Tankless Vs Tank Water Heater


If you have ever had to buy a water heater unit for your home at some point, then you must have had to give a verdict about which one is best between a tankless or tank storage water heater unit. Such a decision is always a tough call and it takes someone that is quite familiar with both options to decide. This article presents a comparison between both options (Tankless Vs Tank Water Heater). Hopefully, it will help you in making your decision about which of them is best for your water heating needs. First, we begin with a basic breakdown of how each of them works.

Tankless Vs Tank Water Heater

What Is Tank Storage water heater

A traditional tank water heater unit has a water storage tank with a capacity of about 20 to 80 gallons depending on the size of the unit you have selected. The water contained in this tank is heated to about 120 degrees and stored in the tank. The tank is insulated so the water remains relatively hot with minimal heat loss until you are ready to use it.

What Is Tankless Water Heater

As the name implies, tankless water lacks a storage tank. It is also known as an on-demand water heater because it delivers hot water on-demand rather than preheated water as the tank unit. A tankless water heater makes use of a powerful burner which is powered by gas or electricity to heat up water as it passes through the pipe. The water is heated up quite rapidly and is delivered directly to the shower, kitchen faucet or any other type of water outlet as hot water.

Based on this basic operating principle, it is easier to make some comparisons between both options and establish their differences and similarities. This will also help in determining the benefits of installing either option.

Comparison of Tankless Vs Tank Water Heater Units


Tankless water heaters are typically more energy efficient compared to the tank storage unit. This is due to various reasons. First, it takes a considerable amount of time and power to pre-heat 20 to 80 gallons of water at once. With a tankless unit, water is heated on-demand which means you save on electricity or gas in the process. Water in tank storage units will also lose heat over time which further brings down their efficiency score. It is believed that you potentially get up to 40% or even greater efficiency when you use about 86 gallons of water on a tankless unit.


When comparing tank and tankless units, you have to compare the cost of both in two different ways. First is the cost of installation and purchase which is the upfront cost of owning the unit. After installation, you also have to consider the cost of running each unit.

  • : Tankless water heaters are expensive compared to tank heaters. You can get a good tank heater for as low as $500 dollars. You will have to spend up between $1500 and $2,500 for a tankless unit. Additionally, installation cost contributes to the high cost of purchase of a Tankless unit. The installation process is a lot more complicated and hiring an expert is compulsory. This, in addition to the high upfront cost of buying the unit further, drives the price up.
  • : you might spend more to buy and purchase a tankless unit, but in the long run you will be able to save some money. Tankless water heaters are more energy efficient. The implication of this is that you get a lower utility bill compared to what you would get with a tank storage unit. You can save up to $44 a year with an electric tankless water heater and even more with a gas powered unit.  

Installation and Ease of use

As far as installation goes, a tank storage unit is more convenient to install. Tankless units have to be installed by professionals. You might also have to change some parts of your current electrical and gas installation to fit in a tankless unit since they have special venting requirement and electrical specifications. However, on the flip side tank storage unit are bogus and take up too much space compared to the tankless unit.

In terms of ease of use, you will find a tankless unit is a much more convenient option. With a tankless unit, you will have to wait for minutes for the water to heat up and even more minutes for the tank to refill if you run out of water. Of course, this isn’t the case with a tankless unit. Hot water is always available on demand and if you buy a correctly sized unit for your needs you won’t have to bother about limited output or temperature fluctuations.


Tankless water heaters typically last long than their tank storage counterparts. Averagely tankless units are expected to last for up to 20 years. A tank storage unit on the other hand has an average life-span of 10 to 15 years. Also, since water is stored in the tank, you might end up with dirty contaminated water as the tank begins to get old and rusty. This is unlikely to be a factor with a tankless unit.

Read also, Gas vs Electric Water Heater before leaving


It would be wrong to say one of these two options is the absolute best. At the end of the day, the choice of any homeowner depends on what suits their needs best. Be sure to consider both options carefully before making your final decision on which one to purchase and install for your home. Now, the decision of tankless vs tank water heater which is perfect for you hot water demand lies in your hand knowing fully well of what they are and operates.


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