How Does a Tankless Water Heater Work?

You may not think about it often, but we rely on our home water heater for many of our daily tasks. Everything from bathing to laundry to washing dishes calls for reliable hot water. However, the average water heater only lasts for 10-15 years. So if yours is nearing the end of its expected service life – or you want to improve the energy efficiency of your home – it may be time to plan on upgrading your unit.

Tankless Water Heater

By now you’ve probably heard of tankless water heaters, either from a friend or on a home improvement TV show. Ever wonder how they work or if one would be right for your home? Read on because today we’re covering the ins and outs of tankless water heaters.

The traditional – tank water heater

For a long time, the most common types of water heater have been tank storage units. As the name implies, these systems have tanks that store large amounts of water – 30 gallons or more. Water is heated and held in the tank until it is needed. The major downside to this approach is that it requires energy to keep all the water warm at all times.

How a tankless system works

Tankless units are sometimes called on-demand water heaters because they only warm up water when it’s needed. Here’s how it would work in your home.

  • You turn on the hot water faucet to take a shower
  • Cold water from your water supply flows through a pipe into the tankless water heater unit.
  • Using either a gas burner or electric heat element, the unit quickly heats up the water
  • The hot water exits the unit, enters the home’s plumbing system, and flows out of the showerhead

This whole process happens in a matter of seconds – and you don’t have to worry about a tank running out of hot water and ruining your shower!

Benefits of a tankless water heater

There are many reasons why tankless water heaters are becoming more and more popular with homeowners. Here are a few of the biggest benefits:

  • Energy efficiency – Tank units can be 30-50% more efficient than tank systems, which is good for the environment and help you reduce your monthly energy bills
  • Unlimited hot water
  • Small size that takes up less room than a tank water heater
  • Long service life – can last 20 years or longer
  • Lower risk of water damage

Tankless water heater installation

If the thought of unlimited hot water and lower energy bills sounds appealing, then it’s time to consider adding a tankless hot water heater to your home. And in the Raleigh, Durham and Triangle, NC area, the expert team you can trust is One Call Plumbing. To get started, request an estimate or call us at (919) 925-2006 to schedule an appointment.