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How Does A Tankless Water Heater Work?

water heater installation idahoWhen most people think of a water heater, they think that big metal storage tank that takes up a corner of the basement.

But it doesn’t have to be. A propane tankless water heater, for example, is about the size of a small suitcase. It can even be mounted to the wall.

But that’s not the best part about choosing a tankless water heater—you’ll also get virtually unlimited hot water and spend anywhere from 30 to 50 percent less on propane to run it compared to a conventional electric water heater.

The question is, how does a tankless water heater manage all of these tricks? Let’s take a look.

How A Tankless Water Heater Works

Mostly, a tankless water heater achieves its advantages by taking a completely different approach to heating water for your taps and appliances. Rather than storing hot water for future use, a tankless water heater heats water instantly, on-demand.

Here’s how it works:

  • When you need hot water, turn on the faucet just as you would with a conventional water heater.
  • When cold water runs through a pipe in the water heater, it activates a propane gas-powered heating element.
  • The heating element instantly warms all the water you need. That means water won’t sit in a storage tank losing heat while it waits to be used.
  • The heating element will continue to warm the water until you close the hot water faucet, which also shuts the gas burner.

Tankless water heaters are extremely efficient for two main reasons. First, they never have to reheat water (as a water heater with a tank does after its water has been sitting for a while). Tankless water heaters also use electronic ignitions rather than a constantly-running pilot light.

All in all, tankless water heaters can cut energy consumption by 30 percent or more while providing a limitless supply of hot water. They also last almost twice as long as a conventional water heater—almost 20 years on average, compared to 12 for storage-type systems.

Ready to upgrade to a tankless water heater? We’ve got the full line of high efficiency (HE) and super high efficiency (SE) Rinnai tankless models to choose from! Contact us today to learn more about Rinnai tankless water heater installation in Eastern Idaho, Southwestern Montana, and Western Wyoming.