Nicolette Forbes

By: Nicolette Forbes on July 1st, 2022

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Do I Need to Install a Water Softener for My Tankless Water Heater?

Tankless Water Heaters | Water Filtration & Purification

If you have a tankless water heater, you've probably heard the term "water filtration" before. And if you're in the market for a tankless water heater, chances are you'll hear things like:


  • Hard water
  • Water filtration
  • Water softener
  • Filters

But what do all these terms mean, and what do they have to do with your tankless water heater?

Monkey Wrench Plumbing is committed to providing you with all the right tools and guidance that you’ll need to make the best decision for your home. 

In this article, we will talk about what a water softener is, how water softeners work, and some key things to consider before deciding if a water softener is right for you.

Let’s dive in!


What Is a Water Softener? 

A whole-house water softener will protect your entire home’s plumbing and your tankless water heater by reducing the hardness of your water. Hard water can create scale build-up in your pipes, clogging them and shortening the lifespan of appliances like dishwashers, coffee makers, and, you guessed it: tankless water heaters. 

But how does hard water create scale build-up? 

The hotter the water, the more calcium and magnesium will harden inside the water heater. If you have hard water, it can lead to your water heater making noises, specifically like popcorn popping inside. This noise comes from the calcified minerals in the water heater cracking as the temperature goes up and the tank begins to expand. 

Without a water softener, you'll notice several issues. For one, your laundry might look a bit out of sorts and take a bit of extra detergent to look fresh. Likewise, your dishes won't look as clean, often showing streaks or residue. In the bathroom, you'll notice a film on your shower curtains, and your skin and hair may feel dry or brittle. 


A water softener has several benefits, including:

  1. Significantly reduces hard water.
  2. Saving up to 75% on cleaning products yearly. 
  3. Cleaner and shinier silverware, glassware, tiles, and fixtures. 
  4. Softer skin and clean, smooth hair.
  5. Prolongs the lifespan of water heaters, faucets, dishwashers, and other household appliances.

Check out this page to learn more about water softeners on the market, as each one has a different task!


Do I Need a Water Softener With a Tankless Water Heater?

Installing a water softener with a tankless water heater isn’t required, however, if you live in an area with hard water, manufacturers recommend installing some type of water treatment to help reduce the amount of hard water coming into your tankless water heater.

Installing a water softener for your tankless water heater is not necessary, but we do want to offer some more facts to consider before making your decision.

For starters, when you bundle together a tankless water heater and a water softener, you will see some immediate benefits in your home, like easier-to-clean bathroom fixtures and better-tasting water. But you’ll also be getting a number of other benefits, including:

  • Prolonged Lifespan of Tankless Water Heater

Overheating and clogs caused by mineral build-up put your tankless water heater through needless wear and tear. Water softeners can prevent minerals from forming clogs and stop them from blocking up or coating crucial heating elements, which translates to a longer lifespan for your tankless water heater.

  • Get Hot Water Faster

Minerals in hard water are attracted to the iron used in water heaters, translating to longer heating periods. A water softener removes these minerals from the water before entering your water heater, providing you with hot water on demand when you need it.

  • Cleaner Dishes

Hard water leaves its mark on dishes in the form of streaks, stains, and spots.  Water softeners remedy this issue by removing excess minerals in your water so your dishes are ready for guests to use. 

  • Save Energy and Money

Mineral deposits prevent water from moving through pipes easily, meaning your water heater will need to work that much harder to heat your water.

Since the heating element will have to work harder, it'll need to consume more energy, meaning higher bills. Water softeners help keep tankless water heaters on track by promoting the health of pipes and crucial components and ensuring deposits don't build up.


Water Softener? The Choice Is Yours

Having a water softener installed for your tankless unit is not necessary, but the manufacturer will void the warranty if it does not. Despite this, having a water softener does carry many benefits, including prolonging the life of your tankless water heater. Purchasing a tankless water heater is an investment, and installing a water softener can protect your investment from hard water, which causes breakdowns in your system.

Want to learn more about water softeners and the different types of water filtration systems? Read the articles below to gain a better understanding of the different types of water filtration systems, including a crash course in water softeners and how they affect your tankless unit so that you can choose the best filtration system for you and your home.

Water Filtration: What is that? Why it is important?

Water Filtration: Water Softener vs Flow-Tech

Water Softeners: A Crash Course

Monkey Wrench Plumbing is dedicated to helping customers throughout the Los Angeles area and beyond. Having been in the plumbing industry since 2007, we have worked on thousands of tankless water heaters and only want to provide you with all the information you need to make the best decision for your home, including deciding whether or not water softeners are right for you. 

If you have any other questions regarding any of your plumbing needs, you can call us at 310-853-8690, and one of our call center representatives would be happy to help you.