Frequently Asked Questions about Continuous Flow Hot Water

Continuous flow hot water is an alternative water heater to storage tanks. Rather than storing water in a tank and heating it in anticipation of use, continuous flow only heats water as you need it.
They use a small wall-mounted unit to heat water when the hot water tap is turned on. These hot water systems come in gas and electric variations and can be a lot more efficient than storage tanks.

While with storage tanks you need to select a tank size that is suitable to your home’s water usage, this question does not apply to continuous flow hot water. Rather, the flow rate is required!
Flow rate is a measure of how much hot water a continuous flow water heater can produce per minute. A licensed plumber can help you to select an appropriate flow rate for your home’s needs.

Continuous flow hot water systems are especially good for small to medium homes. Rather than heating water that you won’t necessarily use, or losing heat as it just sits there in the tank, these systems only heat the water you need.
This makes continuous flow hot water more energy efficient and more cost effective.
Larger homes who use a lot of hot water might not find a continuous flow hot water system with a flow rate that can meet their needs, however. In addition, there is a delay between turning the hot water tap on and hot water being provided. This is the time it takes for the cold water to be heated by the system.

Continuous flow gas hot water systems last 15 to 20 years with proper care. Electric hot water systems can last eight to 12 years, depending on whether it is a tank system or tankless.

Yes, you can. Continuous flow hot water systems can operate with electricity and are more energy and water efficient than conventional electric hot water tank storage models.

Gas continuous flow hot water systems are among the most efficient domestic water heaters available. Electric continuous flow hot water systems use less power than storage tank systems, but still produce more greenhouse gas than a gas storage system. Although an electric system is cheaper to install, it will be more expensive to operate in the long run.