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How Do Tankless Water Heaters Work?

tankless water heater
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Tankless water heaters are the latest technology when it comes to water heating. They are regarded as the improved version of the standard gas and electric water heaters. There are many factors that set tankless water heaters apart from their older models. If you are thinking about making the change, you may be wondering how they compare. A good place to start is how they work. Being generally more expensive, the sensible customer may want to know all the ins and outs before a purchasing decision is made.

How Do Tankless Water Heaters Work?

In the past, traditional water heaters would warm up water in a large storage tank. When you opened your faucet, the hot water would be transported from the already hot water tank. Since the water was constantly having to be kept hot, older water heaters would use a significant amount of energy.

Tankless Water Heaters are also known as on-demand or instantaneous hot water sources. The heater itself is only used when hot water is required, as opposed to having it running all day.

The Process

1) Hot water faucet

Using hot water with a tankless water heater is much the same as what you are used to. Simply open your hot water faucet to start the process and get your water heater working.

2) Heating element

With the faucet open, cold water will flow directly into the water heater. The flow will go directly through the gas burner or electric element. These heating elements burn hot and can heat up the water almost instantaneously.

Producing this kind of temperature does require a lot of energy. However, the fact that you only use it on demand, means it can work out to be more efficient than older models, which are constantly heating water.

3) Water Flow

Despite the instant hot water, a tankless water heater tends to have a lower flow rate. In other words, the output limits the flow rate.

Generally, tankless water heaters provide hot water at a rate of 2-5 gallons per minute. If you have a gas heater element in your tank, you can heat water faster than an electric one.

This can become a concern when you have multiple members in your household simultaneously using hot water. Even running a dishwasher and taking a shower at the same time can push a tankless water tank to its limit.

An obvious counter to this would be to have more than one tankless water heater in your home. However, since they can be expensive, this option may not be worth it for you.

Installation and Maintenance

With the process out the way, it’s important to touch on how installation and maintenance would work too. As a consumer, you should always know what you are in for.

With appropriate and regular maintenance and installation you maximize the energy efficiency of your tankless water heater.

Proper installation is related to a few different factors. Such as

  • Building code requirements
  • Climate
  • Fuel type (Gas or electric)
  • Safety issues.

To ensure that these concerns are considered, it’s important to find a qualified plumbing team.

The Best Plumbing Team In South Florida

At Art Plumbing, Air Conditioning & Electric we have all the expertise and advice you need when it comes to water heaters. Finding the right model that suits your home’s needs is an important step. We are always here to help.

Our professional, friendly team has been successfully servicing South Florida homes since 1983.

Get in touch with us at 1-800-475-1504 to book an appointment.


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