Water Heater Buying Guide
In a recent test, Consumer Reports evaluated six electric and gas whole-house tankless water heaters from manufactures including Bosch, Noritz, Rheem, Rinnai, Tempra, and Trutankless. A tanked water heater from Rheem, one that is gas and one that is electric, as well as an electric heat pump water heater from Rheem, which is a variant on a tanked water heater, were all used to compare the outcomes. Based on the results of an industry-standard “heavy usage” test, we compared the performance of natural gas and electric tankless water heaters to that of their conventional tank equivalents.
The daily equivalent of taking many showers, running the dishwasher, washing one load of clothes, and repeatedly turning the tap on and off.
The intended outlet temperature was 120° F, and the test employed these temperatures.
As a result, we do not have model-level ratings for refrigerators, as we do for other major appliances.
Tankless units that were installed in lieu of an existing storage tank had a longer payback period than those installed during new construction.
9 Best Water Heaters
Every editorial product is chosen on its own merits, while we may be compensated or earn an affiliate commission if you purchase something after clicking on one of our affiliate links. As of the time of writing, the ratings and pricing are correct, and all goods are in stock. 1/10 Family Handyman, courtesy of homedepot.com and lowes.com, respectively
What Is a Water Heater?
Regardless of whether the water is from a municipal or private source, it all enters your home cold. Unless you enjoy taking cold showers, you’ll want to find a technique to warm it up. It’s time to turn on the water heater. It doesn’t matter if the water is flowing through the heater or is being kept in a reservoir tank; water heaters raise the temperature of the water in your house. The heater may do this through the use of a flame or a solid heating component. Natural gas, propane, and electricity are all options for powering heaters.
- Purchase price, installation, and any additional work, such as running vent lines or upgrading your electrical service, are all included in the price. Fuel type: This is a matter of personal taste. Almost usually, the simplest and most cheap alternative is to continue using the same type of fuel that your current heater operates on. You may have different demands than others, but a 40-gallon tank typically gives enough hot water for two people, and a 50-gallon tank may accommodate four or five people in an average-sized home. Get the largest tank you can afford for a group of six or more people. Tankless vs. traditional: Which is better? Tankless water heaters heat the water as it goes through its coils, resulting in an infinite supply of hot water to be used. The disadvantages are that the cost and installation fees are greater. Energy efficiency: Although better-efficiency units have a higher initial cost, the energy savings will often more than offset the cost of the unit within a few years. Tankless systems are likewise more energy efficient, but because of their greater cost, they require a longer “break-even” period to be profitable. Tank construction: Tank heaters can become clogged with silt, which reduces their energy efficiency and shortens their service life significantly. You may manually empty them to lessen this danger, or you can search for versions that include self-cleaning components and ceramic-lined tanks to reduce this risk.
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Best Tankless Water Heater (Electric)
Unlike traditional water heaters, tankless water heaters only create heat when needed. Saving money on your energy account by not maintaining a tank of hot water at the ready will result in big savings on your bill. Units such as theRheem Performance Tankless Electric Water Heater can deliver around seven gallons of hot water per minute, meeting the demands of the entire household. However, in order to generate that much heat, you’ll need to dedicate four 40-amp double-pole breakers to this heater, which will take up a large amount of room in the electrical breaker box.
In addition to the temperature being displayed on the unit’s face via an easy-to-read LCD display, the single dial on the unit’s face permits changes in one-degree increments. In addition, Rheem’s five-year guarantee provides peace of mind. Now is the time to shop3/10 via lowes.com
Best Tankless Water Heater (Gas)
Price and performance are excellently balanced in the A.O. Smith Signature Series Tankless Water Heaters by the manufacturer. Although gas tankless units have a higher initial purchase price than electric tankless units, the reduced running expenses often offset the higher purchase price throughout the unit’s lifetime. A single tank of water from this manufacturer delivers enough hot water to run three showers at the same time. Additionally, it is Energy Star certified, indicating that it is one of the most energy-efficient machines on the market.
If you’re intending on doing the installation yourself, be sure you follow all applicable rules and obtain any necessary permits.
Best Traditional Tank Water Heater (Electric)
The WiFi-enabled leak detection and auto shut-off capabilities of the Rheem Gladiator series have garnered a great deal of attention. No one can argue that these are impressive characteristics, yet they are only a portion of the reason we appreciate theGladiator 50-Gallon Electric Water Heaters so much. The 12-year guarantee outperforms the coverage provided by most competitors, and it is accompanied by a three-year labor warranty. The auto-clean option helps to prevent sediment buildup, which can affect the life of a water heater.
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Best Traditional Tank Water Heater (Gas)
The Signature 100 Series 50-Gallon Water Heater from A.O. Smith is a solid appliance that comes at a reasonable price. There are less costly gas heaters available, but the six-year guarantee, self-cleaning dip tube, and ceramic-fused tank shield on this heater mean less possible issues down the line if something goes wrong. We also appreciate the fact that it has an ecologically friendly burner that emits lesser amounts of nitrogen oxide and nitrogen dioxide than a standard gas water heater, which is another plus.
Best Budget-Friendly Water Heater (Electric)
Astonishingly affordable at $419, theRheem Performance 40-Gallon Electric Water Heateris a great addition to any home. Smaller families or houses with an offset usage pattern will benefit from the 40-gallon tank, which requires less energy to maintain heated between uses than a larger tank would. It simply requires a 25-amp electrical breaker, which means it shouldn’t necessitate a major electrical makeover to be put in place. If you’re looking to replace an existing electric water heater, it’s likely that you won’t find a better deal anywhere else.
Best Environmentally Friendly Water Heater (Electric)
Take into consideration the A.O. Smith Signature 900 Hybrid Water Heater, which is designed to be as environmentally friendly as possible. In accordance with the manufacturer, this Energy Star-certified model saves an average home with three to four users more than $300 a year in energy bills. As part of its hybrid design, it includes a heat pump, which is similar to the one you may already have installed in your house for heating and cooling, to transport heat from the surrounding air into the water tank.
It is covered by a 10-year limited warranty and may be eligible for further rebates or tax credits depending on your situation. Visit Lehmans.com to Shop Now8/10
Best Off-Grid Water Heater
Yes, some households choose to live off-grid by installing a solar array. However, if you want to keep things as simple as possible, a Wood-Fired Water Heater is a good option. This Amish-built water heater is constructed of 3/16-inch welded steel, has a capacity of 15 gallons, and is efficient enough to keep heating new water as it circulates through the tank during operation. This indicates it has the capability of supplying water for back-to-back showers. We appreciate the fact that it is not depending on natural gas or power.
There has been no pressure testing.
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Best Water Heater for a Big Family (Gas)
If you have six or more people living in your home, you will want a large amount of hot water for bathing and laundry. If running out of water is your primary issue, you’re better off going tankless to provide “endless” hot water, or purchasing a heater with the largest tank possible. The tank may possibly be the most cost-effective of the three choices considered. This is due to the fact that big families constantly drain a water heater tank, resulting in the heater not expending energy to maintain the temperature of an empty tank.
You should select the Rheem Performance 75-Gallon Gas Water Heater if you believe that a huge tank is the best option for you.
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Best Water Heater for a Small Household (Electric)
A tankless water heater is frequently the best option for small families with only one or two people living in them. The Rheem Performance Self-Modulating Water Heater delivers enough hot water for two people to take showers at the same time without running out of hot water. Many households will only use it once or twice a day, after which it will remain idle, saving you money every time it does not need to heat up a reservoir tank of water, as is the case for many businesses. Two 40-amp circuit breakers are required.
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Best Water Heaters Of February 2022
Despite the fact that both natural gas and electric water heaters have their own set of pros and disadvantages, any comparison is complicated by an array of other considerations. Because electric water heaters are far more energy efficient and do not directly rely on fossil fuels to function, they are the most environmentally friendly alternative if environmental sustainability is important to you. The cost of operating an electric water heater can be significantly greater than the cost of operating a natural gas water heater.
Electric water heaters, particularly those that are Energy Star certified, can qualify for federal and even state tax credits, which can result in significant savings.
These discounts may not appear to be significant at first glance, but do a thorough calculation before making a purchase—you may be pleasantly surprised!
Tank vs. Tankless
Tankless water heaters are expensive and time-consuming to install and set up, but the energy savings they provide in the long run might be well worth the expenditure in the long run. Tankless water heaters provide an unending supply of hot water since they do not require a tank, which might accumulate rust or sediment build-up or pool in the tank. Check out our Best Gas Tankless Water Heaters of 2022 if you want to learn more about tankless hot water heaters. Tank-style water heaters, on the other hand, are simple and affordable to install, and they have the advantage of delivering hot water considerably more fast than tankless water heaters can.
Tank Capacity and First Hour Rating
The greatest hot water heater for your home will also depend on the tank capacity that is appropriate for your family’s requirements. Depending on the amount of people living in your home, this is a simple calculation to make:
- One to two persons require 20 to 35 gallons of water
- Two to four people require 35 to 50 gallons of water. Three to five persons use 50 to 60 gallons of water. Five or more persons — 60 gallons or more (add 10 gallons for each additional person)
20 to 35 gallons for one to two persons; 35 to 50 gallons for two to four individuals. 50 to 60 gallons of water for three to five persons; The water required for five persons or more is more than 60 gallons (plus 10 gallons each person).
- Bathing or bathing consumes 20 gallons
- Washing dishes (by hand) consumes six gallons
- Running the dishwasher consumes 14 gallons
- Using the washing machine consumes 30 gallons
Ease of Use
One last consideration to consider when purchasing a new hot water heater for your house is the convenience with which your new appliance will be operated. Many new electric hot water heaters are equipped with digital displays, which allow you to monitor and regulate your hot water heater more easily and effectively. Others may come with an app and be controlled over a Wi-Fi connection. Lastly, some of them are smart home equipped and can connect with other smart gadgets in your house, such as the Amazon Echo (yes, you can talk to your water heaters now).
Best Water Heater Reviews 2021
It is possible to purchase a variety of various water heaters on the market. It’s not simple to figure out how to choose the greatest water heater for your needs. It is necessary to understand the advantages and disadvantages of each type and technology. In addition, when you factor in the availability of local and national subsidies for energy savings, making the choice to replace a water heater with a newer or alternative technology becomes a little more complicated than just picking between electric and gas.
However, as we’ll demonstrate, this isn’t always the greatest option when it comes to water heaters.
Analyzing the advantages and disadvantages of each technology will assist you in making the best selection. We also make particular product and line recommendations based on our expertise and experience with the items, their technology, their manufacturers, their reputations, and their warranties.
Best Water Heaters by Type
Depending on the sort of water heating system in question, we can provide some recommendations. The greatest water heater should be able to satisfy your requirements while also meeting the demands of your home. For the sake of this paper, we will limit ourselves to water heaters intended for use in domestic settings. There are electric and gas variants available in both tank and tankless configurations. Hybrid electric and heat pump designs are also included in this category. Following our suggestions, we’ll go through the advantages and disadvantages of each kind of water heater to assist you in determining which type of water heater is the best fit for your home’s installation or replacement.
Best Electric Water Heater (Tank Style)
Electric tank water heaters from Rheem Performance are available in a variety of capacities ranging from 20 to 60 gallons. They have a uniform energy factor (UEF) of.92 –.93 and don’t overcomplicate things with fancy electronics or “Smart” systems, which may be expensive. This also helps to keep the costs low. A standard 50-gallon tank might cost as little as $409. That 50-gallon tank produces 61 gallons of hot water in the first hour of operation, on average. In addition, you’ll get a 6-year limited warranty.
Some of these features are WiFi capabilities and app control, which allow you to do more with your water heater.
Best Gas Water Heater (Tank Style)
The A. O. Smith Signature 50-gallon tall model, in our opinion, is the greatest gas water heater available. It performs exceptionally well in houses with five or more people and produces 50,000 BTUs. It has a remarkable first-hour hot water delivery capacity of 89 gallons and is equipped with an electronic gas valve that allows for exact temperature adjustment. Aside from that, the control operates without the requirement for an external power source. A modest LED status indicator for diagnostics reporting is included with the AO Smith Signature 50-gallon water heater, which is not a smart water heater by any means.
The ceramic fused tank shield, which inhibits corrosion, as well as the self-cleaning dip tube, which decreases silt build-up, are two features that we really enjoy.
There are also a variety of sizes available in both short and tall combinations.
Best Hybrid Electric Heat Pump Water Heater
The hybrid electric heat pump style of water heaters might be considered the “Cadillac” of water heaters. Designed to be both clever and efficient, the A. O. Smith Signature Premier Electric Water Heater with Hybrid Heat Pump is a great addition to any home. Because of the hybrid heat pump architecture, it is four times more efficient than even the most efficient electric water heater. It saves enough money that, according to the calculations, it should be able to pay for itself in as little as 2-3 years.
This water heater does not include built-in WiFi.
That’s something we appreciate in a water heater since it means there’s less to break and worry about. For your piece of mind, this water heater is backed by a 10-year limited manufacturer’s guarantee.
Best Gas Tankless Water Heater
Tankless water heaters manufactured by Rinnai have been a favorite of mine for as long as I can remember. When it comes to tankless water heaters, we prefer indoor units wherever feasible, and I aim to promote gas versions with at least 7.5 GPM. That will more than plenty for a family of 4-5, even if you have laundry in the washing and a dishwasher or shower going at the same time. That this system is so simple, paired with an outstanding 10-year manufacturing guarantee on the heat exchanger, is something we really like about it.
Along with the 120-month heat exchanger guarantee, you will receive 12 months of labor coverage and 60 months of parts coverage.
Best Electric Tankless Water Heater
When it comes to electric tankless water heaters, we tend to opt for smaller units that are meant to be used as point-of-use solutions for tiny spaces. When it comes to the bathroom at our Pro Tool Reviews Shop, we utilize an EcoSmart ECO 11 unit from the manufacturer. Depending on the temperature of the incoming water, we may achieve between 1.3 and 3.1 GPM with this system. Due to the fact that we reside in Florida, the flow tends to be on the higher end of the range. Electric tankless water heaters for the entire house are available, but they require a number of high-current breakers to operate properly.
Over the years, newer electric tank heaters have gotten so much more energy efficient that electric tankless water heaters are no longer necessarily the most cost-effective or logistically feasible aftermarket replacement option.
Water pressure is excellent in the smallest units, which are ideal for providing a single bathroom sink or breakroom faucet.
One year guarantee on exchangers and electronics is provided on point of use equipment by this company.
Repairing and Replacing Water Heaters – Incentives
If your hot water heater fails, you would normally just replace it with a gas or electric one that is the same size and kind (usually conventional). However, because of the ongoing government incentives, homeowners who replace their hot water heaters may be eligible for Energy Star rebates. The refund may only be applied on an existing house that serves as your primary residence. It operates in the following ways:
- If you purchase a qualified gas, oil, or propane water heater, you will be eligible for a tax credit of $300. This tankless system must have an Energy Factor of at least 0.82 and a thermal efficiency of at least 90% in order to function properly. Currently, all tankless water heaters that comply with Energy Star requirements qualify. If you purchase a qualified electric heat pump water heater, you will be eligible for a tax credit of $300. Most ENERGY STAR-certified water heaters fulfill the standards for this tax credit, and the Uniform Energy Factor (UEF) must be equal to or greater than 2.2.
Pros and Cons of Electric Tank Water Heaters
Using a huge insulated tank to hold the water, tank water heaters heat the water to provide hot water. These devices have an usual capacity of 40-50 gallons. You may also discover versions that are meant for larger houses and can heat up to 80 gallons of water or even more every hour of operation. Commercial units have capacities of up to 120 gallons or more. Electric water heaters utilize one or more heating elements to heat the water in the tank, and they are equipped with a thermostat to regulate the temperature of the water.
We propose that even the greatest electric water heaters be used in conjunction with an external timer in order to save money. This is not true for versions equipped with electronic controls, which allow programming of the thermostat either on the device itself or through an app on a smartphone.
- Advantages:Easy to replace, economical when compared to alternatives, and suitable for both warm and cold weather conditions. Cons: Inefficient as compared to tankless (particularly when using gas), prone to intermittent failure, and with a limited supply of hot water.
Pros and Cons of Tankless Water Heaters
An electric heating element (heat exchanger) heats the water as it passes through the system, allowing it to be used immediately. Because there is no standing water in a tank, the heat is not lost over time (standby loss) as the hot water sits waiting to be utilized, as is the case with a tank-based system. Because the water is only heated when it is needed (the system is “flow regulated,” meaning that the heating only occurs when the hot water has been triggered and is being drawn through the system), these systems are relatively new and promise to be more energy-efficient than older models.
In addition, most residences are not constructed with a centralized location for the water supply in mind.
- Pros: It is energy efficient, offers rebates, and never runs out of hot water. It is expensive, requiring specific installation and might take longer to heat water in the most remote areas of a home.
Should You Buy a Heat Pump Water Heater
Water heating systems that extract heat from the surrounding air to heat water in a tank are a less well-known form of water heating system. The odd manner it operates means it is only ideal for use in warmer areas and must be installed in a bigger place such as a utility room, garage, shop, or basement due to the nature of its operation. They may be up to three times more efficient than an electric water heater, and they can also chill and dehumidify the air in the room, making them particularly attractive in hotter areas where humidity is a problem.
In addition to heating water more rapidly and in larger volume than ordinary electric water heaters, these hybrid versions are also more compact in size.
- Pros: It is energy efficient, it cools the room during hot weather, it heats up quickly, and it produces more volume for the same size tank. Cons: It is expensive, it is not ideal for colder areas, it takes more room, and it has a restricted hot water supply.
Considering a Solar Water Heater?
Do you want to be as energy efficient as possible to the extreme? Why not use the sun to heat your water instead of a boiler? Solar water heaters can be used to heat the water in a home or to just heat water for a swimming pool. They can operate in a number of different ways. In the event of cloudy days or other unforeseen circumstances, these systems rely on a backup system (either tankless or conventional) to manage hot water production when the solar system is unable to provide sufficient heat.
When using a passive system, the tank is actually stored on the roof or the ground (as part of a “batch collector”), where it is directly heated by the sun.
- Interested in being the most environmentally conscious person you can be? Consider using the sun to heat your water instead of a boiler. Solar water heaters can be used to heat the water in a home or to just heat water for a swimming pool. They can operate in a number of ways. In the event of cloudy days or other unforeseen circumstances, these systems rely on a backup system (either tankless or conventional) to manage hot water production when the solar system is unable to produce sufficient heat. An active solar heating system heats fluid by routing it through a device known as a “flat plate collector,” which then returns the fluid to the storage tank and heats the water in the system. When using a passive system, the tank is actually stored on the roof or the ground (as part of a “batch collector”), where it is heated directly by the sun.
Check for Additional Rebates
Check with your local gas and electric companies as well to see if there are any further incentives available.
Consider this: If you replace a traditional gas water heater with a tankless system, your local gas supplier may offer you $450 in rebates and incentives. Considering the foregoing, your savings may look somewhat like this:
- A total of $450 is obtained by subtracting $1,200 (the cost of the tankless water heater) from $300 (the tax credit) and $450 (the local rebate).
Because of the low cost, it’s nearly absurd to not replace and improve your hot water heater with one that is more energy efficient. Your final selection will be based on your own preferences as well as the requirements of your house and water heating requirements. Before making a final decision, carefully analyze all of your alternatives and all of the possible tax savings that are available to you.
Best water heaters 2022
(Image courtesy of Getty) Having one of the top water heaters will allow you to go on with your day without having to worry. It’s critical to invest in a dependable water heater, especially as we approach the cooler months. You’ll want your water heater to be as energy-efficient as possible, whether it’s the finest electric water heater or the best gas water heater. When it comes to selecting one of the greatest water heaters, the first question that will arise is whether to go with gas or electric.
While a gas water heater will continue to operate in the case of a power loss, they are more expensive to purchase up front.
Rheem water heaters are also equipped with smart capabilities that allow you to monitor your water heater’s temperature from your smartphone.
An Energy Star accreditation as well as a fantastic guarantee are also included as additional benefits.
1. Rheem Gladiator Water Heater: Best overall water heater
(Photo courtesy of Home Depot.)
The Rheem water heater is a durable and reliable water heater that has a fantastic 12-year warranty.
Yes, it is Energy Star certified. Warranty: 12 years from the date of purchase
Reasons to buy
+Eco-friendly burner emits low levels of pollution+ It has EcoNet capability+. It is covered by a 12-year warranty.
Reasons to avoid
-It is not recommended for households with more than 4 occupants. In terms of water heaters, Rheem is an excellent, mid-level brand that isn’t too pricey. Its reputation as a manufacturer of long-lasting, dependable water heaters makes it an excellent choice for most households. The firm provides water heaters in a variety of types, including gas, electric, tankless, solar, and hybrid. In order to create our guide, we looked at the Rheem Gladiator water heater as a starting point. With an Energy Star rating and a 12-year guarantee, this gas water heater is an excellent choice.
Additionally, if there is a leak or other issues, this EcoNet system may give you notifications.
In order to safeguard you, the gadget immediately shuts down if a buildup of potentially flammable vapor occurs. You won’t have to worry about replacing or cleaning a filter, though, because this machine is designed to work without one entirely.
2. Westinghouse Lifetime Electric Water Heater: Best water heater warranty
(Photo courtesy of Home Depot.)
Set to last a lifetime, the Westinghouse Electric Water Heater will save you money in the long run.
The product is not Energy Star certified and does not have a warranty.
Reasons to buy
+It is designed to last a lifetime+ Tank with a capacity of 80 gallons
Reasons to avoid
-Expensive As a result of its large 80-gallon tank, the Westinghouse Electric Light Duty Water Heater is an excellent choice for families and anyone who want a large amount of hot water quickly. Other noteworthy aspects of this water heater include the tank’s stainless steel construction, which makes it far lighter than other water heaters. The stainless steel also helps to reduce the accumulation of scale within, which means it should last far longer. While this water heater has a high price tag of over $1,000, it comes with a lifetime warranty that makes it an excellent investment.
- Check out our evaluation of the Westinghouse Electric Light Duty Water Heater.
3. Rheem Performance Platinum Smart Electric Water Heater: Best electric water heater
(Photo courtesy of Home Depot.)
A smart water heater with a 10-year warranty, the Rheem Performance Water Heater is Energy Star rated.
Yes, it is Energy Star certified. Warranty is for ten years.
Reasons to buy
+Long warranty+Energy efficiency+Intelligent control system
Reasons to avoid
-Heavy-Expensive The Rheem Performance Platinum Smart Electric Water Heater comes out on top as the best electric water heater in our comparison guide, according to our findings. This water heater is both quiet and energy efficient, and it comes with a 10-year warranty. With its hybrid heat pump, it is more energy efficient than ordinary electric heaters on the market today. Due to the fact that it is a smart water heater, the Rheem Performance heater sends notifications to your phone if something isn’t quite right or if any water leaks are discovered.
Additionally, this water heater offers useful smart features such as the option to switch it into High Demand mode for plenty of hot water and a Vacation Mode for when you are away.
- Read our Rheem Performance Platinum Smart Electric Water Heater review to learn more about this product.
4. A.O Smith Signature Gas Water Heater: Best gas water heater
(Image courtesy of Lowe’s)
The A.O Smith Gas Water Heater is a great budget option and is great for family homes.
There is no Energy Star rating, and the warranty is only six years.
Reasons to buy
+Good value for money+Perfect for families
Reasons to avoid
-A shorter warranty period The A.O Smith Signature Gas Water Heater is the most affordable option in our guide to big water heaters, but that doesn’t mean you’ll be shortchanged in terms of performance. Sure, it lacks some of the more advanced features found in some of the other models, but for the price, this water heater is excellent for heating enough water for a household. The features that it does have have been thoughtfully designed.
The use of a push button ignition makes the starter procedure quick and simple, and the LED status indication makes it easy to keep track of things if something goes wrong. A.O. Smith is a well-known brand that provides a solid and dependable water heater without charging an exorbitant price.
- See our A.O Smith Signature Gas Water Heater review for more information.
5. Bosch Tronic 3000 T ES4 Water Heater: Best point-of-use water heater
(Photo courtesy of Home Depot.)
A fantastic and compact water heater that is designed for point-of-use plug in with ease.
There is no Energy Star rating, and the warranty is only six years.
Reasons to buy
+Easy to put together+ Fits beneath sinks and other similar applications Heats water in a short period of time
Reasons to avoid
A little tank is all that is available. Bosch Tronic 3000 T ES4 Water Heater is designed to be put on a wall or on the floor, and it is particularly suitable for use beneath sinks. It is powered by a 120V outlet and comes with a six-year warranty. This water heater is not intended to give enough hot water for an entire family to shower after each other, and it only has a four-gallon tank, but it is intended to quickly heat water in a single location. Because of its quick recovery time, you won’t have to wait for hot water for very long.
The Bosch model is an excellent choice if you want a water heater that can be utilized with a single point of use.
- See our Bosch Tronic 3000 Mini-Tank Electric Water Heater review for more information.
Buying a water heater: efficiency ratings
Although the efficiency criteria for gas and electric water heaters differ, both rely on the Uniform Energy Factor (UEF) rating system, with higher-scoring machines producing more hot water while consuming less electricity. When applying for an Energy Star certification, electric water heaters with tanks up to 55 gallons must have a UEF of at least 2 in order to be eligible. A UEF of 0.64 or 0.68, depending on how much water is used during the day, is all that is required for gas water heaters with tanks up to 55 gallons of storage capacity.
Choosing a water heater that is close to or above the Energy Star criteria will save you money on your utility bills, however the most energy-efficient heaters are typically the most expensive.
Water heater warranties
It’s possible that you’ll be tempted to make a selection only on the basis of features and pricing while searching around for a water heater. However, the value of a solid warranty should not be underestimated, because in a crisis, you’ll want to be confident that you’ll be able to get your house back up and running as quickly as possible. To avoid being without hot water for an extended period of time, it’s important to get a model that comes with an excellent warranty.
There is a catch, however, in that labor guarantees are often only valid for one calendar year.
How much do water heaters cost?
The cost of installing a new water heater in your house will typically range between $700 and $2,000 on average. Electric water heaters are typically priced between $300 and $700, not including installation. Gas water heaters, on the other hand, range in price from $400 to $1,000. The cost of a water heater, on the other hand, is heavily influenced by the brand, tank size, and efficiency rating of the heater. However, despite the fact that it may be tempting to open the installation instructions and attempt to install your new water heater on your own, the majority of homeowners lack the requisite skills and expertise.
- In addition, several manufacturers only sell their water heaters through professional installation.
- Since the most majority of plumbers are qualified and certified professionals with years of important expertise, it is well worth the extra expense to have them install your water heater.
- Labor, supplies, and the removal of the water heater are all included in the installation price.
- For example, if you want to change the kind of water heater in your house, you should expect to pay up to $1,500 (and sometimes much more) to upgrade your home’s electrical or natural gas connections to the required standards.
Make sure to obtain quotations from three or four different area plumbers in order to discover the most competitive pricing possible.
Before you can install a water heater in your house, most towns and counties need you to get a permit. If necessary, the certified plumber you choose can secure the appropriate permissions as part of the installation process, depending on your location. To be sure, you should check with them or your local building department to find out what permits are required in your particular site before moving forward. This will also assist you in determining if you are responsible for obtaining the permit or whether the contractor will handle it.
Gas vs electric water heaters: which is right for you?
A new water heater for your house isn’t inexpensive, which is why you’re probably spending some time thinking about how you’re going to power the device. The first thing to understand is that electric heaters are the most environmentally friendly alternative available, and choosing one of them will mean that you are making a more environmentally friendly choice for the globe. The use of electric water heaters is also more energy efficient, albeit the cost of electricity raises the cost of operation over that of gas-powered water heaters.
Lifetime energy costs
You’re definitely spending some time to think about how to power your new water heater, which is understandable given the cost of installing one in a home. Electric heaters are the most environmentally friendly alternative available, and choosing one of these will ensure that you are making a more environmentally friendly decision for the globe. The use of electric water heaters is also more energy efficient, albeit the cost of electricity raises the cost of operation over that of gas-powered water heater alternatives.
How many years does a hot water heater last?
When you invest a significant amount of money all at once on a hot water heater, the issue of lifespan becomes a worry. Tank style water heaters, on the other hand, have a lifespan of eight to twelve years on average – depending on whether or not you have hard water in your location and whether or not you undertake regular maintenance to maintain the heater functioning at optimal performance. According to our research and consultations with plumbing specialists, you can anticipate a new water heater to last around ten years after installation.
In addition, we discovered that many plumbing professionals recommend installing a hot water filter to help limit the amount of silt and minerals that enter your water heater and cause it to malfunction.
If you install this additional system, it may be possible to double the lifespan of your water heater; however, we recommend talking with your local plumber first to see whether it would be worthwhile in your location.
When should you replace your water heater?
To determine that your water heater isn’t operating correctly, you don’t have to be a professional plumber. However, knowing the signs and symptoms of a malfunctioning water heater can save you from losing your hot water completely.
- Keep an eye out for any changes in the quality of your hot water, such as brown water or metallic tastes, which might signal that your storage tank is rusting on the inside. if you notice a rapid drop in the amount of hot water your heater delivers, or if the water never gets totally hot, it might be the consequence of an inefficient, worn-out or broken heating element. A reduction in the volume of water flowing through the faucets might signal that a pipe has been clogged with silt, hard water deposits, or another material. If the sound of your water heater changes as it is heating water, especially if you hear popping and cracking, this might indicate a problem. If you notice water leaking directly from the water heater, it is likely that something has to be tightened. Given that the typical lifespan of a water heater is around 10 years, any water heater that is more than 10 to 15 years old should be considered for replacement, even if it is still in good working order.
Water heater safety
Your water heater, like any other important household item, requires regular maintenance and care in order to perform its functions properly. Homeowners are advised to examine the parts of their water heater at least once a year, according to insurance firms. The ventilation system, the pilot light, and the temperature or release valve are all examples of such components. Instructions for using your heater should be included in the handbook you got from the manufacturer when you made your purchase.
If you are unable to find the information you want in the handbook and you need to inspect the state of your heater, you can always contact a local plumber for expert guidance and assistance.
He not only writes about smart homes and home security and safety, but he also writes about other home technology goods such as HVAC systems, garage door openers, and other such items.
Selecting a New Water Heater
For your water heater to function properly, it requires regular maintenance and care, just like any other essential household item. Homeowners are advised to examine the parts of their water heater at least once a year, according to insurance providers. The ventilation system, pilot light, and temperature or release valve are among the components that make up this system. Instructions for using your heater should be included in the handbook you received from the manufacturer when you bought it.
Whenever you are unable to find the information you want in the handbook or when you need to inspect the state of your heater, you can always contact a local plumber for assistance.
Apart from smart homes, home security, and home safety, he also writes about other home technology goods such as HVAC systems, garage door openers, and other such items.
Types of Water Heaters
It’s a good idea to be familiar with the many types of water heaters that are available before making a purchase:
- Storage water heaters that are often used provide a ready reservoir (storage tank) of hot water that is sufficient for everyday use. But there are other situations, such as when there is more than one usage for hot water at the same time or when there are guests in the house, where the need for hot water increases. Tankless water heaters, also known as demand-type water heaters, heat water on demand rather than storing it in a storage tank. When properly sized, this sort of water heater is intended to give an appropriate supply of hot water without running out
- However, this is not always the case. Heat pump water heaters transport heat from one location to another rather than generating heat directly for the purpose of supplying hot water, resulting in great efficiency and considerable cost savings
- They are also environmentally friendly. Heat from the sun is used to heat water, which saves money on electricity costs. Solar water heaters are becoming increasingly popular. Tankless coil and indirect water heaters heat water by utilizing the space heating system of the home.
When deciding on the appropriate type and model of water heater for your house, take the following factors into consideration:
- Type of fuel, availability, and pricing are all important considerations. The type of fuel or energy source you choose for water heating will have an impact on not just the annual operating costs of the water heater, but also the size and energy efficiency of the heater. More information about choosing fuel kinds and sizes may be found in the section below. It is necessary to have an appropriately sized water heater in order to offer your home with enough hot water while also maximizing efficiency. For further information on size, see the sections on the various types of water heaters (linked above). Efficiencies in energy use. Check the energy efficiency of a water heater before purchasing it to ensure that you save the most energy and money possible. More information on predicting energy efficiency and costs may be found on the pages dedicated to different types of water heaters (linked above). Preparing for the purchase of a water heater should include estimating the yearly running expenses as well as comparing those costs to the costs of alternative models that are less or more energy efficient. More information on predicting expenses may be found on the pages dedicated to the various types of water heaters (linked above).
There are three types of fuel: kerosene, propane, and diesel. In addition to affecting the yearly operating costs of the water heater, the type of fuel or energy source you choose will also influence the size and energy efficiency of the water heater you choose. Details on choosing fuel kinds and sizes are provided below. A correctly sized water heater will ensure that your home has enough hot water while also maximizing efficiency. More information on size may be found on the sections dedicated to the various types of water heaters (see links above).
Check the energy efficiency of a water heater before purchasing it in order to save the most energy and money.
Preparing for the purchase of a water heater should include estimating the yearly running expenses as well as comparing those costs to the costs of alternative models that are either less or more energy efficient.
For additional information on predicting expenses, see the sections on the various types of water heaters (linked above).
Fuel Types, Availability and Costs for Water Heating
It’s critical to examine the sort of fuel or energy source you’ll be using when choosing a new water heater, as well as its availability and cost, while making your decision. The type of fuel utilized by a water heating system will have an impact on not just the annual operating expenses, but also the size and energy efficiency of the water heater.
Exploring Water Heater Options by Fuel Type
It’s critical to examine the sort of fuel or energy source you’ll be using when buying a new water heater, as well as its availability and cost. The type of fuel utilized by a water heating system will have an impact on not just the annual operating expenses, but also the size and energy efficiency of the water heater itself.
- The use of electricity for traditional storage, tankless or demand-type, and heat pump water heaters is widely accessible throughout the United States. Moreover, it may be utilized in conjunction with combined water and space heating systems, such as tankless coil and indirect water heaters.
- Energy-efficient storage water heaters and indirect combined water and space heating systems can be powered by fuel oil, which is available in some parts of the United States.
- Geothermal energy is a renewable source of energy. People who will have or currently have an ageothermal heat pump system installed in their houses for space heating and cooling can take advantage of this program, which is available across the United States. For further details, please seeHeat Pump Water Heaters.
- Natural gas is a type of energy source. Fuel for traditional storage and demand (tankless or instantaneous) water heaters as well as combined water and space heating systems (which may include tankless coil and indirect water heaters) is readily available in many parts of the United States.
- Propane Fuel for traditional storage and demand (tankless or instantaneous) water heaters, as well as indirect combined space and water heating systems, is readily available in many parts of the United States.
- Solar energy is a renewable source of energy. Solar water heaters are available across the United States, with the greatest availability in the Southwest.
Comparing Fuel Costs and Water Heater Types
You should evaluate fuel costs if you have access to more than one fuel type in your location, especially if you’re planning to build an entirely new home. Even if you’re replacing a water heater, you may discover that switching to a different fuel or energy source may save you more money in the long term. For those switching from one fuel type to another, there are additional costs to consider such as the installation of circuit breakers and the running of gas lines to the water heater and venting them outside.
It is also important to consider the type of water heater you buy because it will influence your water heating expenditures.
For example, an electric heat pump water heater is generally more energy efficient than an electric traditional storage water heater in terms of heating capacity and efficiency.
The Best Electric Water Heater — February 2022 Reviews
Replacing your hot water heater may be a tough decision to make, and it can be even more difficult to prepare for. In reality, as we shown in thishot water heaterbuyer’s guide, taking the effort to get it right the first time may save you hundreds of dollars every year. The following is a detailed analysis of the finest electric water heaters currently available on the market, which was compiled after hundreds of hours of research and in-home testing by the author. Our objective is to assist you in finding the most appropriate electric hot water heater for your needs.
We concentrated on the most popular and best-selling brands and models, and we reviewed the Rheem electric water heater, the Bradford White electric water heater, and the AO Smith electric water heater, among other types.
Alternatively, you may read our reviews of the best heat pump water heater and our reviews of the best tankless water heater if you’d want to compare these water heaters to other available alternatives.
Best 40 gallon electric water heater
Every 50 gallon tank on the market was evaluated, and our top pick is theRheem Performance 40 Gal. Electric Tank Water Heater, which is available for purchase online.
What we like
Price—As you can see in the chart below, it is $20 less expensive than the equivalent AO Smith model and $344 less expensive than the Bradford White model. Features— Maintenance is easy—According to Brandon Baril, a plumber in San Diego, most of the Rheem heaters he fixes require only a $9 part due to the simple smart controller design of the Rheem heaters he repairs. Repairing your hot water heater will be less difficult, which will result in you replacing it less frequently and saving money.
This means that you can easily replace it or install a second one, which can increase the life expectancy of your water heater by as much as double.
40 gallon electric water heater prices
The following table lists the expenses of a 40-gallon electric water heater, as well as its energy efficiency ratings, yearly running costs, and first-gallon efficiency (FHRs). The fact that electric water heater prices have increased since the outbreak began, owing to supply chain issues and rising steel costs, should not be overlooked. Between July 2020 and January 2022, the average price of the water heaters tracked by us increased by around 33% on average.
|AO Smith 40 Gallon Electric Water||$499||.92||$424||53 gallons|
|Bradford White 40 Gallon Electric Water Heater||$823||.95||$405||56 gallons|
|Rheem 40 Gallon Electric Water Heater||$479||.93||$419||54 gallons|
The costs shown in the table above are for the most basic versions offered by Rheem, AO Smith, and Bradford White. However, there are a few additional elements that will influence the price:
Which height is best for your home?
The height of the water heater is an important issue to take into consideration. There are three distinct height models offered by the majority of water heater manufacturers:
- Tall electric water heaters measure 60 inches in height
- Medium electric water heaters measure 48 inches in height
- And small electric water heaters measure 32 inches in height.
The price disparities will vary depending on the manufacturer. However, in the instance of the Rheem Performance model that we discussed previously, the following is the cost difference between the two models: The price of a tall Rheem 40 gal. electric water heater is $479. The price of a medium Rheem 40 gal. electric water heater is $439. Price for a Rheem 40 gallon electric water heater is $529. As you can see, there isn’t a significant difference in pricing between the two options. As a result, you’ll want to choose the choice that best complements your living space.
Which warranty length is best for you?
The term of the warranty is the aspect that has the greatest impact on the pricing. Most manufacturers provide three different warranty lengths: six, nine, and twelve years. As an example, let’s look at how the pricing differ based on the Rheem water heater product warranty: The Rheem Performance 40 Gal. Medium – 6 Year is available for $439. $619 for a Rheem Performance Plus 40 Gal. Medium–9 Year warranty. 739 dollars for a Rheem Gladiator 40 gal. medium 12 year tank. In this example, the 9 year warranty costs $180 more than the 6 year warranty, as you can see.
However, after you reach the 12-year warranty threshold, you will also receive extra features like as an automatic shut-off valve and leak detection.
At the end of the day, whether or not you purchase a warranty is a personal decision that is influenced by your desire to save money or to have less risk. There is an excellent post on the importance of hot water heater warranties and alternatives on This Old House. here.
Best 50 gallon electric water heater
In our research, we looked at every 50-gallon electric water heater on the market, and our favorite was the Rheem Performance 50-gallon electric tank water heater. The Bradford White 50 gallon electric hot water heater is around $250 more expensive than this type. And while it is comparable in price to the AO Smith 50 gallon electric water heater, we believe the Rheem outperforms the AO Smith in terms of other characteristics (see below). There’s no denying that Rheem water heaters are well-constructed.
- Their tanks are thicker and less prone to leaking than other brands.
- In addition, their products tend to endure longer.
- This is significant because it means that if the rod breaks, you can quickly fix it rather than having to replace the complete hot water heater, potentially saving you hundreds of dollars.
- Customer feedback on Rheem Performance “One of the aspects of this model that I really appreciate is the ease with which the anode rod can be accessed, as well as the fact that the rod is constructed of magnesium.
- That is detrimental to the tank’s ability to defend itself against corrosion.
50 gallon electric water heater prices
|Rheem Performance 50 Gallon Electric Heater||$549||.93||$420||61 gallons|
|AO Smith 50 Gallon Electric Water Heater||$549||.92||$424||62 gallons|
|Bradford White 50 Gallon Electric Water Heater||$793||.95||$405||64 gallons|
Following an extensive search of the market, we have determined that the Rheem Performance 50 Gal. Electric Tank Water Heater is the best option. The Bradford White 50 gallon electric hot water heater is around $250 more expensive, whilst this model costs approximately $250 less. And while it is comparable in price to the AO Smith 50 gallon electric water heater, we believe the Rheem outperforms the AO Smith in terms of other characteristics (see below). No question: Rheem water heaters are well constructed.
- They are the oldest hot water heater firm in America.
- Their products make use of fewer cables, making them easier to install and maintain than other brands’ goods.
- A key selling point for Rheem is the ease with which their anode rod can be accessed and maintained.
- You may also put two anode rods in your hot water heater to practically double the life of the appliance.
- ” It was impossible to get the anode rod in my BW water heater without cutting the copper line and removing it, therefore I never bothered to do so when the water heater was first installed.
That is detrimental to the tank’s ability to protect itself from rust. When I took it out after removing the heater, it had entirely depleted its energy reserves.
The height — tall vs. medium vs. short electric water heaters
Most manufacturers provide a few various height options, giving clients a greater variety of alternatives to choose from that will match their needs. The following table compares the pricing of Rheem’s tall, medium, and short alternatives, as well as their sizes:
- Tall (over 60 inches): $539
- Medium (over 48 inches): $519
- Short (under 32 inches): $529
Ultimately, the most essential thing is to pick a water heater that is both aesthetically pleasing and provides the amount of water your family need. For those who must squeeze their water heater into limited space, it is worthwhile to invest the extra money to get a short type. Otherwise, try to go with the medium because it is the most affordable and has a tank that is similar in size to the tall. It is also recommended that you consider a tankless water heater if a short electric hot water heater appears to be too tiny for the area you have in mind.
Check out these tankless water heater reviews to see how much they cost and how much they save.
Warranty length — 6 year vs. 9 year vs. 12 year
The length of the warranty has a significant influence on the pricing. Most manufacturers provide consumers with three alternative warranty options: six-year, nine-year, and twelve-year warranties. Using the Rheem water heater warranty information as a starting point, we’ll examine how prices fluctuate based on the length of the warranty period this time around. Performance 50 Gal. Medium – 6 Year— $519 Rheem Performance Performance 50 Gal. Medium – 9 Year— $699 Rheem Performance 50 Gal. Medium – 9 Year $ 849 for a Rheem Gladiator 50 gal.
In this instance, an extra $180 will be charged for a 9-year warranty.
However, when you purchase the extended warranty, you will receive a few more benefits.
As previously said, I believe that warranties are a matter of personal choice that is dependent on your tastes.
Most energy-efficient water heater
Although the focus of this post was on the finest electric hot water heaters, the fact is that none of these models can compare to the performance of heat pump water heaters (also known as a hybrid water heater). This is due to the fact that a traditional electric water heater is based on out-of-date technology, which results in hundreds of dollars in wasted electricity every year. In contrast, heat pump water heaters are more energy efficient and ecologically friendly than other types of water heaters.
Read our other guides and reviews
Our other guides and articles on home energy efficiency and improvement may interest you if you enjoyed this one. They are as follows:
- I’m wondering how much a heat pump will set you back. The finest tankless water heater for the home
- A guide to LED lighting for the home