Tank vs Tankless Water Heater – Which Is Better For You.

In this article, we’ll compare the cost, efficiency, flow rate, and other important aspects of the tank and tankless water heaters. In addition, we’ll show you the actual advantages and disadvantages of each type of system.

Without further wasting your time let’s dive in to explore the real facts about the tank vs tankless water heater;

General Overview of A Atorage Tank Water Weater

A storage water heater is used to heat water for your household appliances like washing machines, showers, and things of that nature. This type of system usually holds anywhere from 10 gallons – 80 gallons (38 liters – 300 liters) depending on the heating power requirement.

General Overview of A Atorage Tankless Water Weater

This type of system is used to heat water as it flows through the unit, providing an endless supply of hot water. This system makes use of a heat exchanger which transfers heat from the exhaust gases to the incoming cold water through conduction, convection, and/or radiation heating.

Quick Comparision

AspectsTankless water heaterTank Water Heater
Initial Cost MoreLess
Flow Rate HighLow
Energy Efficiency HighLow
Maintenance EasyNot Easy
Temperature Adjustment YesFixed Temperature
Ongoing CostLowHigh
Environmental Impacts Low High
Size And PortabilityCompact and portableBulky
Installation DifficultEasy
Longevity or Life Cycle HighMedium

Tank vs Tankless Water Heater ( Detailed Comparision)

Initial Cost ( Purchase, Installation):

The average price of a tankless water heater is around $400, whereas a storage tank model averages around $300. however, the installation cost of a tankless water heater is about $300 and the storage tank heater is $200.

Though The initial cost is higher for a tankless system. It can be of the order of twice as much as a storage water heater. However, if you have a large family or use a lot of hot water, this will prove to be cheaper in the long run.

Flow Rate Hot Water Usage:

The Tankless water heater means to provide endless hot water for your household appliances. This means the heater has to produce about 3 – 6 or more GPM of water just to be able to supply all the hot water demands throughout the house. Storage tank models are only capable of providing 1.5-2 gallons/minute at their peak time. However they can store hot water for a long time, but it is not that convenient for the user who wants to get hot water instantly.

Energy Efficiency:

As per our experiments, we have found that the tankless water heater saves more energy because it keeps the temperature low and doesn’t allow the water to get too hot. So basically it takes less energy to produce exactly what you need.

A storage water heater however heats the water to a set temperature. So energy is wasted if the incoming cold water happens to be not hot enough. Though a tank water heater contentiously heats up the water but you can save energy by storing the hot water.


There is very little maintenance required for a tankless system. They only need to be reset or flush from time to time when the power goes out and they have to be refilled with water.

A storage tank model however needs cleaning every once in a while. In addition, you’ll have to replace the anode rod every 2-3 years (depending on the hardness of water), replace the drain valve once in a while, factor in sediment build-up inside the tank.

The bottom line is tankless require less maintenance as compared to the storage-tank water heater.

Here is the guide to maintain your tankless water heater

Temperature Adjustment:

As you know a storage-tank water heater heats the water to a set temperature. This means that if you set the temperature at 120 degrees Fahrenheit, this will be the hottest it will ever get inside your shower no matter how long you keep it on.

On The other hand, a tankless system gives whatever temperature is selected at any time as the water is always hot inside the pipe.

So basically, the tankless model gives more control over the temperature of your shower while giving you an endless supply of hot water while a Storage Tank Water Heater limits you to one temperature.

Ongoing Cost:

Since the tankless water heater utilizes energy according to the need and tank water heater constantly heat the water at the set temperature. The tankless system is proved to be more energy-efficient. This means that it will cost less in electricity or gas to heat up your water. However, on average, tankless models are said to cost about $0.10-$0.20/gallon while storage models can vary anywhere from $0.03/gallon to $0.07/gallon depending on the type of water heater you install.

On the other hand, a tankless requires less maintenance as compared to the storage-tank water heater. The only thing you have to take into account are filters, your water softener or anode rod replacement, and general flushing out of sediment build-up.

Environmental Impacts:

As the tankless water heater has the potential to save more energy than a storage model. This is because it takes less energy to heat up the water that you need. This lower consumption could result in CO2 emissions reductions of about 1-2 tons per year, depending on local conditions.

In Comparison, a storage water heater gives the same temperature every time. This means that if the temperature is set to 120 degrees Fahrenheit, it will maintain this set point regardless of whether you are running a load of laundry or taking a shower.

As per our calculations, A tankless water heater emits fewer emissions than a tank water heater.

Size And Portability:

A tankless unite take less space than a storage water heater Because it’s designed for smaller-capacity systems, you could even install one in your basement or garage if that’s the only hot water outlet available.


According to our Plumbers, a tankless water heater installation isn’t simple. It consists of multiple parts that must be sized correctly. You’ll need a heat exchanger, an expansion tank, and some type of venting system. These systems aren’t very complicated but they are best handled by pros when it comes to installation.

A storage water heater needs nothing but is hooked up to your existing plumbing with ease. It also doesn’t need to be vented. But it will take some room in your garage or basement.

In addition, a tankless water heater requires an electrical outlet near the unit to power its heating element. A storage water heater doesn’t need any additional wiring as it plugs directly into a standard 120-volt outlet.

Longevity or Life Cycle:

A tankless water heater is said to last up to 20 years. And the average life cycle of a storage unit takes place after 10 years while costs more than $1,000 to replace.

As per our experience, we have found lots of equipment failures in tank water heater as compared tankless.


In certain cases, you’ll have warranties from the manufacturer regarding its parts and also a minimal warranty from your installer for plumbing and electrical work. Usually, manufacturers give an eight to 12 years warranty on both tankless and tank water heaters depending on product type.

Which is More Safe:

As a tankless water heater doesn’t have a tank there is zero risk of explosion caused by overheating.

However, in a tank water heater if the temperature of hot water being supplied to the appliance overheats it can overheat and cause an explosion.

Though the tank water heater has safety valves and other safety features, still it is not as safe as tankless units.

Advantages And Disadvantages Of A Tankless Water Heater

  • A tankless water heater can deliver endless hot water as compared to a traditional temperature-controlled storage tank.
  • Require less maintenance and ongoing cost
  • Emit less Harmful gases
  • Better temperature control.
  • Easy Operations.
  • Compact and portable, can carry even at camping.
  • Blend with interiors d├ęcor perfectly.
  • Fewer risks of leakage.
  • Longer warranties
  • It’s expensive to buy.
  • Require electrical connection.
  • Can’t store hot water for later use like in the case of a tank water heater.

Advantages Disadvantages Of A Tank or Water Heater

  • It’s cheaper and affordable for everyone.
  • Can store hot water and use it whenever you want like in the case of a cold shower.
  • Not Expensive.
  • Easy to Install.
  • Longer warranties
  • It’s not so effective as compared to a tankless water heater.
  • Bulky as it has storage.
  • Less efficient.
  • Not provide instant endless hot water

Which one Should I choose?

It all depends upon your needs and usage, if you want to go for low maintenance then a tankless water heater is perfect for you.

As per our experience in the field of plumbing, it’s much better to choose tankless over Tank Water heaters as there are many problems when it comes to tank water heaters like leakage, corrosion, etc. So Always prefer good brands products when buying.

Check out our guide about leakage problems in tankless water heaters and how to mitigate them.

On the other hand, you are single and can store hot water for a long time for later use, then a tank water heater is the best option. And in the case of small families living in apartments where all are shower lovers and need lots of hot water at times tankless water heaters provide endless hot water so it’s good to go with tankless models.


Though we have provided a detailed image of a tank vs tankless water heater still if you are confused go for a tankless water heater, it is a better choice than a storage unit for most households. It gives the same temperature every time and saves energy too. You will spend less on electricity or gas bills and it has lower emissions as compared to a storage water heater. However, if you like to keep your hot water at one temperature, then a storage water heater is the best choice for you.

Thanks For Reading! If you have any queries or want to share your

About Fareed Nawaz

Aqua macho was started by Fareed, a renewable energy and clean environment geek who completed his degree in energy and environment in 2017. He has worked in EPA, water heater installation, and water treatment companies for 2 years before starting this website.

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