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Benefits of A Tankless Water Heater Over a Tank Water Heater

Tankless water heaters are an innovation in home water heating.

Quick Overview:

Energy Efficiency

  • Tankless water heaters can have the same output as a tank water heater while using less energy. That means less cost to homeowners.

Instant Hot Water

  • With recirculation, tankless water heaters can drastically reduce the amount of time you spend waiting at the faucet. That means time saved and less hot water wasted.

Takes Up Less Space

  • Because tankless water heaters are so small, you can pretty much put them anywhere in your house. Being closer to your faucets helps you save even more time and energy.

Longer Lifetime

  • With proper care, tankless water heaters last far longer than tank water heaters.

Less Risk Of Leaking

  • Because tankless water heaters don’t hold a constant supply of water, they’re less likely to leak.

You’ll Never Run Out Of Hot Water

  • Because the tankless water heater heats water as you need it, it’s always ready to meet demands, even for extended periods of use.

Less Maintenance

  • Tankless water heaters have longer-lasting parts and usually run into fewer issues over their lifetime than tank heaters.


Tankless water heaters are an innovation in home water heating. Instead of keeping a big storage tank full of water ready for use whenever, tankless water heaters heat water at the moment that you need it. In this article, we’ll go in depth into what the impact of that key difference is along with all the ways that you’ll benefit from it.

Energy Efficiency

Because tankless water heaters only heat water when you need it, they’re able to spend far less energy than traditional tank water heaters. Essentially, the energy spent by a tankless water heater is tailored exactly to how much hot water you actually use. That isn’t necessarily the case with a tank water heater.

Traditional water heaters keep water hot 24/7. Even when you don’t need hot water, say, for example, at 4 am when everyone is asleep. This excessive heating and energy use leads to higher energy costs and standby heat loss. Standby heat loss is what happens when your water heater needs to continually heat the water kept in its tank to keep it at the temperature you want. Tankless water heaters avoid all these issues by only heating as much water you need as you need it.

Instant Hot Water

Okay, this headline is a bit misleading. Your hot water might not be instant, but the time you spend waiting after you turn on the hot spigot will be drastically reduced. To get faster hot water at the faucet from your tankless water heater, you’ll need a recirculating unit. Fortunately for you, there are excellent water heater manufacturers, like Rinnai, who can get you a recirculating unit for your tankless water heater.

Recirculating units on your tankless water heater will stretch your energy usage even more. Recirculating units take all the hot water that traveled through the pipes unused and keeps it running through your house. The next time hot water is needed, it will use the water that’s already been heated so that you don’t have to wait. Less heating means your water heater can save energy. That means more savings on your energy bills. On top of that, you’ll save time standing at the faucet with cold water going down the drain. 

Takes up Less Space

While tank water heaters are so bulky that they are usually stored in a basement or some sort of utility room, tankless water heaters can pretty much fit wherever you want them to. The advantages offered here are that you can put them on the main floor of your house like in the laundry room or kitchen. Usually, your water heater has to pump enough hot water to get through your pipes and to your faucet. That means excess hot water will end up just sitting in your pipes. If your tankless water heater is close to your point of use, then the water coming from it has less distance to travel in your pipes. Being closer to your points of use can help you save time waiting, save water, and save energy.

Longer Lifetime

Tankless water heaters are easier to repair and last far longer than tank water heaters do. Traditional water heater tanks are under constant threat of corrosion and leaking because they always store hot water in them. It may not seem like it, but hot water is highly corrosive to your water heater tank. Water heater tanks have several layers of protection in them, and they’re all built to corrode as slowly as possible. The anode rod in a water heater tank needs to be replaced every once in a while because it is built to attract the corrosive parts of the hot water. For this reason, these anode rods are sometimes called “sacrificial rods”.

Tankless units, on the other hand, avoid this problem. They’re able to keep all the water within the pipes. As you might have guessed, they don’t have any tanks at all. They heat and distribute the water all through the pipes running through the small unit. For this reason, tankless water heaters will last on average more than twice as long as tank water heaters. That means you can expect 10-15 years of life from your tankless water heater. That, combined with the monthly savings you’ll get, offsets the upfront cost and makes tankless water heaters a financially sound investment.

Less Risk From Leaks

Naturally, because tankless units...don’t have a tank, they’re at far less risk from leaks. We get hundreds of calls from people who find out they need a new water heater because the tank of their water heater has sprung a leak. Usually, this leak comes from the bottom of the tank. The only place water is coming from is a hole or crack in the tank, and because it doesn’t make sense to replace just the tank, you’ll end up replacing the whole water heater. 

Tankless water heaters don’t run into tank leaks. They can’t. Pipes are the only things that hold water for tankless water heaters. When it comes to water heating, pipes are much more durable and long-lasting than a typical water heater tank, so you won’t have to worry about leaks when it comes to your tankless water heater.

You’ll never run out of hot water

Hot water from a tank water heater comes from the ready storage of water that it always keeps hot. However, the amount of hot water that you’ll have on hand at any given moment is limited to how much water your tank can hold. Now, you might have anywhere from a 20-gallon tank to a 50-gallon tank. Fact is, no matter how big your tank water heater is, you’re still dealing with a finite amount of hot water.

With tankless water heaters, your water is heated as you need it, whenever you need it. Because of this, you can never “run out” of hot water. Even if someone in your house takes a 45-minute long shower, there will still be enough hot water for anyone who showers after them. That means you’ll never have to worry about anyone running out of hot water if everyone is taking showers one after the other. I’m not sure about you, but I know I’ve been on the receiving end of my shower turning into a brisk surprise.

Less Maintenance

As mentioned earlier, tank water heaters are built with corrosion in mind. That means that their failure is essentially inevitable. It’s only a question of how long until the tank gives out. The first thing to go with any tank water heater will be the anode rod or “sacrificial rod”. Once this rod is spent, it will need to be replaced ASAP, or else the corrosion of your tank will rapidly accelerate, and you’ll end up walking downstairs to your new indoor pool one morning.

Tankless water heaters break less frequently and, overall, require far less maintenance than a tank water heater. In general, the pieces that make up a tankless water heater are more reliable and less likely to cause issues than tank water heaters.


In summary, if you can afford the upfront cost of a tankless water heater, you’ll be in for a treat. Energy savings, time savings, and the novelty of instant hot water are only a few of the benefits you’ll enjoy while you own one. Tank water heaters are by no means ineffective or not worth your money, but we’re just passionate about water heaters and getting you the best possible experience in your home.

If you’re in Minnesota and want to find out if a tankless water heater is right for you, please don’t hesitate to give us a call.

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