Tank VS. Tankless Water Heater: The Pros & Cons of Each!

It’s a question more and more people are asking these days…

Should I change to a tankless water heater?

There are endless opinions, and no clear cut answer to this question, but if you ask me, and I in turn ask Byron (since he IS the plumbing mastermind), the response would be something like this!

There isn’t a clear cut answer to this question. It depends on each person and situation and what they are looking for.

Here are the main reasons to switch to a tankless water heater.

  1. You want to have an endless supply of hot water. Tankless water heaters are designed to flash heat only the water you use whether that is a minute, or 8 hours of run time. With this system you never run out of hot water.
  2. You want extra space. A tankless water heater is a lot smaller than a conventional tank style water heater. It is a small box mounted to the wall, and can go inside or outside. So when space is a big issue, tankless is the way to go.

Note: In theory you can save money on electric or gas because you only heat the water you use and not the entire tank. I say you save in theory because what we have found is that sometimes when people know they will not run out of hot water they are more likely to take longer showers. So while you have potential to save some money, we do not recommend making the change solely to save money.

Reasons to stay with a conventional tank style water heater.

  1. It is the quickest and cheapest to replace in almost all situations. If saving money up front is the most important factor, this will be the choice for you
  2. It uses standard parts that mostly every plumber carries on the truck. Unlike a tankless style water heater which has a ton of different parts, and each manufacturer has their own unique parts, the tank style water heater uses much more standard and immediately available parts. This means you can usually fix it quicker and cheaper.
  3. For well water that is not treated, a tank style is the best choice. Water quality coming from the ground in the Sarasota and Bradenton area is very hard on all the plumbing, and the tank style is more forgiving in that arena. However, it is always best to treat the water properly for either unit as it will extend the life of the unit.

Bang for your Buck 

Transitioning from one style to the other incurs additional cost that is not present when simply replacing one unit for another like it. Many people choose to stay with the style they already have, unless one of the above reasons makes it a sensible decision to change.

Byron’s Opinion

In short, my recommendation is that if you want space or unlimited hot water, the tankless water heater is the way to go. Just be prepared that the transition costs moving from tank style will be more money than a standard tank. If you want the cheapest upfront installation, or you are on untreated well water, the tank style is the way to go.

Overall….

If you have an electric water heater and want to save on electricity you will have far more savings by installing a hybrid water heater. This is a tank style water heater, but it utilizes a heat pump that takes the heat out of the air around it and uses it to heat the water. This is a far more efficient way to heat water, and is perfect for a lot of garage installations. This is the only water heater that will actually pay for itself over its expected lifespan (10 years).

Hopefully this is a big help to you all! Byron is about as honest and considerate as they come (in my humble, wifely opinion) and a great plumber to boot! So if you need someone to come install a tankless, or just the basic go-to water heater, give us a call or text!

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