Pros and Cons of Conventional Water Heaters

July 11, 2014

Get the facts to help you decide between conventional and tankless water heaters.

Water HeaterConventional water heaters may be the status quo now but considering how many of their drawbacks can be addressed by tankless water heaters, their time may be limited. Here are some important pros and cons of conventional water heaters to consider when you make your next purchasing decision.


Lower Price Tag: Unless you’re getting some really high-tech, souped-up model, a conventional water heater will generally cost half as much as a tankless model. Yet with proper care and maintenance, it is possible for a conventional water heater to last just as long as a tankless model.

Lower Installation Costs: Depending on where the water heater is located and what kinds of plumbing, gas, and electrical hookups you already have in place, it may be less expensive to install a conventional water heater than a tankless one.

Efficient in All Climates: A conventional hot water heater is suitable for use in any climate or weather and will deliver similar performance regardless of water temperatures. A tankless model, however will experience a significant decrease in efficiency when the water supply is colder than 40°F.


Energy Waste: Because a conventional water heater maintains a constant reservoir of heated water in its storage tank, it is constantly using energy. Tankless models, on the other hand, only heat water when you’re about to use it, saving the average homeowner $70 to $100 per year.

Limited Hot Water Supply: Once you’ve used all the pre-heated water stored in your conventional water heater’s tank, that’s that. You’ll have to wait for the tank to heat up again before you can continue using hot water.

Space Requirements: Due to the size of the tank, a conventional hot water heater does take up a significant amount of space. A tankless model would be much smaller.

Potential for Water Damage: Keeping a large volume of water in a tank that can rust or corrode might be a recipe for disaster. If you are not careful to keep up with your water heater maintenance and take steps to prevent corrosion, the tank could eventually fail, resulting in extensive water damage in your home.

Should You Buy A Conventional Hot Water Heater?

Ultimately, the decision as to whether you should purchase a conventional water heater with a storage tank or a tankless model depends on your personal preferences and your budget. Some homeowners opt to get the best of both worlds by installing a small tankless heater to supplement the supply of hot water to the master bath or other key fixtures. If you’re interested in a new water heater, or just need repairs for your current water heater, call L.A. Master Plumbers. We have ample experience with conventional and tankless models and we’ll be happy to help.