As the name suggests, tankless water heaters provide hot water without the need for a storage tank. Unlike traditional models, which constantly heat and reheat water in a tank, tankless heaters only heat water as needed. This offers optimal energy efficiency and convenience. But how exactly do these heaters work to provide on-demand hot water? Here, we’ll dive into the mechanics of tankless water heaters and shed light on their operation.
Types of Tankless Water Heaters
Before delving into how tankless water heaters work, it’s essential to understand that there are two main types: electric and gas. The electric models employ heating elements, while the natural gas or propane-driven versions have burners.
The process starts for both types when a hot water tap is turned on. An inlet pipe takes cold water into the heater. The device has a flow sensor unit that estimates the amount of water in it. A flow sensor reads the desired temperature to generate a signal to a control board where calculations are made, and the amount of heating required is calculated to achieve the desired temperature.
How Tankless Water Heaters Work
Water Flow Control
When you turn on a hot water tap, the unit’s flow sensor detects the movement of water and activates the heater. The water then flows into the heater, where heat exchangers quickly warm it to your preset temperature. The heat exchangers usually operate using gas or electric power.
The hot water is then moved to your tap. This procedure is repeated every time you need hot water. This energy-efficient heating system avoids waste by not continually heating large water tanks.
The temperature control function of tankless water heaters allows you to set your desired water temperature, usually through a digital interface. The heater starts whenever you turn on your shower, and a resistance thermometer tests the water temperature against your preset temperature. The control board adjusts power to the heat exchanger so that the water keeps a good temperature without being too warm or too cool. It helps prevent damaging the unit due to overheating. Temperature control allows hot water to be heated as per individual preferences.
Advantages of Tankless Water Heaters
Besides their energy efficiency, tankless water heaters offer several other benefits. First, they occupy less space, making them ideal for smaller homes or apartments. They also have a longer lifespan than traditional tank models, as there is no risk of corrosion from stored water.
Second, they provide an endless hot water supply, perfect for large households or households with high hot water demands. It also ensures you do not run out of hot water when demand increases.
Moreover, tankless water heaters are considered more environmentally friendly since they produce fewer greenhouse gas emissions than traditional models. They work by heating water on demand, reducing energy consumption, and contributing to lower utility bills.
A tankless water heater can last up to 20 years with professional installation, maintenance, and proper usage. For residents of Tucson, AZ, and surrounding areas, a professional plumbing company like Spartan Plumbing can help you choose the right type and size of tankless water heater for your home.
Limitations of Tankless Water Heaters
While tankless water heaters offer numerous advantages, they also have some limitations. For example, acquiring and setting up the tankless heater is more expensive than many traditional models. This can be discouraging for some homeowners, especially if they have to upgrade their home’s gas or electrical systems.
Tankless heaters may not suit all families if they do not consume hot water regularly. Since the heater has to power on and off frequently, it may lead to decreased efficiency and higher energy consumption in these cases.
Another limitation to consider is the water flow rate. Tankless water heaters have a limited flow rate, meaning they may not be able to provide hot water simultaneously to multiple fixtures in the home. This can lead to low water pressure and insufficient hot water for families with high heat consumption.
At Spartan Plumbing, we offer quality services like drain and sewer cleaning, the installation of tankless water heaters, and the repair of gas lines in the Tucson area. When you work with us, you get professional solutions for plumbing. Call us today for information on our services and how to ensure you choose wisely.