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How can I clean and descale the heat exchanger in a REP Model Series tankless water heater, such as the REP160eN?

Cleaning and descaling the heat exchanger in a REP Model Series tankless water heater, like the REP160eN, is essential to maintain its efficiency and prolong its lifespan. Over time, mineral deposits and scale can build up inside the heat exchanger, reducing its ability to transfer heat effectively and potentially causing damage. Here's a step-by-step guide on how to clean and descale the heat exchanger:

Gather the necessary tools and materials:
* Safety gear: Wear safety goggles and gloves to protect yourself from any debris or chemicals.
* Screwdriver: You may need this to remove access panels or covers.
* Wrench: To disconnect the water and gas supply lines.
* Descaling solution: Purchase a commercial descaling solution designed for tankless water heaters. Follow the manufacturer's instructions regarding the type and quantity of solution needed.
* Pump and hoses: You'll need a submersible pump and hoses to circulate the descaling solution through the heat exchanger.
* Bucket or container: To collect and dispose of the used descaling solution.
* Vinegar or citric acid (optional): As an alternative to commercial descaling solutions, you can use a mixture of white vinegar or citric acid and water, although this may require more thorough flushing.
* Turn off the power and gas supply:
Locate the power switch or circuit breaker for the water heater and turn it off.
Shut off the gas supply to the unit using the gas shut-off valve.
* Disconnect the water supply:
Turn off the cold-water supply valve leading to the water heater.
Connect one end of a hose to the cold-water isolation valve on the heater and the other end to the submersible pump.
Submerge the pump in a bucket of descaling solution.
* Remove access panels or covers:
Use a screwdriver to remove any access panels or covers that provide access to the heat exchanger. Refer to the manufacturer's manual for specific instructions.
* Circulate the descaling solution:
Open the hot water tap at a nearby faucet to allow air into the system.
Turn on the pump to circulate the descaling solution through the heat exchanger. Follow the manufacturer's instructions for the recommended circulation time.
* Flush the system:
After the recommended circulation time, turn off the pump and close the hot water tap.
Disconnect the hose from the cold-water isolation valve and empty the bucket with used descaling solution.
Reconnect the cold-water supply to the heater.
Open the hot water tap at the faucet again to flush the system with fresh water for a few minutes.
* Reassemble and restart:
Reattach any access panels or covers you removed earlier.
Turn on the gas supply and power to the water heater.
Monitor the unit for any signs of leaks or issues.
* Regular maintenance:
To prevent future scale buildup, consider installing a water softener to reduce the hardness of the water entering your tankless water heater.
Check your manufacturer's recommendations for regular maintenance intervals and follow them accordingly.

Regularly cleaning and descaling the heat exchanger in your tankless water heater can help maintain its efficiency, prevent damage, and ensure a steady supply of hot water in your home. Always consult the manufacturer's manual for specific instructions and safety precautions related to your particular model, as different models may have slightly different procedures.
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