Does A Tankless Water Heater Have A Pilot Light?

A tankless water heater does not have a pilot light. These efficient water heaters heat water on demand without the need for a continuously burning flame.

In comparison to traditional tank water heaters, tankless water heaters have become increasingly popular due to their energy-saving benefits and space-saving design. By eliminating the need for a pilot light, tankless water heaters only heat water when it is needed, resulting in lower energy consumption and reduced utility bills.

With their compact size and ability to provide hot water on demand, tankless water heaters are an excellent choice for homeowners looking for a more efficient and convenient water heating solution.

Does A Tankless Water Heater Have A Pilot Light?


How A Tankless Water Heater Works

Tankless water heaters, also known as on-demand water heaters, have gained popularity in recent years due to their energy efficiency and cost savings. Unlike traditional water heaters that store and continuously heat a large tank of water, tankless water heaters heat water only when it is needed.

This process offers several advantages, including energy efficiency, cost savings, and instant hot water on demand.

Energy Efficiency And Cost Savings

  • Tankless water heaters are highly energy efficient as they only heat water when you need it. This eliminates the constant energy consumption associated with traditional water heaters.
  • On-demand heating reduces standby heat loss, which occurs when hot water sits unused in a tank, losing heat over time.
  • You can expect to save on your energy bills by using a tankless water heater, especially in households with low to moderate hot water usage.

No Need For A Pilot Light

  • One of the significant differences between tankless water heaters and traditional models is the absence of a pilot light in tankless units.
  • Traditional water heaters typically rely on a pilot light to continuously heat the water in the tank. This pilot light consumes energy regardless of the hot water demand.
  • Tankless water heaters, on the other hand, use an electric ignition system or a modulating gas valve that activates the heating element or burner only when hot water is needed. This avoids unnecessary energy consumption when hot water is not in use.

Instant Hot Water On Demand

  • Tankless water heaters provide hot water on demand, ensuring that you never run out of hot water during showers or other household activities.
  • When you turn on a hot water faucet, a tankless unit senses the flow of water and activates the heating element or burner in response.
  • The water flows through a heat exchanger, where it directly comes into contact with the heating element or burner, rapidly heating the water as it passes through.
  • This efficient process eliminates the need for a storage tank, allowing for a continuous supply of hot water without delays or temperature fluctuations.

Tankless water heaters offer greater energy efficiency and cost savings compared to traditional water heaters with a pilot light. They provide instant hot water on demand, contributing to a more convenient and reliable hot water supply in your home. Upgrade to a tankless water heater and enjoy the benefits of energy efficiency, cost savings, and endless hot water.

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Advantages Of A Tankless Water Heater

Tankless water heaters offer several advantages over traditional water heaters with a pilot light. Let’s explore the key benefits of investing in a tankless water heater for your home:

Space-Saving Design

  • Tankless water heaters have a compact and sleek design, allowing for easy installation in tight spaces.
  • Their wall-mounted design frees up valuable floor space, making them ideal for small apartments or homes with limited storage areas.
  • With no need for a bulky storage tank, tankless water heaters offer a space-saving solution without compromising on efficiency or performance.

Longer Lifespan

  • Tankless water heaters have a significantly longer lifespan compared to traditional water heaters.
  • On average, tankless water heaters can last between 15 to 20 years, while traditional water heaters typically last around 10 to 15 years.
  • The durable components and advanced technology used in tankless water heaters contribute to their extended lifespan, providing you with years of reliable hot water supply.

Reduced Risk Of Leaks And Water Damage

  • Traditional water heaters with a pilot light often suffer from leaks and water damage due to corrosion, rust, or wear and tear over time.
  • Tankless water heaters eliminate this risk by operating without a storage tank, minimizing the chances of leakage or water damage.
  • By heating water on-demand, tankless water heaters reduce the potential for long-term water accumulation and associated issues, providing peace of mind and potentially saving you from costly repairs.

Continuous Hot Water Supply

  • One of the biggest advantages of a tankless water heater is the continuous supply of hot water.
  • Unlike traditional water heaters that can run out of hot water after the storage tank is depleted, tankless water heaters heat water as it passes through, providing a constant flow of hot water whenever needed.
  • Whether you’re taking a long shower, doing laundry, or running multiple faucets simultaneously, a tankless water heater ensures you never have to worry about running out of hot water.

Adjustable Temperature Settings

  • Tankless water heaters come with adjustable temperature settings, allowing you to easily control the hot water temperature in your home.
  • Whether you prefer hotter water for a relaxing shower or a lower temperature for other purposes, you can easily adjust the settings to suit your needs.
  • Adjustable temperature settings provide flexibility and convenience, ensuring you have hot water at the perfect temperature for various activities.

Investing in a tankless water heater offers numerous advantages, including a space-saving design, longer lifespan, reduced risk of leaks, continuous hot water supply, and adjustable temperature settings. Make the switch to a tankless water heater and reap the benefits of efficient, reliable, and endless hot water in your home.

Maintenance And Troubleshooting For Tankless Water Heaters

Tankless water heaters have become increasingly popular due to their energy-efficient and space-saving features. However, like any appliance, they require regular maintenance and may encounter occasional issues. In this section, we will discuss the essential maintenance requirements for tankless water heaters, how to address potential problems, and provide expert tips for ensuring optimal performance.

Regular Maintenance Requirements

To keep your tankless water heater running smoothly and extend its lifespan, here are some regular maintenance tasks you should perform:

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  • Check the manufacturer’s instructions: Familiarize yourself with the specific maintenance guidelines provided by the manufacturer. This will help you understand the recommended frequency of maintenance tasks and any specific instructions for your particular unit.
  • Clean or replace the filter: Tankless water heaters usually have a filter to prevent debris from entering the system. Regularly clean the filter or replace it as per the manufacturer’s recommendations.
  • Inspect for leaks: Periodically check for any leaks in the water lines, connections, or valves. Address any leaks promptly to avoid potential damage to your unit or surrounding areas.
  • Remove mineral buildup: Over time, mineral deposits can accumulate inside the heat exchanger of your tankless water heater, affecting its efficiency. Consider descaling the unit annually or as recommended by the manufacturer.

Flushing The System

Flushing your tankless water heater is an important maintenance task that helps remove sediment and mineral buildup from the system. Here are the key steps to effectively flush your unit:

  • Turn off the power: Before starting the flushing process, turn off the power supply to your tankless water heater. This will help avoid any accidents or damage during the procedure.
  • Connect a hose: Attach a hose to the drain valve of the unit, ensuring the other end of the hose leads to a drain or suitable location for water disposal.
  • Open the valves: Open both the cold water supply and the hot water tap. This will allow water to flow through the system during the flushing process.
  • Flush the system: Open the drain valve and let the water flow through the unit for around 20-30 minutes, or until the water runs clear. This will help remove any accumulated sediment or mineral deposits.

Dealing With Potential Issues

Despite regular maintenance, you may encounter certain issues with your tankless water heater. Here are some common problems you might face and the corresponding troubleshooting steps to resolve them:

  • No hot water: If you’re not getting hot water when needed, check the power supply, thermostat settings, and the inlet/outlet water valves. Ensure the unit is receiving enough gas or electricity and that the valves are fully open.
  • Inadequate water pressure: If you’re experiencing low water pressure, check for any blockages in the pipes or filters. Clean or replace any clogged filters and ensure the water supply valves are fully open.
  • Ignition failure: If the unit fails to ignite, check the gas supply, venting, and the ignition components. Make sure the gas supply is on, the venting is clear, and there are no issues with the igniter or flame rod.

Error Codes And Troubleshooting Steps

Tankless water heaters often display error codes to indicate specific issues. Refer to the manufacturer’s manual for the exact meaning of the error code and follow their troubleshooting steps. Some common error codes and their potential solutions include:

  • Error code 10: Check for insufficient gas supply, blockages in the gas line, or a malfunctioning gas valve. Fix or replace any faulty components accordingly.
  • Error code 11: This code typically indicates ignition failure. Inspect the ignition components, gas supply, and venting system for any issues.
  • Error code 14: This code usually signifies a problem with the thermal fuse or high limit switch. Verify their functionality and replace faulty components if necessary.
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Common Problems And Solutions

Here are a few more common problems you might encounter with your tankless water heater and their potential solutions:

  • Water temperature fluctuations: Adjust the temperature settings, check the flow sensor, and ensure the unit is properly sized for your household’s hot water demand.
  • Unit not turning on: Verify the power supply, circuit breakers, and electrical connections. Reset any tripped breakers and ensure a stable power source.
  • Strange noises: Noises like rattling or banging may indicate a scale buildup or loose components. Flush the system and tighten any loose connections to alleviate this issue.

Expert Tips For Ensuring Optimal Performance

To ensure your tankless water heater operates at its best, follow these expert tips:

  • Keep the unit free from clutter: Avoid storing items around the tankless water heater to ensure proper ventilation, both for cooling and combustion purposes.
  • Conduct regular inspections: Periodically inspect the unit for signs of leaks, damage, or corrosion. Address any issues promptly to prevent further damage or deterioration.
  • Consider professional maintenance: Hiring a professional to perform annual maintenance can help identify and resolve potential issues before they become major problems.
  • Optimal gas pressure: Ensure the gas pressure supplied to the unit is within the manufacturer’s specified range. Consult a professional if you suspect any issues with gas pressure.
  • Know your limits: If you encounter a complex issue or are unsure about certain troubleshooting steps, consult a professional plumber or the manufacturer’s customer support for assistance.

By adhering to these maintenance recommendations, troubleshooting potential issues, and implementing expert tips, you can ensure your tankless water heater operates efficiently, providing hot water whenever you need it.


Tankless water heaters are designed to provide hot water on demand without the need for a pilot light. This innovative technology offers homeowners numerous advantages, such as energy savings, space efficiency, and endless hot water supply. Unlike traditional water heaters, tankless models heat the water directly as it flows through the unit, eliminating the need for a bulky storage tank and constant energy consumption to maintain the water temperature.

Furthermore, tankless water heaters offer precise temperature control, allowing users to adjust the heat to their desired level. This feature not only enhances comfort but also prevents scalding accidents. With their long lifespan, compact design, and environmentally friendly nature, tankless water heaters have become an attractive option for homeowners looking to upgrade their hot water systems.

Tankless water heaters provide an efficient, eco-friendly, and convenient solution for hot water needs. Their advanced technology eliminates the need for a pilot light and offers benefits that traditional water heaters cannot match. So, if you’re considering upgrading your water heater, a tankless option is definitely worth exploring.


I am a mechanical engineer and love doing research on different home and outdoor heating options. When I am not working, I love spending time with my family and friends. I also enjoy blogging about my findings and helping others to find the best heating options for their needs.