Tankless Water Heaters
Have you ever been taking a hot shower when suddenly it turned cold? You heard the change in water pressure, so you knew that another family member had started a shower. You hurry to adjust the temperature so that you at least have some warm water to help you through the end of your shower, and really finish up quickly. Or, perhaps you have been running a tub full of hot, bubbly water when the hot water runs out and all that is coming out is cold. You quickly turn off the taps and end up in a bath that is half-full. These scenarios happen all the time in homes across America. How can you get enough hot water without buying a giant water heater?
One really great answer is the new breed of tankless water heaters. New is a relative term, because the first tankless water heater was actually invented in the 1870's. This may seem pretty amazing, but the same idea that was devised back then still holds true today. The idea is to heat the water almost instantaneously on demand. The current generations of tankless water heaters do exactly this; they heat the water when it is needed, and only then. Amazingly, this works even when there are several locations at which large amounts of hot water are required. For instance, if you are running a load of dishes in the dishwasher, and laundry in the washing machine while someone else is taking a shower, no one needs to be concerned about running out of hot water for their particular needs.
A tankless system is able to provide about six to seven gallons of hot water per minute. Since an average shower uses about 2 ½ gallons of water each minute, you can see that there is plenty for everyone. Because there is no tank, it is a much smaller unit than a traditional water heater, in fact it will be nearly five times smaller than the other type of water heater. It can also be mounted on the outside wall of the house, which frees up space inside the home.
Tankless water heaters use a totally dependable technology, and can be run on either natural gas or electricity. There is no concern of heat loss from the tank, because there is no tank. This means that there is no energy being used to keep that big tank full of water hot. The sophisticated computer controls allow one to set the water temperature and it maintains that temperature within three degrees above or below the setting. The temperature is not dependent on either water pressure or volume. The electronics monitor both the incoming and outgoing water pressure and flow. In the case of a malfunction, the tankless water heaters system turns off by itself and gives diagnostic information and analysis.
Safety issues are basically non-existent with tankless water heaters since there is no permanent pilot. The burner only comes on when a hot water tap is turned on, so there is little concern that someone could get burned by it. Because the water temperature is so accurate, you have no worries about anyone getting scalded by water that is too hot, unless you set it too high.