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Instant Geyser vs. Storage Geyser: Which One You Should Buy?

Instant Geyser vs. Storage Geyser

Water heaters for bathroom (geyser) are most common appliance used is most of the home. However, if you want to buy a new geyser online there options are plenty. You will have to consider multiple factors to choose best geyser. One major decision you need to make is whether to go for instant geysers or storage geysers.

Each of the water heater (geyser) types comes with certain advantages and disadvantages. In this post, we will be explore details on both the types and discuss their working, features, pros, and cons.

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Functioning of Instant Water Heater (Geyser)

All Water heaters use energy (generally electricity or combustible natural gas) and convert it into heat. It then transfers the heat into water, thus making it hot.

The Tankless water heater is the new buzz in India. It was invented decades ago, but it isn’t as popular in India yet. It is a more energy efficient option over the traditional geysers and has the capacity to produce and supply an endless amount of hot water on demand. So, how does a tankless geyser work?

Functioning of Instant Water Heater
Functioning of Instant Water Heater (image: bijlibachao.com)

First thing first, all instant water heaters need a certain amount of flow rate to activate its heating unit. Most instant geysers work on a minimum flow rate of 0.5 gallons per minute. However, there are some models available that can work with a flow rate as low as 0.26 GPM.

When you turn on a hot water faucet, cold water enters the tankless geyser through the inlet pipe. Once the system senses enough flow of water, it activates its heating unit, which rapidly heats the heat exchanger as the water runs through it. This heated up water then goes into the outlet pipe, which is connected to the hot water faucet. Once you shut off the tap, an instant geyser will no longer continue to heat water. It will go into a standby mode and will only start operating again if you re-open the faucet.

Advantages of instant electric geysers

Advantages of instant water heaters are many, that is the reason people love them.

1. Continuous hot water supply

In today’s world, people do not have time. To wait for a storage geyser to heat the water can be a major bummer. Instant geysers can give you hot water with a matter of seconds. It will continue to supply hot water as long as you have the faucet on.

2. Less power consumption

It is true that the power consumption per minute of an instant geyser is more than the traditional type. But you must consider that it only heats water for the time you have the faucet on, which ultimately saves power.

3. Compact size

If you do not have much space to dedicate to a storage type geyser, then the tankless water heater is definitely your thing. These units come in compact sizes and can fit in limited space.

4. More durable

These types of water heaters are very durable. On average, the life of a tankless geyser is around 15 to 20 years. You can add a couple more years to the unit if it is powered by gas.

Dis-advantages of instant electric geysers

While instant waters give some comforts, there are some disadvantages as well especially when compared to storage geysers.

1. Comparatively pricey

An instant geyser has a huge initial cost. It has a lot of advantages, but all good things come at a certain price. So, this might not be the best option for people who have a tight budget.

2. Installation is not easy

The installation process of a tankless geyser isn’t the easiest. You will have to make special kind of drills and would need accessories for its installation. If you are switching from storage geyser to instant geyser, the entire process will be lengthier. You will most certainly need the help of a professional, which will add up to its total cost.

3. Maintenance is dearer

No doubt tankless geysers have a longer life expectancy, but for it to function at its best, you will have to maintain it, which includes annual servicing.

4. Needs good water flow

Most models function only when the water flow per minute is at least 0.5 gallons. Many work with a flow rate of 0.26 GPM. In case the water flow is lesser, this type of geyser will not heat water.

5. Sensitive to outside temperature

Instant water geysers are perfect for tropical and temperate climates. But if you reside in one of the colder states in India, where winter is harsh, do know that the instant water heater has its limitations.

  • If the water temperature drops below 4 degree Celsius, the flow rate will decrease as the water will tend to freeze. And an instant geyser has trouble working with a low flow rate.
  • To raise the temperature of water to 40 degrees, which is at 15 degrees, this type of geyser will take a minute. And it will require about 2 minutes to heat it to a temperature of 60 degrees. However, in case the temperature of the water is 20 degrees or above, this type of geysers will do its job in a matter of seconds.
  • If the geyser is connected to a number of water outlets, the heat distribution might not be even. The water running through one faucet might get a little colder than the other.

Functioning of Storage Electric Geyser

A storage water geyser has an inlet, by which it draws cold water into the tank. It uses an outlet which is connected to faucets and showers to give out hot water. Very much like instant geysers, it uses either electricity or gas to heat the water in its reservoir.

A storage water heater has enough storage space to reserve hot water that one can use later. It has insulated walls, which does not let the heat to evade. However, the quality of the insulation decides how long the water will remain hot once you have turned the switch the geyser off.

Functioning of Storage Electric Geyser
Functioning of Storage Electric Geyser (image: butterflyfields.com)

It is a known fact to all that storage geysers have a certain capacity, and it takes time for it to heat water. So, if you are planning to buy this kind of water heater, you should consider the number of members in the house. If you are a bachelor or live with your partner, a tank of 20 to 30 gallons will suffice the water requirement for 2 persons. If you have 3 members in your family, consider going a step ahead and buy a geyser which has the capacity of 40 gallons. A family consisting of more than 4 or 5 members should opt for a storage capacity of 50 gallons.

Advantages of storage electric geysers

Advantages of storage water heaters are many, let us explore them now.

1. Comparatively cheaper

One of the most influencing factors while buying anything is our budget. Storage geysers are pretty budget-friendly. You can easily spot a decent water heater with good storage capacity at a reasonable price. Though the ones that run on natural gas tend to come at a higher cost, still they are pretty affordable.

2. Can store hot water for long time

Imagine running out of gas, or there is a sudden power-cut in your area while you are in the shower. The storage geyser can still give you a few gallons of water in those scenarios. With this type of water heater, your need for hot water will not always be determined by the availability of power.

3. Easy to install

Installation is one thing that bothers us after we purchase an appliance. A complex installation process can be a major turn off. The storage water heater is pretty easy to install. You will not have to toil much or incur heavy expenditure for setting this type of geysers up.

Dis-advantages of storage electric geysers

While instant waters give some comforts, there are some disadvantages as well especially when compared to storage geysers.

1. Requires more space to install

Storage geysers require a lot of space. It will take up a considerable bit of space in your bathroom. In case you have a shorter availability of space, settling for a storage water geyser isn’t the best idea.

2. Over a time water loses heat

The purpose of a storage water heater is to store water while keeping it hot. Even though these geysers come with heavily insulated walls, the water in it tends to lose heat as hours pass. It will have to frequently reheat the water to maintain its temperature.

3. Operating cost is more

As the storage geysers need to heat and then again re-heat water, it tends to consume more energy. Hence the operating cost is more.

4. Limited capacity to store water

Storage water geysers have a limited capacity to supply hot water. It takes a considerable amount of time to heat water, and in case you happen to run out of heated water in the middle of taking a shower, you might have to wait for quite a long time to for the fresh supply of hot water to hit the tap or shiver as you continue to take shower in cold water.

Comparison: Instant Geyser vs. Storage Geyser

FeaturesInstant water heaterStorage water heater
Purchase CostOn the higher sideIs budget-friendly
Lifespan15 to 20 years7 to 12 years
Space ConsumptionTends to fit into smaller spaceTakes larger space
Operating CostLesser in comparison to Storage GeyserOperating cost is more
InstallationComplex installation, requires professional helpInstallation is simple
Delay in OutputGives instantaneous hot waterRequires some time to heat up water
LeakageLeakage is improbableMight leak if the external wall is corroded or damaged
Heat LossNegligibleConsiderable
Suitable forWarmer regions: Central water heating unit Cooler Regions: Suitable for washbasins and small sinksSuitable for all climates.

What to Consider While Buying a Geyser

In order to choose the best type of geyser for yourself, it is best to pit the features of each type against another to see which one fits your requirements.

1. Space available for installation

In the department of space savings, the instant geyser is a clear winner. This type of geysers tends to be way more compact in comparison to the traditional storage geysers. Instant water heaters are tankless. Hence it does not store any water, it accounts for its smaller body, which saves more space.

2. Purchase cost

Storage geysers cost lesser when one goes to purchase it. Instant geysers can cost thrice as much as a storage geyser, thus requiring more investment.

3. Ease of installation

Installing a storage geyser is far simpler than an instant geyser. It is not only less complicated but also costs less, as it does not require special drillings and fixtures to get the water heater to start functioning.

4. Operating Costs

Tankless water heaters require way lesser energy in comparison to storage geysers. It consumes power only when one turns on a faucet connected to the geyser. Instant water heaters are the better deal if you want to save on your electricity or gas bill.

The storage water heaters, on the other hand, need to constantly re-heat water so as to maintain its temperature. It adds up to its operating cost. In colder states, the heat settings will have to be turned to the maximum to obtain hot water, which requires more power to operate.

5. Lifespan

On average, the lifespan of a storage water heater tends to be between 7 years to 12 years. Instant geysers last between 15 to 20 years, which is almost twice as long as the traditional type. If you intend to buy a storage water heater, you must prepare yourself to replace is more frequently than the instant type.

6. Size of the geyser

A storage geyser is available in the sizes ranging from 6 liters to 50 liters. The bigger sizes of this type of geysers, can store quite a lot of water to serve a family. The instant geysers are available in the sizes ranging between 1 liter to 10 liters. Even this type of geyser has a decent output rate, but it might fall short if several faucets are opened at the same time.

7. Bacteria formation

Harmful bacteria can form on the inside the tank of a storage geyser after a few years of use.It can have a negative impact on your health. In addition to it, the bacteria can render a foul odor to the hot water and ruin your bathing experience. With an instant geyser, there is no scope of bacteria formation in the storage tank as it does not have one.

8. Maintenance needs

The storage water heaters can run easily with full efficiency with minimal to no maintenance. But an instant geyser will need annual maintenance to function at its best. Which makes the storage geyser gain an upper hand in this field!

9. Hot water volume

Instant geysers are called so as it can give an endless supply of hot water. This stands especially true if you install a bigger heater.  The storage geysers can run out of the water at any time and it will require you to wait for quite a long time before you get hot water.

10. Retention of heat

Even though storage water heaters have insulated walls, it tends to lose a lot of heat in the process. The geyser makes up for the heat loss by re-heating the water again, which consumes more energy. In the case of instant geysers, the heat loss is negligible, as the water is utilized as soon as it is heated.

11. On-demand needs

The instant geysers are perfect if you want a constant on-demand hot water supply. However, in cooler regions, this type of water heaters has its own drawbacks. So, if you are from a region which experiences bitter cold in the winter or is very cold throughout the year, it is best you install this type of geysers in washbasins and sinks. And get a storage geyser with a good storing capacity to connect to faucets or showers for bathing.

However, if you hail from a state where the temperature does not drop that much and the water temperature remains at least above 15 degree Celsius (ideally 20 degrees), you can install an instant geyser to function as the central water heating unit.

Comparison: Gas Powered Geysers vs. Electric Geysers

The main work of a geyser is to give hot water, be it an instant water heater or a storage one. The heating procedures differ depending on the kind of energy the geyser uses. Now that we have already mentioned ‘gas powered geysers’ and ‘electric geysers’ a few times in the article, let us delve a little into the detail.

Gas Powered Geysers vs. Electric Geysers
Gas Powered Geysers vs. Electric Geysers

Water Heaters Powered by Gas

As the name suggests, gas water heaters use gas burners to heat water. A water heater powered by gas has to be connected to a gas cylinder. Another thing about gas heaters is that these units cost twice as much as an electric heater. But it will save you a lot of bucks in the longer run, as the running cost of an electric heater is way more than gas heaters.

A gas powered geyser has its own shortcomings, even though it is cost-effective in the longer run. You will have to install it in a well-ventilated area so that the soot and additional heat it produces can go out. Also, you must understand that India has a shortage of natural gas; it is not as easily available as electricity. In case you run out of gas at any point, you will have no other choice than to bathe in cold water.

Water Heater Powered by Electricity

Electric water heaters run on electricity and use heating elements to give hot water. Generally, there are two heat elements present in an electric water heater. The heating element present in the upper section does the main job of heating the water. The second element only contributes if the heat knob is at its maximum, to further increase the temperature. However, it is not necessary that all electric heaters will have two heating elements. Some just have one, and it does its job pretty well.

However, if you operate an electric geyser to heat water, you will have to pay heavy electricity bill. Another drawback of this type of hearers is that they last lesser lifespan than the gas powered geysers.

Power Saving Tips for Water Heaters (Geysers)

Saving energy is essential, not only because it will cut back on the operating cost of the geysers, but also the world is running short of enough combustible energy source. With ample of options at our fingertips, the cost of living has skyrocketed.  It is estimated that taking a hot water bath every day can shoot the figures up in the monthly utility bills by 18%!

So, how to make hot baths more economic? Here are 7 ways to cut back on power consumption, even when you use a geyser.

1. Take quick showers

Showers can have a flow rate as high as 8 gallons of water per minute! To save more energy, you can switch to taking shorter showers under hot water. It is beneficial for your skin as it will retain the natural oils.

2. Install a bath tub

However, if you want a long relaxing bath, consider installing a bathtub. It will take way lesser water and it is more relaxing.

3. Wash clothes in normal water

Doing laundry requires a lot of water. Using cold water to do the laundry is good both for the fabrics and the utility bill. However, in the cases of stained clothes that require soaking in hot water, make sure to rinse it using cold water to save on power consumption.

4. Turn off when not in use

Even when the geysers run on a standby mode, it uses some power that adds to your bill. To save electricity or gas, turn the switch off (in case of both storage and instant) when not in use.

If you are using a storage water heater, schedule your bathing time and turn on the geyser sometime prior to that, so that you can get hot water when you stand in the shower. However, if you are reluctant to do so, turn it off at least during the nights.

5.  Use low or medium heat setting

Excessive hot water can damage your skin, and it also increases the operating cost. Keep the heat settings of your geyser to low or medium to slash power consumption by 3% to 5%

6. Consider an instant geyser

In case you are using a storage water heating unit, consider installing an instant geyser, as they tend to consume lesser energy as it heats only the amount of water that is used.

7. Buy a low-flow showerheads

If you are using a bucket and mug to bath, then it is fine, as bucket will measure out the amount of water you need to use. However, in case you are using a showerhead, invest in low-flow fixtures. It will regulate the amount of water that is drained through the outlet while giving you a satisfactory shower.

8. Fix any leaks

In case your geyser has a leak, fix it immediately. A leak of one drop of water per second can waste around 9 gallons of water a day! It is cancer on your utility bill that needs to be taken care of as soon as you can.

Common Questions – Geysers

What should I do in case there is an emergency with my water heater?

If your water heater is making strange noises, or you see jolts of fire on the electric board or any other situation that you think might cause a hazard, wear a plastic slipper and take a wooden or a plastic spatula to pull the plug off from socket.  Turn off the switch if you can and call the electrician for help.
NOTE: If you see fire on the socket, do not approach it. Instead, turn off the main switch in your house. Then call the electrician and fire brigade for assistance.

Can I install an Instant geyser all by myself?

You can install an instant geyser all by yourself; just go through the manual thoroughly before doing it. But this type of heaters has a little complicated installation process, so it is advisable that you seek the help of a professional.

What is a tankless geyser?

Tankless geysers are also called instant geysers. These are water heating units that can produce hot water instantly. It does not require several minutes to heat water which is the norm in the case of traditional type storage geysers.

What will happen if I forget to switch off my geyser?

In case you have a storage geyser without the feature of auto turn off or auto standby, it can cause serious damage to the geyser. It can even burst and catch fire.
However, if you use an instant geyser, then it will go on a standby mode the moment you close the faucet.

Over to You

As explained in the post, storage geysers are time tested. They have their limitations, but they guarantee a certain amount of water. The Instant geyser is definitely an advancement on the storage geyser in terms of luxury, convenience and energy saving. So make your choice!

Let us know which one you decided to install at your home.

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