10 Best Electric Water Heater Reviews in 2017

For most of us, we tend to take certain things for granted. For example, the water that comes out of our pipes is one thing that we don’t really think about, unless there is a problem with it, of course. As such, water heaters are something that most households don’t pay much attention to except when it’s time to replace it or upgrade it.

According to the Department of Energy, heating your water for various purposes (cooking, showering, etc.) accounts for about eighteen percent of your electric bill, so it should be something worth looking at as far as ways to manage your bills.

So, to help you get started, we have compiled a list of some of the best water heaters on the market, both with tanks and tankless so that you can find one that will suit your needs.

Whether you are looking for something new for your whole house or something for your aquarium or want a unit that can be utilized for a particular room, these all are top quality models.

How to Choose an Electric Water Heater

Tank vs. Tankless

As we’ve seen, you can either upgrade to the future and get a tankless heater, or you can stick with an old-school model and have a tank. We’ve already discussed some of the reasons why, but let’s break it down further.

Tankless

  • Uses less energy
  • Endless amounts of hot water
  • Compact design for easier installation
  • Variable temperature controls
  • Might cost more
  • Might not have as much output as a standard heater

Tank

  • Provides lots of hot water all at once
  • Can be more cost-effective in some situations
  • Uses more energy than a tankless unit
  • Will run out of hot water and need to recycle

Overall, tankless is usually the better way to go as you can adjust the system as needed and save a lot more money in the long run. Also, if you are running out of hot water on a regular basis, you will never have to worry about that again, which is a huge benefit for large households.

Output

As we’ve seen, one of the fastest ways to see if a water heater is right for your needs is to measure how much it can deliver. With tankless models, you have to look at the flow rating, which will be in gallons per minute.

For household uses, you will need at least 3.5-4 gallons, with six or more being ideal for places that need a lot of hot water. If you are only upgrading a single room or apartment, however, then 2-3 gallons per minute is all you need.

If the rating is less than that you will want to have the unit installed for a particular sink rather than controlling multiple outlets.

Power Requirements

Another primary factor that should go into your decision is how much power you will use with your new heater. Heating water takes a lot of electricity, so pay attention to the number of volts and kilowatts needed to power your unit.

While tankless models will use less energy overall, one thing to keep in mind is that you will have an endless supply of hot water, so it’s imperative that you don’t abuse that fact and go through more water than you would otherwise.

Recommended Electric Water Heaters 

1. BOSCH Tronic 6000 C Electric Heater

BOSCH Tronic 6000 C Electric Heater

These days, one of the biggest choices that you will have to make regarding your water heater is whether to go tankless.

These devices are fast becoming more popular in homes because they are easier to manage and install and they can provide endless hot water as long as they have the right specs.

In this case, the Tronic 6000 from Bosch is a prime example of a tankless unit that can work well for your whole house. In some cases, these units are only meant for a single source, such as a sink or a bathroom.

However, this particular model can replace your old water heater completely and power your whole home without any issues.What makes this heater so desirable is that it has a 97% efficiency rating so that you can further reduce your energy usage.

With a regular heater, you have to pay to reheat the water as it fills the tank, but in this case, you only pay for what you use, which means that you can get some substantial savings.

In addition, it has a flow sensor to ensure that you get the right temperature every time. Overall, this is a fantastic unit that can help your home become much more efficient while providing excellent hot water all day long.

Pros

  • Uses 29.7 kW of power
  • Tankless design doesn’t run out of hot water
  • Polymer casing ensures ideal temperature
  • Built-in flow sensor prevents heat dilution
  • Compact design can be installed almost anywhere
  • 97% thermal efficiency
  • External control knobs for easy access
  • Digital readout for easier monitoring
  • Works for your whole house

Cons

  • In rare cases, it might not provide as much hot water as needed
  • Installation process can be tricky without professional help

2. EcoSmart ECO 11 Electric Water Heater

EcoSmart ECO 11 Electric Water Heater

As we just mentioned, one thing to know about tankless heaters is that some models are designed for low flow settings, such as a single room or faucet.

In this case, the ECO 11 from EcoSmart is ideally suited for a one bedroom or studio apartment, meaning that you don’t get as much hot water as you would with a more powerful unit, but then you aren’t paying as much either.

To help regulate the temperature, this model comes with an automated system that ensures that the water is at the right setting and that you aren’t overloading the heater.

Although it’s automatic, you can also set the temperature yourself using the digital control panel. It’s so accurate that you can customize it to a single degree. Overall, this is a fantastic unit if you don’t go through that much water.

The maximum output is only two gallons per minute, so you will have to utilize low-flow shower heads to ensure that it stays at temp.

Pros

  • Tankless heater design
  • Uses 13 kW of power
  • Auto-regulating unit keeps water at optimal temperature
  • EcoSmart programming improves overall efficiency
  • Digital temperature control within one degree
  • Compact design fits almost anywhere
  • Ideal for a single room or studio apartment
  • Delivers up to two gallons per minute

Cons

  • In rare cases, the system may act up at various times
  • May not provide as much hot water as needed, depending on location and climate
  • Some components are not as durable as others

3. Reliance 6 SOMS K 6 Gallon Electric Heater

Reliance 6 SOMS K 6 Gallon Electric Heater

When most people think of standard water heaters, they usually imagine massive tanks that fill up a whole closet or corner of the basement.

However, that doesn’t mean that you can’t find something smaller and more compact if need be.

Hence, we have the Reliance SOMS K. This unit has a relatively tiny six-gallon tank, making it ideal for small apartments or homes that don’t need a lot of hot water at once.

It won’t work well for a long shower, but when it comes to washing your hands or cooking, you can get plenty of hot water before it has to recycle.The main benefit of getting a heater this small is that you aren’t paying for extra water that you don’t need.

If you are living in less space or want to reduce your overall water usage, then this is a fantastic way to do it.As far as performance goes, this particular model has a 1650-watt heating element inside.

It also has a temperature and pressure relief valve built in to ensure proper working conditions at all times. When installing this unit, you will see that the inlet and outlet are clearly marked so as to make it easier to hook up to your plumbing.

It shouldn’t be too hard to mount into your home meaning that you can have it all connected within a matter of minutes if you know what you’re doing.

Pros

  • Compact six-gallon heater
  • Runs on electricity
  • 1650 watt copper heating element built in
  • Marked inlet and outlet for easy installation
  • Temperature and pressure relief valve built in
  • Ideal for small apartments or homes

Cons

  • May run out of hot water suddenly
  • In rare cases, the unit may not heat up very well
  • On rare occasions, the heater may come with a faulty valve

4. Atmor AT-900-03 Tankless Electric Heater

Atmor-Tankless-Electric-Including-AT-900-03

Next, we have a tankless heater that is specifically designed to work with a single sink.

Thus, if you need to add a heater to a bathroom or kitchen and keep it separate from the central unit that controls your whole house, this could be a good option for you.

Not everyone will need to split up their heaters, however, so don’t buy this unit if you are looking for something more centralized.Nonetheless, this heater is perfect for a single sink, with an output of 0.5 gallons per minute and a compact design that should fit almost anywhere.

Installation should be relatively easy, and it comes with a simple on/off switch to control the whole thing. Overall, this is a remarkably minimalist device and does exactly what it needs to do.

Pros

  • Tankless water heater
  • Designed for single sink use
  • Provides up to 0.5 gallons per minute
  • Uses 3 kW of power
  • Easy to access on/off switch
  • Compact design installs quickly
  • Pressure relief device built in

Cons

  • Not as powerful as other models
  • May take a while to heat water to temperature
  • In rare cases, the unit might not reach above 80 degrees

5. Westinghouse WER040C2X055N09 Heater

Westinghouse WER040C2X055N09 Heater

So far, we’ve seen mostly tankless heaters, but now we move into standard, full-size models. Some people prefer to have a whole tank for various reasons, so if you’re one of them, then this could be a good unit for your home.

With a 5500-watt heating element and corrosion-free stainless steel, this is a perfect addition that will still improve your utility bill from your older model. One reason that people like tank heaters is that it limits the amount of hot water you can use at a time, which may ultimately keep your bills lower.

When you have unlimited hot water, you might overdo it since you don’t have to worry about running out, which is why some people can actually have higher bills after going tankless.

Regardless of your reasoning, this model is ideal for most mid-sized homes and can provide up to 64 gallons of hot water in the first hour before it has to recycle. Also, it has a 95% efficiency rating, which is incredible.

Pros

  • Extra large forty-gallon tank
  • Works for the whole household
  • Ideal for homes with four to five people
  • Durable stainless steel construction
  • Will not rust or corrode over time
  • 5500-watt heating system
  • Provides up to 64 gallons of hot water in the first hour
  • Energy efficient (95 rating)
  • Fast recovery times

Cons

  • Installation can be tricky
  • In rare cases, the water may take a while to heat up

6. Eccotemp EM-4.0 Electric Water Heater

Eccotemp EM-4.0 Electric Water Heater

Next, we have yet another ultra-compact tank heater, but this one is designed specifically to be used in one room.

Much like the Atmor above, the EM-4.0 is small enough to be most effectively used for a single sink or faucet.

With only a four-gallon capacity, it won’t work for showers or anything that needs a constant stream, but if you have a bathroom sink that doesn’t get used often, this could be an excellent money saver.

Although its output is small, the performance of this heater is incredible. It can provide up to 150 PSI of water pressure and can adjust between 50-140 degrees Fahrenheit.

To control the heat, you can turn the knob on the front. Best of all, it recovers in about thirty to forty-five minutes (depending on the setting), meaning that you don’t have to wait long to get more hot water. In the end, it will be a great addition to any single-use source that needs high-quality and low quantity.

Pros

  • Mini water tank
  • Compact four-gallon reserve
  • Installs virtually anywhere
  • Adjustable temperature control knob
  • Goes from 50-140 degrees F
  • Recovers in about thirty minutes
  • Ideal for sinks or faucets
  • Delivers up to 150 PSI water pressure
  • 1440-watt heating element

Cons

  • Installation can be tricky in some locations
  • May have a hard time reaching temperature in certain conditions
  • Not ideal for showers or other high-use functions

7. Westinghouse 80 Gal. 4500W Electric Heater

Westinghouse 80 Gal. 4500W Electric Heater

Thus far, we’ve seen heaters that are built for mid-size homes that have about four people or so. However, what if you have a large house with more than four inhabitants?

Well, one route you could take is this Westinghouse Heater, which comes with eighty gallons of piping hot water, courtesy of a 4500-watt heating element.

This is another reason why some people prefer large tanks, is that you can provide water for multiple showers at the same time, making it ideal for heavy use households.

In addition to the size, this particular model has a 98% efficiency rating, a corrosion-proof stainless steel tank, a 20 gallon-per-hour recovery rate, and it can deliver water as hot as 170 degrees on a consistent basis. That, coupled with the fact that it doesn’t need anode rods to reheat means that this is a fantastic tank heater for your home.

Pros

  • Durable stainless steel construction
  • Will not rust or corrode over time
  • Holds up to eighty gallons of water
  • 4500-watt heating element
  • 98% thermal efficiency
  • 20 gallons-per-hour recovery rate
  • Delivers up to 84 gallons in the first hour
  • No anode rods needed
  • Ideal for most homes
  • Brings in cold water at the bottom to reduce recovery times
  • Produces up to 170 degrees F
  • Minimum temperature of 110 degrees

Cons

  • In rare cases, the unit might leak at the bottom
  • Requires professional installation
  • Recovery can be slow compared to other models

8. Ecosmart ECO 36 36kw Electric Heater

Ecosmart ECO 36 36kw Electric Heater

One of the biggest limitations that most tankless heaters have is that you can only produce so much hot water at a time, meaning that if you have one for the whole house you need to make sure that everyone is not trying to get hot water all at once.

However, with the ECO 36 from EcoSmart, that is not a problem anymore.Simply put, this is the most powerful tankless heater you can get, with a whopping 36,000 heating element that can provide enough heat for up to four showers at a time.

If you have a big house and go through a lot of hot water, then this can be your best option. Best of all, it is self-regulating so that you don’t overload the system and you can control the temperature yourself on the digital control panel.

The only issue is that you need at least 150 amps of dedicated power, so make sure that it won’t blow your circuit breaker when it activates.

Pros

  • Tankless water heater
  • Uses 36 kW of power
  • Self-modulating system
  • Energy efficient design
  • Temperature control knob
  • Adjust within a single degree
  • Compact design is easy to install
  • Digital readout
  • Can provide up to six gallons per minute
  • Ideal for most households
  • Can power up to four showers simultaneously
  • 36K-watt heating element
  • Works on hot tubs and jacuzzis as well

Cons

  • Installation can be costly
  • Requires a lot of power, which might not be possible in some situations
  • In rare cases, the modulating system may not work correctly

9. Supergreen IR14K220 Infrared Heater

Supergreen IR14K220 Infrared Heater

When looking at most water heaters, you will see that they use a metal heating element to get the water to the right temperature.

The biggest issue with that is that metal corrodes over time, and especially if you live in an area with hard water the element will collect limescale deposits and become less effective the more you use it.

Thankfully, this unit from Supergreen avoids that problem by using infrared technology instead. This way you never have to worry about your heating element corroding or becoming unstable from deposits collecting on it over the years.

Instead, you can have reliable infrared lasers heating your water efficiently and reliably. Overall, this unit requires less maintenance, less energy, and works wonderfully with hard water pipes. As for output, you can get up to 3.6 gallons a minute, which is ideal for most moderate-sized households.

Pros

  • Tankless water heater
  • Uses 14 kW of power
  • Infrared heating technology
  • Heats water without coils or metal
  • Digital temperature control
  • Works well with hard water
  • Doesn’t corrode like other heaters
  • Compact design is easy to install
  • Less maintenance required
  • Ideal for moderate sized houses
  • 3.6 gallon per minute output
  • 0.5 gpm minimum delivery

Cons

  • Installation can be tricky
  • In rare cases, the unit may have trouble heating water consistently
  • In rare instances, it may take a while for the water to heat up properly

10. A.O. Smith ENS-50 ProMax Short Heater

A.O. Smith ENS-50 ProMax Short Heater

Our final stop is with another standard tank heater. This particular model comes from A.O. Smith and it provides fifty gallons of hot water at a time, which is perfect for most homes.

To help reduce the problem of limescale buildup on its 4500-watt heating element this unit comes with a proprietary Dynaclean system.

Additionally, it uses a permaglass coating to prevent corrosion and to keep the tank in pristine condition for years to come. Overall, this is a fantastic water heater that can provide plenty of hot water for you and your family.

It might not be as efficient or powerful as some of the other models we’ve seen, but it will be a much better upgrade than whatever ancient unit you currently have in your home.

Pros

  • Durable steel tank
  • Permaglass coating prevents corrosion
  • Fifty-gallon reserve
  • Dynaclean diffuser reduces lime scale buildup
  • Aluminum anode rod reduces rust and corrosion
  • Tamper-resistant brass drain valve
  • Uses 45 kW of power
  • 4500-watt heating element
  • Ideal for most homes
  • Efficient operation
  • Fast recovery times

Cons

  • May not recover as fast as other units
  • Can be difficult to install
  • In rare cases, the unit may leak at the bottom

Final Verdict

After comparing these different heaters, our top recommendations have to be either the EcoSmart 36 or the Supergreen Infrared models. We love the raw power that can come from the 36 heater.

But we also appreciate the fact that Supergreen is easier to maintain and can heat your water without needing an old and ineffectual heating element that will corrode over time. In the end, both of these units will substantially reduce your energy usage without sacrificing output or quality.

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Michael A. Taylor
 

A passionate blogger! Editor at ShowerHacks.com, and a regular DIY writer at HuffingtonPost, LifeHacker & Instructable

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