Traditional vs Tankless Water Heaters: Pros and Cons of Each to Help You Make the Right Choice


If you are planning to upgrade your existing water heater for improved efficiency and increased energy savings, you’ve probably spent a lot of time weighing the pros and cons of each type of water heater out there. Since making the right choice involves considering your needs, there isn’t any particular water heater that can be the best for everyone.

Don’t let this worry you; if you still haven’t come to a conclusion, you’ve come to the right place! Here are some advantages and disadvantages of traditional / tank-type and tankless water heaters that you need to know.



Traditional Water Heaters

These water heaters have been the industry standard for many years. While the components of traditional and tankless water heaters are quite similar, traditional water heaters are equipped with a storage tank that can hold 40-50 gallons of water.

Heating elements are cycled on and off to maintain the temperature of the stored water, which flows to the point of use when turned on, for example your faucet or showerhead. The tank is refilled with new water and is heated again.



  • Lower initial costs
  • Fewer installation complications
  • Maintaining is easy; it only requires draining and flushing the heater twice a year, and testing the pressure relief valve regularly
  • Less expensive to replace
  • Easily adapted to re-circulation and solar pre-heat applications- this is particularly great for high desert areas as we receive a good amount of sun



  • Takes up a lot of space
  • Limited hot water supply
  • Busy households that need a greater supply of hot water at the same time may need to install additional storage tanks
  • More energy is used to help maintain the temperature of stored water


Tankless Water Heaters

A tankless water heater is comprised of a burner or heating element, internal piping, and controls. When hot water is needed, water flows through the heater and activates the heating element via a flow sensor.



  • Compact in size
  • Energy is not used until hot water is needed
  • Lower operating costs
  • Unlimited supply of hot water
  • Longer lifespan as compared to traditional water heaters



  • Higher cost initially
  • Replacing or installing can be more expensive
  • Limited output as compared to traditional water heaters
  • Requires regular professional maintenance



Now that you’ve read the pros and cons of both traditional and tankless water heaters, choosing a water heater should be easy. Consider your budget and immediate needs before making a decision, and you’re sure to enjoy more savings!  If you have any questions regarding water heaters, give us a call today!

By |2017-09-08T15:40:38+00:00February 13th, 2016|Plumbing|