Traditional Water Heaters Vs. Tankless Water Heaters: Which One Is Best?

little kid enjoying hot shower

A functional water heater is essential in homes. You can rely on it for bathing, laundry, washing dishes, and more. If you are in the market for a new water heater, you generally will have to choose between a traditional water heater vs. tankless water heater. Which one is right for you? In this article, we take a look at these types of hot water heaters to help you decide.

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What Is A Traditional Water Heater?

A traditional or tank water heater uses a tank for storing water. This is a fairly large tank, capable of storing about 20 to 80 gallons of heated water. If someone in the house turns on a faucet, heated water runs through the pipes and is distributed where it is required. Hot water may be used for laundry, baths, showers, or dishwashing. Once the water has been depleted in the tank, it automatically refills, and the heating process is restarted.

Pros and Cons Of A Conventional Water Heater

Below, we discuss the pros and cons of a conventional water heater.

Pros Of A Tank Water Heater

  • More affordable to purchase. A tank water heater carries a lower initial cost. In fact, some units are about half the cost of a tankless water heater. You could spend less to buy and have the tank water heater installed when compared to a tankless water heater.
  • More affordable to replace. Since the cost of buying a unit is cheaper, having it replaced is also easy on the budget.
  • Simple. A tank water heater has a simpler setup than a tankless water heater. This makes it easier and cheaper to repair in case it breaks down or becomes damaged.

Cons Of A Traditional Hot Water Heater

  • The same water temperature throughout. A tank water heater will run on a pre-set temperature. It may also use more energy as a result due to standby heat loss.
  • Higher energy cost. A tank water heater works harder during the cold season, which means that the system may become overworked. The extra push will also mean higher electric or gas bills for you. Furthermore, it will maintain a constant temperature regardless if anyone is using hot water or not.
  • Need for space. The storage tank for this type of water heater needs ample space for the unit.
  • This type of hot water heater only lasts for about 8-12 years or so. Therefore, it requires a replacement more often than a tankless water heater.
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conventional water heater

What Is A Tankless Water Heater?

A tankless water heating system is essentially a system that heats tap water on demand. It is powered by gas or electric. It has a built-in burner that rapidly heats water as it passes through the heat exchanger before it is released through the faucets or showerheads. Since the heating takes place directly on demand, there is no need to use a water storage tank.

Pros And Cons of A Tankless Water Heater

Pros Of An Instant Water Heater

  • Energy-efficient. Tankless water heaters have a higher energy efficiency rating than traditional water heaters. Some units boast of around 30% more energy efficiency (or even higher) compared to tank water heaters. Therefore, it pays for itself via lower home hot water heating costs.
  • Very durable. A tankless water heater is built tough. The average tankless water heater could keep working for around 20 to 30 years.
  • On-demand hot water. While a tank water heater can run out of hot water when the storage tank is depleted, a tankless water heater will not because water is only heated up when it is required.
  • Space-saving. Tankless water heaters are small units that will fit even in small corners. If you have limited space at home, this is the better option for you.

Cons Of An On-Demand Water Heater

  • High initial cost. A tankless water heater is likely to cost twice than a traditional water heater or even more. This is especially true if you are switching from a tank water heater to a tankless type.
  • Takes longer to install. If you are retrofitting your tankless water heater due to a switch, it will take more time to install.
  • Not enough hot water. If you live in a busy household or are multitasking chores such as doing the laundry and taking a shower at the same time, the tankless system may not be able to deliver enough hot water when required. As such, you may run out of hot water in the middle of a chore. Therefore, you must obtain the correct size and setup to ensure you have ample hot water to meet your needs.
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hot water heater

Which Type Of Water Heater Is Best For You?

Consider the factors that will affect your demand for hot water, such as the size of your home, number of bathrooms, number of occupants, location, climate, budget, and other requirements. Talk to your local plumber and ask for advice as well. The more you understand how each system works, the better you will be at figuring which water heater type is right for you.


Call Robinson Plumbing For All Of Your Water Heater Requirements

If you are interested in making your home more energy-efficient, an instant water heater may be a good option. However, a tank water heater might be your best option, depending on your needs. Contact Robinson Plumbing today to discuss your options. Our certified plumbers will explain the benefits of each type of water heating system. They will be able to asses your situation to see what works best for your water heating needs.

Both tankless water heating systems and conventional water heaters have their advantages and so this is why it is always smart to consult with an expert. Robinson Plumbing offers many different affordable, friendly, and trusted plumbing services. For a list of our plumbing services, click here.

Call Now: (610) 351-9889

Call us today at (610) 351-9889 or contact us for any questions that you might have!