How Does an Inline Heater Work?


Quick Answer

Inline water heaters, also called tankless water heaters, work by routing cold water through a heat exchanger and pushing it out of the tap. In comparison to traditional setups, which keep a tank of water heated constantly, inline systems heat on demand.

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Full Answer

Each time a user opens a hot-water tap, the flow sensor in the inline heating system activates. The sensor detects the amount of heat and communicates the information to the ignition, which turns on and pushes gas into the burner to start the flame. In an electric system, the sensor switches on the heating coils. The water flows through a series of heat exchangers, getting progressively warmer until it reaches the correct temperature. The hot water flows out of the system until it reaches the correct tap. Meanwhile, the heater sensors constantly adjust the flame or heating coil to achieve a consistent water temperature.

Inline water heaters provide a more efficient and environmentally friendly alternative to traditional water heaters. A water-tank system requires constant heating to maintain a supply of hot water, while an inline system uses fuel only when necessary. Inline heaters can provide an endless stream of hot water, while tank systems run out after heavy use.

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