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What Is a Tankless Water Heater, Really?

One our specialties at Modern Plumbing Industries, Inc. is installing and servicing gas tankless water heaters. We’ve written before about the advantages of choosing to have a tankless system instead of a standard storage tank unit. But we would like to go a bit more in-depth about what exactly a tankless water heater is. Customers are often confused by the idea of a tankless system, since most people grow up around conventional water heaters that use a large tank to store water and keep it at a continuous high temperature.

The basics of supplying hot water… without a tank

The idea of a tankless water heater isn’t as miraculous as it might sound at first: storing hot water isn’t necessary for providing hot water, and in fact it can get wasteful to expend natural gas to keep heating the water even when no one is using it. A tankless system solves the problem by heating the water only when it’s needed. When you turn on a hot water tap in your home, you are sending a request to the water heater to warm up water for you, rather than opening up a connection to a supply that has been kept hot.

The way the water heater itself work is through a heat exchanger attached to the hot water line in the house. When water starts to move through the heat exchanger because a tap requesting hot water comes on, it activates the gas jets of the system. The exchanger transfers the heat to the water. After a short delay, the water that arrives at the tap is heated up.

The entire tankless water heater is a small unit that is usually mounted up on a wall. In a climate like Florida’s, the unit can even be placed outside the house, helping to save extra space. Although tankless water heaters can run from electricity, it’s recommended that you use a gas-powered one if you have a connection to a natural gas line, since these units are both more effective and even more energy efficient.

Modern Plumbing Industries, Inc. offers installation of gas tankless water heaters in Winter Springs, FL.

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