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Water Heaters – Tanked or Tankless?

Like any appliance, water heaters don’t last forever. If you are fortunate, you’ve gotten a good run out of the one installed in your home. Whether it’s just not doing its job as well anymore or it has died completely, you know it is time to have another one installed. When facing this situation, the biggest question is between getting a tanked or tankless replacement.

The Difference Between the Two

A water heater is a fairly decent financial investment for your home that you’ll be living with for some time. It makes sense, therefore, to go over the pros and cons of the two major types before deciding which type to have installed.

  • Tank Water Heaters
    This is the type of water heater that most people visualize when thinking about this appliance. Its tank typically holds anywhere from 30 to 50 gallons of water that is kept heated and is ready to go when you turn a faucet on.

  • Tankless Water Heater
    As its name implies, this type has no storage tank holding hot water that’s ready to go. It flows the home’s water through the unit and heats it as needed whenever you turn the hot water on at a faucet.

Advantages and Disadvantages

Obviously, since both types of water heaters are available on the market, a case can be made for either kind. A big part of which type you should have installed will depend on your particular situation. To find out where you should come down on this decision, let’s go over some of the benefits of each type over the other.

  • Tank water heaters are big and bulky. If you don’t have much space available in the room where you keep your water heater, this can be a good argument for a tankless unit. That 30 to 50 gallon supply of hot water that is ready at your beck and call is convenient, but it does come at the cost of space. 

  • Tankless water heaters can deliver an unlimited amount of hot water. With a tanked unit, once the preexisting amount of hot water in the tank is used, you have to wait for it to refill with more hot water. Since a tankless unit heats the water on the fly as it enters the unit, it can keep on doing so for as long as your shower lasts.

  • Tankless water heaters cost more. There is no denying that tankless units have a higher up-front cost. This applies to the cost of the unit itself and its installation. They use less energy since they are not expending energy to keep a sitting tank of water hot even when it is not being used. This will frequently result in lower operating costs, which means you may save money over the long-term.

  • Tankless water heaters can take longer to deliver water and are limited in terms of the rate at which they can supply hot water. As mentioned above, because a tankless design heats the water as it flows through, it can keep supplying the hot water long after a tanked unit’s tank of water would be exhausted. The flip side of this, though, is that heating water as it goes through the unit takes time. This means a longer delay between turning on the hot water nozzle at your faucet and hot water actually starting to come out.

    Also, depending on the size of the unit relative to hot water demands at any given moment, it may not be able to output sufficient hot water at once to cover you showering and a family member washing dishes at the same time. A large enough unit will solve this latter problem, but this will exacerbate the aforementioned cost issue.

Which One Should You Pick?

The above comparison covers the biggest differences between these types of water heaters. There are also some other factors. One of these is whether you are going with a gas or electric unit. The most energy-efficient choice would be a gas-powered tankless water heater.

If you are planning to stay in your home long enough and can afford the extra unit and installation cost, then a gas-powered tankless unit may be the way to go. This will enable you to earn back the higher initial cost and then some due to lower monthly energy costs. If, on the other hand, money is tight and you’re not sure how long you’ll be staying where you are, a traditional tanked water heater might be your best bet.

Professional Installation Matters!

Whatever new type of water heater you decide to go with, you need to have it installed by licensed and experienced professionals. This is definitely not a do-it-yourself type of home project.

For families in the Germantown, Tennessee area, River City Plumbing is ready and available to help with your water heater installation. We have the master plumbers with the training and experience to get the job done right the first time. You rely on your water heater to deliver a dependable supply of hot water for your family’s needs, so depend on our reliable plumbing company to handle the job for you professionally and within your budget.

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