Choosing between a classic water heater with a storage tank and a tankless water heater is a decision most homeowners face at some point. After all, water heaters are the gold standard for a dependable source of hot water. Because your plumbing fixtures and home appliances count on this hot water, it’s always important to carefully compare your options.

This practical guide from the local experts at Walter's-Eaton's Electric, Plumbing, Heating & AC lays out tank and tankless water heaters. You’ll learn more about the differences in their design along with some benefits and drawbacks of each one. These key details will ensure you can make an informed choice based on your home's hot water needs. Once you’ve made your decision, feel free to contact our installers for expert tank water heater installation.

Storage Tank Water Heaters: A Time-Tested Favorite

Let's take a closer look at conventional storage tank water heaters first. That sizable storage tank is the central feature here, storing an abundant supply of water that’s always heated. Whenever you need hot water, a tank water heater can deliver it.


  • Budget-Friendly Installation: Tank water heaters will have lower up-front installation costs, thanks to their straightforward design.
  • Streamlined Maintenance Needs: This simpler design also translates into less potential maintenance needs.


  • Continuous Energy Use: Tank water heaters have to keep water continuously heated, which equals wasted energy if you’re not frequently using that water.
  • Large Overall Size: The tank itself could become a problem in cramped spaces. If the property is missing a basement or utility closet, installation can be a bit trickier.

On-Demand Tankless Water Heaters: A More Modern Option

Now, let's consider tankless water heaters, an innovative alternative that’s providing more flexibility to homeowners. Compared to tank models, tankless water heaters operate on-demand. They’re heating only when requested, using robust heating elements as the water passes through the system.


  • Less Energy Used: Tankless models can improve your plumbing’s energy efficiency since they aren’t always on.
  • Surprisingly Durable: With regular maintenance from a certified expert, tankless water heaters can enjoy a longer life span.


  • Larger Initial Investment: Initial installation costs are higher as a result of the more complex design.
  • May Need More Upkeep: Tankless models may require more routine attention to keep their vital components working efficiently.
  • Retrofitting Challenges: Older homes may not be ready for a tankless water heater. Plumbers can adapt your plumbing to accommodate one, but it may add another layer of difficulty to your installation project.

Picking Your Water Heater: Consider What Suits You Best

For a majority of homeowners, we’d recommend the greater energy efficiency that tankless water heaters are capable of. But this also depends on aspects including how much hot water you need day to day. You’ll want to have a basic idea of how much water is needed to meet your specific hot water needs before you make your choice.

  1. Your Average Hot Water Consumption: Estimate how much hot water your household goes through on average. As an example, large families who enjoy sports or have pets will need significantly more hot water than if you live by yourself.
  2. Sufficient Space to Install It: The layout of your home can influence how effectively a water heater operates. Review potential installation locations and confirm with professionals if your model is capable of fitting where you want it go.
  3. Regional Climate: Brutally cold winters mean your water heater will need more energy. This reduces the efficiency of tankless models, which are most efficient when there won’t be any big spikes in water usage.
  4. Utility Costs: Your community’s energy prices can render one option more enticing over the other.

Remember, experienced pros like those at Walter's-Eaton's Electric, Plumbing, Heating & AC can help you in making a more knowledgeable decision. They understand which units meet your specific needs before facilitating a smoother installation process.

Reach Out to Walter's-Eaton's Electric, Plumbing, Heating & AC

If you're considering a switch to a tankless water heater in Ellsworth, why not call Walter's-Eaton's Electric, Plumbing, Heating & AC for a free quote? Our expert plumbing technicians can offer the peace of mind that you’ll always have all the hot water you need. Call today at 715-318-6728.