Tankless Vs Tanked Water Heater – What’s The Difference?

tankless vs tank hot water heater

Water heaters are one of the essentials that every home should have. One may not realize the importance of water heaters until the water turns cold when showering. Water heaters are investments that homeowners make and last for over a decade without any problems. When moving to a new home or replacing your heater with a new one, you need to consider the cost, efficiency and the durability of the heater.

There are two types of water heaters; tankless and tank water heaters. Before purchasing it is crucial to know the differences between the two and the one with more advantages. Below is a detailed explanation of tankless vs. tank hot water heater.

Tank storage water heaters are also referred to as traditional water heaters. They are found in most homes. The storage water heaters have a reservoir where they store and heat the water. The tank is usually insulated and holds up to 50 gallons. The storage water heaters have a pipe that emerges from the reservoir and delivers water to the bathroom. Once the water in the tank is used up, it is refilled automatically from the water source. The process repeats as new water gets heated and so on. Here are the advantages and disadvantages of this kind of water heater. 



Storage water heaters are cheaper by a great margin compared to the tankless water heaters. When buying this water heater, you will save a lot of money and use the savings to pay for the utility bills. The cost of the tank water heater ranges from $500 to $800.

Easy to install

The process of installing the tank water heater is easy. It will require you to have the storage tank, a space to keep the tank and pipes to connect water from the tank to the shower. You can decide to install the tank yourself or contact a local technician to help you out

Operate in a simple way

With tank water heaters, there are no complex processes for the water to heat. Once they are installed, you can have your bath anytime you want.

Low cost of repairs

Since the water heaters are simple, their repairs do not cost too much. Once in a while, you might find that the water heaters are not functioning hence you need to contact a technician for assistance.


Occupies a lot of space

Tank water heaters will require enough space to store them. There are big, and if you do not have enough space, you cannot use them.

High utility bills

With tank water heaters, the energy costs are quite high since the water in the tank has to be heated first before you take a shower. The storage tanks first heat up so that they can heat the water. The process uses a lot of energy leading to high bills.

Not convenient

The storage water heaters are set to heat at a certain temperature irrespective of other peoples’ needs. So if you want hot water and the water tank was set to heat to warm water, you have no choice but to go with the hot water. Therefore, if you are living with different people in the house, you should agree on the temperatures you want for the water.

You have to water for the tank to refill and heat.

An average tank can take up to three showers in a row. The fourth person has to water till the tank is full and heated up. An alternative to this problem would be to purchase another water tank heater which may lead to high utility bills.


With storage tank water heaters, you will need to replace them regularly as they have a short useful life. Once the water heater has a problem, there are high chances that the whole system will need replacement which is expensive.

Tankless Water Heaters

Woman in a shower

 A tankless water heater is made of highly powered burners that heat the water rapidly as it ran through the pipes and delivered to the shower directly without a tank. A tankless water heater is usually powered by electricity or gas as it is quite powerful. Most users who have used the two products have reported that the tankless is more efficient than the storage tank water heater. They argue that the tankless water heater only heats the water when on demand. However, it is important to know the pros and cons of this water heater as listed below.



The tankless water heater has a long life span. They last for around 20 to 30 years which is twice the life span of a storage tank water heater

Uses less space

Tankless water heaters do not consume a lot of space compared to the tank water heaters. They can be in the house where there is tight space and fit it perfectly. If your home does not have enough space, the tankless water heaters can be installed outside the house, on the walls.

Always have hot water.

Whenever you want to take a shower, you will always get it from the tankless water heater. The water heater can heat around 2 gallons of water in a minute. You do not have to wait for the water to become hot.


If you have high utility bills in your house, you can reduce them by installing tankless water heaters. They do not consume a lot of energy compared to the tank water heaters. With tankless water heaters, you will save the energy costs by about 20 percent.


Expensive to purchase

When purchasing the tankless water heaters, you will find their costs is much than for the tank water heaters. The costs of the water heaters range from $2000 to $4500 for both purchase and installation costs.

Installation costs are high.

The process of installing tankless water heaters is complex compared to the tank water heaters. You will require a technician to install it for you. The process takes long hence you will be required to pay the technician a lot of money. The piping system is the most complicated part when installing the tankless water heaters.

Output challenged

Simultaneous use of the tankless water tanks such as taking a shower and laundry, the water heater may fail to produce the hot water demand required. Also when two people are taking a shower at the same time, one of the showers may have cold water due to failure in heating the two.

High maintenance costs

If you want to replace the tankless water heater, it will be quite expensive. It will also take time due to the complexity of the water heaters. Therefore you end up purchasing the tank at high prices and maintain it at high costs.

Deciding on the above types of water heaters should not be difficult. It is crucial to look at the costs involved, the energy costs and the durability. Once you purchase, find a qualified technician to install the water heater safely. Hope this articles gives you a bit of clarity on the best path to your hot water heater is? As always, please drop us a note if you find this guide handy or even if you just want to have a conversation with us!

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