When it comes to providing hot water for our daily needs, water heaters play a crucial role in our South Texas homes. Over the years, technological advancements have brought about two popular options - tankless water heaters and tanked water heaters. Each type comes with its unique features and benefits, making it essential to understand the key differences between them before making a decision. In this blog, we will delve into the distinctions between tankless water heaters and tanked water heaters, helping you make an informed choice that best suits your household's needs.

Tanked Water Heater: The Classic Approach

Tanked water heaters, also known as traditional or conventional water heaters, have been the go-to option for decades. They consist of a large tank that stores and heats water continuously. Here's how they work:

  1. Water Storage: The main characteristic of tanked water heaters is their storage capacity, which can range from 30 to 80 gallons, depending on the model and size.
  2. Constant Heating: Once the water inside the tank reaches the set temperature, the heater maintains it at that level throughout the day, ensuring hot water is readily available for immediate use.
  3. Limited Hot Water Supply: One significant limitation of tanked water heaters is their finite hot water supply. If you use all the heated water in the tank, you may need to wait for the tank to refill and reheat the water before you can use it again.
  4. Energy Consumption: Since tanked water heaters keep the water heated all the time, they tend to consume more energy. This can result in higher utility bills, especially during times of low hot water demand.

Tankless Water Heater: On-Demand Heating

Tankless water heaters, as the name suggests, do not store hot water in a tank. Instead, they provide hot water on-demand, instantly heating the water as it flows through the unit. Here's how they operate:

  1. On-Demand Heating: When you turn on a hot water tap or appliance, cold water flows into the tankless heater unit, where it is rapidly heated by electric coils or a gas burner. The hot water is then delivered to the faucet or appliance in real-time.
  2. Unlimited Hot Water: Unlike tanked water heaters, tankless models offer an unlimited supply of hot water. As long as the unit can handle the demand, you won't run out of hot water, making them ideal for households with high water usage.
  3. Energy Efficiency: Tankless water heaters are known for their energy efficiency. They only heat water when needed, eliminating the constant energy consumption associated with storing hot water. As a result, they can significantly reduce energy costs in the long run.
  4. Higher Upfront Cost: While tankless water heaters can save money in the long term, they generally have a higher upfront cost than tanked water heaters. The initial investment can be a consideration for some homeowners.

Which Water Heater is Right for You?

Choosing between a tankless and a tanked water heater depends on several factors, including your household's hot water needs, budget, and available space.

Choose a Tanked Water Heater If:

  • You have a limited budget and are looking for a more affordable option upfront.
  • You don't have high hot water demands, and a tank capacity can meet your daily needs.
  • You have enough space to accommodate a larger tank in your utility area.

Choose a Tankless Water Heater If:

  • You want an energy-efficient solution that can help reduce your utility bills in the long term.
  • Your household has high hot water demands, and you frequently run out of hot water with a tanked system.
  • You prefer a compact and space-saving water heating option, as tankless units are often smaller and can be mounted on walls.


Both tankless and tanked water heaters have their advantages and disadvantages. Ultimately, the choice comes down to your specific needs, budget, and preferences. Tankless water heaters provide the convenience of unlimited hot water and energy efficiency but may require a higher upfront investment. On the other hand, tanked water heaters are more budget-friendly initially but come with limitations on hot water supply and higher energy consumption. Before making a decision, it's best to consult with a professional plumber who can assess your home's requirements and recommend the most suitable water heating system for you.

If you're ready to get an estimate from the professional plumbers at DrainWorks, give us a call today to schedule your free estimate at 210-255-1114.