Getting a new water heater may seem like a straightforward process at first. However, once you look into a new unit, you might discover more options than you had expected. You may need guidance to select the best water heater for your residential or commercial property. Whether installing a water heater in a new build or replacing your current unit, this guide and our Waynesburg plumbers can steer you toward the most suitable style for your needs.

Tanked vs. Tankless

The most frequent concern when discussing types of water heaters is whether it is better to have a conventional water heater with a storage tank or a tankless model. Tankless water heaters are a newer technology, but they haven’t yet driven the tanked models out of the market. Rather, there are pros and cons to both heater styles.

Traditional Tanked Water Heaters

Many water heaters warm the water beforehand so that it’s ready to go whenever you turn the tap. The heated water is held in a storage tank until it’s needed. The insulation holds the water at the proper temperature. This approach has been popular for many years, so a tank-style unit may be what you picture when you envision a water heater.

Tanked heaters benefit anyone who wants to have a large hot water supply ready to go at any time. However, if you use up all the hot water, you’ll need to wait for more to be ready.

A water heater with a tank requires a decent amount of space for installation, which can be an issue in some small homes. Affordability can be a nice trade-off, though. These models are often among the most budget-friendly. Plus, if your house is already set up for a tanked water heater, installing a new one should be a pretty quick process.

Tankless Water Heaters

Tankless units are newer to the market. These water heaters can also be called on-demand water heaters because they produce hot water as you call for it. There’s no storage area where the heated water sits and waits to be used. Rather, cold water passes over hot coils, which quickly bring the water up to the desired temperature.

Since there’s no tank to drain, you won’t run out of hot water at the end of a too-long shower. However, your unit may be limited by how many gallons it can produce at once.

Tankless water heaters can be space-saving since no floor space is required for a large storage tank. For many families, they’re also the more efficient approach to water heating. You may spend more upfront, though, especially if you have a larger family with high hot water needs. Also, switching from a tanked water heater to a tankless one may incur additional installation costs.


When it comes to water heater size, you’ll want to consider how much space the unit will take up in your house. However, when discussing the size of a water heater, most people are more concerned about how much hot water the unit can deliver.

For tanked water heaters, this depends on the capacity of the tank. Small models may hold only 25 gallons of heated water at a time. Large units can have up to 80 gallons on reserve. Most units range from about 35 to 55 gallons. How large yours needs to be depends on how many people live in your house. If you have a family of four, opt for a tank that holds about 40 gallons of water.

Tankless water heaters produce hot water on demand, so you’ll want to consider the model’s output level. This is measured in gallons per minute (GPM). Most tankless water heaters are rated for 2 to 5 GPM. A model on the lower end of that range will be suitable only if you plan to use only one fixture or appliance at a time — for example, you won’t ever shower while running the dishwasher. If your household requires more hot water at once, you’ll need a more powerful unit, or you may want to consider installing multiple heaters.

Power Source

Most water heaters, including tank-style and tankless heaters, run on electricity or natural gas. Some storage tank models use oil or propane instead. Another option on the market today is a solar-powered water heater. With such a model, you’ll have a backup power source for times when there’s not enough sunshine to meet the demand for hot water.

When replacing your current water heater, it’s often best to stick with the existing power source. This can save time and money during the installation process.

If you’re choosing a water heater for new construction, discuss options with your plumbing professional. Natural gas water heaters are often more efficient than electric ones. Tankless water heaters that run on natural gas may have a higher GPM rating than their electric counterparts.

Alternative Water Heater Types

Water heaters come in many different styles, and your home’s needs may call for a unit that doesn’t fit the mold of the most popular types. Fortunately, your plumber should be able to recommend a unit that will fit the bill.

Boiler Water Heater

A boiler system may do two jobs: heating your house and supplying hot water. Boilers use hot-water heat to keep the home comfortable on chilly days. Radiant floor heat and steam radiators are two possible ways hot water can be used for indoor climate control. In addition, the boiler can heat water for sink, shower, and laundry use.

Point-of-use Water Heater

POU heaters are mini units installed near where hot water is needed. Both tankless and storage tank versions are available. POU water heaters can be a good choice in select circumstances. For example, if you have a large house, a POU heater could help you obtain piping-hot showers in a bathroom at the far end of the home. This type of water heater might also be useful when putting an addition on your house since it doesn’t require running pipes to the main water heater.

Beck Electric, Generators & Plumbing is your trusted plumber in the Canton area for both traditional and tankless water heaters. Our plumbing company also deals with fixture installation, sump pump care, drain cleaning, gas piping, and more. You’ll be pleased to know that we also offer a comprehensive lineup of electrical services.

Whether you need assistance with your electrical panel, outdoor lighting, or the charging station for your electric vehicle, our electricians have the know-how to do the job right. You can also turn to our team for generator, water quality, and propane tank support. We take pride in our customers’ trust and the multiple awards we have won from Angi and HomeAdvisor. Customer satisfaction is our top priority.

For the best in water heater installation, as well as other plumbing and electrical needs, schedule an appointment with Beck Electric, Generators & Plumbing in Waynesburg.

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