Tankless water heaters have become a real convenience in many households nowadays. It requires less space and fewer maintenance. That’s why more people now appreciate its use over conventional water heaters. EcoSmart tankless water heaters are like any tankless or conventional tank water heaters. They are still prone to malfunctions. Regular maintenance is still a must. This article talks about how to care for your EcoSmart. You’ll also learn how to reset EcoSmart tankless water heater.
EcoSmart, in particular, has come up with newer tankless water heater models. Models cater to the preferences of homeowners. Choices vary in size, use, and power efficiency.
The Reset Button
Some electric tankless water heaters have a reset button. And it is there for a very important purpose. Sometimes, malfunctions and potential electrical problems occur. For safety, the reset button may trip and shut off the unit as a feature.
The reset button essentially serves as an internal circuit breaker in that case. It is a mechanism that prevents further damage to your water heater. It also blocks any serious electrical threat that can pose a danger to you or your household.
There are some reasons why your unit’s reset button might trip. Just make sure it is not caused by a lack of maintenance or reckless handling of the unit.
Instead, the power board displays an error if the unit needs to be reset. So, how to reset your ecosmart? There is also a fuse inside the power board that functions as a safety check. If the unit is not turning on, a malfunction or a power surge may have occurred that blew up the fuse. Resolve the problem by replacing the fuse. Then you can reset the unit.
Cleaning An EcoSmart Tankless Heating Unit
Cleaning an EcoSmart water heater is not that troublesome. But there are multiple steps. Below are three stages in cleaning the unit.
- Start by turning off the unit. Next, switch off the circuit breakers of the tankless water heater. Make sure to do this next step. This ensures that there is no electric current that can electrocute you whatsoever.
- After that, close the intake valve or main water source. Next, open a hot water faucet in your house. Do this to drain the tankless unit of any hot water. This also prevents hot water from scalding you once you remove the hoses.
- Next, close the outlet valve that connects to the hot water discharge of the unit. Do this to prevent any hot water backflow from the pipe when you remove the hose.
- After that, unscrew the hoses from the intake and the outlet valves. These hoses attach to both the intake and the outlet water lines of the unit.
- Next, remove the front covering of your tankless unit. You will have to unscrew 4 screws to do this.
- After that, unscrew the wires connected to the heating element. Most tankless units have more than one heating element. The heating elements may be in different placements. This depends on your specific EcoSmart model. Heating elements on larger units stand vertically on the top left side. Heating elements on smaller units lay horizontally on top.
- Next, unscrew the heating element in a counter-clockwise direction. You will notice some scale buildup on the copper pipes of the heating element.
Cleaning and Flushing
- Remove the flow resistor from the unit’s outlet water line. Then clean it of any mineral flakes or scale buildups inside.
- Next, soak the pipes of the heating element in vinegar. You can also use a descaling solution. Leave the heating element to soak until the scale buildup comes off. This may take 3 hours or more. It depends on the amount of buildup on the pipes. Some buildup may remain after soaking. Try wiping it off with a cloth that’s dipped in vinegar or a descaling solution. Make sure that the hexagon brass tops of the heating elements stay dry the whole time. They have circuitry where the electrical wires reconnect.
- After that, check that the heating element is clean. Then screw it back into the chambers you took it out from.
- Reconnect the intake hose onto the unit’s inlet water line. Place a bucket directly under the outlet pipe. This collects the water that flows out of the unit.
- Next, open the intake valve. Let the water flow through the unit and make sure there are no leaks.
- You may notice mineral flakes (in the bucket) coming out of the unit. In this case, let the water continue to flow until all flakes trapped inside the unit’s pipes flushes out.
Units that are supplied with hard water need thorough flushing. That goes the same for tankless heaters that owners do not regularly check.
For these units, it won’t be effective to use plain water. It is better to use 3-4 gallons of undiluted white vinegar. You may also use a descaling solution.
For this type of flushing, you will need a small submersible pump or any circulating pump. Additionally, you need a couple of laundry hoses and a 5-gallon bucket. You will use these hoses to connect to the inlet and the outlet of the unit. The bucket will be for the vinegar or the solution. Here are the steps:
- Close the intake valve again.
- Next, put the unit’s cover back temporarily. This prevents water from splashing on the electrical parts inside the unit. Securing it with 2 screws will do.
- After that, pour all the vinegar or the descaling solution into the bucket. Then place it directly under the water heater unit.
- Next, remove the intake hose from the unit’s water inlet line. Replace it with one of the laundry hoses. Make sure it is connected securely to the inlet water line.
- After that, connect the other end of this hose to the outlet of the submersible pump. Submerge the pump in the bucket of vinegar or descaling solution underneath.
- Connect the other laundry hose onto the unit’s water outlet line. Submerge the other end of this hose in the bucket as well.
- Turn on the pump. Allow it to suction the vinegar or the solution from the bucket. Then pump it in and out of the unit’s system. Do this for at least 30 minutes.
- You may see some mineral flakes still coming out of the outlet. In this case, let it run some more. Make sure the circulation of the fluid inside flushes out all the flakes and scale deposits out.
Assembling and Final Checks
- Check that the unit is clean of flakes and scale deposits. Then turn off the pump and remove the laundry hoses from both the unit’s water inlet and outlet lines.
- Reconnect the intake hose onto the unit’s inlet water line again.
- Screw back the flow resistor onto the unit’s outlet.
- After that, reconnect the outlet valve hose onto the flow resistor on the unit’s outlet.
- Open the intake valve again and check for leaks. Then, open the outlet valve as well.
- Next, remove the unit’s cover. Then, reconnect the wires by screwing them onto the heating elements.
- Put the cover back into the unit. And make sure you’ve screwed it on tightly.
- Next, switch on the unit’s circuit breakers. Then check faucets if the water is heating.
- Finally, enjoy your clean hot water again!
If you prefer to view these steps in action, check this video out.
Filtration maintenance is an essential task that keeps your tankless unit clean. If you can, consult your municipal water company. Ask about water conditions in your area. You may even request water testing. This gives you useful information particularly if you live in hard water conditions.
For filtration maintenance, you can use whole house water filtration systems. Choose the type of filtration. It should work well with the location and needs of your tankless water heater. Choices are available at your local hardware or plumbing store. You can also get a filtration unit online at Amazon.
You may have hard water conditions in your home. If so, get a filter system that removes calcium, lime, and other sediments from your house water supply. This way, your tankless heater won’t get so much scale buildup. For more info on filtration, you may check the EcoSmart manual here.
Resetting An EcoSmart Heater
Sometimes, your EcoSmart will still display an error. You’ll see an “E” and a number next to it. This reading displays on its LED. In this case, here’s how to reset an ecosmart:
- First, shut off all hot water faucets in your house.
- Turn off your EcoSmart . You may use a remote if your tankless unit has one. Otherwise, turn it off by pressing the temperature control knob.
- Switch off the circuit breakers and make sure there is no electrical current in the unit.
- Leave the unit off for 5 minutes. Then turn the unit on.
Sometimes the LED may still display an error. You may see any of these error readings:
- E1 – error on Inlet Thermistor
- E2 – error on Outlet Thermistor
- E3 – error on Both Thermistors
- E4 – error on High Temp
- E5 – error on High Flow Rate
- S103 – error on Low Voltage
In these cases, check the EcoSmart manual for directions.
The manual for how to reset ecosmart also gives steps for temporary fixes. These temporary fixes let you use hot water while you wait for the unit to be repaired. Sometimes, troubleshooting tips (even from the manual) do not work. In this case, it is best to get a professional technician to fix it.
Another problem is when there is no power to the unit. This means either a malfunction or a power surge may have occurred. And that may have blown up the fuse in the power board.
In cases like this, it’s advisable to let a professional fix the problem. Repair it yourself only if you know your way around wirings and circuitry. Cases like this require that you remove the power board housing and change the fuse yourself. You can order the specific replacement fuse online.
Some makers of these water heaters claim their products to be maintenance-free. Some even suggest that maintenance is negligible or unnecessary. However, this is not a good practice.
Besides the guide how to reset your heater, Maintenance is the key to maximizing the use and years of your heater. Any neglect may cost you unnecessary repairs and heavy expenses. You may even have to spend your money on a new buy.
These heaters need care and regular maintenance at least yearly. Do this particularly if you have hard water conditions in your area. The minerals in hard water can settle inside and form scale deposits. If you have no water softener, you must descale every six months.
You may have a very good water filtration system in your house. If so, your heater can function well for more than 3 years without any need for flushing.
Some unit owners commented that they did not have to flush their units for about 5 years. But it’s because they use clean filtered water in their homes.
Your EcoSmart unit will need replacement of parts after some time.
You might need to change the heating elements, flow meter, or thermistors. You might also have to replace the fuse inside the control board. This part is where the temperature control knob is.
Note that with proper maintenance, your unit can serve you a long, long time before any part breaks down. Again, the kind of water supply your household connects to can shorten or lengthen that. With diligent care, you can get 20 to 25 years of life out of your tankless water heater.