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Tank Storage vs. Tankless Hot Water Heaters: Which One Is Right for My Home?

installing a water heater

The debate over tank storage water heaters (also known as storage tank water heaters) and tankless water heaters rages on. Homeowners looking to heat water in their homes are always looking for the best bang for their buck, and these two are the best options on the market. Both types of water heaters provide hot water on demand, but as many homeowners know, incremental differences add up in many ways. Fortunately, this guide to tank storage and tankless water heaters will provide all the information you need to choose the right appliance.

What Is a Tank Storage Water Heater?

Tank storage water heaters are the traditional option found in most homes today and operate by heating and storing water in a large tank. From this tank comes a pipe that emerges and sends hot water to each part of the home. Hot water is released from the top, and cold water is filled and heated at the bottom, which keeps the tank from running out of water. These water heaters hold anywhere from 20-80 gallons of water and are fueled by whatever source you use for your home — electricity, propane, oil, or gas. 

What Is a Tankless Hot Water Heater?

Tankless water heaters are on-demand water heaters that provide hot water when needed to prevent overuse and save on utility bills. These heaters are usually powered by electricity or gas and process water through a heat exchanger at about 2-5 gallons per minute.

Benefits of Tank Storage Water Heaters

So how exactly can tank storage water hearts benefit you? Tank storage heaters are the most common for a reason, as they are a reliable and well-known option for homeowners and installers alike. With their lower initial installation costs and ease of installation, you can be assured of a product that won’t damage your wallet and won’t be difficult to care for.

Ease of Installation

The installation process for tank storage water heaters is very easy, which is extremely convenient for homeowners looking for a same-day solution. You won’t have to suffer through a few days without water, so rest assured that once you contact emergency water heater repair, you’ll only be a few hours away from hot water once more.

Low Initial Cost

The lower initial cost of your gas or electric tank storage water heater won’t leave a major dent in your wallet. These appliances are extremely common, and thus the initial costs are much lower than they would be for other options. The installation process is also relatively cheap. Some homeowners even choose to DIY install their water tank, and while it’s not recommended, it’s still an option that can save on installation costs.

Lower Maintenance Costs

With tank storage heaters, maintenance costs are also very low, and you won’t have to worry about doing much upkeep. The most you’ll have to hassle over is occasionally flushing mineral sediment from the heater. As an added benefit, they can provide hot water in your home during power outages (barring a lengthy outage).

Benefits of Tankless Hot Water Heaters

Tankless water heaters are the new kid on the block, and for good reason. Their primary benefit is their energy efficiency which leads to low energy costs and high satisfaction. With a low risk for early replacement and a lengthy life expectancy, tankless water heater installation in Vancouver has never looked like a better deal for area homeowners.


The biggest benefit you can see from a tankless water heater is its efficiency. According to the US Department of Energy, tankless water heaters can operate as much as 50% more efficiently than storage tank heaters. You can also install tankless heaters directly on your appliance (point-of-use tankless heaters) to help you maximize your savings.

Life Expectancy

Tankless water heaters can last about 20 years and last even longer with adequate care. This means you’ll benefit from increased efficiency for a much longer timeframe than other water heaters. Tank storage heaters last about 10 to 15 years, so you can effectively double your water heaters lifespan by turning to a tankless option. 

Space Saver

If your home is crowded, a tankless water heater might be your best bet. These models are slimmed down and can be mounted on walls or other places in the basement that aren’t noticeable. In addition, point-of-use water heaters provide even more space, as they are only concentrated around the appliance they are used for. 

Install the Water Heater Your Home Deserves 

There’s nothing worse than a faulty installation, and no matter what water heater you choose, getting yours installed with Pilot Plumbing & Drain ensures that your water heater can provide you with all the pros and none of the cons. Reach out to us today for a water heater installation in Vancouver, WA, and the surrounding areas to ensure you find the right water heater for your home.

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