How Does a Tankless Water Heater Work?

What is a Tankless Water Heater?

Tankless water heaters do not have a storage unit for water. Instead, they heat water as it is required. Hot water is available “on-demand” using a heating system that heats the water when a hot water tap is turned on.

What are the Benefits of a Tankless Water Heater?

Tankless water heaters can save energy because you don’t use energy to heat a tank 24/7. As a result, you can help reduce your energy bills each month. They also free up more space which can work well for smaller homes. You also have an endless supply of hot water, so there’s no risk of an unpleasant cold shower if you’re the last to use the bathroom each morning.

If There’s No Tank, What Makes Up a Tankless Water Heater?

How Does a Tankless Water Heater Work?

Tankless water heaters trigger seven steps when the hot water tap is turned on:

1. Flow Sensors Detect Water

When you turn on a hot water tap in your house, the system’s flow sensors detect the water.

2. Controls are Triggered

The system sees it is time to produce hot water. It is set to the ideal temperature, so the burners always heat the water perfectly to avoid burns or chills.

3. Burner ignition

4. Water Circulates

As the burners ignite, they heat the water by circulating it through a heat exchanger.

5. Water is Delivered

Once the water reaches the ideal temperature, the water exits the heater and flows through the pipes to the tap. Although it sounds like you have to wait for the water, it happens instantly. As long as the tap remains turned on, the heater continues to send hot water to the faucet in use.

6. Venting

Vents located in the roof or outside wall carry exhaust gasses away if you have a non-condensing tankless unit.

7. Automatic shut down

Well-maintained tankless units by Paso Robles plumbers work perfectly: tap is turned off, the heater automatically turns off.

Non-condensing vs Condensing Tankless Water Heaters

Condensing tankless water heaters improve efficiency by using excess heat through a second heat exchanger. Condensation is formed with a second heat exchanger capturing and cooling heat, so it isn’t wasted heat. Instead of venting the heat outside, the heater conserves the energy, allowing it to produce more hot water than a non-condensing tankless heater. Non-condensing tankless water heaters use a single heat exchanger to heat the water. Make sure they are working properly with the help of your Paso Robles plumber.

Water flows through a heat exchanger where it is heated by exhaust gasses, but in this case, the excess heat is expelled through vents. Both tankless water heaters are very efficient, but condensing units offer higher energy efficiency for better cost savings over time. Although the unit itself is more expensive you save both on energy costs as well as installation as vents are not required.

Electric vs Gas Tankless Water Heaters

The right type of tankless water heater really depends on the homeowner, just ask the help of your Paso Robles, CA water heater experts. While electric tankless water heaters are less expensive for the unit, installation and better energy efficiency, gas tankless water heaters are better if you have a higher demand for hot water. If you currently have an electric tank heater, there is no point investing in costly retrofits for gas.

If you do have gas, you have to consider the capacity and what will work best for your needs. Your Paso Robles, CA water heater experts at Rocksteady Plumbing can help you make the right choice for your tankless water heater.

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