An Overview of Tankless or Demand-Type Water Heaters

Plumber repairing a water heater

If your old water heater is on the verge of giving out, you might wonder whether it’s time to switch to a tankless water heater. This type of water heater is great for people who want to save money on their electric bills. Since the water heater only heats water as needed, you won’t spend extra cash heating gallons of water and keeping them warm until you use them.

Talking to a plumbing contractor is a great way to decide whether a tankless water heater may be right for you. Read on for an overview of how they work and their benefits.

How tankless water heaters work

Traditional water heaters use large tanks to collect, heat and store water until you need to use it—and when that hot water is gone, it’s gone until the heater can produce the next batch. If you’re the last person to shower in a five-person household, you’ve probably encountered this frustrating phenomenon.

Tankless water heaters, on the other hand, don’t use tanks (hence the name). Instead, when someone turns on a hot water tap, the cold water goes into the tankless water heater, where a heating element immediately heats the water. The water is heated until the hot water tap is turned off.

Tankless water heaters can be electric or gas-powered, and will heat two to five gallons of water per minute. While they’re not suitable for heavy simultaneous use (such as taking a shower and washing the dishes at the same time), they do provide virtually unlimited hot water for your shower and appliance needs. Some families install multiple tankless water heaters to keep up with large demand.

Benefits of tankless water heaters

Tankless water heaters offer a number of benefits over their traditional counterparts. Check out these big advantages:

  • Save energy and money: If your family uses 41 gallons of hot water or less on a daily basis, you could save about 25 to 35 percent on energy. If you install multiple tankless water heaters, your savings could go up to 50 percent, depending on how much hot water is used each day. Compared to traditional water heaters, that can mean saving hundreds of dollars per year.
  • Easy to install and maintain: Traditional water heaters are unwieldy and can be dangerous to install or maintain. Tankless water heaters are much easier to install, especially when you work with a reputable plumbing contractor. They’re better equipped to handle the plumbing and gas or electrical requirements your new water heater demands.
  • Virtually unlimited hot water: Imagine never running out of hot water, no matter where you are in the household shower queue. (Younger siblings of the world, rejoice!) Since you don’t have to wait for your water heater to heat up the next batch of water, you’ll always have hot water for a shower, your dishes or your laundry.

Interested in finding a tankless water heater that works for you? Contact the friendly plumbing contractors at PlumbSmart Plumbing Heating and Air to learn more.