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Repairing Tankless Water Heaters vs. Traditional Tank Heaters

Technician tuning a water heater

A water heater is a significant investment in your comfort and convenience for years to come, so it’s crucial to make the right choice that fits your budget and lifestyle. Tankless and traditional water heaters both offer benefits that make them suitable for different needs and preferences.

If you’re considering a new water heater for your home in Yakima and the Tri-Cities, then this guide from Campbell & Company can help. Our plumbers cover the differences between these types of water heaters and the types of repairs you may be looking at with either option. By weighing major factors like lifetime maintenance and repair costs, you can make an informed decision before committing to a new system. 

Water Heater Options: Storage Tank & Tankless


When it comes to your hot water supply, there are two main options available: storage tank and tankless water heater systems. A storage tank water heater heats and stores water in a large tank, regularly reheating the water on a timed basis to maintain a set temperature. A tankless water heater is a small, compact system that provides on-demand hot water without the need for a storage tank. Running cold water through a heat exchanger, a tankless system rapidly heats water the moment you turn on your hot water tap.

Similarities between the two include:

  • Both can be powered by electricity or gas.
  • Both provide hot water for various household tasks.
  • Both provide water temperature adjustment.
  • Both can be sized to fit the needs of individual households.

Their differences include:

  • Tankless water heaters have a higher upfront cost to install.
  • Tankless water heaters are more energy-efficient.
  • Tankless water heaters provide a continuous stream of hot water while tank heaters can run out based on the tank size.
  • Tankless water heaters take up less space.

Repair Considerations for Tank Water Heaters


tank water heater

On average, traditional water heaters can provide reliable service for 10 to 15 years if regularly maintained and repaired. However, because of their build and complexity, these systems often face issues such as malfunctioning heating elements, leaking valves or pipes, sediment buildup, tank corrosion, and thermostat issues. Regular maintenance and timely repairs can help extend the lifespan of these systems and detect early repair issues before they become larger, complex problems.

Repair Considerations for Tankless Water Heaters


Campbell & Company plumber repairing a tankless water heater

While tankless water heater systems require fewer repairs compared to standard water heaters, they still face issues like all working systems. These can include electronic controls or sensor malfunctions, heater exchanger problems, or leaks in plumbing connections. Still, these systems are known for their durability and reliability, with an average lifespan of 15 to 20 years.

Traditional vs. Tankless Water Heater Repairs


Selecting the right system for your home depends on your needs, budget, and repair requirements. While the upfront costs of installing a tankless water heater system are noticeably higher than a traditional tank system, the repair and maintenance costs are often lower down the line, and they are more energy-efficient. These factors make tankless units a cost-efficient choice.

Standard water heaters have a lower initial installation and purchase price, making them a more financially accessible option. However, their maintenance and repair costs are often higher, especially as your system gets older and requires more care.

Choose Campbell & Company for Expert Water Heater Services


At Campbell & Company, we provide homeowners with the knowledge to make the right decisions about their hot water systems. Our technicians provide trusted and honest water heater services that you can rely on in Yakima and the Tri-Cities. As a local, family-operated company with over 40 years of experience, trust us to do it right. 

Campbell & Company is your trusted local expert and nationally recognized industry leader. Contact us today to schedule water heater services in Yakima or the Tri-Cities area!

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