Tank vs. Tankless Water Heaters

Tank vs. Tankless Water Heaters

Traditional Water Heaters VS. Tankless Water Heaters: Which One Is Better?

When it’s time to furnish your new home or replace your old water heater, it’s important to consider the cost, efficiency, and lifespan of your new water heater. Considering that heating water consumes as much as 14% of a home’s energy budget, the one you choose will not only have a lasting effect on your quality of life but will have a long-lasting effect on your wallet, as well.

What’s the Difference between a traditional and tankless water heater?

A Traditional water heater or storage tank water heater is the most common type of water heater found in homes. Its components are an insulated tank, typically stores and preheats 30-50 gallons of water, and it’s fueled by electricity, natural gas, propane, heating oil, solar or other energy sources. A pipe emerges from the top to deliver hot water to its destination, bathroom, kitchen, or other sinks.

As you can imagine, to heat a large tank full of water, the heating element gets very hot. When considering this type of water heater, plan on a call to the plumber every several years to replace its heating elements and every 8-12 years to replace the entire water heater.

The tankless or On-demand water heater uses a heat source (electric or gas) to warm up cool water on-demand whenever you need it rather than storing hot water in a tank meaning it will only provide hot water when you need it. When a hot water tap is turned on, cold water travels through a pipe into the unit, and either an electric element or gas burner heats the water. As a result, tankless water heaters deliver a constant supply of hot water on demand.

You don’t have to spend time and energy for a storage tank to fill up with enough hot water. And because hot water isn’t stored in a tank, there is also no heat loss when the water heater isn’t operating, which can save you lots of money and tons of worries. And let’s not forget its more compact, wall-mounted design.

Here are other things to bear in mind:

Consider how many fixtures and appliances need hot water to determine the best size unit for your home. Assume a larger gallons-per-minute (GPM) if you think you require a lot of hot water. Take also into account your water usage. Consider, tankless hot water heaters; they are available at point of use or whole-house sizes.

Fuel Type:

Tankless hot water heaters are available in either electric or gas (propane and natural) models. If you are deciding to have electric, check for voltage and amperage requirements. The gas version will need some electric to operate, but venting will be the bigger concern.


The cost of a tankless water heater is higher than that of a traditional storage water heater, but tankless will serve longer and have lower operating and energy costs, which balance its higher purchase price. Many tankless water heaters have a life span of more than 20 years. In contrast, storage water heaters last only 8-12 years.

If you have a problem with deciding what size, type, and brand of water heater you should use, contact Einstein Plumbing, Heating, and Cooling (888-671-7767 or email us at support@einsteinplumbing.com), we will help decide the water heater that best suits your home. We also offer plumbing, heating & cooling, and sewer & main line services in  BendEugenePortland, and Salem; Washington: BellevueSeattle, SpokaneTacoma, and Vancouver; and Las Vegas, Nevada.

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