Mechanics of Tankless Water Heaters

I know you’ve been here before: you’re fresh out of that warm bed and trying to prepare yourself for the day with a nice warm shower.  But mid-way through your pep talk to yourself the water turns ice cold.   Not cool (pun intended).  Let me tell you about why this happened and why it doesn’t ever need to happen to you again.

Take 1: Storage Water Heaters

You likely have a storage water heater heating your shower water.  Here’s the problem:  they store large amounts of water and reheat it every time a faucet turns on.  Hence they carry significant energy loss. Let’s talk about a more efficient method: tankless.

Take 2: Tankless Water Heaters

This option, also affectionately referred to as “on demand,” facilitates instant hot water.  As you groggily turn the knob in your shower, a tankless water heater heats the cold water coming from the ground as it goes through the pipes.  Basically, it heats water as you need it and only where you need it.  This is considered a much more efficient option because not as much energy is lost.  But at 6 o’clock in the morning, all you care about is whether or not you’re going to run out of hot water.  But that tankless water heater in the garage has got you covered.

How Does It Do It?

Regarding this topic of water heaters, Utah natives know how critical it is to ensure hot water in those frigid mountain mornings.  I’m here to make sure they also know how it happens.  So listen up all who call the good ole’ Beehive State home!

Looking at a tankless system you’ll see what feels like a maze of pipes.  First, let’s look at the ones transporting something into the water heater.  Through our first pipe, fresh air flows in to keep the flame going.  Another draws cold water straight up from the ground.  Then there’s the pipe which feeds the system fuel, whether its gas or propane.

Next let’s take a look at the pipes sending substances out of the system.  One pipe, or rather a PVC or steel conduit, serves to direct carbon monoxide outdoors.  At the bottom of the unit, hot water, around 120 degrees F, is released.  Just one more pipe, I promise:  a drainpipe.  This is necessary since the hot water produces condensation which needs to be removed.

You’ll also notice one very smart control center which can adjust the heat temperature and record usage statistics.  Also within the system you see a burner, which holds the most obvious job:  heating the water.  It does this by releasing flames across the water passing through, or transferring heat from one source to another.  It’s all very intuitive, don’t you think?

By Jessica Christensen

Although not a professional serviceman, or rather servicewoman, Jessica does consider herself a professional writer.   Her portfolio includes articles addressing topics ranging from beauty school programs to pest control services.   But if this specific article you just finished particularly interested you, follow her on Google + for other articles addressing similar topics including water softener repair, solar generators, and air conditioning.

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