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Major Differences Between Tank and Tankless Water Heaters

A Water Heater
When your existing water heater cracks, stops heating water, or stops functioning, it is time to invest in a new one. As you look to do so, one of the biggest decisions you will face is whether to purchase a traditional tank water heater or whether to go with a newer, more modern tankless water heater. 

Both tank and tankless water heaters can provide your home with hot water. But some major differences exist between them. Taking the time to learn about these differences and how each option functions will help you decide which option may be a better fit for your new water heater. Learn about some of the major differences between tank and tankless water heaters. 

The Overall Design of the Water Heater

The first major difference between tank and tankless water heaters is their overall design and how they function. 

A traditional tank water heater is a large tank that fills with water. As it fills up, a heating element heats up the water. When you turn on hot water in your home, the plumbing system pulls the hot water from the tank. 

A tankless water heater is a device that attaches to the incoming water pipes in your home. When you turn on hot water in your home, this device heats up the pipe, which in turn, heats up the water that passes through it, supplying you with the hot water you need. 

The Energy Efficiency of the Water Heater

The second major difference between tank and tankless water heaters is their energy efficiency. Tank water heaters are not energy efficient. The water that sits in the tank has to be ready to be used at any given second. As such, when you are away at work or on a weekend getaway, the tank may reheat the water — which you aren’t using — multiple times. This can be a waste of energy. 

Tankless water heaters are far more energy efficient. They only heat water when you need them to. In fact, they can be anywhere from 8 to 50 percent more energy efficient than traditional water heaters, saving you money on your energy bills. 

How Much Water the Heater Can Supply

The third key difference between tank and tankless water heaters is how much hot water they can supply your home at any given time. 

The amount of hot water that a tank hot water heater can supply your home with at one time depends on the size of the tank. For example, if you have a 25-gallon hot water heater, the hot water heater can only supply you with 25 gallons of hot water. After that water runs out, the tank has to refill and heat the water. Until that happens, you may have cold water flowing through your lines. 

On the flip side, a tankless hot water heater can supply you with as much hot water as you need at once, within reason. It is important to note that it does take a little bit of time to heat the water as it travels through the pipes, so you may not be able to run a dishwasher and a washing machine and have two people taking showers all at the same time. But you can easily do all of this back to back to back, which is something you may not be able to do with a tank water heater.  

Deciding between a tank and a tankless water heater is a big decision. If you have any additional questions or would like to learn more about the costs and installation processes involved in tank and tankless hot water heaters, contact Art Douglas Plumbing Inc. We can help you with all of your water heater needs, including maintenance, repairs, and installation of new units. Contact us today to schedule your appointment.

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Art Douglas Plumbing Inc.
5855 E Clinton Ave.
Fresno, CA 93727

Fresno/Clovis: 559-291-7230
Madera: 559-661-1060
Toll Free: 866-411-6200

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