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Differences Between Traditional and Tankless Water Heaters

Do you know the difference between traditional and tankless water heaters?

Is your water heater ready for an update?

Not sure which water heater is right for you?

Water heaters are more important than most of us realize. A warm shower or relaxing hot bath can change your mood if you’ve had a stressful day at work. Without a water heater, those experiences would not be the same.

As with any other appliance in your home, your water heater will eventually need to be replaced. Or, if you’re building a house, you’ll need to choose which type of water heater is best. There are two types: traditional (tank storage) and tankless. Below is a summary of differences between the two types to make your decision easier.

Traditional (Tank Storage) Water Heaters

Traditional (tank storage) water heaters are the most common type of home water heater in North America. These heaters have an insulated storage tank that can contain 20 to 80 gallons of water. The water is heated inside the tank, then transferred through your plumbing to your faucets. These heaters are powered by natural gas, propane, or electricity. Natural gas models typically use 50% less power than those of the electric variety. Although the initial price can be more expensive for a natural gas model, they are less expensive to use in the long term. Most will still work in the case of a power outage.

Tankless Water Heaters

Tankless water heaters, commonly known as “on-demand” water heaters, use high-powered burners, either gas or electric, to heat water almost instantly and send it to your faucets and showers. These heaters take up less space than tank storage heaters and are typically more energy efficient. They can serve many fixtures at one time, depending on:

-          Rating for gallons per minute

-          Average ground water temperature coming in

Prices varies widely depending on the conditions of installation.


Washtenaw Plumbing and Heating provides water heater installation, repair, and service for both types in the Ann Arbor area and around Washtenaw County. We also offer 24 hour and emergency plumbing, services for drain/toilet/sink clogs, toilet installation, and garbage disposal installation. Give us a call at 734-222-3620!

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