How Does a Tankless Water Heater Work?

If you belong to the category of people who only think about purchasing a water heater, you might be occasionally interested in a tankless water heater. Yet, now even more questions appear, how does a tankless electric water heater work, whether it is pricey, or what is the average lifespan of such units? Ideally, by finding a contractor, you can get rid of such questions and be guided professionally. However, some people are still curious and may want to learn it all in advance. Check this guide which explains in detail how does a tankless water heater work?

The Profile: How Does a Tankless Water Heater Work

Rheem Tankless Water Heaters

First off, tankless units work the way they heat your water only when you actually need it, unlike tank units that continuously heat it in a tank – as simple as that. Tankless systems are pretty common in European countries or in Japan where they are in huge demand for their cost-effectiveness. Only in recent years, there was a boom in the United States, taking into consideration the green movement. By relying on the Contractorfinder, you can find specialists who will help you with the choice.

Then, by choosing the tankless best water heater, you can greatly save money on your bills yearly while conserving gas. What about the lifespan? Normally, such data is based on the manufacturer’s estimations, however, you may expect around 10 years of your unit to live in your household. 

Note, tankless heaters are the go-choice if you have limited space, and do not want to occupy it with units. Yet, alongside a question of “how does a gas tankless water heater work”, you may wonder about the drawbacks. Yes, they are there. First off, even without a tank, you can spend lots of money on the purchase. Secondly, they may require pricey upgrades to a natural gas, and venting system.

Looking ahead to answering your question – is it worth the replacement of your tank system? Look, by finding a contractor, you can find the exact answer taking into consideration your household, your domestic needs for the water, and just paying capacity. Let’s try to investigate still.

Why Choose a Tankless Water Heater?

Why Choose a Tankless Water Heater?

We have tried to review the most key factors that will help you understand whether a tankless system is worthy. Off we go!

1. It Heats Water Directly Without a Tank

Your traditional tank water heater stores water over time for further use. Tankless units, in turn, do not need any storage to deliver it then for the rest of your household. For instance, when you turn on the hot water tap, the cold water runs through the heater and is heated by either a gas burner or electric heating element. Only after, it is distributed to the taps around your house.

Then, as was hinted above, thanks to a tankless construction, you save space in your basement or other places. You simply mount it to the wall, and can even hide it from the others’ eyes.

2. There Is a Steady Flow of Hot Water

About 2-5 gallons per minute to expect with tankless units. Traditional units deliver water until the tank is empty. Tankless systems provide users with a steady flow of hot water. Some gas units can satisfy you with higher flows compared to electric ones. Besides, storage tank heaters may easily run out of hot water taking into consideration the events when several sources use it simultaneously.

Yet, let’s also introduce a problem in this case. For instance, if homeowners take showers, or run a dishwasher at the same time, the hot water can be not so hot or there will be not enough pressure. So, homeowners have tendencies to install a few tankless water heaters if they have a big demand for water.

3. Panels for Optimizations

Rand Wade Tankless Water heater  control knobs

Tankless heaters have a panel for adjusting the water flow, gas, and mixing valve which all help to achieve the right temperature. If you plan to have an electric tankless heater, the panel will also allow adjusting the amount of electricity used and consumed which caters to saving on monthly bills.

By finding a contractor, and installing such a heater, you should specify what settings you expect to have.

4. Some Potential Issues

We cannot recommend you to go for the tankless unit without knowing their potential issues. The first issue you can come across is overloading of the unit when homeowners use too many appliances with hot water simultaneously. Then, it is about air supply blockages when the heater experiences problems with venting. Homeowners may also face problems with ignition failure. It may happen when heaters have problems with gas supply. By finding a contractor, it can all be resolved.

5. Regular Maintenance Is Required

Alongside questions of what a tankless water heater is and how it works, you should understand the requirement of maintenance as well. Your tankless unit may occasionally have a mineral buildup. The heat is linked to causing calcium or magnesium buildup that will affect the functionality of the heater. You will need to regularly monitor the quality of water, consistency, as well as changing the water filter. If neglected, you will throw money down the drain on upgrades, and repairs.

So, now you see the possible benefits and drawbacks of tankless water heaters. By finding a contractor, you can also learn how does a recirculating pump work on a tankless water heater. 


Let’s sum up. So, the tankless unit works by providing you with hot water without storing it in a tank. You use it on demand, and may greatly save money. Similar to tank units, you can experience mineral build-up, and the same require maintenance to prolong the lifespan. As for the prices, they will greatly depend on the brand. Do read the existing users’ feedback on the brands, and learn about the warranty which will deprive you of possible pricey repairs.

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Nishant Desai
Nishant Desai
Nishant Desai has over 8+ years of experience in SEO and blogging. His blogging expertise can organically increase online visibility and traffic for blogs and websites. With his SEO expertise, he has already contributed to iGeeksblog, Firstsportz, and Firstcuriosity. In addition, he can create content strategies, conduct keyword research, publish optimized blogs, and resolve technical issues.

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