Tank vs Tankless Water Heater in Tampa

January 04, 2019

Many Tampa homeowners ask our plumbers, “Which is better, a tank or tankless water heater?”

Our answer? There’s not necessarily a clear-cut winner.

You see, both types of water heaters have their pros and cons. Choosing the right water heater for your home depends on factors like...

  • Your budget

  • The space you have available

  • The number of hot water appliances you run at once

  • Your hot water preferences

We’ll go into each of these considerations to help you decide if you should go with a tank water heater or tankless unit.

Want a recommendation for your home? Schedule an appointment to have one of our plumbers stop by and give you a recommendation based on your home and hot water preferences.

Factor #1: Your budget

In terms of upfront cost, tank water heaters are less expensive than tankless units:

And what about long term cost?

According to Energy.gov, tankless water heaters can be 24% to 34% more energy efficient than conventional storage tank water heaters (for homes that use under 41 gallons of hot water daily).

That said, it's unlikely these energy savings would eventually pay for the cost of a tankless unit. In fact, one study showed that to pay for itself, a tankless water heater would have to last for 21-78 years (and most tankless units last 15 to 20 years.)

The bottom line: Considering both short and long-term costs, a tank water heater is less expensive. 

Factor #2: The space you have available

Tankless water heaters are more compact than traditional tank water heaters, which means they can be installed in a closet, cabinet or even an outside wall to save space.

The bottom line: Don’t have room for a large tank? Go tankless.

Factor #3: The number of hot water appliances you run at once

If your family uses a lot of hot water at one time, you’re probably better off with a tank water heater.

For example, if you often run your dishwasher while taking a shower, a tankless unit will struggle to provide enough hot water to both plumbing fixtures.

Here’s why: Tankless water heaters heat water as you need it, which means they can only supply a fixed amount of hot water at any given time. When your hot water demand exceeds a tankless water heater’s flow rate (4 to 8 gallons per minute), you’ll notice a significant drop in water temperature.

On the other hand, tank water heaters use a storage tank (ranging from 30 to 80 gallons). A tank water can provide hot water up to the size of its tank, which means you can often use a few hot water appliances simultaneously.

The bottom line: If your family uses many hot water appliances at once, it’s best to stick with a traditional tank unit.

Factor #4: Your hot water preferences

One of the benefits of a tankless water heater is that it can deliver an endless amount of hot water immediately (within 15 seconds of turning the faucet on).

On the other hand, a traditional water heater can temporarily run out of hot water because it can only store so much water in its tank.

The bottom line: If instantaneous, never-ending hot water is important to you, a tankless unit is your best bet.

Still need help deciding which water heater to get? Contact a Tampa pro

One of our skilled plumbers will give you honest water heater recommendations based on the factors we listed above.

Visit our water heater installation page for more information about what to expect when you hire us to install your new water heater.


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