Although much has been said about the efficiency and other advantages of tankless units, water heaters with tanks still offer certain benefits. They represent the best choice for homeowners who prefer to avoid a large initial expense, want to minimize maintenance or use comparatively small amounts of hot water.
A heater with a tank generally costs far less to purchase and install. The equipment price usually ranges from $550 to $750. The installation expense starts at about $600; some people spend up to $200 more. On the other hand, you'll probably pay around $1,400 to $3,000 to buy and install a tank-free model.
Conventional water heaters may last for many years with little maintenance. Tankless units normally need to be serviced annually, especially if you have hard water. To avoid frequent repairs, a technician may have to spend about two hours maintaining the equipment each year.
A tankless heater consumes less power than a unit with a tank. However, tank models spread their energy consumption over longer periods of time. You may need to upgrade your electrical panel, outlet or wiring to keep up with the demands of a tankless unit. This also makes it harder to use a generator.
Likewise, tankless models consume gas more rapidly. The equipment does this because it needs to heat water instantly rather than gradually warming it up in a container. Consequently, you might have to upgrade the gas line to a larger size when you switch to a tankless heater.
Basically, units with tanks don't use energy as efficiently but they're less expensive to buy, install and maintain. You probably won't have to upgrade your gas or electrical lines. If you're interested in purchasing a new water heater, please contact The Polite Plumber for a quote or additional information about this equipment.