HOW DO TANKLESS WATER HEATERS WORK?
Tankless water heaters work differently than traditional ones because of how they heat up water. This is done directly without the need of a hot water storage tank.
The water travels through a pipe into the unit and is instantly heated either by a gas burner or electric coil heating element. A water flow sensor unit then detects the water flow and sends a signal to the heating elements to start firing. The water then rapidly flows through the heat exchanger that raises the temperature of the water to the preset temperature.
As a result, tankless water heaters deliver a constant supply of hot water, rather than waiting for a storage tank to fill up with enough hot water. Once you turn off the hot water knob, a signal is then sent to shut down the unit – saving you energy expenses overtime.
Because of their “hot water on-demand nature,” they do have a cap to their output flow rate (residential tankless water heaters average between 2-5 gallons per minute). This means that for every minute that you have your hot water knobs turned on, they can supply you with a max of 2-5 gallons of hot water. For most small homes only running one or two faucets at a time, this is more than enough hot water supply.
If you need more hot water on demand, you may be better off getting a gas tankless water heater as they typically produce higher flow rates than electric tankless water heaters. Should flow rate still be of concern, you also have the option to install separate tankless water heaters for separate appliances, such as one for your washer machine, and another for the rest of your home.