No matter where you live in the world; be it a cold arctic climate, or warm tropical beach, hot running water is an essential amenity, you rely on, for so many practical uses in your home. Hot water flows from the shower, provides a soothing bath, is a great asset when we cook in the kitchen, removes stains, and helps keep our electrical automatic appliances to keep our dishes and clothes clean.
For centuries, the journey to get a constant flow of hot water into the home, has slowly graduated from pots over an open wood-fired flame, to natural gas, to the use of electric current. Modern technology, and years of research, has helped manufacturers understand the importance of reliably providing their consumers electric water heating systems, that not only efficiently use an advanced heating element to produce hot water quickly, or on demand, but also pass along energy savings in the process. Whether you choose an electric water heater tank system or an electric water heater tankless system, a dependable, long-lasting water heater is a solid investment.
What is the best water heater to buy in 2020? We’re convinced that the EcoSmart ECO 11 Electric Tankless Water Heater is the best solution for consistent, efficient hot water output, helping to save on the water heating portion of your monthly energy bill. Who doesn’t want the leader in electric tankless hot water heater production? EcoSmart brands take electric hot water heating to a whole new level. For consistently, technologically designed hot water on demand, for your next shower, bath or that laundry that’s been piling up, we’ve researched and discovered the 9 top-rated electric water heaters, plus 1 electric water heater to avoid.
Reviews of the 9 Best Electric Water Heaters, Plus 1 to Avoid
1. EcoSmart ECO 11 Electric Tankless Water Heater Review
Eco is the leader in tankless water heating, and the best overall electric water heater. EcoSmart’s patented self-modulating technology allows the electric tankless water heater to use the exact amount of energy to heat precisely the amount of water needed. You simply set it, and forget it. Then adjust as necessary. For optimal water heating EcoSmart guarantees an impressive 2 gallons of hot water per minute, for single or multiple applications.
This energy saving tankless water heater will save you up to 50% of the current water heating portion of your energy bill, and is certified to be 99.8% energy efficient. Affordable, dependable, endless water on demand with a lifetime warranty on the electron, exchanger and element parts. Labor and incidental damages to the system are not covered under EcoSmart’s warranty. No batteries needed.
Measuring 12” x 8” x 4” and weighing 6.5 pounds, the ECO 11 Electric Tankless Water Heater runs on a standard 220V, uses 13kW, and 13,000W. All that technology is packed into a small, space saving, wall mounted system. Trust this tankless water heater, that gives you one-touch digital control, and perfect 80°F – 140°F water temperatures each and every time.
For the very best performance, before considering this tankless wonder, EcoSmart recommends determining the home’s inlet water temperature, number of simultaneous hot water applications and your home’s electrical infrastructure, including a diagram of the breaker panel.
To watch the EcoSmart ECO 11 Electric Tankless Water Heater Review on YouTube, click here.
- Best overall for water-on-demand.
- Superior technology.
- Amazing energy savings and efficiency.
- System tends to trip circuit breakers.*
- Requires (recommended) professional installation.
- Leak, sediment and corrosion issues.
2. Bosch Electric Mini-Tank Water Heater Tronic 3000 T Review
Bosch “puts hot water where you need it!” This compact and easy to maintain 4 gallon point-of use mini-tank electric water heater has an impressive 98% thermal efficiency rating. The premium glass-lined insulated tank works hard to provide fast hot water recovery rates for up to 2 handwashing sinks, on demand. This water heater can be mounted to a shelf, a wall under the sink, or floor mounted.
The Bosch Electric Mini-Tank Water Heater is also great as a “cold water sandwich.” Connecting this mini to an installed water line that runs a larger electric water heater, allows the Bosch to act as a buffer, so you absolutely never run out of hot water in your home.
Thick layer of environmentally friendly CFC-free foam insulation wraps around the glass insulation for reliable hot water output and leakage protection. A built-in pressure relief valve keeps the system from collecting condensation and keeps you safe from the water heater dry firing.
The heater is built with a sleek, attractive white housing to seamlessly blend in with any decor in your home, RV, boar, or apartment. The Tonic 3000 measures 13.75” x 13.75” x 13.5”, uses 12 Amps, 120V, weighs approximately 16 pounds, and runs 150psi. The long 37” cord gives you extra room and lets you install this water heater worry free. Expect perfect temperatures between 65°F – 145°F using the manual MIN-IDEAL-MAX adjustable dial.
To watch the Bosch Electric Mini-Tank Water Heater Tronic 3000 T Review on YouTube, click here.
- Beautiful, decorative and compact.
- Great mini water heater for RV, boat, small home or apartment.
- “Cold Water Sandwich” in-line hot water buffer system.
- Best on a budget electric tankless water heater.
- Confusing online warranty request form.
- Manual water heater temperature control dial doesn’t have precise temperature settings.
- Short lifespan and leakage issues.
3. American Standard CE-12-AS 12 Gallon Point of Use Electric Water Heater Review
Heavy gauge steel construction forms the drum of the American Standard CE-12-AS. The Inner Dura® glass-lined insulation is fired at 1600°F during manufacturing. This process provides optimum protection and protects the tank and system from corrosion. Beautiful double brass drain valve makes for easy draining and sediment deposit buildup.
American Standard electric water heaters are 100% hydrostatically factory tested under pressure to ensure the strength of the working parts and ensure zero leaks prior to shipping the heater. The CE-12-AS can heat large amounts of water economically, and the tank is lined with non-CFC energy saving foam. The soul of the water heater, the anode rod, is constructed of quality metals to protect the water heater for years. A unique factory installed energy cut-off system and high quality brass relief valves work together to help to regulate water temperature, keep the unit from overheating and provide pressure relief in the event the water heater spikes in temperature.
The CE-12-AS 12 gallon point of use electric water heater runs on a certified 300psi, weighs 60 pounds, needs 120V, 1500W, and measures approximately 16” x 16” x 22” and is UL listed and certified to meet all quality standards. The impressive gallons per hour (GPH) this electric water heater produces, ranges between, 100°F at 6 gallons per hour to 40°F at 15 gallons per hour.
To watch the American Standard CE-12-AS 12 Gallon Point of Use Electric Water Heater Review on YouTube, click here.
- Hydrostatically factory tested for safety and quality.
- Impressive GPH to temperature ratio.
- Tank arrives dented.
- Leakage issues at the connector of the pressure valve.
- Repetitive professional service calls for various issues.
4. AO Smith 80 Gallon Light Service Commercial Electric Water Heater Review
AO Smith thinks of quality, energy savings and efficiency. The impressive 80 gallon Light Service Commercial Electric Water Heater features the Dynaclean® diffuser to reduce sediment and extend the life of the tank. The well-crafted Blue Diamond® glass lining protects against leaks, while the industry-leading, Coregard® anode rod, provides the latest in water heating technology and superior tank protection.
A manual thermostat gives you control of the water temperature between 120°F – 180°F. The AO Smith 80 gallon also features a full-flow, long lasting, tamper resistant drain valve. If you want 55 total minutes of shower time: 7 back-to-back, 4.5 at the same time, or, if you want to run a bath, the 80 gallon Light Service Commercial Electric Water Heater stores up to 155 gallons of hot water. Not only will you get all the efficiency, you might save up to $128 per year on the water heating portion of your energy bill!
2 4.5kW zinc-plated copper heating elements heat and hold the water quickly between 120°F – 181°F. Using 240V, standing 60” tall, +2” for the fittings and a slender 24” diameter profile make this AO Smith electric water heater a fantastic energy efficient addition to your home.
To watch the AO Smith 80 Gallon Light Service Commercial Electric Water Heater Review on YouTube, click here.
- AO SMith is a proud member of The Water Council.
- Manufactured with quality parts.
- Built with integrity.
- Warranty varies by model. Must Contact the manufacturer or register online.
- Significant investment.
5. Rheem MR50245 Marathon Tall Electric Water Heater 50-Gallon Review
For 100 years, Rheem has been providing solutions for heating water. Rheem is the largest manufacturer of electric water heaters in North America. What sets the Rheem Marathon Tall Electric Water Heater separate from its competition is the construction. Unlike stainless steel or other metals, Rheem builds this seamless, blow-molded tank using non-metallic materials, making this electric water heater not only durable and lightweight, but also rust and corrosion free while offering “unmatched strength.” If you live near sea water or a salty ocean, this is the electric water heater for your home.
The unmatched strength includes an outer shell that resists scratches, dents and harsh temperatures and salt air. The inside of the water heater comes with a uniquely formulated filament wound fiberglass insulation, which guarantees the Rheem water heater will not leak “as long as you own your home.” Don’t just take our word for it – Rheem will back that claim up!
The electric water heater can quickly pull water into the tank and at approximately 20 GPH at a 90° rise. You can expect a hot shower in a snap. Weighing in at 100 pounds, using 240V and measuring approximately 24” x 24” x 63”, you’ll feel confident knowing you get a limited lifetime 6 year warranty on the entire system.
To watch the Rheem MR50245 Marathon Tall Electric Water Heater 50-Gallon Review on YouTube, click here.
- Rheem has 100 years of hot water heating knowledge and technology.
- Blow-molded seamless non-metallic tank construction.
- Scratch, dent, harsh temperature and salt air resistant.
- Great warranty.
- Heavy system.
- Electrical circuit and AMP issues.
- Considerable investment.
6. Rheem 240V Heating Chamber RTEX-13 Residential Tankless Water Heater Review
The simple and understanded design of this Rheem tankless water heater is just getting us started. The auto-dial thermometer with digital LED display lets you accurately set the temperature of your hot water within +/- 1°F. The copper immersion heating element and self-modulating power control are the best in its class. Simple wall-mount installation provides continuous hot water until you shut the water heater off.
Offering 99.8% energy efficiency with a high output of consistent temperature controlled hot water flow, the Rheem RTEX-13 Residential Tankless Water Heater can run 2 standard shower heads, 1 to 2 shower heads and the dishwasher or 2 shower heads, the dishwasher and a hand washing sink simultaneously depending on your home’s inlet temperature. Did we mention that this Rheem water heater can do all that volume, at 2 gallons per minute, with temperature ranges from 80°F – 140°F?
The wall mounted system weighs almost 4 pounds. Measuring 4” x 9” x 13” the RTEX-13 uses a standard 240V, 13kW and pulls and average of 3.17 GPM. 2 – ½” NPT adaptors are included for easy installation and the RTEX-13 comes with a fantastic 5 year no-leak, 1 year parts warranty.
To watch the Rheem 240V Heating Chamber RTEX-13 Residential Tankless Water Heater Review on YouTube, click here.
- Amazing 5 year no-leak, 1 year parts warranty.
- Accurate +/- 1° F temperature control system.
- Quality copper immersion heating element.
- Works best with warmer ground water inlet temperature.
- Temperature to water flow ratio issues.
- Short life span.
7. Stiebel Eltron Tankless Water Heater Tempra 36 Trend Electric On Demand Hot Water Heater Review
On the other side of the planet is Stiebel. Considered a leader in the electric hot water heater industry, this 90 year old German company prides itself on providing customers with “continuous hot water on demand.”
The small, sleek, white enamel, wall-mounted housing, has pre-set temperature buttons for set-it-and-forget convenience, plus is intuitive enough to provide constant energy savings and endless hot water!
With flow-sensor activation, noise free construction, and eco-friendly auto-modulation you’ll practically forget you have a tankless system warming the water in your home. No vent is needed and the Stiebel Eltron Tempra 36 is so technologically advanced, it could, but should never, dry fire. Stielbel recommends checking with a local electrician prior to installation to make sure the system accommodates your inlet temperature and your home’s electrical system, including the circuit breakers.
The Stiebel Eltron Tankless Water Heater Tempra 36 Trend Electric On Demand Hot Water Heater uses 36kW, 208V, REQUIRES 300 Amps, measures approximately 5” x 17” x 15” and has a high 270,000W measurement. Add in the advanced 7 year leakage and 3 year parts warranty, and overall, this electric water heater is a great asset to your home.
To watch the Stiebel Eltron Tankless Water Heater Tempra 36 Trend Electric On Demand Hot Water Heater Review on YouTube, click here.
- Comes with a phenomenal warranty.
- Continuous hot water on demand.
- Compact and powerful.
- Requires (recommended) professional electrician installation.
- Not compliant with certain US certifications
- Amp, circuit breaker and wattage issues.
8. Eemax EEM24027 Electric Tankless Water Heater Review
For consistent, whole-house tankless electric water heating, the Eemax EEM24027 tankless system easily wall mounts and takes up very little room. You might confuse it with an upscale thermostat. But it’s better looking! The compact size doesn’t require an additional ventilation system and comes in a beautiful decorative blue color.
Heat the water you need and save on the energy you don’t need to pay for, as the EEM24027 has the most advanced self-modulating technology with an easy to replace element and digital temperature display for +/- 1° F accuray between 80°F – 140*F. Eemax recommends contacting a professional electrician prior to installation and researching your home’s compatible climate / inlet temperature for best performance.
Weighing 14 pounds, and measuring approximately 17” x 17” x 4”, the solidly constructed stainless steel housing holds a scientifically crafted copper immersion heating element, and the entire system comes with a 5 year leak and 1 year parts warranty. This 99.8% energy efficient system uses 240V, 27kW, requires 112.5 Amps, and needs a minimum of a 40 Amp breaker. 2 ¾” NPT adaptors for quick installation are included.
To watch the Eemax EEM24027 Electric Tankless Water Heater Review on YouTube, click here.
- Solid construction.
- Variable temperature accurAcy within +/- 1°F.
- Complimentary color design to match most decor.
- CIrcuit breaker issues.
- Indoor only.
- Consumers are not happy with limited warranty on parts.
- Element burned out within one year.
9. Stiebel Eltron Tempra Plus 29 kW Tankless Electric Water Heater Review
If you can get your hand on this Stiebel, do so for the Advanced FLow COntrol feature. Your desired hot water temperature will remain consistent even when the demand for hot water exceeds the capacity the system is capable of heating.
The self-modulating technology has been upgraded from the previous model, and includes heavy-duty electronics. The Tempra Plus 29 saves energy to ensure the least amount of electricity is used, but the most amount of water is heated.
Other features include: a water outlet temperature sensor, thermal safety cut off system, solid copper heating elements, a cold water inlet filtration system and no ventilation is necessary. And all of the energy saving technology fits into the size of a briefcase. The Tempra Plus 29 measures approximately 17” x 5” x 15” and accurately heats the water in your home between 86°F – 140°F.
Expect to save up to 15% on the cost of the energy that it takes to heat your water, and Stiebel guarantees that the Tempra Plus 29 is not only 99% energy efficient, but it’s also smart enough to calculate the exact amount of power equal to the most energy saving way to heat your water. The unit’s heating elements activate automatically at a mere 0.37 GPM regardless of the inlet temperature. The sleek steel-gray housing features a digital temperature display and manual temperature dial. The Stiebel Eltron Tempra 29 uses 240 Amps, 12kW, 220V, and weighs a mere 10.5 pounds. The system comes with 2 ¾” NPT adaptors and a spectacular 7 year leak and 3 year parts warranty.
To watch the Stiebel Eltron Tempra Plus 29 kW Tankless Electric Water Heater Review on YouTube, click here.
- One of the best warranties offered.
- Cold water inlet filtration system, kicks on at 0.37 GPH
- Energy efficient and energy bill savings!
- Model discontinued by the manufacturer.
- Cost of professional installation.
- System fails after 36 months.
- Poor customer service.
- Does not ship internationally.
Avoid – Rheem Richmond 6EP15-1 Richmond Electric Water Heater Review
And finally, we present the Rheem Richmond 6EP15-1. Made of solid stainless steel, this system features a quality heat element and auto over-temperature shut off. A premium anode rod keeps the electric water heater from corrosion and the wall mount bracket keeps the water heater safely secured to the wall. The 6EP15-1 is designed with Rheemglas® insulation for high efficiency water heating, is low lead compliance, and UL listed to meet or exceed NAECA regulations for safety.
This electric water heater weighs 54 pounds and measures approximately 19” x 21” x 26”. The 6EP15-1 requires 1800W, 15 AMPS, 120V and comes with a 6 year leak, 1 year parts warranty. 2 standard ¾” NPT adaptors are included for easy installation.
Although this electric water heater looks good on paper, many consumers have experienced many issues with this RHeem and our reasons to avoid this particular electric water heater are listed below in the CONS section. One notable CON is that the water heater recovers at less than 17 GPH. You’ll be waiting awhile for a hot shower.
To watch the Rheem Richmond 6EP15-1 Richmond Electric Water Heater Review on YouTube, click here.
- Great electric water heater for RVs and Campers
- Easy installation, extra parts may be required.
- Water heaters arrive damaged.
- Hot water drains quickly from the tank.
- Entire tank stopped working after 1 year.
- Drain valve not included.
- Requires special / limited wiring options / call to the manufacturer.
- May require professional installation.
2020 Buyers Guide to the Best Electric Water Heater:
We’ve pointed out some important pros and cons about each electric water heater brand we researched. One of the most commonalities we’ve listed is making sure that the tank or tankless electric water heater you’re deciding to purchase, meets all the critical demands of your home’s electrical system and is compatible enough to not consistently trip a circuit breaker. The wrong electric water heater can create a lot of havoc. It’s paramount before purchasing your new electric water heater that you do some advanced research. Here are three most important factors to consider.
3 Main Points to Consider:
- Energy Efficiency – The amount of water you need to heat for your home can drastically raise or significantly lower your energy bill. If your concerned about the cost of running your electric water heater, and you should be, investigate the various electric water heaters on the market to understand the inlet temperature the water heater requires, to the amount of time it takes the water heater to heat the precise amount of water you need in your home at one or any given time. If you choose a tank-style electric water heater, also consider the amount of water that stays hot, in the tank, without having to rely on a cold-start each time you need hot water. Most of the electric water heaters we investigated don’t require any level of ventilation, however, for your health and safety, understand the right source and the best way to install your new electric water heater for maximum efficiency and greater monthly energy savings.
- Climate/Inlet Temp – Most of our research also found us continuously being directed to the various manufacturer’s Inlet Temp Map. This color-coded map, of the United States, differentiates the average water temperature in each state or temperature zone, as it enters the home’s electric water heater. Much like knowing when it’s best to grow your perennials and annuals, understanding the electric water heater’s relationship to your climate changes is important to the system’s efficiency and overall health of the water heater. It’s imperative to understand the average inlet water temperature in your region, prior to purchasing the best electric water heater for your needs. Educating yourself with this knowledge can save you hundreds of dollars in repairs, calls to the repairman and damaging the electric water heater’s valuable copper heating elements.
- Storage Capacity – Any old electric water heater will do, right? Wrong! Know the electric water heater’s first hour rating; how long it takes per hour to heat the entire tank full of water, and how many gallons of water the element can heat efficiently. Every moment the electric water heater is running, the electric bill is increasing. We can’t express enough how important the burner and the size of the heating element are in relation to the size of the tank, and, the amount of hot water you need flowing through the home at any given time. If you only need enough hot water to run a quick shower and the dishwasher, a smaller electric water heater tank or compatible tankless unit may be more appropriate. The 50-80 gallon drum-sized electric water heaters and the more technologically advanced tankless water heaters are great, and yes, they can run 4 showers, the dishwasher and 2 hand sinks simultaneously. Do you need that much water and an electric water heater constantly trying to achieve that goal? The amount of storage/water capacity + the amount of water used daily + heating time should = a reasonably low energy bill. Bigger doesn’t always mean better, and tankless may seem luxurious, but it may not be compatible with the home’s electrical system or water intake. Do your research for the very best results. And it never hurts to consult a professional for a free estimate.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):
What is the most cost effective hot water heater?
For cost effectiveness, a tankless electric water heater may be a more sizable cost investment, but these hot water heating systems offer consumers more energy savings and better efficiency than their tank-style counterparts. Conventional tank water heaters don’t typically offer a hot water on demand feature, or a precision 1°F +/- rapid temperature control. Tankless versions are also practically noise-free. Where a tank-style electric water heater needs about a 12 foot radius of free space in each direction, and typically requires a stable external temperature in the garage or shed to function properly. Whereas, tankless electric water heaters have a small footprint and mount to the wall like a picture frame.
Are new electric water heaters more efficient?
Many manufacturers follow the requirements set by environment law to make sure that the electric water heaters they produce meet the highest standard of efficiency and energy savings. And tankless electric water heaters meet even better requirements and higher standards, making them one of the most popular new styles of electric water heater available on the market.
Best Electric Water Heater Reviews (2020 Buyers Guide)
Final Thoughts on Buying an Electric Water Heater
Is it time for an upgrade? If the big, old, clunky, unreliable, leaking electric water heater in your home isn’t working to your satisfaction, or saving you money each month on your energy bill, it’s time to make the leap and invest in a quality electric or tankless electric water heater. We’ve shown you our top 9 picks for the highest quality electric water heater, plus one to avoid. It’s time to worry less, save more, and bring the essential amenity of hot water into your home.