How Does a Tankless Water Heater Work?


The average American household uses around 82 gallons of water per day. People use cold water for drinking and other purposes, but they use hot water for many more things, including showering and washing dishes.

Fortunately, most homes in the U.S. have water heaters. The most common type of water heater comes with a tank that produces hot water before you need it, but many homes have tankless water heaters.

A tankless water heater doesn’t have a tank. So, instead of producing hot water before you need it, the system heats the water as you need it. 

Have you ever wondered how these work? You might want to learn if you’re considering installing one, so keep reading to learn how these work.

They Require Electricity or Gas

Every water heater you choose requires energy. The energy heats the water for your home, but you must choose the right type of water heater for the energy you use in your house.

For example, you can choose a gas hot water heater if your home has natural gas or propane. On the other hand, you’ll need an electric hot water heater if your home doesn’t have gas.

If your home has gas and electricity, you could choose either type. A tankless water heater requires one of these options, as the system needs an energy source to heat water.

If you’re interested in learning more about these options, you can ask a company that offers tankless water heaters in Detroit, MI. When they install the tankless system, they’ll connect it to your home’s energy source.

For example, if you want an electric tankless heater, you can plug it into an outlet to get the energy. You’ll need a gas line to the system if you use gas to heat your water. You’ll also need a water line running to it. 

They Heat Water as Demanded

You’ll understand how tankless systems work when you compare different types of hot water tanks. A traditional system heats water by passing it through a heating element. Then, it stores the water in a tank. 

As the name implies, a tankless system doesn’t have a tank. Therefore, it doesn’t store hot water for use. Instead, it makes hot water as needed. 

The process begins when you turn on a hot water tap in your home, including your bathtub faucet, bathroom sink, or kitchen tap.

For example,, when you turn on a faucet, it signals the tankless system that you need hot water. As soon as the tankless system detects your need for hot water, it opens the line for cold water to enter through the system.

The cold water passes through the system, which contains a heating element. This heating element instantly heats the water and sends it through the pipe to the faucet demanding hot water.

It won’t produce hot water unless you turn on a faucet, and it won’t produce more than you need. Instead, it stops heating water once you shut the faucet off. 

You Can Choose From Different Sizes

Tankless systems work well. However, you must choose the right size system for your needs.

For example, you’ll experience problems with the device if it’s not big enough. Your system might not produce enough hot water, causing you to think you need water heater repair.

The device might work fine, except that it might not be large enough to supply all the hot water you need. 

Therefore, you’ll need to talk to a plumber to ensure you select a system that can produce the amount of hot water you need. One way to compare systems is by their output.

A tankless system states how many gallons of hot water it can produce per minute. Most systems produce between 2 to 5 gallons of hot water per minute. Gas systems tend to produce more hot water than electric ones.

An average tankless system won’t likely have trouble keeping up with the demand if you’re only using one faucet for hot water at a time. However, you might experience problems if you use multiple faucets at once.

For example, if you take a shower while running your dishwasher, you might not have enough hot water to keep up with both demands at the same time. To avoid this problem, you can use only one hot water source at a time.

Another remedy is to install multiple tankless hot water heaters, so each device has its own system. 

Reasons to Choose a Tankless Water Heater

After learning how a tankless system works, you might wonder why people choose them, especially if you’re considering a water heater replacement. Here are some reasons people choose tankless water heaters:

Faster Hot Water

First, you’ll have hot water right when you need it with a tankless system. How much time do you normally spend waiting at your sink for hot water? You won’t have to wait any longer, as these produce hot water instantly.

Conserve Water

As a result, a tankless water heater helps you conserve water. You won’t use as much water if you don’t have to wait for the water to heat up after turning on the faucet. 

Saves Space

A tankless system doesn’t have a tank, which means it takes up less space. Therefore, this is a great solution if you’re looking for ways to save space.

Lower Energy Bills 

Finally, you’ll spend less money on your energy bills. Heating water instantly with a tankless system costs less. Additionally, you can find more tips here for lowering your energy bills. 

Learn More About Water Heater Options

Hot water is an integral part of everyday life, so you’ll need a water heater in your home. You can choose from traditional water heaters, or you can choose a tankless water heater. 

You can learn more about your options by contacting a plumbing contractor. 

Feel free to contact us at Waterwork Plumbing in Ferndale, MI. You can visit our website or call us at 248-928-2149.