The 2012 national gas codes in the United States have recently made a significant changed. This change is substantial for tankless water heater systems as the old code required ¾ inch gas piping which many homes only had as an upgrade.
In the past if you had your hot water heater fail and you decided to upgrade to a tankless system you may have been delayed or forced to go back to a conventional tank type system due to your homes standard ½ inch gas lines.
Home builders are now able to install ½ inch gas lines without predetermining if the home owner is going to utilize a tankless or conventional tank. The ½ inch pipe is now able to be configured to support either water heating option.
The newly lifted restriction makes it even easier to Go Tankless – now we just need this same update in our Canadian gas codes.
The service valves on a tankless are essential for cleaning the insides of your tankless. The valves allow an easy method of changing the incoming and outgoing water from one source to another. Why would you need this feature? Well your tankless is designed to last more than 20 years and this requires that the scale and lime buildup that forms on the inside of the system is flushed or cleaned out. The scale forms fastest in situations where water is rapidly heated, so the heat exchanger is the primary location of buildup.
It is not mandatory that these service valves are installed but any good contractor will have included them in the price and if you have a tankless you probably have some already.
The Service Valves Use
Cleaning your tankless requires you to shut the fuel source down, unplug the unit, switch the incoming and outgoing water over with the service valves. Then you can simply hook up some hoses to the in and out ports on the service valves and pump vinegar or some acidic solution though the tankless. The acid eats the scale and restores the tankless to its original efficiency.
Scale buildup quickly reduces the efficiency of your tankless by significantly slowing the transfer of heat to water.
So if you have a tankless tank a quick peek at your system and see of your contractor or installer included the service valves. If not, don’t worry they can always be installed after the fact. Give us a call and we can install some and flush your tankless at the same time.
Service Valves Specifications
3/4″ union connections
Colour coded handles and unions
Staggered connection points to easy access and installation