Tankless water heaters provide you with hot water as you need it, rather than heating the water ahead of time and storing it in a large tank. They’re also referred to as instantaneous or demand-type water heaters. They don’t experience the energy loss associated with traditional tank heaters, which will save you money on your monthly utility bills. If you’re considering a tankless water heater, it will be helpful to understand exactly how they work.
They Heat Water Directly
A traditional water heater with a tank will heat your water and then store it in a tank so that it’s ready to use whenever you need it. Tankless water heaters don’t store hot water. Instead, when you turn on your hot water tap, the cold water goes through the water heater. As it passes through, either an electric heating coil or a gas burner heats the device, which in turn heats the water. That newly heated water is then delivered to your tap.
Eliminating that tank of hot water will save energy and money. As the water sits in the tank, it can lose heat. This is true for even the most insulated tanks. You’ll be paying to heat water that isn’t being used. With a tankless version, you only pay for the energy to heat the water you are using.
In addition to being efficient, tankless water heaters are smaller than traditional water heaters with tanks. Without a large tank to hold the heated water, they are small enough to mount on the wall. This gives you more space to use for other needs. They’re also easier to hide. Whether your water heater is in your basement, garage, or laundry room, these areas will look larger and more streamlined.
They Provide a Constant Hot Water Flow
When you use a water heater with a storage tank, you’ll have hot water until the tank is drained. At this point, you need to wait for the water heater to completely heat another tank full of water before you’ll have access to more hot water. With a tankless water heater, you can enjoy a steady flow of heated water. These water heaters produce two to five gallons of hot water per minute. Some of the gas-powered versions can produce an even higher flow of hot water. While this is less than what a water heater with a tank can provide, you aren’t as likely to run out of hot water. This is especially true when you are using several hot water sources throughout your home at the same time.
Tankless water heaters offer you a steady flow of hot water, but you may have issues if you need hot water in several areas of your home at the same time. For example, if you are using hot water in the washing machine while someone is showering, your water may not be as hot as you’d like it to be. It may be delivered with less water pressure, too. This problem is easily solved. If you have a large home with several family members, you can have us install two or more tankless water heaters in your Indianapolis home. You can even choose to use different tankless water heaters for individual appliances.
They Have an Easy-to-Use Control Panel
The typical tankless water heater will have a panel on the front of it that allows you to control the settings. You’ll be able to adjust the gas valve so that you have complete control over how much gas the heater uses. Electric versions include panels that control the amount of electricity used. This will save you money by helping you manage your water and your gas or electric bills.
The control panel also provides you with personal settings for the mixing valve and the amount of water flow. When we install your tankless water heater, we can discuss your preferences with you and help you set the controls accordingly. Homeowners are not advised to drastically change their settings unless they must. It’s not like using your home’s thermostat. It’s more of a fix-it-and-forget-it situation.
Common Issues to Consider
Tankless water heaters are loved for their efficiency and the fact that they are very low maintenance, but they can experience issues. Fortunately, these problems are easily remedied.
If you try to use hot water in too many places at the same time, the tankless water heater can become overloaded. The heater then struggles to supply you with the hot water you need. It may even shut down. This can be fixed by being mindful of your hot water usage and putting preventative measures in place. For example, you may need to come up with a shower schedule for all members of the household to follow. Again, installing additional tankless water heaters will also eliminate these problems.
You may experience problems if the air supply becomes blocked. Once the air supply is blocked, the tankless water heater struggles to vent properly. This results in the heater becoming overloaded, and it can be a fire hazard. Avoid this with our routine maintenance checks.
Another issue would be if the tankless water heater doesn’t ignite. This happens in gas-powered heaters that have problems with the gas supply. It’s best to have us check the gas and water valves to ensure that they aren’t fully open. We’ll also check for any blockages that interrupt the gas flow. These checks allow you to avoid this problem.
Regular Maintenance Helps the Tankless Water Heater Work Properly
Just like with a water heater that has a tank, tankless water heaters can experience mineral buildup. Over an extended period, the minerals found in your water can build up inside the water heater. The heat that is used to heat the water can cause magnesium and calcium to develop into a scaly buildup that impairs the heater’s ability to work properly. Eventually, the system water tank will stop working and you may face a total replacement. Regular cleaning is helpful and helps prevent costly repairs or a replacement later.
During regular maintenance service, we can check the consistency of your water. We can check and change the water filter too. This care can help extend the lifespan of your tankless water heater.
Trust Your Tankless Water Heater Experts
Hope Plumbing is your locally owned and operated residential plumbing company. We have 15 years of experience serving Indianapolis with repairs, replacement, and preventative maintenance for hot water heaters, sump pumps, water softeners, and gas lines. We are your go-to company for all your plumbing needs from simple drain cleanings within your home to hydro jetting that removes buildup in exterior pipes. We specialize in older homes, but we are just as knowledgeable when it comes to modern systems. You can count on us for everything from routine checks to emergency services. Call Hope Plumbing today for more information on tankless water heaters and all your plumbing needs.