Tankless water heaters heat water directly without the use of a storage tank. When a hot water tap is turned on, cold water travels through a pipe into the unit. Water heats up in one of two ways, either a gas burner or an electric element. As a result, tankless water heaters deliver a constant supply of hot water. You don't need to wait for a storage tank to fill up with enough hot water. However, a tankless water heater's output limits the flow rate.
Typically, tankless water heaters provide hot water at a rate of 2–5 gallons (7.6–15.2 liters) per minute. Gas-fired tankless water heaters produce higher flow rates than electric ones. Sometimes, however, even the largest, gas-fired model cannot supply enough hot water for simultaneous, multiple uses in large households. For example, taking a shower and running the dishwasher at the same time can stretch a tankless water heater to its limit. To overcome this problem, you can install two or more tankless water heaters, connected in parallel for simultaneous demands of hot water. You can also install separate tankless water heaters for appliances -- such as a clothes washer or dishwater -- that use a lot of hot water in your home.
Whether you're looking at tankless water heaters, traditional water heaters or even considering solar, this new Energy Saver 101 water heater infographic lays out all the different types of water heaters on the market today and will help to guide you on how to select the best option for your home. Or better yet, call now and schedule a FREE on-sight consultation with Alligator Plumbing, 925-575-7584.