Perhaps the most important appliance in your home is the water heater. Whether you’re taking a shower, washing your dishes, doing a load of laundry, or preparing dinner, you need your water heater. It not only helps keep your household running, it keeps your family comfortable and safe. When it comes to updating the water heater, we often hear homeowners asking the same question, “should I choose a tank or tankless water heater?” To be honest, each one has individual pros and cons and it all depends on your household. Therefore, we’re sharing the difference between a tank and tankless water heater so you’re able to make the best decision for you and your family.
The Two Types of Water Heaters
At Service Champions, we offer two types of water heaters. The traditional tank style, and tankless. Both types have their pros and cons, it all depends on your household size, square footage, and budget. While both do the same job, there are big differences between the tank and tankless water heater.
- Traditional Tank-Type – Chances are the water heater you have in your home is a traditional tank type. The tank type water heater stores water until you need it. These water heaters are fueled by electricity or gas. Traditionally, gas powered water heaters are more expensive to purchase, but cost less to operate. Electric water heaters are more efficient but can cost more to operate. The decision between the two should boil down to what power type is already in your home.
- Tankless – As the name implies, tankless water heaters do not have a tank. They heat water only when you open a warm water tap. For example, when someone opens a warm water tap, cool water will travel from the outside water supply into the water heater. The tankless appliance warms water as it travels through the system, negating the need for a tank. Just like the traditional tank type water heater, the tankless has both gas and electric versions, it all depends on which one works better in your home.
How Does a Traditional Tank Water Heater Work?
As the name implies, a tank type water heater keeps warm water on hand until needed, only refilling the tank when you run out of warm water. The warm water stays in the tank until a person opens the warm water tap. After the tank is empty, it refills through the dip tube. A dip tube is a long tube that spans the length of the tank. It works on the principle that heat rises. It draws water from a cool, outdoor source and deposits that water to the bottom of the tank. There are burners at the bottom of the tank that will heat the water and then that heated water will rise to the top where it stays until someone in the home needs it.
Pros and Cons of a Traditional Tank Type Water Heater
The traditional tank type water heater is made to store gallons of water at a time. Meaning when you turn on the hot water, you can expect a reasonable amount. For smaller households, this is the best option. The chances that you’ll run out of hot water in a short amount of time are very low. An advantage to the tank water heater is that upkeep and maintenance costs are relatively low. Also, a new tank style water heater will not be a large investment. On the flipside, traditional tank style water heaters do not last as long as tankless water heaters, meaning you’ll have to replace it every 10 to 15 years. Additionally, the upfront costs are lower, but over time a traditional tank water heater can cost more to operate.
How Does a Tankless Water Heater Work?
Tankless water heaters live up to their name. They heat water without an existing supply, so this excludes the use of a tank. As mentioned above, the tankless water heater does not hold or supply water until someone in the home opens a warm water tap. Once warm water is requested, the tankless pulls naturally cool water from an outside supply. The cool water is heated as is passes through the tank, ensuring your home never runs out of warm water.
Pros and Cons of a Tankless Water Heater
One of the biggest pros of the tankless water heater is that it never runs out of hot water. It is also small, so it’ll fit almost anywhere in the home. (you can talk about how compared to the tank water heater usually takes up a full closet, and how they can make good use of that extra storage room) If you have a large family, a tankless is the best option because it means no one will be left in the cold if everyone showers in the morning. The biggest issue with a tankless water heater is the upfront cost. It can be very expensive for the right one that will heat a large home. Another drawback is that some homes may need to reroute a gas line to ensure the appliance works. This could mean extra installation work is needed for your home. When it comes down to decision time, you can ask our plumbing specialist which one is best for your home.
No Matter Your Need, Service Champions is Here for You
Now that you know the difference between a traditional tank and a tankless water heater, are you ready to upgrade your current setup? If the answer is yes, then give us a call! If you just want to learn more, we’re here to help. Service Champions is the only Diamond Certified plumbing and HVAC company serving Southern California. Again, not sure about the plumbing part. Our expert technicians are ready to handle any water heater problem you may have. Simply call the number at the bottom of the screen or click here to book an appointment online.