Whether you’re building a new home or upgrading old appliances, your water heater is among the most important systems you can install. The purpose of a water heater is to make sure that you always have access to hot water for doing the dishes, taking a shower, and washing your hands. When you’re looking for the right system to buy, consider a tankless water heater, which uses advanced technology to deliver hot water instantly.

Understanding Tankless Water Heaters

Tankless water heaters don’t store hot water like traditional water heaters do. They are instead designed to monitor how water flows through the heater to identify when you need hot water.

If this type of system is powered by gas, the water flow is measured with a basic sensor that tells the other components when to start. Electric systems use several different heating components to heat the water to the desired temperature. The main advantage of selecting a tankless water heater is that its unique technology allows it to provide unlimited hot water whenever someone in the home requests it.

How Tankless Water Heaters Work

There are around five unique steps that occur when a tankless water heater is told to heat the water. The technology within the system streamlines the heating process to provide on-demand water.

You Turn the Hot Water Tap

The first step in this process occurs when you turn on the hot water tap. The method of turning on hot water in your home depends on the type of faucet you have. It could involve a single knob or dual knobs. Once you find the hot water tap, turn it on to activate the tankless water heater.

Water Gets into Your Heater

With a more traditional water heater, turning the hot water tap results in hot water being sent from the tank into your pipes. In comparison, tankless water heaters will first obtain cold water. Once this water passes through sensors, an internal computing device is triggered, which immediately starts the heating process.

Sensor Identifies Water Flow

After the water heater’s sensor transmits a signal to the internal computer, it will quickly calculate the amount of heat that needs to be generated by the burners based on how far the hot water knobs are turned. The water will then be heated to the ideal temperature by an electrical element or gas burner. Once this process takes place, you can obtain a persistent flow of hot water.

Burner Ignites

When the internal computer receives a signal to start heating the water, and the burners are turned on, the water will circulate around a sizable heat exchanger, which allows it to warm up quickly. The water circulates until it has reached the set temperature. At this point, the water starts moving through your pipes.

You’ll Receive Hot Water Constantly

After the water has been heated, you can obtain an endless supply of it. If you turn off the tap and eliminate the demand for hot water, your tankless water heater will instantly turn off to stop using energy, which should save you money.

Primary Tankless Water Heater Components

Tankless water heaters consist of numerous components that allow you to receive on-demand water. For example, a heat exchanger is a simple piece of equipment that is capable of transferring heat to the water that’s sent to your heater. There are also numerous burners and fans that are essential when requesting hot water. While the type of burner differs depending on the power source, both are effective at quickly heating the water. The inclusion of fans ensures that exhaust from the system can be pushed out of the unit.

Regardless of the type of water heater you have, the water is sent in and out of the unit through different pipes. One pipe will bring in cold water to be heated. After the water has been heated, it will be sent out through other pipes that take it around the unit’s heat exchanger. You’ll then receive the hot water in the faucet where you requested it.

Among the most important aspects of a tankless water heater include the pressure release valve and flow sensor. Flow sensors are capable of determining when water starts flowing through the system, which means that the rest of the heating process can take place. As for the pressure-relief valve, it makes it possible for air to be released directly from the heating chamber when necessary. Plumbers and water heater professionals know how to handle all these components.

Differences Between Traditional and Tankless Heaters

There are many differences between traditional and tankless heaters, all of which are based on the differences in technology.

Malfunction Risk

When you use a traditional water heater that’s equipped with a tank, there’s a chance that the tank will experience severe failure, which can involve the water heater tank rupturing. In the event that the safety valve is faulty, it might not release the pressure that builds up inside the tank. These tanks can also crack or rust, which will result in leaking over time. When such issues occur, mold might grow. There’s also a good chance of water damage. Even though tankless water heaters can still leak and malfunction, the risk of a severe failure is much lower since there isn’t a tank.

Supply and Demand

While tanked water heaters are effective at heating water, the hot water will eventually run out. If multiple members of your family have tried taking showers in quick succession, you may have noticed that the hot water eventually dwindles.

The amount of hot water you have access to depends on the size of the tank. If the water heater has a tank capacity of 50-60 gallons, you may discover that there isn’t enough hot water when you have guests over or host a party.

Since tankless water heaters are designed to heat water up on the spot, there’s no end to the hot water you can access. Keep in mind, however, that tankless water heaters are available in multiple capacities. If the capacity of your heater is relatively low, it may be challenging for the system to meet demand if you’re taking a shower, washing clothes, and running the dishwasher at once. Identify your household needs before selecting the size of your tankless water heater.


Tankless water heaters work on demand, which makes them significantly more efficient than their traditional counterparts. You can expect tankless systems to be 25-50% more efficient. Even though tanks are insulated, this isn’t enough to keep water hot constantly, which means that the unit itself works to make sure the tank remains hot. This process makes the unit less efficient.

If you need to have a tankless water heater installed in your Roseville, CA home, our team is here to help. We’ll remove and dispose of your existing water heater before efficiently installing your new one. We can also answer any question you have about your water heater and how it works. Here at Environmental Heating & Air Solutions, our team can install all brands of tankless and traditional water heaters. You can also request many additional home services, which include home insulation, home score testing, air sealing, and HVAC services. Contact Environmental Heating & Air Solutions today to learn about our financing options or schedule our water heater installation services.

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