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Upgrading to a Tankless Water Heater: What You Need to Know

Tankless water heaters, also known as on-demand or instantaneous water heaters, have gained popularity recently due to their energy efficiency, compact size, and endless hot water supply. Unlike traditional storage tank water heaters, which constantly heat and store water until it’s needed, tankless water heaters only heat water as it’s being used. 

This innovative technology can save you money on your energy bills and provide an endless hot water supply, but there are some crucial factors to consider before making the switch. In this blog post, we will discuss some of the key things you should know about tankless water heaters to help you decide if they are the right choice for your home.

How Tankless Water Heaters Work

Unlike traditional water heaters, which store and continuously heat a large tank of water, tankless water heaters heat water on demand as it flows through the unit. When a hot water tap is turned on, cold water travels through a pipe into the tankless water heater. A gas burner or an electric element heats the water as it passes through, providing a continuous hot water supply.

Advantages of Tankless Water Heaters

1. Energy Efficiency

One of the main advantages of tankless water heaters is their energy efficiency. According to the US Department of Energy, the households that use 41 gallons or less of hot water daily, tankless water heaters can be 24% to 34% more energy efficient than conventional storage tank water heaters. 

For homes with a lot of hot water, around 86 gallons per day, tankless water heaters can still be 8% to 14% more energy efficient. It’s because these heaters only heat water when it’s needed, eliminating the energy loss associated with constantly heating and reheating a large tank of water. This saves you money on your energy bills and reduces your carbon footprint.

2. Endless Supply of Hot Water

A major advantage of on-demand water heaters is their ability to provide a limitless supply. Since the water is heated as it flows through the unit, there is no waiting for a storage tank to refill and reheat. This means that multiple showers, loads of laundry, and other hot water demands can be met without running out of hot water.

In contrast, traditional storage tank water heaters can run out of hot water after multiple uses, such as taking consecutive showers or running the washing machine and dishwasher simultaneously. 

3. Space Savings

Tankless water heaters are much smaller than traditional storage tank water heaters, making them an excellent choice for homes with limited space. They can be mounted on a wall, either indoors or outdoors, and do not require a large storage tank. This can free up valuable floor space in your home and make it easier to find a suitable location for installation.

4. Longer Periods before Replacement

The average lifespan of a traditional storage-tank water heater is around 10-15 years. Tankless water heaters, however, can last up to 20 years or more with proper maintenance. This longer lifespan can help offset the higher upfront cost of a tankless water heater, making it a more cost-effective option in the long run.

Potential Drawbacks

There are a few potential drawbacks to consider when deciding whether a tankless water heater is right for your home. First, the initial cost of purchase and installation can be higher than traditional water heaters. 

Additionally, some may not be able to adequately supply hot water for multiple simultaneous demands, such as running a dishwasher and taking a shower simultaneously. In this case, you may need to install numerous heaters to meet your home’s hot water needs. 

Lastly, a “cold water sandwich” can occur in this type of heater. This happens when hot water is turned on and off repeatedly, resulting in a brief period of cold water between bursts of hot water. While this issue can be annoying, it can often be mitigated by installing a small buffer tank or recirculation system.


Investing in a tankless water heater depends on your needs and preferences. If energy efficiency, endless hot water supply, and space-saving design are high on your priority list, a tankless water heater may be the perfect solution for your home. 

At the same time, weigh the potential drawbacks and talk to a professional installer to determine the best option for your needs.

Are you in search of a reliable, cost-effective, and skilled tankless water heater installer? Look no further than B&B Family Plumbing. 

Our expert team is equipped to tackle any plumbing problem, whether setting up a water heater in your residence or fixing a damaged pipe at your workplace. Get in touch with us now to schedule a consultation!