Tankless or Conventional Water Heater?

I received a great question from Paul A.  a couple of weeks ago. “I’m thinking of getting a tankless water heater. What’s the pros and cons in doing that?”


There are many differences in the operational characteristics of tankless water heaters vs. conventional storage type water heaters.

That said, below are some bullet points to consider (both pros and cons) when looking at switching to a tankless hot water system:

  • Tankless water heaters do not work in every application. It is important to be aware of any upfront costs before proceeding with switching to tankless.
  • Because of a much higher gas flow rate required for a tankless, residential homeowners could be faced with natural gas pipe upgrades – in many cases all the way back to the meter. The cost of this work would be above the cost (or rental) of the unit.
  • Hot water supply capacities are given at temperature rises of 50 deg F. This means that the maximum capacities depend on incoming water temperatures of 70 deg F. We know that in Ontario the incoming water temps are much cooler, particularly in the winter and this will have significant impact on the amount of hot water available. In other words, you want to be sure that your hot water output requirements will be met.
  • Minimum flow rates must be maintained in order for the water heater to operate, in most cases this is .6 gallons per minute. Homeowners who are accustomed to running small amounts of hot water to do things like shave or rinse dishes will need to understand that this habit (of quick on and off water supply) will likely require you to run your tap longer. This could potentially diminish some of the savings you might otherwise enjoy with a tankless water system.
  • If your water heating fuel cost is fairly typical at about $300.00/yr, you could potentially realize a very optimistic fuel savings of up to 40%, saving you as much as $120.00 per year
  • Tankless water heaters are not recommended in hard water areas.

Take a look at our YouTube channel for more helpful information as well as our tankless section on the Direct Energy website.


I hope this helps you decide what’s best for your situation, if you have any questions feel free to call our tankless experts at 1-800-266-3939.  We will send someone out to look at your set-up and determine what type of tank meets your hot water needs.


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One Response to “Tankless or Conventional Water Heater?”

  1. Rod says:

    Wow ! Thank you, I didn’t realize all these extra considerations abt going tankless.

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