The standard water heater, also called a storage tank water heater, has a simple operation to understand. A larger tank stores a supply of water, which gas jets heat until it reaches the desired temperature for use. When a water tap turns on in the house, a pump moves the hot water from the tank to the tap. The water heater must run regularly to keep its water supply heated, both because of the depletion of water as its used and because of standby heat loss (i.e. heat escaping through the tank walls).
This conventional method of water heating has worked for households for decades, but it’s no longer the only method of supplying hot water for residential needs. The tankless water heater is now a popular alternate choice. This type of water heater boasts several advantages for the right household. But how exactly does a water heater with no tank even work? We’ll get into that below.
The “On Demand” Water Heater
The operation of tankless water heaters is not much more complicated than storage tank water heaters. They only need an explanation because people aren’t used to thinking of water heaters that have no storage capacity.
The best way to envision the working of a tankless water heater is to think of it as a system that heats water “on demand” rather than having a supply of water on “standby.” When a tap turns on in a house making a request for hot water, the water in the hot water pipes starts to move. As this water moves through the tankless water heater unit, the motion activates gas jets and ignites them. The heat from the combustion gases passes through a heater exchanger that transfers the heat to the water passing through the pipe in the water heater. The water heater continues to heat up water moving through it until the tap shuts off and stops requesting water, after which the water heater shuts down again. So water is only heated as it’s immediately needed.
How This Operation Is Beneficial
Because tankless water heaters do not store any hot water, they do not suffer from the standby heat loss of tank water heaters. This makes them consume far less energy—they don’t run regularly to replace lost heat, they only run when they’re needed. Not only does this lower the cost to run tankless water heaters, it helps extend their service lives.
This on-demand heating also means tankless water heaters will not run out of hot water, as there is no standing supply they can deplete. A tankless system can be overwhelmed with demand if multiple taps are on at once, however, which makes them more ideal for smaller households where only one tap will be on at a time.
We can answer any questions you may have about these water heating systems. We not only offer installation of tankless water heaters, but also water heater repair in Campbell River, BC.
Temprite Climate Solutions offers installation and service for tankless water heaters. For a job done right, call Temprite!