It’s Time to Replace Your Water Heater: Which is Better, Tankless or Traditional?

Investing in a new water heater comes with a lot of considerations. Understanding how the different types of water heaters can impact your home will allow you to make a choice on which kind is best for your needs.

Today, you will go over all of the benefits and negatives of traditional and tankless water heaters to help you make your decision.

What’s The Difference Between A Tankless And A Traditional Water Heater?

There are many differences in how tankless and traditional water heaters put out hot water. Each unit also has its own pros and cons. These pros and cons will help you to decide which kind of unit is best for your home.

Traditional Water Heater Traditional Water Heaters

A large water storage tank is included in a traditional water heater. This tank can hold and pre-heat 30-50 gallons of water at a time. Because the water is pre-heated it will be ready when you go to use it. Once that hot water has been expended it will continue the pre-heating cycle.

Cold Shower MemePros

  • Easy Replacement.Traditional water heaters are the most common unit for residential areas. This makes replacement and repairs much easier for plumbers.
  • Cost of Installation. When installing a new unit, taking into account that your home is already set up with the correct plumbing needs is important. All homes are equipped with the necessary plumbing components for a traditional water heater installation. This will help save you money on upfront costs.
  • Increased Hot Water Flow. Hot water will flow more freely and not run cold from these kinds of units because the water has already been preheated. This works great if you are planning on washing laundry while your dishes wash.


  • Uses More Energy.These water heaters have a pre-set thermostat setting that your water heater will use to raise the temperature of your water. Since it pre-heats the water and is constantly keeping it at the pre-set temp it will expend more energy.
  • Short Lifespan.Tankless water heaters have longer life spans than traditional water heaters. Traditional heaters last about 10-15 years.
  • Takes Up More Space.Having a large water storage tank can make them inconvenient for small spaces. They will need to be in a larger, covered room such as a closet or a garage.

Tankless Water Heater

Tankless water heaters on the other hand do not have a water storage tank at all. That means that they don’t pre-heat the water prior to use. Instead, they have an “on-demand” system and only heat the water that you are actively using.


  • Energy Efficiency. These units do not pre-heat water so they are not constantly using energy making them very energy efficient. You can save 24%-34% more energy with these kinds of units.
  • Saves Money. Because these units are so energy efficient you can save a lot of money on your energy bill. This will help if you live in an area that has a high energy cost.
  • Prolonged Hot Water. Your water will remain hot for a longer period of time because it only heats the amount that you are actively using.
  • Saves Space. These units are much smaller than traditional water heaters because they do not have a bulky water storage tank attached to them. This is great if you are looking to maximize your space or have a smaller area to work with.



  • Initial Investment. Tankless water heaters do cost more than traditional water heaters. You can expect to pay between $500-$1,500 for the unit. Installation for these units is also a little more complex which may cost more for the installation. Even though the upfront cost seems high, due to the energy-saving feature your unit will pay for itself within 3 years.
  • Restricted Usage. You may notice that when running more than one appliance at a time your hot water will go in and out. This is due to the water being heated as you use it and the heater not having time to heat all of it. Only using one appliance at a time or installing a second unit can help avoid this problem.
  • Energy Dependent.Even if your home runs on gas or propane, electricity is required to heat the water in these units. This can cause an issue if you live in an area that frequently has power outages.

With all of the benefits and cons of traditional and tankless water heaters, you’re sure to pick the one that is best for your needs. Now that you’ve learned all of this you’ll have a much better idea of what you’re looking for when you begin shopping.

The Service Champions licensed plumbers can help you pick the right unit and install it without any problems. Give us a call today for a consultation!