For homeowners willing to invest up front, tank-less water heaters are a luxury worth having. And the equipment can add some value to your home. But let’s drill down and learn what it takes to go tank-less. Ask yourself: are there enough advantages?

A lot depends on how much water you want on-demand. For growing families, especially with teenagers, this could be important. It also matters whether you’re water is heated with gas or electricity.

Here’s my rundown, drawn from feedback from my trusted handymen and plumbers and the staff at Angie’s List.

Traditional water heater is on the left, tank-less on the right. Images courtesy of Sacramento Tankless Water Heaters


If you're serious about going tank-less, give me a call and I'll connect you with my resources to help you decide. Happy showering!




$400 - $1,000 depending on the model

To Buy

$1,000 for an electric model to $3,000 for gas

$25 - $30 / month for gas; $60-$75 for electric

To Operate

$15 - $25 for gas; $45 - $60 /month for electric

10-15 years


Up to 25 years

Up to a six-year warranty


Often a 15-year warranty

Stores 40-60 gallons


2-5 gallons per minute

Generally around 5-feet tall, 2 feet wide and deep


Roughly 20” wide by 28” tall, 10” deep

30K to 50K BTUs* while heating


150K to 200K BTUs* to heat water on demand

None needed here. Stick with what you’ve got.



Electric models need more voltage and a bigger circuit breaker; gas models may require a larger gas main into the home

When it breaks, watch out for a water gusher


Electric models don’t always work well in cold climates (but it’s never that cold in NoVA, is it?)

Provides ample hot water to multiple sources at the same time unless you’ve got a houseful showering simultaneously



Unlimited hot-water supply and modest savings on utility costs

*BTUs=British Thermal Units