How Hot Water Heaters Work

Are you having problems with your water heater? Are you in search for a solution or even a replacement? The water heater is an important component of your home’s plumbing system. Without a properly functioning water heater your home has no access to hot water directly from the tap. No one wants to deal with the inconvenience of a hot water outage, especially for a long period of time. No one has to. With a little knowledge and the assistance of qualified professionals you can be sure that you purchase the best water heater for your home, that it will be maintained properly, that you are know how to identify problems with your water heater, and that you know what to do when and if a problem occurs.

There are two types of water heaters. The most common type is the conventional tank water heater. The other is the tankless water heater. Both types of water heater are available in electric or gas operated models.

A conventional tank water heater heats and stores water in an insulated tank. This steel tank is insulated with glass in order to help keep the water stored inside warm. Cold water enters the bottom of the tank through a supply line and hot water exits through the hot water delivery line, both of which are located on the top of the water heater. Once inside the tank, cold water is warmed. The way the water is warmed depends on whether you have an electric or gas water heater. Electric tank-style water heaters heat cold water with the use of heating elements. Most water heaters have two heating elements, one in the middle and one on the bottom of the tank. These heating elements are triggered to power on by the thermostat, a switch that detects water temperature. Cold water that enters the bottom of the tank triggers the lower element to come on. When you turn on your tap and hot water is pulled from the top the upper element regulates the temperature of the water that replaces it from underneath. Heating elements carry a current until the settings of the thermostat are reached, even after the hot water tap is off. Other tank-style water heaters use natural gas or propane to heat the water stored inside the tank. With this type, a burner is positioned to throw a flame under the tank. The burner is fed gas through a control valve and is regulated by the thermostat.

As their name implies, tankless water heaters do not have tanks. Water is passed through these water heaters rather than stored in tanks. As the cold water passes through the water heater, it is heated by a gas or electric burner. Once the hot water tap is shutoff and the need for hot water is gone, the burner shuts off which can save energy. Tankless water heaters are also a less bulky alternative to the conventional tank-style water heater.

So how do you know which type of water heater is best for you? The choice between electric or gas may be and easy one, but there are other things to consider when shopping for a water heater. If you want to be sure that you are making the best possible choice for your home you should consider the capacity of the heater and its location in your home as well. With tank-style heaters, the larger the home and the more bedrooms and bathrooms in it, the larger the water heater tank capacity needed. This will ensure that you never run out of hot water. Tankless water heaters do not present this problem because they heat water as it passes through. Always consider the amount of hot water that is used in your home, or the flow rate, before making a decision. Also consider the water heater’s storage. Most water heaters are stored in basements or closets, and can get bulky depending on the size of the tank. If you are seeking a space-saving option, you may want to opt for a tankless water heater.

It is important that your water heater be properly maintained in order for it to work most effectively. Always call the professionals if there is a problem, but you can help to maintain your water heater by keeping an eye out for problems. You can also help by doing things like draining your water heater to remove sediment and prevent buildup.

You can also help to maintain the life of your water heater by knowing when there is a problem. Identifying the problem right away and calling the professionals could prevent a larger problem with your water heater. One sure way to know that your water heater is not working properly is that the water is not getting warm enough. This could be a sign of many issues and should be handled right away. If your water heater is leaking, calling the professionals as soon as possible could save you time and money. Never hesitate to act when there is a problem with your water heater.

Your home’s water heater is important, and that is why you should be sure that you choose the best one for your home and your needs. With the right water heater and the professionals on your side, you will never have to suffer a hot water outage because your hot water heater is not functioning properly.

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Tankless Water Heaters

Need to take a shower during a winter morning? Don’t worry about your quick hot water needs. Advancement in plumbing technology has made it possible to have hot water any time of the day, anywhere in the house! No more scheduling of hot water use in the house. Everyone can be supplied with hot water almost instantaneously! Introducing the new tankless water heater!

What are Tankless Water Heaters

Tankless hot water heaters can be a great solution to your home’s hot water needs. They instantaneously heat the water on demand, there’s no more waiting time; you get it when you need it.

Tankless water heaters are available in electric, natural gas or propane models. Point-of-use models can provide hot water for the sink; a whole house model can supply hot water to several bathrooms, sinks, washing machines and others, in an instant! The water flows through very hot heating elements and then is supplied directly to your faucet or shower. You will always have hot water anytime, and you'll have no fear about the possibility of a leak from the tank.

Get the one that’s right for you. Consider the type, gas or electric, which will suit your needs most, and the tank capacity you need; whatever the size, they work the same way.

These new innovation water heaters deliver hot water when it is required, without having to store the water in tanks. It is a great energy savings for the owner because the heaters don’t emit the energy costs that go with storage water heaters.

It costs merely a few dollars per month to run, and heating water usually accounts for 40% of the energy bill, which only means additional savings for you! They are more expensive than the conventional heaters, but they last longer.

How do Tankless Water Heaters Work?

New technology has crafted these innovative water heaters without storing the water in a tank. When the hot water tap is turned on, cold water travels through a pipe into the unit, and the water is heated by either a gas or an electric element. Because of this, tankless water heaters provide a constant flow of hot water; there is no need to wait to fill up the storage tank with enough hot water. However, the output of a tankless water heater is limited by its flow rate.

A typical tankless water heater supplies hot water at a rate of 2–5 gallons per minute. In some cases where there is a simultaneous demand for hot water (like people showering at the same time while the washing machine is on), the heater may not be able to supply enough hot water. If this happens regularly, this problem can be solved by connecting several tankless water heaters for simultaneous demands of hot water, or just install a separate tankless water heater for the appliances.


• For homes using more than 86 gallons of hot water every day, these heaters are about 8%-14% energy efficient than conventional storage tank heaters.
• For homes using less than 41 gallons of hot water every day, these heaters are about 24%-34% energy efficient than conventional storage tank heaters.
• An even greater energy savings of 27%–50% can be achieved if a demand water heater is installed at each hot water outlet.
• It is very efficient, and yet occupies a very small space; a tankless water heater can be installed on any wall or compact spaces. They can be installed on the interior or exterior wall of the home where it will not take a lot of space.
• Provides an endless flow of hot water. There’s no need to endure a freezing shower if you’re the last one out of bed.


• Require a larger up-front investment; it costs more than the conventional water heater tank
• Can run short of hot water during busy days
• Needs airing to avoid overheating

How to Choose the Right Model

Determine which model is suited for your home. Consider these important points:

Water Flow Rate - Calculate how much hot water you will need at one time, which is called the flow rate. Flow rate is measured in gallons per minute (GPM). Check the flow rates for the hot water applications. To find the GPM you need, add the GPMs of the major hot water applications that you always use at the same time.

FunctionWhole house or Point of Use – Tankless water heaters are usually whole house systems, heating water as it is demanded. This kind of system can deliver hot water to more than one location at a time. Point of use systems are units that supply instant hot water to a particular location. These systems are used to supplement a whole house system when additional hot water is needed.

Fuel Type – Most water heaters are fueled by gas or electricity. Gas type requires a slightly larger up-front investment, must be vented outdoors for safety, cost less to operate, and not affected by power outages. Electric types usually cost less than gas models, easy to sustain, do not require venting, boils the water instantly, and rates high in energy factors.

Also consider additional features such as:

Self Cleaning - This feature is important to save time and prevent sediment buildup which will prolong tank life and sustain the heater’s efficiency for an extended period of time.
Recovery Speed - If your household uses a lot of hot water, it is good to consider a model with a fast recovery speed, which needs a shorter amount of time to heat the water.
Auto Shutoff Valve - This valve concerns only gas models. In case of a movement on the ground of a sudden considerable increase in the flow of gas, this valve halts the flow of gas, thereby preventing fires.

What are you waiting for? Save money and indulge in performance. These new tankless water heaters are made with the latest technology that provides optimum competence in energy and utility costs. It is a smart investment that will definitely increase the value of your homes with premium technology and energy efficiency. Make an appointment with your dependable professional plumber now to discuss your options.

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Hot Water Heaters 101

Choosing a compatible water heater for your living space is best done through a consultation with a professional technician to help you make an informed decision. Based on the information you gather, you can decide whether to buy a tank or tankless water heater.

The Role of Waters Heaters in Your Home

Whether you need to take a warm bath or shower, cook, wash clothes or do housework, water heaters play a major role in daily modern life. Surprisingly, water heaters have changed little in the past five decades since they were introduced to the market. Now manufactured with some specific refinements, modern heaters are greatly improved, having longer life spans, higher efficiency, and more safety features that minimize the risk of injury and property damage. Water heaters work by converting energy to heat, and then transferring that heat to water. Water heaters are connected to a cold water supply pipe and have at least one pipe for outgoing hot water which is then routed to taps and appliances throughout your house.

The Standard Water Heater

Although electric, propane, and solar-powered models of water heaters exist on the market, the most common water heater used in the United States is one fueled by natural gas. It consists of a steel tank with a heating element at the base and a flue extending down the middle of the tank to release the carbon monoxide that forms as a by-product of burning natural gas. This type of water heating tank also has some type of thermostat control on the tank's body that allows you to shut off the gas and control the pilot light. These thermostats are equipped with a temperature-controlled probe sensor that automatically shuts off the gas if it detects that the pilot light has gone out or fails to light. The inner lining of the tank is coated with vitreous glass to protect it from corrosion.

Despite of this protective coating, a small amount of the water heater's steel is exposed which still makes it vulnerable to rust. As a measure to protect the steel lining from rusting, manufacturers will install anode rods in the tanks, made of either magnesium or aluminum. By means of the electrolysis process, corrosion is diverted from forming inside the water heater and instead forms on the anode rods. however, the tank will rust if the anode rod is completely corroded unless the anode rod is replaced.

Energy Saving Water Heaters

The second highest source of energy usage in the home comes from the water heater. Unlike equipment that meets the minimum federal standard, certified ENERGY STAR water heaters can use 50 percent less energy. They are an easy choice for energy savings, performance, and reliability which can save you significant money on your utility bills. If you need to replace your current water heater, or are planning for an upgrade, consider a model that has earned the ENERGY STAR label.

Most homes have conventional water heaters that hold 55 gallons of water or less. If a standard water heater is going to be replaced with a more energy-efficient model, it may be an inch or two larger than the old one and can likely be placed in the same location.

Benefits of Using a Tank Water Heater

A traditional tank water heater has numerous benefits over a tankless model. First, they are much more affordable during initial installation. If connections are already in place, a tank water heater is very easy to install. Another tank benefit is that it provides you instant hot water for up to an hour throughout your home.

The Benefits of Using a Tankless Water Heater

Contrary to the cost of a tank unit, tankless water heaters initially costs a bit more at installation, but are more efficient long term. In actuality, the higher cost spent to install a tankless water heater pays for itself. You don’t have to fill a tank with water and heat it continuously because you only pay for the hot water you actually use. In some case, you can reduce your energy bills from using hot water by as much as 35 percent. Tankless water heaters are designed to last many years before needing replacement and require very little maintenance.

Making a Decision

Make sure you take all factors into consideration when the time comes to select a water heater for your home. Set a budget for your out-of-pocket installation cost and weigh this against your energy savings long term. Determine how much hot water you actually use every day and consider this factor with how much you're willing to pay on a monthly basis. Both water heater options offer several attractive benefits, but if you find that your monthly budget will end up costing you more than your long term expenses, your decision will be narrowed down based on these factors.

If you have a big demand for hot water in your home, and are using it to perform multiple tasks throughout your home at the same time, a larger tank water heater may be the best option. It's important to note, that purchasing a tankless water heater to fit this type of household environment may be incompatible to meet higher performance needs. An alternative option may involve installing more than one tankless water heater throughout your home to handle different levels of usage. However, following this course of action comes with more upfront expense with installation.

How the NAECA Impacts You

Since April 16th, 2015, the performance standards for appliances, including water heaters, has gotten stricter. According to the mandates set by the National Appliance and Energy Conservation Act (NAECA), virtually all residential gas, oil, electric and tankless gas water heaters are required to carry Energy Factor (EF) ratings that are higher than older models. If you decide to upgrade your water heater to comply with these new guidelines, or need help figuring out what type of water heater will work best within your budget, contact us for more information.

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