A water heater is the most common household appliance found in almost all homes today. But, did you know that there are two types of water heaters that you can choose from? The distinct types are tank and tankless. Understanding the difference between the two types of water heaters can greatly impact your utility bills and home.

Hot water tank vs hot water heater

Tank Water Heater: A tank water heater is the traditional water heater you see hooked up on the wall in a kitchen and bathroom.

Tankless Water Heater: A tankless water heater is a relatively newer appliance that instantly heats the water. It only heats the water up when you turn the faucet on.


Tank Water Heater

A tank water heater either uses electricity or gas. The tank fills with water that can be around 30-50 gallons and heats to the set temperature. When you use this water, it sends it to the desired destination and refills it with cold water that mixes with the existing one. In this case, when you take a longer shower, the tank may deplete and refill, but the water will no longer be warm.

Tankless Water Heater

A tankless heater works similarly, but the tank does not hold the water. Instead, it heats water only when required. This water heater maintains the water temperature for as long as you shower or use the water. The benefit is you will never run out of hot water. This is one of the major selling points of this water heater. Thus, there are many reasons tankless water heaters are becoming very popular in new constructions.


Tank Water Heater

A tank water heater costs less than $1,000, making it ideal for people who don’t have a big budget. The disadvantage is if you have an existing tank heater, the cost of changing it to a tankless one will be more. For tank heaters, there is a constant heat source regardless of whether it is in use. This means that the flame is heating 24-7.

Tankless Water Heater

A tankless water heater is comparatively more expensive and comes at the cost of $2,000 to $5,000 depending on the type you want and the installation costs. A tankless model only heats when in use. There is no need for constant heat flow, which also means lower utility bills. While the purchasing costs of a tankless water heater is more, it makes up for it overtime in energy savings.


Tank Water Heater

A tank water heater may last for about 10 to 15 years. They are made of metal, and thus, over time, leaks can be noticeable because of the rusting of the metal. The life of a tank water heater is shorter than a tankless one. Since a tank heater works 24-7, it takes a lot of stress and has a shorter life. 

Tankless Water Heaters

Tankless water heaters usually last longer when compared to tank water heaters. They may last for more than 20 or 25 years. Tankless water heaters do not have any metal rusting issue as tanks are not present in these. The heating element is also only used when in use.


Tank Water Heater

A tank water heater takes a lot of space as they have a 50-gallon water tank. The tank is also very heavy, making it difficult to move around when required.

Tankless Water Heater

A tankless water heater comparatively takes very little space. You can place it conveniently in your basement.

Choose What Suits You The Best

Whether it is a tank or a tankless water heater, eventually, it is a decision you have to make depending on your situation, requirements, budget and utility. Hot water tank vs hot water heater is an individual choice. If hot water is not something you use a lot on a daily basis, then a cheap tank heater can be a good investment. But if there is a huge usage of hot water in your home and you plan on living in the same place for a longer duration, then go for a tankless one.

To know more about a tank and tankless water heaters or if you have other plumbing concerns, contact us at Capital Plumbing today.