Advantages and Disadvantages of a Tankless Water Heater

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Innovations in water heaters have made it possible for homeowners with limited space or access to water save on both with a tankless water heater. Tankless water heaters only heat and draw on water when necessary, eliminating the need for a bulky water storage tank. Consider the following when deciding whether or not your home should have the traditional tank water heater or the newer tankless water heater.

How a Tankless Water Heater Works

It is important to understand how a tankless water heater works and its advantages and disadvantages. When an individual turns on the hot water tap, this signals the tankless water heater to start heating.

Cold water is drawn through a pipe into the tankless water heater, where it is warmed up by either an electrical component or a gas burner. Typically, a tankless water heater will provide you with 2-5 gallons of hot water per minute. (Note: this rate of hot water per minute may be higher on gas models.)

What Is the Catch?

Water heaters have a lot of advantages, but they also have their setbacks. The team at Roto-Rooter Plumbing & Drain will help you make the best decision for your family. Here are some of the advantages and disadvantages of a tankless water heater:


Compact in size, tankless water heaters are perfect for smaller homes. A bulky water storage tank takes up much-needed floor space, but a tankless water heater only uses a small amount of room.

Cuts down on water waste. Water waste can result in higher water bills. Every time you use a traditional tanked water heater, it has to refill and reheat its reserves, wasting both water and energy. With a tankless water heater, only the water being used is heated, and it stops as soon as you turn off the water. This helps save money on water bills and also helps protect the environment’s most essential resource.

Nearly infinite hot water can be expected from a tankless hot water heater. Unlike a traditional hot water heater that draws on hot water in the storage tank, a tankless uses the water that is already headed to your appliance or shower. When the traditional water heater’s storage tank runs out, it has to refill and reheat more hot water. However, a tankless water heater will continue heating the water, as long as it is in the tankless water heaters capacity.

Longer life expectancy can be expected from a tankless hot water heater. Their life expectancy of about 20 years compares to the 10-15 years of a traditional water heater.

Disadvantages of a Tankless Water Heater

It doesn’t support multiple tasks using hot water. This is one of the biggest complaints about a tankless water heater. Since it is using a heating rate of 2-5 gallons per minute, it may not be strong enough to support both laundry and a shower. In this case, it is important to plan out when you need to use your hot water. This can put time constraints or be an inconvenience to some families. s

Fluctuating warm temperatures may be an issue for some tankless water heaters. Different flow rates may cause the heat of the water to suddenly shift uncomfortably. This problem, however, can be solved by investing in an upgraded tankless water heater with modulating temperature control.

Electric tankless water heaters require a high electric power draw which may not be supported by all households. It may be necessary for a homeowner to upgrade their electric service to accommodate a tankless water heater, which may not be an option for all homeowners.

Tankless water heaters must vent outdoors. Due to an increased amount of steam, and smoke from the gas burner on a gas unit, you will want to ensure that your tankless water heater vents outside using either a direct vent or a conventional exhaust flue. This may make some homeowners uncomfortable.

Water Heater Experts

Regardless of whether you want to invest in a tankless water heater or use a traditional one, our team of expert plumbers at Roto-Rooter Plumbing & Drain can help! From installation, repairs, or replacement services, our team can handle it all! We are happy to answer any questions you may have and help you find the perfect solution for your home so that you can have hot water when you need it! Contact our team today for more information or an estimate.