Listen Here!
April 23, 2017
Local Show archive

Listen Here!
April 22, 2017
Handyman Show archive

Get help from the Handyman:  

Glenn's mailing
it in every week!

Enter your email address below to subscribe to Glenn's weekly e-newsletter. It's free!

Saturday, April 29


Family Heating, Cooling & Electrical

Residential and commercial from replacing fixtures, adding outlets, ceiling fans, range/dryer lines, & city violation corrections to larger jobs like; service upgrades, garages, pools, hot tubs & generators. We wont sell you anything you dont need or want. COMPLIMENTARY PROPOSALS.

Website for more info


Universal Plumbing Supply

Why settle for pictures when you can get a world of choice at Universal Plumbing? Choose from Michigan's largest selection of under mounted sinks, a display of 500 faucets and a huge collection of working toilets, vessles, tubs, spas & designer items.

Website for more info

Lawn and Landscape Supply

Rock Shoppe

You'll save tons of money and have tons of fun, explore our inviting yard for unique statuary, mulches, soils and hardscape materials. One of the largest vendors of landscape supplies in Southeast Michigan. Rock Shoppe north off M-14. SW corner of Territorial and Gotfredson.

Website for more info

Listen to Glenn’s most recent program

Now you can enjoy The Handyman Show with Glenn Haege anytime!  Select from one of five recent national broadcasts of the award winning Handyman Show with Glenn Haege and enjoy some clear and concise how-to advise on your schedule.

Handyman Show audio archive

Publication date: 04/20/2017

 Click here for a printer-friendly version

Tank versus tankless hot water heater


The debate regarding tank vs. tankless hot water heaters has heated up because the price gap between the two has gotten slimmer. So if you are in the market for a new water heater, it is time to consider the pros and cons of both before you buy.

“The price of the standard 40 gallon water heaters has increased in part due to the new government regulations that mandated increased energy efficiency,” said Dan McClary, vice president of Balfrey & Johnston Inc., who represents Navien tankless water heaters,

“As a result, tankless water heaters are closer in price than in the past and have become more of an affordable luxury item,” McClary added.

The government mandate McClary is talking about is the National Appliance Energy Conservation Act (NAECA) that went into effect in April 2015 and requires gas water heaters to include additional insulation, new flue baffling technologies and the incorporation of electronic ignition instead of a pilot light. While the act has made the gas water heaters safer and more energy efficient, it has also made them 3 inches wider due to the added insulation. As a result, the new water heaters may not be able to fit through a standard 24-inch wide door anymore, which can also drive people towards the tankless option.

McClary said the price of a top-of-the-line 50 gallon power vent water heater would run between $1,500 and $2,000 installed, while the Navien tankless version he represents would cost between $2,500 and $4,000, depending on the model and installation requirements.


Whole-home gas tankless water heaters apply the same principle to heat water as standard gas water heaters, but without a storage tank. So when you open a hot water tap anywhere in the house, a flow sensor activates the gas burner on the tankless water heater, which warms the heat exchanger. Cold water is then warmed by the heat exchanger and flows at the pre-set temperature to your faucet, shower, washing machine or dishwasher. Instead of maintaining a full tank of hot water like a standard water heater, the tankless unit heats water only when needed, making it more energy efficient while supplying an endless stream of hot water.

While a tankless system is more efficient, it isn’t going to save the homeowner a lot on their gas bills. “The savings would be $10 to $12 a month for typical hot water usage.” McClary said.

While tankless systems provide continual hot water, one negative is that the rate of hot-water flow will slow if you are using more than one hot water tap at a time.

“A tank hot water heater will always provide the same amount of flow from the hot water tap, but once it runs out of hot water in the tank you will get cold water,” he said. “Most standard hot water heaters will give you around eight minutes of hot water before they run out if you are using two showers at the same time.”

“The tankless unit will always deliver hot water, but the difference is the flow rate will slow if you are running two showers at the same time,” he added.

The difference in warranties is another factor to consider when making a hot water heater purchase decision. McClary said most hot water heaters with tanks have a three-year warranty, while tankless systems like the Navien have 10 or 15 year warranties.

“While it may be cheaper to buy a standard hot water heater in the short term, the limited warranty means you will probably need to buy another one long before the warranty on a tankless model runs out, so that should be factored into the buying decision,” McClary said.

In addition to Navien, other manufacturers of tankless systems include Rinnai,, and Takagi, Popular manufacturers of tank based hot water heaters include A.O.Smith,; Bradford White,; Rheem,; State,; and Whirlpool,

If you don’t use much hot water throughout the day, a standard 40 or 50 gallon hot water heater may serve your needs and budget. However, if you are a family of four with teenagers who take long showers and a washing machine and dishwasher that always seems to be running, then the tankless water heater may not be an affordable luxury. It may be a necessity. So do your homework before you buy a water heater to make the right decision for your particular situation.

Note: This article was accurate at the date of publication. However, information contained in it may have changed. If you plan to use the information contained herein for any purpose, verification of its continued accuracy is your responsibility.

20 most recent Handyman Columns

Tank versus tankless hot water heater

About those 2016 energy tax credits

Low inventory translates to a seller’s market

Time for spring project planning

Try green products for remodeling, cleaning

Color trends more muted for home’s interior, vibrant on exterior

Use planning to survive power outages

Local bath remodeling trends mirror national study

Kitchen, bath remodeling have evolved

Change home’s floor plan to keep current

Home show attendance sign of housing rebound

Innovative products on display at builder’s show in Orlando

50th electronics show focuses on connectivity

Planning will make move to new home smoother

Odd sounds in home can be fixed

Winter’s for indoor projects, spring planning

Best methods to clean up those party spills

Get your chimney ready for Santa

Improve your indoor comfort

Check before buying ice-melting products

Browse-by-date Index

Copyright 2017 H & S Associates, Inc. | Copyright & Proprietary Information Notice | Contact us