How Do Tankless Water Heaters Work? A Complete Guide

Hey there! Are you curious about how tankless water heaters work? As of late, they’re becoming increasingly popular because of their energy efficiency and clever design that saves space. Let’s dive in to learn how these tankless heaters work and all the benefits they offer. 

How does a Tankless Water Heater Work?

Learn the process behind your tankless water heater!

1. Understanding the Basics:

Tankless water heaters provide hot water only when it’s needed, eliminating the need for a large storage tank that continuously heats water. Instead, they heat water as it flows through the unit, ensuring you have a constant supply of hot water on demand.

2. The Heating Process:

Tankless water heaters use either electric heating elements or gas burners (typically natural gas or propane) to heat the water. Let’s break down the process for both types:

3. Advantages of Tankless Water Heaters:

  • Energy Efficiency: Tankless water heaters are energy-efficient because they only heat water when needed, reducing standby energy losses associated with traditional storage tank heaters.
  • Endless Hot Water: With tankless heaters, there’s no risk of running out of hot water, as they provide a continuous supply as long as there’s a water source and the heater can keep up with the demand.
  • Space-Saving Design: Tankless units are compact and wall-mounted, saving valuable floor space compared to bulky storage tank heaters.
  • Longer Lifespan: Tankless heaters tend to have a longer lifespan than traditional heaters, potentially lasting up to 20 years or more with proper maintenance.

4. Considerations and Maintenance:

  • Flow Rate: It’s crucial to choose a tankless heater with an appropriate flow rate to meet your household’s hot water demands. Larger households may require multiple units.
  • Ventilation (Gas Heaters): Gas tankless heaters require proper ventilation to ensure safe operation. Consult a professional for installation.
  • Maintenance: Regular maintenance, including descaling to remove mineral buildup, is essential to keep your tankless water heater running efficiently.

Types of Tankless Water Heaters:

There are 2 main types of tankless water heaters you can utilize in your home.

Electric Tankless Water Heaters:

  • Cold water enters the unit through an inlet pipe.
  • As you turn on a hot water tap, a sensor detects the flow and activates the electric heating element.
  • Water passes over the heating element, getting heated instantly.
  • The heated water then exits the unit and flows to your faucet or showerhead.

Gas Tankless Water Heaters:

  • Similarly, cold water enters the unit through an inlet pipe.
  • When a hot water tap is opened, a flow sensor triggers the gas burner to ignite.
  • Cold water circulates through a heat exchanger, where it absorbs heat from the gas burner’s flames.
  • The now-hot water exits the unit and travels to your point of use.

Tankless Water Heaters

Tankless water heaters offer a modern and efficient solution for providing hot water on demand. By understanding their operation and benefits, you can make an informed decision about whether a tankless water heater is the right choice for your home. If you’re unsure, consult our plumbing professional team to determine the best fit for your needs.

Contact Pacific Plumbing Team Today

We want you to make the best decision for your home, so don't hesitate to ask us any questions you may have. We'll help you determine if a tankless water heater is the right fit for your needs. Let us know how we can assist you! We offer repair, maintenance, and more services to ensure your tankless water heater is performing at it's best.