Today we’re going to show you how to descale your tankless water heater i did a lot of research on youtube to see what kind of information was out there before i decided to produce our own video on this subject and i found a lot of bad information so i’m hopefully going to i’m going to cut through some of that bad information and take you right to the proper instructions and way to descale a lowes tankless water heater and i’ll start by saying that not all tasks that we do on these videos are homeowner type tasks so don’t use these as a substitute to hiring a professional if you aren’t 100% comfortable with the tasks that.
You see on our videos please don’t try them because you can you know hurt yourself or cause damage to your property and so on okay the first step to descale the tankless unit is to determine what what is the make and model number of the unit and a lot of people are going to ask why I don’t know I have no idea how do I find that information out what’s a good question on the front of every heater in some cases on the side you’re going to find what’s called a rating plate it’s the sticker here that explains pretty much everything about the unit in this case it’s an or it’s n 0 8 4 2 M C DV now in today’s model number it’s the same as their NRC 111 DB so that exact same model but the important note on that is every unit has its own different procedure every brand is different like for instance with Norwich we leave them plugged in and powered on we simply turn the gas off some of the other brands like Renee I think they want the power off and everything off and so on so it’s important to check with the manufacturer you can call their technical support line any of the manufacturers and tell them that you want to do your D scaling on your tankless system and they’ll email you a PDF with their preferred methods and so on anyway in our case we’ve got the Nords this particular model is from 2009.
If you look on the rating plate a serial number will tell you some of the things that you need to know for instance this in this case it was manufactured in the seventh week of 2009 and BTUs and so on so I’ve done my research I know that in this case the procedure for descaling I’ve got my tools together and we’re going to go ahead and get started okay here are the items you’re going to need to do the descaling today we need a pump of some sort and hoses and we’ll go over the ingredients of our kit at the end of the video if you want to make one like we use they’re real simple buy the products at the local box store I make my own hoses you can buy just general washing machine hoses that work just fine as well playing distill white vinegar is what we prefer manufacturers do authorized the use of like CLR chemical cleaner I don’t like that stuff myself because it’s not food grade and the vinegar is real simple to flush biodegradable and all food grade vinegar is is safer in my opinion I wouldn’t use CLR in my own house so I’m certainly not going to tell you to use it at yours and then.
We need a big bucket a five-gallon bucket vinegar wise I like to use at least four gallons for stronger mix one gallon just gets diluted down so fast and so four gallons is great you can get plain distilled white vinegar at your local grocery store I get ours at Costco because it’s about half price and you can buy it by the pallet almost and we do a lot of them so we buy a lot of it in this particular case this particular water heater happens to have the isolation valves installed which makes the task of descaling ultra simple I strongly advise you to have isolation valves installed on your tankless if you don’t already have them you’ve got water shutoffs for both cold and hot course blue is cold red is hot we’ve got so we can isolate the water heater from the water source and then we’ve got these full weight ports that will allow us to open with the water often and hook our hoses right to these little ports and circulate our solution up and through the machine and then back out this one back into the bucket and that’s.
What we’re going to do today without these devices you’ll have to find a way to shut the water off and then either disconnect and hook your hoses right to the inlet and outlets or so on that’s why I say it’s so much easier with isolation valves so for the sake of today’s video keep in mind that you know we’re going to make it look over simple because it is when you have the insulation levels okay step one in this process is to turn the gas off find the gas Inlet on the bottom of the heater it’s on the far right and you can see the yellow supply line there leading over to the rigid gas pipe follow that back to when we find the valve in this case it has a blue handle perpendicular with the pipe is off as with any ball type valve next we want to shut the cold water inlet off and also the hot out valve these are the wing valve so they’re both turned again crossways with the pipe perpendicular is off in line is on crossways is off once.
We have the water’s turned off I like to relieve the pressure off of the unit by tripping the manual release lever of the temperature and pressure relief valve or in this case just the pressure relief valve that’s the little device on the side the little handle here is spring-loaded if we open that with the water off it lets the pressure off of the system and let’s any water drain that way when when we open the rest of the caps up I’ve got my submersible pump down in the bucket already and I’ve got the female and attaching to the pump in my hand here and I’m going to go ahead and install it here on the inlet port or the blue port on the right hand isolation valve and make sure it’s good and tight make sure there’s a good washer in there too we do need to seal that then we can open this valve up and we’ll do the same thing on the red-handled valve and run the end of that hose into the bucket the hose on the red-handled side is the one that’s just open on the end there’s no other fitting so that goes down into the bucket now we can close the lever on the temperature or the pressure relief valve close it off.
So now we’re sealed off and it’s time to add our vinegar to the bucket and get this project rolling you can see the water dribbling down the clear hoses that’s just water that’s draining back down out of the water heater now since the water supplies are off that’s normal okay my buckets full of vinegar I’ve got the hoses in the submersible pump is down there in the bottom I’ve got my valves in the proper position and now it’s just a matter of plugging in the pump and away we go now the Nora tater since the gas is off it’s still going to try to fire it’s trying to fire now it’s going to try three times and then it’s going to error code 11 and that’s what we want that opens the solenoid valve inside which lets the water flow freely so we’re pumping away here and as if you can hear it the heater is going through its three-and-out sequence here and soon we should see an error code 11 on the controller and if you can read that there are quote 11 just as predicted don’t reset the machine just leave everything as is we’ve the power on and leave the controller in this configuration once.
I get everything rolling here what I like to do and believe me I learn this the hard way I like to take a little piece of wire or string or something and tie the return hose just to the bail on the on the bucket or some something some otherwise secure that hose down into the bucket it’s an unsavory experience when you’ve got 4 gallons of distilled white vinegar all over the customers floor all over your floor all over the carpet and so on so take my word for it and now we let the machine do its thing for about an hour a minimum of one hour well we’re about a half hour into our descaling and as you can see the vinegar solution takes on kind of a blue tint and that’s all that scale that it’s taking off the interior of the pipe way of the heat exchanger and in some cases I’ve seen it turn real real dark green in extreme cases but most of the cases here are in and around the Seattle area we have really good water quality here this is what it will look like here I suspect in other parts of the country where you have a higher line and mineral content you know you can see all varying stages of color and your solution as the as the process moves forward Google while we’re descaling and letting the pump do its thing.