How Tankless Water Heaters Work
As the name would imply, a tankless water heater lacks the large storage tank that heats and stores water until needed. Instead, the water is heated on demand as it passes through a winding pipe inside the tankless water heater. This allows you to achieve essentially endless hot water, but with the caveat that if you draw too much hot water at once, either from multiple taps or from one tap running for an extended period, the water won’t be as hot.
Benefits of a Tankless Water Heater
Tankless water heaters offer several significant benefits over traditional water heaters, with relatively few drawbacks.
- Improved energy efficiency: You’re only heating the water you’re using instead of heating it “just in case,” as you would in a storage tank water heater. This is a major source of improved energy efficiency; much of the heat generated for the water of a traditional water heater dissipates, requiring additional heat to keep the water ready.
- Less maintenance: There are no moving parts, no storage tank filling up with sediment, and relatively less combustion in a tankless water heater. This means it requires less maintenance and lasts longer than its storage tank counterparts, barring issues with unsoftened hard water.
- Endless hot water: As long as your tankless water heater is sized appropriately for your home, you will have truly endless access to hot water. If you go past the limits of your tankless water heater, the water temperature may drop to warm or lukewarm, so sizing appropriately and/or not drawing hot water from multiple taps at once is key to get the most out of it.
Sizing a tankless water heater can be rather complicated for an end user, so it should probably be handled by the professionals installing the system — but knowing how sizing works will help you understand what the professional is basing their assessment on (and judge whether they’re assessing properly at all).
There are two key components in sizing a tankless water heater:
- Flow rate: Measured in gallons per minute, the flow rate describes how much hot water you will need at once.
- Temperature rise: Temperature rise measures the difference between the water’s temperature when it reaches your tankless water heater and the temperature you want your hot water to be when it leaves the heater.
An appropriately sized tankless water heater will be designed to achieve the temperature rise you desire for the flow rate you require. If either area is lacking, you’ll end up with water that isn’t as hot as you’d like sometimes.
When choosing a plumber to help you size, select, and install a tankless water heater, you want to work with a team that understands the technology and has the customer service, technical prowess, and experience necessary to get everything done perfectly to specifications with full transparency, fair pricing, and thorough professionalism. Choosing Staggs Plumbing for your needs means benefiting from our:
- Over 25 years of excellence
- Free quotes
- A+ BBB rating
- Highly qualified and experienced plumbers
Everyone was very professional and did their best to accommodate any requests we had. They can in to fix a leaky kitchen sink and ended up helping us with 2 faucets, our tub, and a toilet handle. April and Nick were awesome!Aurora B.