March 29

Instant Hot Water System vs. Tank System: Which Is Better?

Who doesn’t love a steaming hot shower after a long day? Though we may not think about it much, hot water is an essential part of daily life. And suddenly not having any makes it a noticeable loss!

If your current hot water tank is starting to have issues or is nearing the end of its life, you may be doing research on an instant hot water system in place of your tank system. The real question is, which is better?

It can be difficult to make a decision without fully understanding the pros and cons of each option. Let’s talk about factors you need to understand like the differences between each type of water heater, function, affordability, and lifespan.

Storage Tank Water Heaters

Tank water heaters are the most common systems used among homeowners due to their affordable cost and familiarity, they’ve been around forever. These tank water heaters use an electric element or gas burner to warm the water in the tank and store it until it’s needed. When hot water is used for showering, dishwashing, laundry, or other uses, the tank must heat more water before it’s available again.

The size of the tank depends on your household demand. A large family will need hot water more frequently than a smaller family or single person. Electric and gas water heater models can range in size from 25 litres to 400 litres.

Pros of tank water heater systemsInstant Hot Water System and a tank system in Brisbane

  • Hot water is quickly available for use and ready to go
  • Affordable and inexpensive to install & maintain
  • Efficient and safe to operate
  • Does not require a high flow rate

Cons of tank water heater systems

  • Potential for corrosion, rust, and leaks as the tank ages
  • Should have regular maintenance to flush the tank at least yearly
  • When hot water runs out, it can take a while to fully heat another tank

Instant Hot Water System

Also known as tankless water heaters, instant hot water systems are gaining in popularity. They are capable of heating water on demand, meaning you will never run out of hot water as long as there is a constant flow. These systems don’t require a large holding tank and can fit in tight spaces. Like tanks, they can run on electricity or gas.

Pros of instant hot water systems

  • Highly energy efficient since water is only heated when it’s needed
  • No large storage tank
  • Less chance of leaks, corrosion, and rust
  • Longer lifespan than tank heaters (often up to 20 years)
  • Unlimited hot water on demand

Cons of instant hot water systems

  • More expensive to install
  • Requires higher flow rates

What to Consider When Choosing a System

Here are some things to consider when choosing a hot water system:

Number of people in your home

The bigger the household, the larger demand there is for hot water. If you live with a lot of people or have a big family, tankless might be the way to go.

Space for hot water system

Continuous hot water heaters take up much less space than tanks. You’ll want to consider if you’d rather have more space that isn’t taken up by a large water tank.

Upfront costs

Though an instant hot water system is an excellent choice, upfront costs might be a factor when making your decision. Even though you may save money over the life of the water heater, the initial costs can be high.

Get a Professional Opinion

S&J Plumbing & Gasfitting has years of experience installing a variety of gas and electric hot water systems. We can assess your home and help you decide which type of heating system makes the most sense for you and your family. We work with top brands like Rinnai, Dux, Awuamax, Vulcan, and more.

Contact us today!


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