If you are a homeowner who is looking to retrofit and renovate your home, including an electric tankless water heater might be a great idea. Compared to conventional water heaters, the best electric tankless water heaters not only save space and supply unlimited volumes of hot water but they also save on your electricity bill. Thus, energy efficient electric tankless water heaters are the most affordable options that will meet all your needs. Sounds like a dream, right?
However, finding the ideal electric tankless water heater can be a daunting task. When looking for the best electric tankless water heaters, one would naturally have to go through many electric tankless water heaters reviews to finally make the choice. Additionally, you also have to find the best electric tankless water heaters that will fit in your budget! Not to mention, you would also need a comprehensive buyer’s guide that can help you wade through the ocean of options and zero in on the perfect model. The sheer thought of this is enough to make a person feel overwhelmed!
Do not worry, because you have come to just the right place! We have outlined an inclusive guide to help you find the best tankless water heaters along with their reviews and performance pros and cons, which will help you to make an informed decision before you make the purchase.
Electric Water Heaters Versus Gas Water Heaters
With the plethora of options available between electric and gas water heaters, it can be rather confusing to choose whether you would want to purchase an electric model or a gas-powered type. Both the types of water heater have their own advantages and disadvantages. So basically, it depends on what kind of fuel is readily available in an uninterrupted supply. If the price of gas is low in your region, a gas water heater could be a wise investment. On the other hand, if you experience infrequent to negligible power outages, then an electric model could come very handy. However, there are a few other factors that need to be considered before you zero down on your requirements.
Therefore, if you are still wondering whether you should choose between an electric heater and a gas heater, the following advantages of electric heaters over gas heaters can help you make up your mind:
- Electric heaters are much more affordable than gas heaters. However, do bear in mind that compared to electricity, gas works out as a cheaper option to fuel the heater.
- Since there is no combustion or combustion element involved, they tend to not only be reliable but also last longer durations.
- Gas heaters need special care in installation to ensure thorough ventilation during operation. Also, leakage and emission poisoning concerns can dilute the customer experience.
- Electric heaters can be safely installed inside the house while only few gas-based water heaters can be installed inside the house.
- When opting for an electric water heater, you will not have to invest in the extra setup charges to ensure ventilation or gas piping.
- Electric water heaters do not have to be connected to any grid and one can even power the electric water heaters using solar panels.
Types of Electric Water Heaters
If electric water heaters suit your requirements then it is time to delve deeper into the world of water heaters. If you are exploring electric water heaters for the first time, reading about jargons like ‘tankless’ or ‘storage-type’ etc. can be rather confusing. Basically, all electric water heaters can be broadly divided into tankless (or demand-type) and tanked (or storage-type) water heaters.
Tankless (or Demand-Type Water Heaters)
As the name suggests, tankless water heaters do not have a tank to store water. It offers hot water on demand, thereby earning the name – Demand-type water heater. The tankless variety is perfect for settings when users understand the need for hot water and demand is usually in short bursts. Additionally, they complement appliances such as dishwashers or solar water heaters by providing hot water when required. The following are some advantages and drawbacks of using tankless water heaters.
- Even though the initial cost is rather high, in the longer run, tankless water heaters save money through energy conservation.
- Compared to its tanked counterparts, tankless models occupy smaller space and have a compact build. Furthermore, they can be easily installed even outdoors, which makes these models highly portable.
- They have a long life spanning up to even 20 years or more depending on the maintenance, servicing, and usage.
- Tankless water heaters can deliver hot water as per the user’s demand. The rate of supply of hot water can range from 3-5 gallons per minute, which is quite impressive.
- The initial cost in purchasing a tankless water heater is quite high and it varies from model to model and supplier to supplier.
- The cost of upgrading your classic water heater with a tankless model can not only be complicated but is also expensive since it needs professional intervention.
Tanked (or Storage-Type Water Heaters)
Tanked water heaters come equipped with a storage tank that stores the supply water and then heats it up. They are ideal for regions when users require hot water periodically and constantly. Some of the advantages and drawbacks of storage-type water heaters have been listed below:
- Initial capital investment is low, sometimes going as much as half the cost of tankless models.
- Requires lesser maintenance and is inexpensive and easy to install.
- Since the water is stored into the tank, regardless of the requirements of the user, the water continues to be heated and reheated as per the fixed temperature. This may contribute to a hike in your utility bills, especially in the winters.
- Due to the storage tank present in the model, these often take more space and cannot be installed outside the house.
- Tanked water heaters may run out of hot water supply unless total volume of hot water consumed is thoroughly calculated and water is heated accordingly. However, water heaters with larger tanks will increase power consumed.
- Compared to the tankless models, storage-type water heaters tend to last for shorter durations, which ranges from 10 to 15 years.
Signs That an Electric Tankless Water Heater is Right for You
Now that you have weighed out the differences gas and electric water heaters and also pitted tankless water heaters against storage-type water heaters, you may have discovered that the electric tankless water heater combination is perfect for you. However, if you are still looking for some sign that indicates that an electric tankless water heater is impeccable for your needs, consider the following signs as well:
Switching from an Older Water Heater:
The performance and efficiency of your water heater decreases with use. A traditional tanked water heater lasts up to 15 years but it bears a warranty of a mere 4 to 6 years. Thus, if your water heater is wearing out and you plan on purchasing a newer water heater then it is about time that you switch to an electric tankless water heater.
Moving to a Low Power Plan:
Energy has become expensive and on an average, a water heater consumes about 18% of the monthly electricity consumption. However, if you wish to lower your monthly power bills then investing in a tankless water heater could be the best move. Studies have found that you could reduce your power bills by 34% when you switch to an electric tankless water heater.
Need for Unlimited Hot Water Supply:
The point of purchasing an electric water heater is to have the convenience of constant hot water supply. Switching to a tankless electric water heater is much more practical than choosing a storage heater with higher capacity. Tankless water heaters can supply hot water at a constant rate.
You Make Sporadic Use of Hot Water:
Storage type water heaters are ideal only if users consume large volumes of hot water either simultaneously or in continuous succession. However, if your hot water requirements are spread over the span of the entire day, then the tankless model would be more suitable for you.
Ability to Pay Initial Cost:
Electric water heaters are costlier than water heaters fuelled by gas. Similarly, tankless models are much more expensive than the tanked models. Thus, the combination of electric tankless water heaters inevitably means that it will be rather pricey. Thus, if you have the ability and the capacity to make that kind of investment, then purchasing an electric tankless water heater is definitely worth its money.
Buyer’s Guide for Electric Tankless Water Heater
A buyer’s guide is an invincible tool that a consumer has before making any purchase. It can help you narrow down on a value for money item that meets all your requirements. Additionally, it aids in making the decision as to what a user’s needs are and what suits these needs. Thus, if you need help in deciding which the best electric tankless water heaters are for you, following are a few features and factors that you must deliberate:
If you live in warmer areas, your appliances would consume lesser energy to raise the water temperature. At the same time, if you reside in colder regions, a larger amount of power would be consumed to get the temperature to the same temperature. Basically, people living in warmer conditions can consider output rates closer to the face value as advertised by the manufacturer. However, it is advised to maintain a buffer margin between the rated output and the practical requirements.
The supply of hot water by water heaters is measured in gallons per minute, or GPM, which gives a rough idea about the flow output. Those living in warmer zones can purchase water heating units that have a low GPM output since it will not compromise with the output and the reliability of the water heating system. However, in colder climates, this flow rate is not reliable since the water heater will have to work harder to produce the output rate comparable to the one measured in ideal conditions. This naturally offers a lower output than advertised.
Thus, if you live in cooler areas, consider rounding off your hot water requirements to near about 50% or at least 30% to have a continuous supply. For example, if you are looking for a standard supply of 4 gallons per minute, then purchasing a water heater offering 5 to 6 GPM will compensate for the weather conditions.
The size of your house, the total members in your family and their individual needs, and the number of appliances that you run simultaneously has a great effect on your hot water requirements. The cumulative hot water demand will ask for a water heater with a larger output capacity. To identify your average demand, sum up the total gallons per minute (GPM) requirement for a situation that demands maximum usage. Those who live alone in smaller accommodations will not have to worry excessively about size or capacity as regular water heaters can support a shower and an appliance simultaneously.
Ease of Installation:
It is important to consider the ease with which the water heating unit can be installed in your home. Certain manufacturers recommend that the installation must be carried out by authorized professionals. Majority of the negative feedback left by user deals with the difficulty encountered while installing the unit. Some warranty stands voided if the user carries out installation and maintenance by themselves.
Input Water Temperature:
The highest temperature raise allowable by a water heater is 30oF, which is optimum for most water heating units. Any temperature raise higher than this would call for a compromise with the flow rate. Thus, consider the temperature of the input water and decide on the best electric water heater accordingly.
Water Heater Composition:
The material used in constructing the water heater is also something that needs to be considered duly. These materials can accrue lime build up and be prone to scaling or rusting. To prevent any further deterioration, one has to carry out regular maintenance of such water heaters. Thus, if you live in a region that has a hard water supply, you might want to consider water heaters with newer tools such as a unit equipped with infrared technology, available for a slightly higher cost.
Best Electric Tankless Water Heaters
Your hunt for the best electric tankless water heaters should begin with reading the electric tankless water heaters reviews. The more you will pore through the electric tankless water heaters reviews, the more you will have a balanced understanding of the top and highly-rated electric tankless water heaters. Thus, to make things easier for you, here are some of the best electric tankless water heaters reviews that are completely unbiased:
1. Rheem RTEX 13 Residential Tankless Water Heater:
The Rheem RTEX 13 is an upgrade to the classic Rheem RTE 13, which is one of the most affordable electric tankless water heaters. While keeping the cost low, the Rheem RTEX 13 gets the job done in almost no time and less price. For entry level users, it is the best electric tankless water heaters if you are just beginning to enjoy the joys of hot water.
- Has an impressive efficiency of 99.8% that promises hot water right on demand.
- Contains an external thermostat along with an LED display, which shows the exact temperature, which you can customize according to your needs.
- Offers a temperature range of 80 degrees to 140 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Delivers a maximum output water supply of 4.0 gallons per minute.
- Operates on 240 Volts and 54 Amps through a 60-amp breaker.
- The price of Rheem RTEX 13 barely registers a dent in the pocket, making it an extremely affordable option.
- Has a compact build, which is aimed at saving space.
- Allows maximum temperature control through the thermostat. Thus, users can tailor their hot water control demands using the 1 degree Fahrenheit increments.
- Has a unique design and a long-lasting heating elements.
- Manufacturers offer customer-friendly experiences with regards to warranty, installation, and replacements.
- Provides hot water to one shower and a kitchen sink but cannot support multiple showers at the same time.
- The water heater does not meet expectations in cold climate due to a smaller flow rate.
- Needs the installation of a few low-flow fixtures in the bathroom for a reliable output flow.
- Not suitable for medium or large households or homes located in colder regions.
2. EcoSmart Eco 27 Electric Tankless Water Heater:
EcoSmart Eco 27 is a pocket-friendly version of Eco 36. The unit comes with a lifetime warranty when the water heater is installed by professionals. It contains three individual 9kW heaters that operate in series and as per demand. It is ideal for small households with a modest budget.
- Operates at 27 kW, 240 Volts and 112.5 Amperes with a 40-amp breaker
- Has an efficiency rating of 99.8% which saves 50% on the cost incurred in heating water
- It can deliver a flow rate from 3 to 6 gallons per minute
- Sports a digital display with a temperature ranging between 80 to 140 degrees Fahrenheit
- The unit comes with a built-in self-modulating technology, which saves money and improves heater efficiency.
- The heating elements are made from stainless steel and copper, making it not only durable but also efficient.
- Manufacturer offers easy replacement on heating elements.
- Water temperature is adjustable with 1 degree Fahrenheit increments.
- Can easily be installed even in cramped regions and has a space saving design.
- Offers value for money.
- Manufacturer warranty has the fine print clause, which renders the lifetime warranty voided if the unit is not installed by professionals.
- Higher altitudes affect the water heater’s performance adversely.
- If you have a high water demand with over 5 family members, this unit may not meet your expectations.
3. Stiebel Eltron Tempra 24 Plus Tankless Electric Water Heater:
The Stiebel Eltron Tempra 24 Plus is one of the best electric tankless water heaters available in the market. It offers an impressive performance for its cost, making it a value for money water heater. The powerful water heater delivers hot water on the go.
- Offers a remarkable flow rate of 4.68 GPM on an average.
- Supplies a maximum flow rate of 8.0 GPM.
- Supports advanced flow control which allows you to regulate the temperature and the flow of water.
- The digital display shows the temperature, which can be varied from 86 degrees Fahrenheit to 140 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Apart from manual control, the unit comes equipped with a self-monitoring thermostat to control temperature.
- The water heater has a silent and noiseless operation.
- The unit does not require any venting, which gives it an advantage over the other models available in the market.
- Has a compact design which allows the water heating system to be installed even in tight spaces.
- Comes with the advanced flow control that maintains steady output irrespective of the flow rate.
- The auto-modulation feature conserves electricity, making it an energy efficient model.
- The cost of the model can be a deterrent for those keenly interested in purchasing a budget-friendly appliance.
- The installation of the unit requires professional intervention and additional costs due to the wiring.
- Due to the breaker switches, there may be a need to purchase extra panels while setting up the water heating unit.
- The poor design aesthetics make this unit a bit of an eyesore.
4. Bosch Electric Tankless Water Heater:
The Bosch Electric Tankless Water Heater is a highly compact and efficient unit that suits anybody who has modest hot water requirements. It is perfect for point of use applications and will basically supply hot water to a kitchen sink.
- The unit is powered by a single power cord that may be plugged into a standard electricity outlet.
- The water heater comes in various models: 3.4kW, 7.2kW, 9.5kW, and 12kW.
- Bosch Electric Tankless Water Heater has an efficiency rating of 98%
- The water heater can be mounted horizontally or vertically, depending on the space availability.
- Can be used in both, Residential and Commercial applications.
- The compact build and design of the Bosch Electric Tankless Water Heater, it can be easily mounted in small spaces, including area under the sink.
- It has a long life, a durable build, and requires minimum maintenance.
- Available at a very affordable price.
- Consumes negligible amount of power and supplies sufficient water as per its capacity.
- Perfect for outdoor uses or when in need of hot water in cabins or cottages.
- It has the capacity to supply hot water only to one sink at a time.
- Only the 12kW model can be used for showering and apart from this unit, the rest cannot supply sufficient water for showering uses.
- The performance greatly diminishes if the incoming water temperature is very low.
- It is loud and makes unnecessary noises even when not in operation.
5. Sio Green IR288 POU Electric Tankless Water Heater:
The Sio Green IR288 is ideal if you reside in regions that supply hard water. The unit not only supplies uninterrupted hot water supply but also ensures that the water is clean. It makes use of an infrared quartz element that is responsible for heating up water and removes any metallic taste to the water.
- Sio Green IR288 offers a flow rate of 1.5 gallons per minute for a temperature increase of 30 degrees Fahrenheit.
- It sports a liquid flow regulator that increases efficiency and only heats water when it is required.
- Makes use of the infrared technology to heat water.
- Due to its attractive design, this stylish piece is a great addition when you are renovating your home.
- Requires next to nil maintenance due to the advanced infrared technology used for heating.
- Can operate in areas receiving hard water since it bypasses the build-up of calcium and lime deposits.
- Offers an energy efficiency of 99%
- Removes any metallic impurities or tastes from the water
- Compact design and ease of installation make it a suitable option for mounting in cramped up places.
- Comes fitted with a thermocouple temperature monitor that regulates and maintains uniform temperature in the output supply.
- Flow rate can drop as low as 0.8 GPM in colder climates when inlet water temperature is very low and more power has to be consumed to raise the temperature
- Not suited for heavy usage or for large households.
- Can seem expensive when compared to its counterparts.
- Is less powerful than its counterparts available at a near equal price.
6. Stiebel Eltron DHC 6-2 Tankless Electric Water Heater:
Stiebel Eltron is one of the most well-known brands in the field of water heaters and is known to manufacture the best electric tankless water heaters. While this model may seem more expensive when compared to the other options, it is the robust build, powerful performance, and sound engineering, which leaves a mark.
- Uses up to 50% lesser power when compared to tanked models of the same capacity
- Available in different capacities bearing varied kW ratings.
- The scald-guard thermostat ensures that the output water temperature is within safe limits.
- Aerators and flow reducer fittings of 0.5 GPM are supplied by the manufacturer along with the unit.
- Operates with the following specifications 240 Volts, 6kW, 25 Amps with a 30 amp breaker.
- Noiseless operation with no sound from any mechanical switches. The hydraulic control supports quiet operation.
- Compact build that allows the water heater to be fitted in tight spaces. Additionally, the installation is easy.
- Advanced flow control prevents energy wastage.
- Possibly the most powerful water heater available in this price range.
- The user manual that comes along with the unit is not very effective in conveying the important information to users.
- The heating can be very feeble even in warm climates, which may render the unit useless in colder regions.
- The performance of the water heating unit drops when demand on output supply increases.
7. Atmor AT-905-11TB Tankless Electric Water Heaters:
The Atmor Single Sink point of use electric water heater is a power efficient unit that will greatly cut down your electricity bills. Furthermore, the unit also conserves water supplied to the system. Since it is a point of use water heater, it would be sensible to install it closer to the sink where you wish to draw the hot water.
- The Atmor Single Sing POU Water Heater offers a flow rate of 1.7 gallons per minute for a 45 degrees Fahrenheit raise
- It needs a supply of water with a temperature of 45 degrees at least.
- The unit requires a direct connection to a single phase 50 Amp breaker with a wire size of 6/2 AWG. It needs to be hardwired rather than plugged in for operation.
- Power rating of the water heater is 10kW with 240 volts.
- Supplies instant hot water while also conserving electricity since it does not contain a storage heater.
- Its lightweight and compact build makes it easy to be mounted even in tiny nooks and crannies.
- Due to its unobtrusive build, it can be easily stored or installed out of children’s reach.
- Cannot meet high demands for hot water and performance may be reduced to a supply of lukewarm water.
- Since the unit needs to be hardwired, the installation should be carried out by a professional, which may get quite expensive.
- Can only be used in a single sink and for point of use applications. Not at all suitable for showering or any other water intensive needs.
8. Ecosmart Eco Mini 2.5 Electric Mini Tank Water Heater:
The Ecosmart Eco Mini 2.5 is an electric tankless water heater with the aim of providing affordable water heating solutions to everyone. It is perfect for small families due to its water storage feature. It comes with a relief valve that regulates the pressure of the water heater so that you can have hot water without causing any damage to your appliance.
- The Ecosmart Eco Mini can be used for buffer and point of use applications.
- Comes with an appliance line cord which needs to be plugged into a 110V supply.
- A pressure relief valve is included with the unit.
- Can store as much as 2.5 gallons of hot water, which can be supplied on demand.
- Lightweight and compact design which makes the unit extremely portable.
- Due to its small size, it can easily be installed anywhere.
- It has a simple plug in and use feature, paired with an electric supply of 120 volts.
- Storage tank ensures that you have at least 2.5 gallons of water in case of a power outage.
- Pressure relief valve allows the water heater to be used easily even if the water pressure fluctuates.
- The water heater supplies hot water with presence of particulate matter and sediment.
- While the unit may seem easy to install, it does not come with a handy installation manual, which leaves newbies confused and frustrated during installation.
- It may require bathroom fittings which may incur an additional cost.
- The unit has an exceptionally slow recovery time.
9. Titan SCR2 N-120 Electric Tankless Water Heater:
The Titan SCR2 N-120 is a classic example of good things coming in small packages. It is one of the most powerful appliances in the SCR2 line of models launched by Titan and boasts of an energy efficiency of 99.5%! It is the best electric tankless water heaters for homes located in warmer climate zones.
- The water heater offers a maximum flow rate of 4.0 gallons per minute for a 20 degrees Fahrenheit raise
- Offers an energy efficiency of 99.5%
- Bears a 10 year warranty on the water carrying parts of the water heater
- Operates at 220 volts, 54 amperes, 50-60 Hertz and 11.8kW.
- It is easy and convenient to install
- Compared to most electric tankless water heaters, this model is not only highly efficient but also extremely affordable.
- Offers a solid 4.0 gallons per minute flow rate in ideal conditions.
- The sampling system that comes with the water heater supplies a uniform output temperature by regulating the flow rate in accordance with the input and output water temperatures.
- The long warranty period is an added advantage to this model. Additionally, users have reported to have used this model for nearly 10 years!
- Due to the high inlet temperature requirement, this unit is practically useless in colder climates.
- Requires a high starting temperature of 105 degrees Fahrenheit.
- The internal wirings of the water heater may come loose, which can affect the performance of the device.
- Access to the reset switch is obstructed by a panelling, which when removed will void the warranty.
- The temperature of outlet water may sporadically change from hot to cold and then hot again.
10. Atmor AT-900-13 2.25 GPM Electric Tankless Water Heater:
The Atmor 2.25 GPM is an energy efficient electric tankless water heater. It can lower your power consumption up to 30% of the original units. It can be used effectively in colder or warmer regions without much compromise on the performance. As a unit, it saves on energy, water, time and is also an eco-friendly option.
- Can support a full bathroom or shower and a sink in combination or individually.
- The recommended flow rate for this model is 2.25 gallons per minute. For optimum performance with shower heads in a full bathroom setup, 1.5 GPM is perfect.
- The water heater requires a direct connection to a 60 ampere single phase double pole breaker with a wire size of 4 AWG. Input supply should be 240 volts.
- It operates in three settings: High at 13 kW, Medium at 8.5 kW and Low at 4.5 kW.
- Comes with a pressure relief device.
- The water heating element is triggered active only when the water flow rate is at 0.5 GPM, which helps conserve energy.
- Since the water heater does not contain any storage space, it will not only heat water on demand but will also prevent water from being wasted.
- The lightweight design allows the user to mount it on practically any surface and install it unobtrusively.
- The unit comes with a pressure relief device, which has to be installed in the cold water inlet. This prevents any pressure mismatch and the damage caused by it.
- Does not offer any temperature regulation feature so the user has no control over the temperature of the output water.
- The hot water output does not have a stable temperature and may dip and low as per the demands on the water heater.
- The water temperature fluctuates in accordance with the inlet pressure.
- The overheat protection shuts down the hot water supply when it is on high setting and to prevent it, you may have to run the appliance at 2GPM at least.
Electric tankless water heaters are a heavy investment so you need to make your choice wisely. For an affordable entry level appliance, consider the Rheem RTEX 13 model which will save you some cash and supply a steady flow of hot water. If you do not have any budget constraints, then you should purchase any of the Stiebel Eltron models and enjoy its superior customer experience. For a water heater that you intend to use at your sink, purchasing the Bosch Electric Tankless Water Heater would be a sensible decision. Hard water can decrease the performance of your water heater and also reduce the longevity of your appliance. In such a case, the Sio Green model is best suited for you to tackle hard water issues.
Additionally, we have shortlisted the best models that are available and listed their pros and cons. If you have a certain set of requirements, you may go through these models and weigh out your preferences to find the best electric tankless water heaters that will meet all your requirements. Consider the electric tankless water heaters reviews that we have compiled and curated and we hope that it will help you in making the decision when it comes to where you should put your money while purchasing the best electric tankless water heaters.