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Tankless vs Tank Water Heaters

Choosing between a tank and a tankless water heater is a crucial decision for homeowners. At JG Water Heaters, Filtration and Plumbing, we aim to simplify this choice by comparing these two popular options. Our technicians are also available to help you select the best fit for you and your home. 


Tank Water Heaters

How Does a Tank Water Heater Work?

A tank water heater operates by storing a large volume of water in an insulated tank, typically ranging from 20 to 80 gallons. Cold water enters the tank and a gas burner or electric heating element located at the bottom of the tank heats the water. A built-in thermostat monitors water temperature, turning the heater on and off to maintain the desired temperature. Hot water rises to the top and is drawn out when a tap in the home is opened.

Pros:

  • Initial Cost: Typically less expensive to purchase and install.
  • Simplicity: Easier to repair due to the straightforward technology.

Cons:

  • Higher Utility Bills: Tank water heaters are less efficient because they heat water continuously, regardless of if hot water is being used.
  • Leak Risks: Over time, tank water heaters can develop leaks, which may cause expensive damage to your home.
  • Limited Amount of Hot Water: The amount of hot water available at one time is limited by the tank size and may run short when high volume is being used (multiple showers, dishwasher, etc.)
  • Space Requirements: Bulkier, requiring more storage space.
  • Lifespan: Generally shorter lifespan compared to tankless models.

Traditional tank water heaters remain a popular choice due to their lower installation and maintenance costs.


Tankless Water Heaters

How Does a Tankless Water Heater Work?

A tankless water heater heats water directly without the use of a storage tank. When a hot water tap is turned on, cold water travels through a pipe into the tankless unit. A gas burner or an electric element heats the water instantly as it flows through the unit. The water heater provides a continuous supply of hot water, eliminating the need to wait for a storage tank to fill up. By heating water only when needed, tankless water heaters are more energy-efficient than traditional tank heaters.


Pros:

  • Continuous Supply of Hot Water: Tankless water heaters provide an endless supply of hot water, ideal for homes with multiple appliances and occupants which use hot water.
  • Energy Efficiency: Heats water on demand, reducing energy waste.
  • Compact Size: Smaller units free up space.
  • No Leak Risk: Because tankless water heaters do not store water, there is less risk of leaks and damage to your home. 
  • Longevity: Longer lifespan, often lasting over 20 years with proper maintenance.

Cons:

  • Initial Cost: Higher upfront cost for both the unit and installation.
  • Retrofitting Requirements: Switching from a tank to a tankless system may involve additional modifications and effort.
  • Flow Rate Limitations: If the tankless unit is too small for the home, it may struggle to supply multiple outlets simultaneously in high-demand scenarios.

Tankless water heaters are growing in popularity due to the increased efficiency and space saving features. 


How to Decide Between Tank and Tankless

When deciding between tank and tankless water heaters there are many things to consider, such as your household’s hot water usage, budget, and available space. For personalized advice and professional installation, contact JG Water Heaters, Filtration and Plumbing. Our experts are here to help you make the best choice for your home’s needs.

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