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June 23, 2023

Tankless Water Heater Condensate: How to Avoid Common Acidity Problems

High-efficiency, gas tankless water heaters are popular for their compact designs that save space and produce hot water on demand while reducing energy use. However, one side effect of these gas-fired appliances that installers and service technicians need to address is the acidic condensate produced during the condensing phase.

Acidic condensate is a result of exhaust gases condensing into liquid upon reaching the dew point inside the appliance. If the untreated acidic condensate is released into the drainage system, the residue can cause extensive damage. Tankless water heater condensate’s acidity is strong enough to corrode metal pipes, damage the concrete foundation and plumbing system, and harm the surrounding environment. However, the solution to this common problem is simple: treat the acidic condensate with a condensate neutralizer.

Image of acidic condensate corroding water heater Orange metal drain corroded by acidic condensate.

A Purpose-built Solution to Acidic Residue: A Condensate Neutralizer

A condensate neutralizer is a filtration device that safely and efficiently raises the pH level of the residue (reducing its acidity) prior to discharge. Earlier, neutralizers were makeshift boxes filled with marble or limestone chips but manufacturers today offer innovative neutralizer solutions that are more effective and user-friendly. For instance, products by JJM Alkaline Technologies® are purpose-built to work with tankless gas water heaters and use pH Power Pellets®, proprietary neutralizing media from JJM®, to ensure safe treatment of acidic condensate. The mechanism is highly-engineered, yet simple and easy to install and service. Upon entering the water heater neutralizer, the acidic condensate ‘soaks’ in the neutralizing pellets and is neutralized to be safely discharged into the sewer system.

By employing a condensate neutralizer, plumbing engineers, installers and contractors can ensure compliance with industry, federal, state and local codes.

Tailored solutions for your neutralization needs

Finding the right water heater neutralizer is key to ensuring the appliance’s efficiency. JJM® has designed acid condensate neutralizers to fit varying installation requirements like BTU input of the heater, heating days, system design, operating hours and gas composition. JJM® offers the largest selection of neutralizing solutions for all sizes and configurations, including wall-hung tankless water heaters.

For almost 20 years, contractors and installers have joined forces with JJM® to prevent damage from acidic condensate associated with high-efficiency appliances. Products from JJM® can ensure safe operations and fulfill the environmental promise of high-efficiency gas-fired appliances in commercial and residential installations.

Safeguard wastewater infrastructure on every condensing water heater installation with condensate neutralizers from JJM®, which can be purchased from authorized heating and plumbing equipment distributors across the United States and Canada. Find your nearest JJM® authorized distributor to complete your installation today.