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Tank vs. Tankless Water Heaters


Knowing the facts before you decide on a tank or tankless water heater!

Having hot water when you need it is important.  Often times you do not realize how much a water heater can impact you until you are the one in your household left with the cold shower.

Your overall “hot” water consumption depends on your house’s plumbing system and the number of people living with you.  The question often becomes when should you consider a tankless water heater vs. a tank water heater?  When considering this question, there are several factors you should know first.

Tankless Water Heater


Tankless water heaters are designed to produce “Hot” water on demand.  Water passes through a heat exchanger inside the unit causing the water to become hot.  This process involves a burner which is normally powered by natural gas, propane or electricity.  Tankless water heaters do NOT store hot water and only produce hot water when you demand it by turning on the hot side of a faucet or your shower, etc. 

As with any product there are several Pros and Cons to consider before deciding if this solution fits your home needs. 

Tankless Pros
  • No running out of hot water with tankless, units will keep producing hot water as it is demanded
  • Most tankless water heaters will last 15 – 30 years
  • Saves money on energy – Your energy consumption is reduced as you only pay to heat water when it is needed vs. paying to keep water hot in a storage tank no matter when it is needed
  • Reduces risks – there is no tank full of water to leak or cause water damage to your home or garage if it fails
  • Takes up less space – Tankless units are small and can be installed in tight spaces
Tankless Cons
  • Initial Investment – Tankless units tend to cost more than a tank water heater.  It depends on the brand, type (gas, propane, electric) and the number of GPM (gallons per minute) of hot water the unit produces
  • Hot Water Output – Tankless units need to match the worst-case scenario and often times are undersized for the household needs.  Making sure you have a unit that can produce enough hot water for all fixtures running at the same time is important to the overall function of the unit.
  • Potential Re-work – Depending on your home’s layout and access to natural gas, propane or electric, you may need additional changes made to your home (costing you more up front) for installation to be possible

Tank Water Heater

Tank Water Heater

A tank water heater is the most common water heater.  It has a storage tank, or a water reservoir that, is typically insulated and can hold anywhere from 30 gallons to 80 gallons of “hot” water. 

The tank is piped to your house and when hot water is needed, the water is sent to the fixture.  Cold water then replaces the hot water that was used and the tank will heat the water again, keeping the water hot till needed again.  Tank water heaters also have Pros and Cons to consider before you decide if keeping your tank water heater is right for your home.    

Tank Pros
  • Lower initial installation cost – A standard tank water heater typically cost less than a tankless water heater
  • Simple Operation – Most tank water heaters are very simple to operate and do not have extensive maintenance or repair costs
Tank Cons
  • Does not supply an Endless supply of hot water – Eventually your tank will run out of hot water and you will have to wait until the unit can fill up and warm the water to the set temperature.  In other words, do NOT be the last one to take a shower if your tank runs out fast.
  • Uses unnecessary energy – Tank water heaters use energy all day long to keep the water in the tank hot, even when you do not need hot water
  • Potential Water Damage Risks – Since the tank water heater is keeping 30 – 80 gallons of water stored at all times, if there is a failure with the product, there is the risk of water damage to the surrounding rooms, floor, ceilings, etc.
  • Shorter life span – The average life span of a tank water heater is 8 – 10 years, requiring you to replace them more often
  • Take up more space – Depending on the space you have available; you may be limited on the size of tank water heater you can have as they tend to be much larger than a tankless unit

Which Water Heater is Right for You and Your Home?

Joe by tankless water heater
Water Heater Service

Picking the right type of water heater for you and your home can be a challenging decision.  When you have all the facts about each option, the decision can become easier to make.  Taking into account your home’s water consumption and use, our Plumbing Technicians can present you with a variety of options that best meet your needs.  Contact us today, to schedule an appointment with one of our highly skilled plumbing technicians who can provide you with all in information you will need.  At Dependable Service Plumbing & Air, your home’s water consumption and requirements are our concern.  Contact us today at 1-843-353-0461.

customer review

“Dependable Service Plumbing & Air sent a pressure washing company out to clean my entire driveway, when only three small spots were unintentionally put on the corner of my driveway when my neighbor was having a replacement water heater installed. Tommy, the owner of Dependable Service Plumbing & Air, came out to look at my driveway right away, and he had Winston out to clean not only the spots off, but my entire driveway, including my front porch. Winston was very professional, as he explained the difference in concrete between my driveway and my front porch. He also explained the reason for some bad rust stains that were there as a result of metal objects that were mixed into my driveway concrete by my builder. He did an excellent job on everything, and my driveway is now clean enough to have it coated with a light concrete paint (two coats) that I had already contracted out to have done. Caretaker Services Pressure Washing did such a good job of cleaning (about 2,200 lbs. pressure on my driveway & about 400 lbs on my front porch with a household cleaner first) that my coating contractor told me that what is left of my rust stains will all be covered over by the light colored paint. I am very pleased, as he gave me a great education along with a great cleaning job! Also, I will now use Dependable Service Plumbing & Air as my plumber for all my future plumbing needs, as they did a great job for my neighbor!” –- Bill B.