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How Do Tankless Water Heaters Work?

How Do Tankless Water Heaters Work?

How Do Tankless Water Heaters Work? May 09, 2024

Tankless water heaters are not like their storage tank counterparts, and not many people understand how they work. At Rooter Man Plumbing, we are here to help you understand how tankless water heaters provide a continuous and on-demand supply of hot water. We are a reputable plumbing service specializing in tankless water heater installation and water heater replacement. If you’re looking for a qualified plumber that provides professional water heater services, get in touch with Rooter Man Plumbing today.

How Tankless Water Heaters Work: Step By Step

  • Water flow initiation: Cold water flows into the unit through a pipe when you open a hot water faucet.
  • Flow sensor activation: A flow sensor is activated as the water flows through the unit, and the heating element or burner begins heating the water. This on-demand activation is what makes the difference between tankless water heaters and conventional models that rely on storage tanks.
  • Heating the water: The heat exchanger rapidly heats up the water to the desired temperature. Tankless water heaters come with a temperature controller that works together with the flow sensor to maintain the desired water temperature.
  • Hot water is delivered: Once the water reaches the desired temperature, it flows out of the unit to the open water tap, providing a continuous supply of hot water.
  • Heating stops when the tap is closed: Once you turn off the hot water faucet, the flow sensor signals the heat exchanger to stop the heating process. These heaters heat water only when it’s needed, so they eliminate the standby energy losses associated with storage tank water heaters.

Flow Rate and Temperature Rise

These are two important factors you need to consider when choosing a tankless water heater. The flow rate refers to the amount of hot water a tankless water heater can provide at any given time (measured in gallons per minute). Gas-powered tankless heaters offer higher flow rates (5-10 GPM) compared to electric models (around 2-5 GPM). This is because gas can heat water more rapidly. A 3.5 GPM heater might be sufficient for a single shower or a sink faucet with good efficiency. However, if your household has 2-3 bathrooms and you frequently use hot water, it’s advisable to choose a 5-7 GPM unit to ensure you can run multiple hot water fixtures without experiencing a drop in temperature. If you need help selecting the right tankless water heater, consult with a professional plumbing service that specializes in tankless water heater installation.

In a tankless water heater, temperature rise describes the difference between the incoming cold water temperature and the desired hot water temperature you set. This is another crucial factor, alongside flow rate, when choosing a tankless unit.

Let's say your incoming cold water temperature is 50°F and you desire a hot water temperature of 120°F for your shower. This means you need a temperature rise of 120°F - 50°F = 70°F.

However, if you also plan to run the dishwasher simultaneously, which requires a higher flow rate, the heater might only be able to achieve a rise of 50°F, resulting in cooler shower water.

Get In Touch With Rooter Man Plumbing For Tankless Water Heater Installation

Are you looking for reliable tankless water heater installers? Rooter Man Plumbing has got you covered. We don’t just stop at water heater installation either; we also offer professional water heater replacement services. If your water heater has seen better days and you’re looking for a dependable plumbing repair service to help you install a new one, Rooter Man Plumbing is here to help.


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