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Should I perform more frequent routine maintenance on the Noritz NR66 OD to address hard water issues?

Performing more frequent routine maintenance on the Noritz NR66 OD tankless water heater to address hard water issues can be beneficial in maintaining the unit's efficiency and prolonging its lifespan. Hard water, which contains elevated levels of minerals like calcium and magnesium, can lead to scale buildup inside the water heater's components, particularly the heat exchanger. Here are several reasons why more frequent maintenance may be advisable in areas with hard water:

1. Scale Accumulation: Hard water tends to deposit mineral scale on the surfaces it contacts, including the heat exchanger in your tankless water heater. Scale buildup acts as an insulating layer, making it more difficult for the heat exchanger to transfer heat efficiently to the water. As a result, your water heater must work harder and longer to provide hot water, leading to increased energy consumption and potentially reduced performance.
2. Efficiency: Regular maintenance, including descaling the heat exchanger, can help restore the unit's efficiency. When scale is allowed to accumulate unchecked, the water heater becomes less efficient over time, causing a decline in hot water production and potentially higher energy bills.
3. Preventing Clogs: Scale buildup can lead to clogs and blockages in the heat exchanger and plumbing components. These blockages can restrict water flow, reduce hot water pressure, and even cause damage to the unit. Frequent maintenance helps prevent these issues and ensures a steady supply of hot water.
4. Extended Lifespan: Addressing hard water issues through more frequent maintenance can significantly extend the lifespan of your Noritz NR66 OD water heater. Scale accumulation and corrosion are primary factors that can lead to premature failure. By routinely descaling and inspecting the unit, you can avoid costly repairs or replacements.
Here are some maintenance tasks you should consider performing more frequently in areas with hard water:
1. Descaling: Regularly descale the heat exchanger to remove mineral deposits. The frequency of descaling depends on the hardness of your water. In hard water areas, you may need to descale every 6-12 months or even more frequently. Use a descaling solution specifically designed for tankless water heaters and follow the manufacturer's guidelines for the proper procedure.
2. Inspect for Scale and Blockages: During routine maintenance, visually inspect the heat exchanger and plumbing components for any signs of scale buildup or blockages. Pay attention to reduced water flow, unusual noises, or any visible scale deposits.
3. Check Water Quality: Consider periodically testing your water's hardness to monitor changes over time. If you notice an increase in hardness, it may be an indicator that more frequent maintenance is required.
4. Professional Assistance: If you're unsure about the maintenance frequency or how to address hard water issues, consult a qualified technician or plumber with experience in tankless water heaters. They can provide guidance and perform maintenance tasks as needed.

In summary, performing more frequent routine maintenance on your Noritz NR66 OD tankless water heater in areas with hard water is a proactive approach to maintaining efficiency, preventing scale-related issues, and extending the unit's lifespan. By regularly descaling the heat exchanger and inspecting for scale buildup, you can ensure consistent hot water supply and reduce the risk of costly repairs or replacements. Monitoring water quality and seeking professional advice when necessary can also help you effectively manage hard water issues and keep your water heater operating optimally.
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