Everything You Need to Know About Tankless Water Heaters

Posted by on Wednesday, November 4th, 2020 in Uncategorised

Being able to enjoy on-demand television, as well as having the ability to look up anything you want online at any given moment, is one of the greatest advantages of living in the 21st century. 

Having compact devices that offer near-instant gratification makes life easier. But how does that concept extend to practical and everyday items like plumbing? Enter the tankless hot water heater. 

Today, we’re going to tell you everything you’ll need to know about tankless water heaters. Whether you’re just curious or looking to have one installed, we’ve got the facts.


What is a Tankless Water Heater?

A tankless water heater is a device that heats water instantly as it flows through by use of a heating element — usually copper, due to its ability to conduct heat quickly. Its ability to heat water in an instant makes it so you can consistently have access to hot water, at any given time.

A tankless water heater typically does not retain water in its housing as boilers do, aside from what is currently in the heat exchange component. 

These devices have been widely used in Europe in Asia due to their small size and ease of operation. Unsurprisingly, the last decade has found them making their way through North America with great success, on account of their economy and for also being environmentally friendly.  


How They Work

Typically, the heater is in standby mode until its flow sensors detect the request of hot water. The request may originate from the dishwasher, washing machine, or your shower faucet. From this point, the cold water feeds into the unit while the heating element (either electrical or gas burner) initiates. 

Once the desired temperature has been achieved, the water is moved through the copper coils of the heat exchange mechanism through the hot water pipe. The heated water then makes its way to the faucet, to where the request originated.

It may seem complex, but this of course occurs in a matter of milliseconds. This is the power of an on-demand tankless water heater. Similarly to when we search for information using Google, there is so much we don’t see happening behind the scenes that gets us from Point A to our desired destination.


Advantages and Disadvantages

A large consideration is the size of your home. Electric tankless water heaters can produce seemingly endless amounts of hot water, at a fraction of the energy (and sometimes time) that it takes a boiler unit.

However, it can only distribute as much as its flow rate will allow. The flow rate is essentially how much water the device can heat at any given time. Domestic tankless heaters are usually able to heat 9 to 23 litres per minute. 

Due to flow rate concerns, installing two larger heaters in three to four-family homes is very common. Alternatively, placing smaller water heaters strategically throughout is a viable option as well.

As far as cost goes, the equipment itself is more costly than the traditional boiler. However, the cost to install it is lower, as tankless water heaters don’t require venting and additional plumbing. Overall, the initial cost of the unit is far outweighed by its economy of use, long lifespan (roughly 20 years with proper maintenance) and positive impact on the environment.


Miles Plumbing Has You Covered

At Miles Plumbing Ltd., our customers are our number-one priority and we understand that switching your heating system can be daunting. However, you can rest assured that we are up to the task. 

Contact your Victoria-based plumbing experts at Miles Plumbing Ltd. and we’ll be happy to help you with your specific heating requirements. 

To learn more, call us at (250) 361-4488 or fill out our convenient contact form today!