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Does a Tankless Water Really Supply Unlimited Hot Water?

Posted on: June 27, 2017

One of the types of water heaters that we install for homes is the tankless water heater. In fact, it’s one we often recommend customers consider for a replacement water heater because of the many advantages of this type of system: lower energy costs, longer service life, smaller size, and unlimited hot water.

The last benefit, however, should come with a bit of a caveat. Is it really true that you’ll never run out of hot water if you have a tankless water heater installed in Durham, NC? Let’s take a closer look.

What “Unlimited Hot” Water Means

Let’s take a look at how a tankless system delivers hot water. Whenever there is a tap on demanding hot water somewhere in a house, the movement of water through the heat exchanger of the tankless system causes the heat exchanger to come on and heat up the water. Because there is no stored supply of hot water that can be depleted because of continued demand, a tankless water heater is, essentially, unable to run out of hot water. Whenever hot water is needed, the system heats it up and delivers it.

But… yes, there’s a limitation on this. Although a tankless system will continue to work to provide hot water, it can be overwhelmed with demand. Too many taps on at once can overtax the system’s heat exchanger, leading to a drop in energy efficiency. This is why it’s vital to have professionals handle installing a tankless water heater: the experts must determine if a tankless system can deal with the average hot water demands in a house. If the hot water demand is high enough, with multiple taps often on at the same time, professionals will recommend adding a second tankless water heater. (This is easy to do, since tankless systems are small and modular.)

Bud Matthews Services is here for all your home service needs! Call us today to learn more about your options for water heaters.

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