December 16, 2020

You rely on your Las Vegas, NV, home’s water heater for comfortable showers and baths, essential hygiene and cleaning needs. If there’s a problem with your water heater, you’ll want to replace it as soon as possible. When replacing your water heater, you’ll have a lot of options, including a traditional one with a storage tank versus a tankless option. Here are some considerations to keep in mind when choosing a traditional water heater versus a tankless water heater.


There are several types of storage water heaters and tankless water heaters. Heat pump water heaters work like heat pumps for home heating and cooling. They move energy instead of creating it. In this case, the energy is transferred into the water held in the storage tank. Conventional water heaters use an electric heating element or burn fuel to heat water, which they store until you turn on a hot water fixture. Tankless or demand heaters only heat the water after you turn on a hot water fixture.


Traditional water heaters have a tank capacity of 40 to 100 gallons of water. If your household has five people who take consecutive showers, this would use up most of the tank’s capacity. Tankless water heaters have an essentially unlimited capacity. As soon as the heating element heats the water, it’s delivered to your faucet or plumbing fixture.

Flow Rate

The water heater’s flow rate is also a consideration. Most traditional water heaters have a flow rate of 2 to 2.5 gallons per minute. Tankless water heaters have a flow rate of 3 to 4 gallons per minute. If your activities require the use of hot water for an extended period of time, tankless may be the better option.

Power Source

There are gas and electric water heaters. Natural gas water heaters cost less to operate and install, but they have more maintenance needs and a shorter lifespan. They do require electricity to power the ignition, thermostat and other controls. Electric water heaters tend to cost more to operate and install, but there’s no need for a flue and no risk of gas leaks. The costs of natural gas and electricity vary from year to year and provider to provider.

Gas BTU Use

Tankless water heaters need about 150,000 to 250,000 BTUs of power to heat water. Traditional water heaters require 30,000 to 40,000 BTUs for heating the water. If your home’s gas line can’t accommodate the high requirements of a tankless water heater, you may need an upgrade to your gas line.

Electricity Use

An electric water heater requires a dedicated 240-volt circuit on your breaker. It will also need a 30-amp double-pole breaker and either an MC cable or a 10-2 non-metallic cable. If your home’s wiring is old, you might need to upgrade your electric panel in order to accommodate the power requirements of an electric water heater. Gas water heaters can operate on 120 or 240 volts and a 30-amp breaker.

Energy Efficiency

Energy efficiency is important because heating water accounts for about 20% of your home’s annual utility costs. The most efficient type of water heater is an electric heat pump system. When selecting a water heater, choose one with the Energy Star certification label. These water heaters use 30% less power compared to a water heater without the certification. You can also boost the water heater’s energy efficiency by purchasing an insulating blanket for it. Insulating your water pipes will also help.

Space Requirement

Conventional storage water heaters need a lot of space. Not only is the tank large, but it also needs at least 3 feet of clearance around all sides for optimal airflow and access for installation, maintenance and repairs. Tankless water heaters are much smaller. They can be mounted on a wall in a laundry room, bathroom or utility closet. Both types require a connection to plumbing and electricity. If you’re choosing a gas-powered water heater, it needs a gas line connection and a flue.

BEST Air Conditioning Plumbing Repair is the trusted installer for traditional and tankless water heaters in Las Vegas. Homeowners also turn to us for reliable drain cleanings, indoor air quality and plumbing solutions. We’re also ready to provide you with dependable heating and air conditioning maintenance, repair, replacement and installation services. For more guidance on choosing a new water heater, give us at BEST Air Conditioning Plumbing Repair a call today.

company icon