5 Reasons to Choose a Tankless Water Heater

Mention residential water heaters and a lot of people will think of traditional storage-type units that are mostly tank. A homeowner in need of water heater repair may not think of a tankless water heater unless their plumber suggests it. Yet tankless water heaters have been around for a long time.


As its name implies, a tankless water heater has no tank. It relies on a heat exchanger to produce hot water on demand. In theory, this means you get an endless supply of hot water without having to wait for a tank to fill up and the water to be heated. Of course, tankless water heaters are not perfect. They do have their disadvantages as well.


At Salt City Plumbing in Salt Lake City, Utah, water heater repair is on the menu. Both storage tank and tankless water heater repair are typical services. They say there are some advantages to choosing a tankless unit over a traditional storage tank unit. Here are just five of them:

1. Energy Savings


A tankless water heater eliminates the cost of constantly keeping water in a tank at the desired temperature. When you are not running hot water, you’re not spending money on energy to keep it hot. Based on U.S. Department of Energy numbers, Salt City Plumbing says households with minimal water needs can save as much as 34%. Households with heavier water needs may see savings closer to 18%.

2. Reduced Water Damage Risks


Choosing a tankless water heater usually translates into a lower risk of water damage to your home. Why? A tankless heater does not store water. So even if the unit fails to produce hot water, you are not likely to have a leak problem. Contrast that with a storage tank heater.


Storage tank heaters are at higher risk of leaking the older they get. Tanks can corrode from the inside, allowing water to leak for a long time before the homeowner notices it. And in the event of catastrophic failure, a homeowner’s basement or crawl space could be flooded. Those risks don’t exist with tankless water heaters.

3. Reduced Footprint


Storage tank water heaters take up quite a bit of floor space. By contrast, a tankless heater requires a very small footprint. Tankless heaters are almost always mounted to a wall. They are usually no bigger than a standard electrical panel. As such, you can install one in a very tight space.

4. Better for the Skin


Although this next point is debatable, there are some tankless water heater proponents who insist that the water from such heaters is better for the skin. They claim two underlying reasons for this. First, it is more difficult to burn yourself because a tankless heater doesn’t get water hot enough. Second, you are less likely to be exposed to water containing corrosive residue. Remember that storage tank heaters can corrode from the inside.

5. Longer Life Per Unit


Salt City Plumbing says a typical storage tank heater lasts anywhere from 10-15 years. The average is about 12 years. By contrast, a typical tankless water heater will continue producing hot water for 20 years or longer. If you live in the same home for 30 years, you might have to replace a tankless heater just once. On the other hand, you could go through two or three storage tank heaters in that same amount of time.


There are plenty of good reasons to choose a tankless water heater over a storage tank model. But tankless heaters are not perfect. They also have their disadvantages that need to be considered.

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