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When it’s time to replace your water heater, there are two basic solutions – either a traditional tank water heater or a new high efficiency tankless model.
Tank water heaters are “always on” – operating all day, every day to keep stored hot water at the preset temperature until it’s needed. The amount of hot water they supply is limited by the capacity of the tank, usually 40 or 50 gallons for most homes.
Tankless water heaters operate “on demand” – heating water only when it’s needed, and then provide an endless supply of hot water at the designed flow rate.
|Tank Water Heater||Tankless Water Heater|
|How do they work?||Always on to keep stored water at the preset temperature.||Operates on demand to quickly bring water to the preset temperature for as long as it's needed.|
|How long do they last?||
|What happens when they fail?||All tank water heaters eventually leak. In 7 of 10 cases, the tank ruptures dumping 40 or more gallons of water onto the floor - then up to 15 gallons per minute until the water supply is shut off.||No tank to burst, so no flooding or damage to surroundings and no mess to clean up.|
|What's the difference in cost?||Cost less because of their less sophisticated design, shorter life expectancy and ability to be more easily replaced utilizing existing venting, gas, and plumbing connections.||Cost more because of a more powerful burner, computerized controls, longer life expectancy, and the need to reconfigure gas, plumbing and venting in a replacement situation.|