How Tankless Water Heaters Work
A tankless water heater, as the name would imply, lacks the large storage tank holding water to be heated and stored until needed that you have in a traditional water heater. Instead, the water is heated on demand as it passes through a winding pipe inside of the tankless water heater installed in your home.
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 hard, it won’t heat up as much as it passes through the heater.
Benefits of a Tankless Water Heater
Tankless water heaters offer a number of 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, as much of the heat generated for the water of a traditional water heater simply dissipates unused, requiring additional heat to keep the water ready.
- Reduced maintenance: There are no moving parts, no storage tank filling up with sediment, and relatively less combustion occurring in a tankless water heater. This means that 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 temperature of the hot water you’re drawing 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 understanding how sizing works will help you understand what they’re basing their assessment on (and judge whether they’re assessing properly at all).
There are two key components in sizing a tankless water heater: the flow rate, in gallons per minute, that describes how much hot water you will need at once, and the temperature rise, a measurement of the difference between the temperature water will be 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 30 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.