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Archive for June 7th, 2022

Diary #623

I’ve had tankless water heaters for over a decade now, and I’ll never go back.  Since all this hair takes a long time to wash, my showers tend to run about 30 minutes; that means I deplete all but the largest tanks by the time I’m done, and there are very few things I hate more than having to rush a shower to avoid getting hit by cold water while I’m trying to rinse the conditioner out.  I’m not generally fussy about most things, but I view long, hot, high-volume showers as a basic necessity, not an indulgence; this also means any new shower head must be modified to remove the government’s mandated “improvements” before it can be installed, because I’m not gonna try to wet my hair under a fucking trickle because too many Americans choose to live in deserts while I prefer to live in places where the issue is too much water rather than too little, and politicians think I should suffer in solidarity or something.  Anyhow, we recently started having weird little problems with the heater: strange noises, temperature fluctuations, that sort of thing.  Since it was installed in the autumn of ’17 I figured it needed some kind of maintenance, so I asked Dr. Quest if he knew what the problem was since A) I know he also has a tankless heater; and B) he’s good at figuring out such things.  He told me that the flow sensor (that tells the unit when to turn the heat on and off) was dirty and needed cleaning, so Grace did some research and bought this kit (endorsed by the heater’s manufacturer) to add a couple of valve assemblies into the inflow and outflow lines.  Once the valves are in place, all one need do is close the water valves, turn off the breakers to the unit, and attach the hoses visible in this picture to a pump immersed in two gallons of plain white vinegar, then let it run for 90 minutes (if you’ve ever had to clean a coffee maker you already know about vinegar dissolving sediment deposits).  After that, one detaches the pump, switches the valves back to let water through, and flushes the system with clean water by opening a hot water tap for about ten minutes (and don’t forget to turn the breakers back on when done).  The noises are gone, and the temperature seems much steadier; I figure we’ll probably set up a schedule to clean it annually so it doesn’t build up as much.  And given that there was nothing about this in the heater’s manual, I figured those with tankless heaters (which I highly recommend if you’re replacing your old heater) might want to get one of these kits, especially if you have your own well or the pipes carrying your city water are old.

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