How Hot Water Tanks Went Tankless

How Hot Water Tanks Went Tankless

Thankful For Thankless - The Tankless Water Heater Story

The advent of the tankless water heater marked a significant shift in how we meet our hot water needs. With their compact size, energy efficiency, and ability to deliver instant hot water, these innovative devices have revolutionized our daily lives. This post aims to trace the fascinating history of tankless water heaters and explore how they have evolved over time.

The Genesis of Automatic Storage Tank Water Heaters (1889)

The narrative begins in 1889 with the innovative work of Norwegian-born mechanical engineer Edwin Ruud. He designed the first automatic, storage tank-type gas water heater, which used a bottom gas heater and a temperature-controlled gas valve. This design revolutionized water heating technology as it allowed for a steady supply of hot water without the need for constant manual adjustment.

Ruud's invention laid the groundwork for future advancements, providing a safer and more convenient means of heating water compared to earlier models that required constant monitoring and were prone to overheating.

The First Instantaneous Water Heater Patented by Edwin Rudd - Aspen Mountain Plumbing

The First Instantaneous Water Heater (1927)

Building on Ruud's groundbreaking technology, a German company called Stiebel Eltron introduced a significant evolution in water heating systems in 1927. This innovative appliance represented a substantial departure from traditional storage tank heaters, ushering in a new era of efficiency and convenience.

Instead of storing and continually reheating water in a large tank, this breakthrough device utilized gas to instantly heat water as it flowed through the system. The resulting hot water was then immediately available for use. This advancement not only eliminated the wait time for hot water but also significantly reduced energy consumption, making the gas-powered instantaneous water heater a pioneer in both performance and sustainability.

Japan's Contribution: Commercializing Tankless Water Heaters (1950s)

The 1950s saw Japan taking these early designs and transforming them into a large-scale manufacturing process. Inspired by the advancements made by Ruud and Eltron, the Japanese not only adopted these innovations but also made crucial improvements. 

Recognizing the potential of these tankless heaters in conserving energy, the Japanese government actively promoted their use. This significant endorsement spurred widespread adoption and positioned Japan as a global leader in the manufacturing and use of tankless water heaters.

Navien And The Arrival of Tankless Water Heaters in the United States

Tankless water heaters made their way to the United States in the 1970s. Initially met with skepticism, they gradually gained acceptance as Americans started recognizing their myriad advantages, such as energy efficiency and the convenience of endless hot water. 

Established in 1978, Navien began its journey by delving into the development of stainless steel non-condensing systems for water heaters, pushing the boundaries of traditional water heating technology. This exploration set the stage for the company's groundbreaking achievement a decade later. 

In 1988, Navien made history as the first company in Asia to develop and produce a highly efficient, environmentally-friendly condensing boiler. This marked a significant milestone not only for Navien but also for the plumbing industry in Asia. Navien's condensing boiler epitomized efficiency and sustainability, revolutionizing water heating technology and reinforcing the company's position as a pioneer in eco-friendly water heating solutions.

Navien's pioneering development of efficient, environmentally-friendly condensing units had a transformative impact on tankless technology, establishing them as a leading innovator in sustainable heating solutions. This reputation allowed Navien to make a successful foray into the United States market. American consumers, increasingly concerned about energy efficiency and environmental sustainability, welcomed Navien's high-performance condensing boilers. 

In 2006, Navien grew its presence in the home comfort sector in North America, carving out a reputation for quality and innovation. The company's commitment to efficiency, sustainability, and customer comfort fueled its rapid growth, helping Navien become one of the fastest-growing companies in the North American home comfort industry.

The Ascendancy of Tankless Water Heating Systems: Meeting Modern-Day Needs

Lance Ball Aspen Mountain Plumbing Tankless Water Heater

The rise of tankless water heaters in the marketplace has been nothing short of meteoric. These models have seen an unprecedented surge in popularity, quickly capturing a substantial portion of the market. The trend continues unabated, with the appeal and adoption of tankless technology steadily expanding.

What was once considered an innovative novelty in water heating has now become an integral part of modern living. Tankless water heating systems are increasingly being viewed as the new norm, finding their place in residences and commercial establishments alike. No longer just a novel concept, they are now a common fixture that caters to our daily hot water requirements.

The appeal of these systems stems from their intrinsic ability to offer a potent combination of effectiveness and energy efficiency. These heaters have the capacity to provide on-demand hot water, aligning seamlessly with the ebb and flow of our daily routines. Unlike traditional water tanks that maintain heated water irrespective of demand, tankless models heat water precisely when needed, thereby reducing unnecessary energy usage.

In addition, the compact design of these systems further enhances their allure. Freeing up valuable space, they lend themselves well to modern, streamlined living and working environments. Coupled with their long-lasting durability, tankless water heaters offer an enticing proposition – a highly efficient, space-saving solution that caters to our everyday water heating needs.

The shift towards these advanced heating systems indicates a broader trend towards smarter, more energy-conscious choices. As we seek to balance our needs with those of the environment, the adoption of technologies like tankless water heaters presents an effective step forward. Today, their popularity stands as a testament to the ever-evolving innovation in water heating technology, meeting our needs while keeping pace with our environmental responsibilities.

Embrace Hot Water Efficiency with Aspen Mountain Plumbing

The transformation of water heaters from conventional hot water tanks to electric, and finally to advanced tankless systems, speaks volumes about our ongoing quest for increased efficiency and practicality. This evolution reflects the significance of constant innovation, responding to shifting consumer needs and growing environmental consciousness. As we recognize and appreciate the convenience and benefits presented by tankless water heaters today, we also honor visionaries like Dr. Theodore Stiebel, who revolutionized our everyday living experiences.

However, to fully enjoy the advantages of tankless water heating technology, a trusted and professional plumbing partner is essential. Aspen Mountain Plumbing, with its proficient team and commitment to excellence, stands ready to guide you through this important home improvement journey.

Embrace the next stage in efficient home heating by contacting Aspen Mountain Plumbing today. Take a decisive step towards a more energy-efficient, cost-effective, and environmentally-friendly future. 

Visit our website at or call us directly at (307) 922-4413. Your journey to an improved and more efficient home heating system starts with Aspen Mountain Plumbing – your satisfaction is our commitment.

Lance Ball