The rising energy cost has forced many to look at alternative ways of consuming and cutting costs on energy bills. One of such means is to use an electric water heater for your household needs. There are so many products available on the market so how do you decide which one is the best?
To help you make the best selection for your home, we’ve rounded up the top seven electric water heaters on the market. We only list products that rate high in performance, low energy consumption and durability. The EcoSmart ECO 11 performed better than the others based on the smart technology that doesn’t allow water flow to faulty faucets and has ultra-energy saving capabilities. It became the obvious nomination for our Editor’s Choice.
Top 7 Electric Water Heaters Review 2020
We spent more than 130 hours scrutinizing different products based on customers’ reviews and feedback to give you an objective review. We’ve gone one step further and matched features of related products from the manufacturers’ websites. We’ve also measured factors such as minimum flow rate, amperage draw, dimensions and weight. Based on this information, we’ve compiled a comparison table and detailed reviews of each product. We’ve included a buying guide at the end of the article to assist you to pick the best electric water heater for your unique scenario.
When you already look at this portable and compact model you understand immediately that it is perfect for being placed under the sinkRead Our Review
EcoSmart ECO 11 – Editor's Choice
- Min. flow rate: 1.3 GPM
- Amperage draw: 54
- Dimensions: 12 x 9.75 x 3.75 inches
- Weight: 6.7 lbs
- Warranty: lifetime
More features: digital temperature control, heating – up to 2 gallons per minute
What’s so amazing about this unit that it became a clear winner for the editor’s choice? In short, it’s the best tankless water heater due to its innovative technology and ultra-energy saving power.
Most people invest in an electric water heater to save costs on energy bills. The EcoSmart ECO 11 delivers on that and so much more. It has smart technology built in that doesn’t supply any water flow to drippy taps. It thinks for you and won’t consume any energy if it doesn’t detect any water flow. Traditional tank heaters will run a 24/7 cycle to sustain a full tank even if it’s not needed. That translates into high energy bills which is the exact opposite of what this compact water heater gives you.
It has a smart remote panel that allows for digital temperature control so you have all the power in your hands. It’s able to heat up to two gallons of water per minute so you’ll never have to argue about who’s going to take a shower first. There’ll be ample hot water supply for normal household activities such as washing dishes, doing laundry or taking a nice hot shower simultaneously.
What also makes this the most powerful water heater from our list is the sophisticated design that’s compact, smart and silent. You won’t even notice it’s there. The only concern we have is that after an extended period of use it seems to have some flow restrictions due to the copper piping. An easy fix is to do regular maintenance to keep your pipes clean. This remains the best energy saver unit that can save you up to 60% on your energy bills.
- Lifetime warranty
- Superior energy-saving power
- Innovative design
- Consistent hot water supply
- Flow restrictions due to copper piping
- Remote control sold separately
Stiebel Eltron Tempra 24 – Best Tankless Water Heater
- Min. flow rate: 0.50 GPM
- Amperage draw: 100
- Dimensions: 16.5 x 14.5 x 4.6 inches
- Weight: 16.1 lbs
- Warranty: 7-year limited on leakage; 3-year on defects in materials
More features: no venting required, advanced microprocessor technology
If you’re looking for an energy saver that’ll deliver in the long haul, this is a viable option to consider. Stiebel Eltron is also a name you can trust. They’re the world leaders with 90 years of experience in hot water technology. The company is relentless in its pursuit of superior technology to continue pioneering this industry. The Stiebel Eltron Tempra 24 has self-modulating technology that guarantees the minimum amount of energy is used during an operation. You’re assured of never encountering any standby losses that are so frequent with traditional tank heaters.
This whole house water heater ranks as one of the best in the world. Ever wanted to maintain the same temperature throughout a relaxing shower but ended up with a cold end instead? This will never happen with this unit as it has Advanced Flow Control technology built in to main a constant temperature. You also don’t need a remote control to change the temperature as the unit is fitted with advanced microprocessor technology that maintains the water temperature at the set point. It never deviates from it.
The only drawback is the copper tank which is prone to flake from the inside and discharges calcium particles that can clog your taps. Proper maintenance and cleaning of your tank will take care of that easily. It comes with a seven-year leakage warranty and three-year parts guarantee. It’s worth considering as it’s rated as one of the best tankless heaters on the market.
- Advanced Flow Control technology built in
- 99% energy saver
- No standby losses
- No venting required
- Can clog taps
- Limited warranty
Stiebel Eltron DHC-E12 – Best Compact Water Heater
- Min. flow rate: 0.264 GPM
- Amperage draw: 50
- Dimensions: 14.2 x 7.9 x 4.1 inches
- Weight: 5.9 lbs
- Warranty: 7-year limited on leakage; 3-year on defects in materials
More features: adjustable temperature range (between 86–140°F)
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that we have more than one Stiebel Eltron product on our list. After all, they’re the leaders in hot water technology. This German company prides itself on quality and innovation. The Stiebel Eltron DHC-E12 doesn’t shy away either. It’s the most compact design on our list and weighs a meager 5.9lb. Talk about dynamite in a small package and the best compact water heater on our list.
It exerts the same power efficiency as the other electric water heaters we’ve listed. You’re able to save up to 50% on your energy bills and still enjoy an endless supply of hot water. Because it’s controlled hydraulically you’ll never hear a whirring or noisy sound. It works effortlessly in the background. Keep in mind the DHC models are single sink applications designed for one point of use only. You can easily install it under your bathroom or kitchen sink or alternatively use it in your laundry area.
It’s also ideal for commercial settings like an office building, hotels or restaurants. You get hot water instantly at half the cost of traditional tank heaters. The other aspect that stood out for us about the Stiebel Eltron range is the reliability of their products. They’re built from the highest quality materials and are extremely durable. It tends to lose some pressure during rapid water flow, which could be because of piping problems. Other than that, it’s good value for money and worth the investment.
- Most compact design
- Easy to install
- Good value for money
- Instant hot water supply
- Some pressure loss
- Single point use only
Rheem MR50245 Marathon Tall Electric Water Heater – Best Whole House Water Heater
- Min. flow rate: 0.95 GPM
- Amperage draw: 18.75
- Dimensions: 23.5 x 23.5 x 66.75 inches
- Weight: 101.1 lbs
- Warranty: residential – lifetime limited warranty on tank and 6 years on parts; commercial – 5-year limited tank warranty and 1-year on parts
More features: complete sediment draining, brass drain valve, temperature, and pressure relief valve
With this whole house water heater, size is everything. It can hold 50 gallons of water which will serve you and your household during the busiest time at home. It guarantees an endless supply of hot water at your fingertips.
Tough and sturdy comes to mind when we looked at this unit & it ultimately became our pick as the best whole house water heater. It can heat the water quickly and is well insulated to keep your water warm for extended periods. You would think such a large chunk of equipment must be noisy, right? On the contrary. It works quietly in the background with minimal noise.
Even though the unit is large it’s still light enough to carry. The manufacturers also stand behind their promise that it will never leak and offer a lifetime warranty on the tank. An extended six-year warranty is offered on the parts; a warranty that isn’t common in the industry.
The only negative aspect is the thermostat can be tricky and give lower temperatures if overused. You can make use of the extended six-year warranty if that happens as the after-sales service of Rheem is world-class and they’re ready to assist with any problems. This powerful water heater will last you a lifetime and remains a good investment.
- The best whole house water heater
- Lifetime warranty
- Holds large volumes of water
- The thermostat can be problematic
- Bulky design
Westinghouse 80 Gal. – Most Powerful Water Heater
- Min. flow rate: 1.16 GPM
- Amperage draw: 18.8
- Dimensions: 23.25 x 66.75 x 23.25 inches
- Weight: 151.1 lbs
- Warranty: residential – parts 1-6 years/ tank 10 years – lifetime; commercial – parts 1 year/ tank 5-10 years
More features: no anode rodes needed, stainless steel Incoloy elements with low density
This powerhouse will keep you impressed for years. The Westinghouse 80 Gal came out with guns blazing when compared to similar competitor products. It stands superior as the most powerful water heater on our list. It’s made from stainless steel for superior protection and supreme quality. It requires a 4500W connection for seamless water flow.
With a standby loss of only 0.57% per hour, you’re saving on energy costs. The laser-welded construction on the stainless steel tank ensures it will remain corrosion-free. To ensure your element doesn’t burn out it has Incoloy elements built in with a low watt concentration. It guarantees to serve you longer than traditional elements that burn out so quickly. Because it’s protected against corrosion no anode rods are required.
It has smart technology that directs the cold water towards the element for rapid heating to reduce the mix of cold water with the already heated water. The only disadvantage is the thermostat panel which seems a bit flimsy and can wear out easily. You can check with the manufacturer if this can also be covered in the warranty they extend on this product.
Other than that, you can rest assured you’ll be investing in the most powerful water heater on our list.
- Most powerful water heater
- Superior element protection
- High-quality design
- Flimsy thermostat panel
- Some standby losses
Bosch Electric Mini-Tank Water Heater Tronic 3000T ES4 – Best Under Sink Water Heater
- Min. flow rate: 0.113 GPM
- Amperage draw: 12.5
- Heating capacity: 1,440W
- Dimensions: 14 x 14 x 12 1/4 inches
- Weight: 17.4 lbs
- Warranty: 8-year
More features: simple 120VAC plug-in connection, temperature and pressure relief valve installed
If you’re looking for hot water on demand, look no further than the Bosch Electric Mini-Tank Water Heater Tronic 3000T ES4. It’s portable and compact enough to conveniently install under your sink or it can be floor-mounted or hung on a wall. Wherever you need instant hot water supply, Bosch has paved the way to bring it to you. You can simply connect it to the cold water supply and get instant hot water. It easily fits into a variety of locations.
It’s ideal for basements, kitchen sinks or garages and will blend seamlessly in your space with its modern compact design. The foam insulation makes it particularly durable and energy-efficient. We’ve crowned it the best under the sink water heater as it squarely stood above its competitors. This is a premium water heater that might be small in size but delivers where it matters most. That’s to instantly supply hot water where and when it’s needed.
The versatility of this unit is what impressed us most as it’s not only a single sink heater but can be used in multiple ways. You can connect it to buffer between tankless water heaters that undergo sporadic cold water flow or link it as an addition to an established heating source.
The only concern is the limited capacity it holds. The tank runs out of hot water as soon as it’s depleted, unlike a tankless water heater that has endless hot water supply as long as the flow of water keeps running. Other than that, you have a durable under sink water heater that’ll provide hot water on demand.
- Best under sink water heater
- Versatile and compact
- Portable and fits in small
- Energy efficient
- Holds a small amount of water
- Can leak if not installed correctly
Marey ECO150 – Budget Pick
- Min. flow rate: 0.53 GPM
- Amperage draw: 60.8
- Dimensions: 8.7 x 14.2 x 3.5 inches
- Weight: 10.1 lbs
- Warranty: 5 years
More features: SMART Technology, includes a German-designed, patented heating element with a stainless steel water channel
When money is a bit tight and you’re still looking for a decent tankless water heater then we have something worth considering. The Marey ECO150 electric water heater is packed with all the features you’ll find in more expensive units. We’ve crowned it our budget pick from the list as you can get one of the best tankless water heaters on the market for a reasonable price.
It has flow switch activation which ensures the device produces high temperatures consistently. Currently, this is also the only unit on the market that has a patented heating element that channels water through a stainless steel passage. Because of the tough stainless steel design, the tank is protected against corrosion and chlorine build-up.
This compact water heater will give you unlimited water supply. You simply activate the desired water pressure and you’ll have hot running water as soon as you open the tap. It can supply water to two different points simultaneously and it doesn’t affect the flow rate. At this incredible price, you’re getting outstanding value for money. Installation is straightforward but you should always use a qualified plumber or electrician for a successful installation.
Be vigilant to check that all the nuts and bolts are fastened as some leakage was detected at the backside. Usually the flushing screw simply needs tightening to remedy the leak. Overall this remains a solid investment worth considering.
- Budget-friendly tankless water heater
- Compact design
- Flow switch activation for energy efficiency
- Easy to install
- Scanty design
- Leakage on the backside
There are many competing brands vying for your attention when doing a search online for a decent electric water heater. It can get overwhelming deciding which one is best for you. We’ve taken the pain out of trying to decipher what’s real and what’s only false promises. In this buyer’s guide, we’ve listed the important aspects to look out for before making your final purchase. It’s important to be thorough and ensure the product you pick can deliver on all these key features listed below.
Choosing the electric water heater
An electric water heater is an essential appliance that makes up almost one third of your energy bill at home. Considering the large amount of energy it consumes it’s wise to look at alternative models available on the market that can decrease your energy costs. There are a variety of products available. You can go tankless or opt for a whole house water heater that has a large sized tank. If space is a problem there are some compact water heaters or perhaps an under sink water heater might do the trick. Whatever water heater you decide on check for quality and performance first.
Tank or tankless
So do you want to go tankless like Stiebel Eltron DHC-E12 or are you still drawn to the traditional tank water heaters that can hold gallons of water, for instance Westinghouse 80 Gal.? The benefits of a tankless water heater is that it saves you a lot of money over time. It’s able to reduce your energy bill significantly due to its supreme energy efficiency. It also takes up less storage than tank water heaters and has a longer lifespan. The biggest disadvantage of tankless water heaters is the installation cost that can be quite high.
Installing a tank heater is less expensive than a tankless heater and also cheaper to maintain in the long run. It can hold more water than a tankless water heater. However, you do run the risk of running out of hot water with a tank-based water heater which is unlikely with a tankless water heater.
Min. flow rate
So what exactly is a flow rate? This is the measurement of liquid passing through any system such as your electric water heater at a nominal rate. The flow rate is measured in the number of gallons per minute. The higher the flow rate, the faster you get your water from the tap. The average flow rates we’ve listed range from 0.50 GPM by Marey ECO150 to 1.16 GPM by Westinghouse 80 Gal.
You decide which temperature to set your unit at based on your unique household needs. The average temperature that most people settle on is 120° as anything lower than that can cause bacteria in your water. Elements that can affect your temperature setting:
- If some of your family members suffer from a suppressed immune system set your temperature to 140°
- The higher the temperature the higher the energy cost, so be prudent
Dimensions and weight
Space is always a consideration when investing in a water heater. We’ve given you a range of dimensions to work with. The smallest and best compact water heater is the Stiebel Eltron DHC-E12 which is 14.2” x 7.9” x 4.1” & weighs only 5.9lb. The bulkiest tank on our list is the Westinghouse 80 Gal that weighs a whopping 151.1lb with these dimensions: 23.25” x 66.75” x 23.25”. Your available space will usually determine which size you pick.
There are different warranty specifications for each product on our list. The EcoSmart ECO 11 and Rheem products offer a lifetime warranty whereas the Stiebel Eltron products give you a seven-year warranty on any leakage and three years on any defects. Other brands like Bosch and Marey offer eight & five years warranties respectively. You decide how much cover you’ll need on your investment.
We’ve taken the liberty to list the most budget-friendly products and some big-ticket units. It all comes down to how much you’re willing to spend on any of these high-functioning products. The least expensive unit on our list is the magnificent Marey ECO 150. The most expensive unit that offers unparalleled power is Rheem.
Technically you only need either a qualified plumber or electrician to install your electric water heater. You don’t need both to do it. A plumber has the expertise to install the product without any interference or glitches in your electrical circuit board.
To avoid any problems installation should be done by a qualified plumber or electrician that knows exactly where all the nuts and bolts go. Your warranty can be waved and considered void if the installation was not done properly as per the manufacturer’s instructions. It’s simply not worth the risk to install yourself or getting a layperson to assist you.
Indoor electric water units are made specifically for indoor use. There are some key elements built-in for indoor use that would make it unfeasible for outdoor use. Some of the main considerations why it’s not advisable to use these indoor units for outdoors is because of the extreme temperatures it will have to withstand outside.
Outdoor units are specifically designed to withstand the harsh conditions of the outdoors such as freezing and high temperatures. If you need an electric water heater for outdoor use, make sure you purchase a unit that’s designed for that instead of using your indoor unit.
The energy saving varies from household to household. There are many variables to consider when counting all the costs and the total saving you can gain on using an electric water heater. But no matter how you look at it you’ll save on your energy bill.
We’ll use a simple illustration to show the cost of using an electric water heater. If you run your unit for three hours a day at 5500W that equals 16500W per day. If on the average, you pay 6.9 cents per KwH that would give you an average of $1.15 per day. Compare that amount to what you’re paying currently and you’ll be able to calculate your total savings per month.
We’re ready to reveal our top three from the list. We believe the EcoSmart ECO 11 stands out from the rest because of its energy efficiency and smart technology that prevent water flowing to faulty faucets. The sleek design and endless hot water on demand make it rank as the best on our list.
In second place is the Stiebel Eltron Tempra 24. Order this one if you’re in search of massive energy savings. The brand implemented state of the art technology for maximum benefits. The impressive warranty features also make this a worthwhile investment.
Then we have the Stiebel Eltron DHC-E12 which we nominated as the best compact water heater. It’s lightweight and easy to install at home or the office where you need instant hot water. It reduces your energy costs up to 50% and is good value for money.
Let us know in the comments below which product ranked top for you and why.