softening system can help your tankless water heater, let's go over the basic mechanics of tankless water heaters. Unlike traditional water heaters with holding tanks, tankless heaters only work when they’re needed and go into standby mode when they aren’t. Tankless heaters are relatively low-maintenance and typically only require an annual status check with a full system flush to ensure they stay in top shape.


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Softening Water Beforehand

Some of the main reasons to couple your tankless water heater with a water softening system revolve around the efficiency and lifespan of your heater. Tankless heaters work by water coming into direct contact with the heat exchangers within the heater. If your water is hard, mineral deposits can cause issues like:

  1. Mineral buildup inside the heat exchanger will force the heater to work harder. While these effects are slow and take a significant amount of time to rear their ugly heads, they can have lasting implications once they are present. A water softener will prevent these minerals from clogging and coating the heating elements which will extend the life of your water heater.
  2. Mineral deposits can also cause clogs within the piping of your heater. These clogs force your heater to work significantly harder to pump water through, thus requiring more energy. As certain energy costs continue to rise, this could result in higher costs for you. This doesn’t affect traditional tanked water heaters since the mineral sediments will sink to the bottom of the tank and not inhibit water flow.

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Warranty Considerations

One of the most vital aspects of coupling a water softener with your tankless water heater is maintaining your manufacturer’s warranty. In many cases, a manufacturer can choose not to honor their warranty if there is evidence of hard water. It is extremely common for appliance warranties to list “scale buildup due to water quality” within the fine print as a qualifying circumstance for voiding the warranty. Be sure to do your due diligence.

Ready to Go Tankless?

If you aren’t already softening your water, adding a softening system in tandem with your tankless heater is the perfect time to start. Not only do they help protect your water heater from permanent hard water damage, but they also help them work effectively and efficiently. The benefits of softened water for your tankless system far outweigh the costs, not only by keeping your system running at its best but also by ensuring that your appliance warranty remains intact. You might even find that during your annual water heater checks, flushing may not be necessary thanks to your increased water quality.

If you’re ready to add a water softener to your household, the Indy Water Pros at Advantage Water Conditioning are ready to answer your water softening questions.

Speak to an Advantage Water Pro