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Tankless vs. Traditional Water Heaters

July 24, 2023 | Blog

We use hot water for cooking, cleaning and bathing, all made possible by a water heater. The privilege of 24/7 hot water access is taken for granted until it comes time for a new water heater — an important investment that will affect your life for a decade or more. At Hi-Tech Plumbing & Leak Detect, we want you to be well-informed about your options, so you know which system works best for you.

You will have to choose between two types of hot water heaters: tankless and traditional storage tank units.

What Is A Tankless Water Heater?

Tankless water heaters are also called on-demand water heaters. They work via high-powered burners that instantly heat water as it runs through the exchanger and proceeds to the faucet. Tankless units do not use storage tanks — instead, electricity and gas typically power these systems.

Pros Of Tankless Water Heaters

  • They are 22% more energy efficient, according to Consumer Reports.
  • They are more cost-efficient over time.
  • They last 20 to 30 years.
  • They are small in size, allowing them to fit into tight spaces.
  • You will instantly get hot water, without waiting for the water to heat up.

Cons Of Tankless Water Heaters

  • They cost more upfront than traditional water heaters.
  • If you currently have a traditional storage water heater, tankless water heater installation can be complex and costly.
  • They can have trouble simultaneously heating multiple tasks (taking multiple showers at one time or doing laundry while the shower is running).

If you want a water heater that will last decades, instantly provides a seemingly endless supply of hot water, saves you money over time and only occupies a little bit of space, a tankless unit may be best for you.

What is a Traditional Water Heater?

Traditional water heaters are also called storage tank water heaters. You will most likely find these in most people’s homes. Their insulated tank stores 30-50 gallons of water and connects to a pipe at the top, which delivers the water to faucets throughout your home.

Natural gas or electricity are the power sources for tanked systems. Units powered by natural gas are 50% more fuel efficient than those powered by electricity, but they cost more to purchase.

Pros And Cons Of A Traditional Water Heater

Traditional water heaters are cheaper to purchase, maintain and repair, when compared to tankless units. Despite their lower initial cost, you can expect the following from a tanked system:

  • Your utility bills will be slightly higher.
  • They occupy more space.
  • Inconvenient hot water shortages (the last person to shower may have cold water).
  • They typically last 10 to 15 years before needing replacement.

Whether you decide on a tankless or a tanked water heater will depend on your needs and financial situation. If you need to purchase the cheapest system, have the space for a storage tank and don’t use significant amounts of hot water at one time, a traditional water heater may be best for you.

Deciding Between a Tankless or a Traditional Water Heater

Hi-Tech Plumbing and Leak Detect has been serving the Oklahoma City area for over 20 years. Call us today — we’d love to help you decide which water heater will best suit your needs and provide high-quality installation service!

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