Best Electric Water Heaters Reviews in 2019

According to Consumer Reports, heating water consumes 20% of any household’s utility budget and is only second to the amount you spend on heating or cooling your house. Often the reason is that we use outdated, and energy inefficient water heating methods. However, despite this statistic, we pay our water heaters no attention until the end of their life when we have to replace them, lest we end up with a flooded basement.

Our Top 3 Picks

Stiebelimg
  • Stiebel
  • 5 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Sturdy
  • Price: See Here
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Bosch
  • Bosch
  • 4.6 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Affordable
  • Price: See Here
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EcoSmartimg
  • EcoSmart
  • 4.3 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Versatile
  • Price: See Here
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Nonetheless, you are in luck thanks to the Federal regulations that require all water heaters to be energy efficient. Water heaters below 55 gallons have a 4% efficiency boost while those above 55 gallons boast of a 25% to 50% increase depending on the technology. Thus you can have a constant supply of hot water without worrying about the bills. However, picking the right water ha=eater can be a challenge. Well, allow us to put your mind at ease as we have provided our top recommendations for the best electric water heaters.

10 Best Electric Water Heaters

 

1. Stiebel Eltron 224199

1. Stiebel Eltron 224199
The 224199 is a product of the German company Stiebel Eltron which is renowned for their water heaters. It is a tankless unit and thus saves energy space and money. It is also smart, sturdy, and quite efficient all reasons why it tops this list.
First, the unit is quite compact. Therefore, you do not need a basement or a utility room for installation. You can install it next to any hot water tap to reduce the wait time. Moreover, it means it is easier to take down if you are moving houses or during renovations, and it is also simpler to dispose of.

Another fascinating feature of this heater is the energy efficiency. Seeing as it is tankless, there is no standby heat loss as it doesn’t store hot water. You can expect to lower your water bills by 15% to 20% with the 224199. You also have an unlimited supply of hot water. However, our top features were the Tempra Advanced Flow Control and Constant Temp Output.

Constant Temperature Output – The 224199 ensures the water temperature is standard even if the water flow changes. The microprocessor technology will adjust the temperature to ascertain the heat is always the same as the one you set.

Tempra Advanced Flow Control – This is a trademarked technology of Stiebel Eltron that slightly reduces the water flow to maintain the correct temperature. Should you open many hot water outlets consecutively, the temperature drops in other heaters. To curb this, the Stiebel reduces the water flow, to maintain the temperature.
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Product Features

kW: 24
Voltage: 240
Amperage draw: 100A
Min flow rate: 0.50 GPM
Temperature range: 86°F and 140°F

Who is it for?

The Stiebel Eltron 224199 is for people with large households but have limited installation space. Thanks to the Tempra Advanced Flow Control you can use it for more than one activity at a time.
Pros

The unit is quite sturdy, and the entire water path is copper for durability

You can set the max temp at 109°F for longevity

The unit allows you to adjust the temperature

The unit is very quiet

Cons

It is pricey, and the installation can be demanding as it might require rewiring

2. Bosch Electric Mini-Tank Heater

2. Bosch Electric Mini-Tank Heater
Bosch denotes quality, and the Mini tank Tronic is no exception. The unit is built to last, and you can expect it to serve for long periods. First, this is a point of use water heater but more on this later. It cannot supply an entire house but is enough for a quick shower or 2 sinks.

First, you will appreciate the solid build and the energy efficiency. The tank is glass lined and insulated for energy efficiency. Moreover, the unit consists of an anode rod that helps protect it against corrosion. You will also appreciate the 7-gallon unit as it can be installed sideways unlike the 2.5 gal or the four gal heaters that have to be mounted vertically. The installation also happens to be a breeze as all that’s required is to tap into the cold water line and direct hot water out. The temperature range is between 65°F and 145°F with 125°F being the default temp.

You can adjust the temperature using the knob located on the front of the unit. Moreover, the unit incorporates a temperature and pressure relief valve to keep it from exploding when under load. Nevertheless, our best features were the compact design and the versatility.

Compact – The Tronic is compact and is designed to be installed under the sink, in the cabinet, on the floor, or the wall with the included bracket. Moreover, unlike most heaters that have a bland color, the Tronic can blend with any décor.

Versatility – This unit is not only a point of use heater, but it can also be used to supplement a water heating source located far from the sink and thus reducing the wait time. It can also act as a buffer for a heater that experiences intermittent cold water.
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Product Features

Dimensions: 17.5 * 17.5 * 14.5 inches
Temp Range: 65°F to 145°F
Capacity: 7 gallons
Wattage: 1440 watts

Who is it for?

The Bosch Tronic 7-gallon is a point of use unit, and we recommend it for people who are looking for gadgets to supplement their existing water heaters. It is especially handy for people with tankless heaters that experience periods of cold water.
Pros

Affordable

Super easy to install

Provides enough water for more than one activity

Cons

The range of the thermostat is quite vast, and you are never sure if you will get hot or warm water

3. EcoSmart ECO 11

3. EcoSmart ECO 11
If you are looking for an electric option that will save you space and includes a lifetime warranty, we recommend you get the Ecosmart ECO 11. This unit is for warm areas with an incoming temperature of about 67°F. However, it can be used in cold regions but as a point of use heater for any application that requires a low flow.

The max temperature is 140°F, and the standard is 105°F. The temperature is easy to set thanks to the digital display and the thermostat that allows increments of 1°F. Moreover, the backlight is ever on whenever the heater is in use, so you know the temperature.

As a compact unit, it allows you to save tons of space and saves energy since it is an electric unit saving up to 60%. You will also appreciate that it provides consistent hot water thanks to the self-modulating technology. However, our best features were the ease of installation and the warranty.

Ease of installation – Most electric units are a headache to install, as they require rewiring. However, the Ecosmart installation is simple enough as it uses a 60 amp power supply available in most homes. Moreover, the #6 gauge wire needed is easy to come by.

Limited lifetime warranty – The Eco 11 guarantee is unparalleled, and it covers the electronics, elements, and heat exchanger. Be sure to check the manual for more details.
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Product Features

Voltage: 240 volts
WaterSense certification
Weight: 6.5 pounds

Who is it for?

We recommend the Ecosmart Eco 11 for areas with an inflow of 67°F. If you are to use it in a cold area, we recommend as a point of use unit.
Pros

It is versatile

Helps in energy saving (up to 60%)

It is easy to install

It is durable as all the components are either copper or steel

Cons

There have been complaints about the water temperature flipping from warm to cold

4. Ariston GL4S

4. Ariston GL4S
This is another Bosch product, and it lives up to the standards set by the parent company. The GL4S is a point of use water heater and one that is for sinks. Owing to the capacity, the GL4S cannot be used for demanding activities such as dishwashers or showering.

It provides instant water when needed and can serve as a buffer for tankless heaters that experience intermittent cold water. It can also be used to reduce the wait time from when you turn on the faucet to when hot water reaches you.

The GL4S replaces the GL4 and now has a more accessible knob to adjust the temperature. Moreover, it happens to be more consistent and accurate. The warranty to is unmatched as it has a 6-year warranty on the heat exchanger and a 1-year limited warranty on the part. However, our top features were the ease of installation and the design.

Design – The GL4S is sleek for a water heater. You can set it up in any space as it will blend with the décor, unlike most water heaters that are rather bland.

Easy to install – First, this product is compact and can be installed under the sink, or in a cabinet. Moreover, no rewiring is needed as the unit is a 12.5 amp heater and can connect to a standard house outlet. Finally, it incorporates standard, 1.5-inch fittings thus will work with any plumbing. Finally, all that is needed is to connect a cold water inlet and the outlet to the faucet.
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Product Features

Amperage: 12.5
Weight: 17 pounds
Dimensions: 14 * 14 * 12.25-inches

Who is it for?

If you are in the market for a water heater that will act as a buffer, or to supplement an existing unit, or say you added a sink, we recommend the GL4S.
Pros

Installation is a walk in the park

It is affordable

It is attractive and blends with home décor

Cons

The tanks is small limiting where you can use it

Also, there are complaints of the temperature not being consistent

5. Eccotemp EM-4.0

5. Eccotemp EM-4.0
Another point of use unit, the Ecotemp E.M-4.0 is solidly built, and you can expect it to serve you for a while. It also includes a 2-year warranty on parts and 5-year warranty on leaks. First, the unit is small and lightweight. Thus it can fit in any tiny space, say a cabinet, or under the sink. Furthermore, installation is a breeze but more on this later.

First, the E.M-4.0 ensures that you have readily hot water at any sink. You can use the unit to reduce the wait time, which can run up to a minute. Moreover, the heater is excellent as a buffer for devices that produce intermittent cold water.

Another exciting feature of the unit is the easy to use knob. You can adjust the temperature anywhere between 50°F and 140°F. Furthermore, you will appreciate that it has a cold and hot water feed. It also includes pressure and temperature relief, with a maximum temp of 150psi. However, our top features were the recovery time and easy installation.

Recovery time – recovery time is how long a heater can heat water after it has been emptied. The E.M-4.0 has a 20 minute recovery time.

Ease of installation – First, this is a DIY unit. It retails with all the necessary instructions and accessories making installation simple enough. Furthermore, it runs on 12 amps, and thus you can connect it to a standard 110/120V house outlet. Finally, the fittings are ½” NPT and therefore can work with any house plumbing.
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Who is it for?

The Ecotemp E.M-4.0 is a point of use heater. It is remarkable for RVs, cottages, and small houses, or as a buffer for a larger unit. It is also designed for use in warm areas.
Pros

You are getting a premium heater at an affordable price

Installation is a walk in the park

It is aesthetically pleasing

Cons

The fittings are plastic, and thus a lot of care is required

It has no easy way to drain and thus can get damaged during winter

6. Thermoflow Elex 24

6. Thermoflow Elex 24
If you have a small house, and you are looking for an endless supply of hot water, we recommend you get the Elex 12. Thanks to the Instahot water heating technology, you will have an infinite amount of hot water but more on that later.

First, the unit is compact and easy to install. You will need an electrician, but it should not take more than an hour. It works with standard ½” NPT fittings and needs 12kW and 240V thus it will function in most homes. The Elex 12 is also durable. Unlike tank units, you don’t have to concern yourself with rust and sediment build up. Furthermore, the piece of equipment is built of stainless steel and thus is acid and corrosion resistant.

Another fascinating aspect is the energy consumption. If you are looking to lower your heating costs, investing in the Elex 12 should be the first step. You can reduce your energy consumption by 50%. Finally, the 12 is a tiny unit and consumes little space. Nonetheless, what piqued our interest was the Instahot technology and the self-modulating technology.

Instahot Tech – Thanks to the bare wire heating design, you have a constant supply of hot water. Furthermore, the wires are maintenance free.

Self-modulating technology – The Elex 12 allows you to work with temperatures between 30°F and 140°F. Moreover, it ensures precise control as you can adjust the temperature by one degree. Additionally, there is the backlit display for accurate reading of the temperature. You will also appreciate that the unit keeps a constant temperature despite the flow rate.
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Product Features

Voltage: 240V
Amperage: 12 amps
Weight: 5.4 pounds
Temp range: 32°F to 140°F
Breakers: 60 amp

Who is it for?

The Elex 12 is for people with smaller homes. The GPM is low to handle large households. However, you can get two heaters.
Pros

It is reasonably priced

It can accommodate more than three faucets which is remarkable for such a tiny unit

It is aesthetically pleasing

Setting and adjusting the temperature is a breeze

The water temperature is ever constant

Cons

The troubleshooting guide is a joke, and the provided phone number doesn’t work

7. Rheem 240V Heating Chamber RTEX-13

7. Rheem 240V Heating Chamber RTEX-13
The RTEX-13 is for at most 3-outlets. However, the flow rate is affected by the temperature of the incoming water compared to the water leaving the unit. Therefore, don’t expect the performance to be the same in a cold area as it will be in warmer regions. If you reside in cold areas, we recommend you use it as a point of use heater.

Moreover, the RTEX-13 uses about 54amps and thus needs a 60A at 240V breaker. Ensure you are providing enough power otherwise the unit will not serve you. The wires too should be a #6AWG size.

You will appreciate how compact and aesthetically pleasing the heater is. It will blend with your décor and can be put out in the open. Its small size ensures that it occupies very little space. Another noteworthy feature is that it only needs 0.3gpm to activate the heating elements, but it can achieve a max flow rate of 4.8gpm.

Installation of the unit is pretty straightforward, but you should engage a professional. However, piping is rather easy thanks to the ½”NPT. It is also 99.8% energy efficient and reduces power consumption by 50%. However, our best feature was the heat exchanger.

Heat exchanger – This unit is energy efficient and self-modulating. The copper immersion heating elements are durable and are field serviceable. You can expect the heater to last longer, and it will be easy to repair should it break down.
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Product Features

Power: 54A at 240V
Wiring: #6
Weight: 8.5 pounds

Who is it for?

The RTEX-13 is best for small houses, in warm areas. It can serve a maximum of three outlets without affecting the flow rate. If you are to use it in a cold region, ensure it is a point of use unit.
Pros

Easy to install

It is simple to service

Threaded and thus easy to install or replace

It is aesthetically pleasing

Cons

It meets specs but not expectations; clients say that you have to lower the flow rate, for hot water

8. Ecosmart ECO 18

8. Ecosmart ECO 18
The ECO 18 is the Eco 11’s bigger brother and is for bigger households. First, the installation is straightforward. The unit is wall mounted, and all that is required is a 150A panel. Ensure you provide enough power to avoid poor performance. The ECO 18 uses 3/4” fittings and will work with most house plumbing. Moreover, it is aesthetically pleasing and compact to install in any tight space. You can also put it up on any wall, thanks to the appealing design.

Another exciting feature of the ECO 18 is the activation flow at 0.25GPM. This is noteworthy as some heaters have an activation flow from 0.5GPM. Moreover, you can configure your temperature with the included knob, with 1-degree increments. You will also appreciate the digital display as it makes the whole process easier.

The ECO 18 will lower your energy costs by as much as 60% according to the company. Finally, you will appreciate the durability, and ease of maintenance. The copper and stainless components can withstand corrosion and rust. Moreover, they are easy to replace should they sustain damage. However, our best features were the self-modulating tech, and the capacity.

Capacity – The ECO 18 has a 2.5 GPM which is equal to most shower heads. However, it can supply two shower heads if used in warmer regions.

Self-modulating tech – You need not adjust the heater for it to detect the temperature of incoming water. It includes two sensors that determine if the temperature is in the required range. Should the water be hotter than required, the unit shuts down.
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Product Features

Power: 75A
Activation flow: 0.25GPM
99.8% energy efficient
Temperature range: 80°F and 140°F
Water connections: ¾” NPT

Who is it for?

The Eco 18 is designed for large households. We recommend you use it in warm regions for the best results.
Pros

Reduced energy costs thanks to the low consumption

Installation is easy enough

The unit is portable and easy to store

Cons

You cannot install the gadget outside, and should you DIY; you run the risk of voiding your warranty

9. American Standard CE-12-AS

9. American Standard CE-12-AS
Most point of use heaters on this list cannot be enough for a shower owing to their small capacity. However, if you are looking for a point of use water heater that will be enough without affecting other water-dependent activities, we recommend you get the American Standard owing to its 12-gallon capacity.

As you might have gathered, this is a tank unit, and thus it will need quite some space for installation. However, it isn’t as large as conventional tank units and therefore won’t consume too much space. The apparatus uses a single copper heating element and is durable as it is heavy duty steel. A 6 years tank warranty also backs it, a six years parts warranty, and a one-year labor warranty.

Another remarkable feature of this unit is that it has been fitted to work with 120V and thus will work in any home. However, our best features were the drain and the tank.

Tank – The American Standard Tank is built to last. It is dura lined and fired at 1,600°F for the best protection against corrosion.

Drain Valve – Some point of use heaters don’t incorporate a drain valve, and this poses a challenge especially during winter. However, the American standard includes a brass valve, for emptying the tank during winter and reducing sediment deposits and thus increasing the life of the gadget.
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Product Features

Capacity: 12 gallons
Voltage: 120V
Water Connections: ¾” NPT
• Insulation: 1” foam

Who is it for?

Again, this is a point of use unit. However, given the capacity, it can serve a single shower and a sink. We especially recommend it for people with an outhouse or homeowners expanding their houses.
Pros

It fits into small spaces, that conventional tank

The unit is well made

Installing the apparatus is simple enough

The capacity is enough for more than the point of use

The price is excellent, and you get top value for what you pay

Cons

Poor quality control especially with the packagin

10. Rheem 240V 3 Heating Chambers

10. Rheem 240V 3 Heating Chambers
This option is designed for larger households, and it has a flow rate of up to 5.9GPM. This is enough for showering, doing a load of laundry, and washing dishes. The RTEX 24 is aesthetically pleasing and easy to use. First, it includes a knob to regulate the temperature at 1°F and a digital display that eases the process. It also includes an on and off dial control.

Other than the aesthetics, this unit is compact and will fit in most tight spots. It also happens to be energy efficient and will lower your bills. However, here are our best features.

Heat exchanger - This is durable and easy to replace. It includes a copper immerse element and a brass top for robustness. Moreover, they are threaded, so they are easy to install and replace.

Self-modulating technology – Thanks to sensors in the unit, the heater checks the temperature of the incoming water and adjusts accordingly. If the temperature of incoming water is high, the device will shut down.
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Product Features

GPM: 5.9
5-year limited warranty
Dimensions: 18.25 * 17.63 * 3.5-inches

Who is it for?

We recommend this unit for larger households. However, it is ideal for small houses if you reside in cold areas. This is due to the enormous difference in temperature between the incoming water, and water leaving the gadget.
Pros

It is aesthetically pleasing

Has enough capacity to supply a large household

It is energy efficient

Cons

It is pricey

Electric Water Heater Selection Criteria

Capacity

Typically, a tank water heater holds from 40 gallons to upwards of 55 gallons. The size you pick depends on your water usage and the number of occupants in your home. As for water usage, a family of 2 can use about 50 gallons while that of 4 can use up to 100 gallons. However, this isn’t synonymous with the family of 4 requiring a 100-gallon water heater. First, consider the first-hour rating; that is the number of gallons a unit can deliver within that first hour starting with a full tank.

If you are on the hunt for a tankless water heater, take into account the gallons per minute (GPM). Pick a device with a higher GPM for a household with heavy water usage.

Type

Depending on the amount of water you need, and how you intend to heat the water, there are several types of products.

  1. Tank – These are the most commonplace units and consist of a water tank where water is stored and heated for use. The capacity of the tank can vary from 40 gallons to upwards of 55 gallons depending on the number of people in your home. Some tank units incorporate a temperature and pressure relief valve that opens if any of the levels is exceeded. Several shortcomings of this unit are that it requires a lot of space, and the amount of hot water is limited.
  2. Tankless – Also known as on-demand water heaters, tankless electric water heaters, on the other hand, use coils to heat water. They are more energy efficient unlike the tank units, and you never run out of hot water. Moreover, they have instant results, and the temperature is customizable. However, there are some drawbacks as they are best for people drawing water for one activity at a time. They also wear out faster compared to tank units and require an expensive upgrade for people with old homes.
  3. Heat pump – Also known as a hybrid water heater, these units consume 60% less energy compared to most electric units. They take heat from the air and transfer it to the water. They are like refrigerators in reverse and use electricity to move the heat. Though they are pricey compared to other electric units, they consume less energy and installation is similar. Thus the payback period is shorter.

Drain Valves

When purchasing heaters, you can buy a unit with plastic or brass valves. These are near the base of the appliance and are for draining the unit. We recommend you pick a heater with brass valves as they are more durable compared to plastic valves.

Anti-scale devices

Scale can dramatically shorten the life of your unit, and some tank water heaters include a feature to swirl the water to reduce mineral buildup. However, you don’t have to spend a small fortune for a needless feature as you can invest in a unit with a 12-year warranty as these have a longer or thicker element.

Warranty

Most water heater warranties are from 3 years but can run up to 12 years. You will pay more for lengthy warranties, but these are typically better pieces of equipment.

FAQS

Why am I experiencing slow hot water recovery?

Hot water recovery is the time it takes for water to get to the right temperature after the tank has been emptied. If you are experiencing slow hot water recovery, it could be your voltage is too low, and you should set the power to the appropriate voltage, or the heating element malfunctioned which you should replace.

Why does it take too long for hot water to get to my shower?

Often, this is due to the plumbing in the house. Most water heaters are placed in utility rooms, and the water has to travel quite a distance before it gets to your tap or shower. Moreover, once you open a faucet, the cold water has to be expelled before the hot water reaches you. To avoid this you can invest in a re-circulation system, or a point of use water heater which acts as a buffer.

What are anodes and why are they important?

Also known as a sacrificial rod, an anode protects your tank unit resulting in longer life. The rod is attached to the top of the tank and protects the exposed steel tank through electrolysis. The metal used is less noble than the steel tank, and thus it corrodes in place of the tank. Using an anode increases the life of the tank almost indefinitely.

What should you consider when looking for a replacement water heater?

First, consider your need for water. Is the demand growing, staying the same, or is it diminishing? Get a bigger device if it is growing, and a smaller piece of equipment if it is decreasing.

Moreover, consider the space available. If you have limited space, we recommend you get a tankless unit, although they will be pricey. However, a tankless water heater is not the best if you are on a budget.

Conclusion

All the electric water heaters listed above are well designed, and sturdily built for various applications. Ensure you pick the appropriate unit whether as a point of use, for a small apartment, or a large household.

Finally, be sure to leave your thoughts in the comments below.