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A Short History of the Amazing Tankless Water Heater

We often advise our customers who are hunting for a new water heater to look into getting a tankless model. Tankless water heaters offer a number of excellent advantages that offset their higher price compared to standard storage tank water heaters:

  • An unlimited hot water supply
  • Reduced energy consumption—they only heat up water as it’s needed!
  • Small size—they can attach right to the wall
  • Long lifespan

Tankless water heaters sound like they are a new form of technology, but the truth is a bit different. Let’s turn back the pages of history and learn more about the tankless water heater.

The Origins of Tankless Water Heaters

The first commercially available storage tank water heater was invented in 1889, and it was highly energy efficient because of its thick copper design—but that also made it expensive. But tankless water heater development wasn’t that much farther behind. There were some early and highly inefficient experiments with them in the 1890s. In 1929, Stiebel-Elton invented the first electric tankless water heater, which made it the system more easily available. However, the gas-powered models were more efficient, and were the ones that became more popular.

Still, until the 1970s, the technology of tankless water heaters was simply not effective enough to make them viable alternatives to the standard water heater. Efficiency started to increase, and Europe began to adopt more and more of these space and energy-saving systems. This led to tankless systems making a bigger impact on the U.S. market in the 1990s. Now they are major competitors with tankless and hybrid systems, with more and more homes discovering their immense advantages. If you want to know more about what a tankless water heater can do for your home and budget, simply give us a call.

Ken Neyer Plumbing, Inc. serves Over-the-Rhine, OH, and the rest of the Cincinnati area.

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