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Best Water Heater Reviews & Buying Guide

Water heaters are an essential component to a comfortable home life, but how do you choose the best one for your needs?

There are a decisions to make.

Do you want a classic tank design or a tankless water heater?

Do you want a unit that is powered by gas, electric, heat pump, or some combination?

Water heater feature

Top Reasons to Buy:

  • Sleek design fits anywhere​
  • No venting required​
  • Uses as little energy as possible​
  • Can heat a shower and a sink or two showers at a time​

Key Features:

  • Digital temperature control. Voltage : 240 Volt or 208 Volt​
  • Save at least 15-20% on the hot water portion of your electric bill​
  • Proven reliability​
  • Advanced Flow Control features intelligent self modulating technology​

In a Rush? Here’s our winner..

Best Water Heater Reviews for 2020

1. Stiebel Eltron 224199 240V – Best Electric Water Heater

Why decide between energy conservation and hot water on demand? The Stiebel Eltron 224199 240V, 1 Phase, 50/60 Hz, 24 kW Tempra 24 Plus, Advanced Flow Control features intelligent self modulating technology to make sure that as little energy is used as possible to meet your heating needs.

Advanced flow control maintains constant water temperature, so you will never experience fluctuating temperatures in your shower again. This innovative technology works by slightly reducing the flow when the demand for hot water is high.

This unit is small and compact enough to easily install anywhere, and no venting is required.

Choose anywhere between 86°F and 140°F, and enjoy the security of a seven year leakage warranty and 3-year parts warranty.

In cold temperatures this unit can heat a shower and a sink or two showers at a time, while in warmer temperatures it can handle up to four showers with ease.

It is easy to program this unit with a simple dial, and installation is easy and convenient.

2. Westinghouse 80 Gal. 4500W – Best Water Heater Option

The Westinghouse 80 Gal. 4500W Lifetime Warranty Electric Water Heater with durable 316L Stainless Steel Tank offers the best in classic water heater design. This highly efficient and long-lasting water heater will save you money for a lifetime.

It is made with the highest quality stainless steel construction, and provides a lot of hot water without using a lot of energy.

The adjustable thermostat insures that you will always be comfortable. A high limit control makes sure that the unit won’t overheat.

This tank is surprisingly light-weight and has convenient outlet connections on the top and sides of the tank.

The heating elements have a low watt density that make them more durable and resistant to corrosion than competition, so they are the longest lasting in the industry.

These tanks are laser welded to last longer without the need for anode rods. This means that this unit will resist scale build up for easier maintenance.

lifetime warranty guarantees that this water heater is meant to last a lifetime.

3. AO Smith SUN 80 – Best Solar Water Heater

The AO Smith SUN-80 Residential Solar Water Heater harnesses the power of the sun to heat your water. The classic tank design is sturdy and durable.

There are side and top connections, making open loop systems or closed loop systems equally possible, using an external heat exchanger.

This unit is equipped with Dynaclean diffuser dip tube so that lime buildup will be reduced, whatever your water hardness.

The heating element utilized by this product has a low watt density and is long lasting.

PermaGlass Glass tank coating goes further to protect the unit from mineral damage, buildup of rust, and development of corrosion.

80 gallons of water are heated within this tank, plenty of water for a small household.

4. Reliance 6 6 SOMS K 6 Gallon – Best Water Heater Tank

Do you want an affordable and dependable system in a classic tank design? The Reliance 6 6 SOMS K 6 Gallon Compact Electric Water Heater is straightforward to install and use.

This little unit will fit conveniently under a counter or in a crawl space, with the short six gallon structure.

This product comes with a six-year warranty, so you can feel confident about your investment.

The single 120 volt copper heating element produces 1650 watts of heat for powerful and quick heating in a durable design.

It is very easy to install this unit, with a side mounted cold water inlet and a hot water outlet that is simple to connect to your hot water pipe of choice.

Pressure and temperature gauges are factory installed for your convenience, as is a T&P relief valve.

5. Sio Green IR260 POU – Best Infrared Tankless Water Heater

The Sio Green IR260 POU Electric Tankless Water Heater – Infrared Tank-Less Instant Hot Water Heater – Cost Effective & Corrosion-Free – No Lime Scale, No Algae, No Bacteria gives you hot water whenever you want it, hassle-free.

Infrared heating uses 220 volts to efficiently heat only the water you are actually using, to save you money. Quartz elements are more efficient and last much longer than traditional heating elements.

This patented technology works without the use of direct contact of water with metals so corrosion and mineral buildup won’t be an issue. Forget about maintenance with this unit.

You can buy with confidence with the 100% satisfaction guarantee or money back for two years. This tiny, 20-inch unit can fit in any small bathroom, RV, or even in a cabinet.

Whether you want to boost your existing system, have a hybrid system in mind, or you want to use this as a sole heater for smaller uses, this is a great unit for you.

6. EcoSmart ECO 27  – Best Electric Tankless Water Heater

Key Features:

  • Savings of up to 50% on water heating costs. Dimensions :17H x 17W x 3.625D inches ;Pipes fittings :3/4 inch NPT
  • Digital temperature control in 1-degree increments allows control of hot water; Activation Flow: 0.3 GPM
  • Copper and stainless components designed for efficiency, durability and easy replacement.
  • Compact size saves valuable storage space, while the stylish and advanced design is pleasing to the eye.

7. Rinnai V65iP HE High Efficiency – Best Tankless Water Heater

Key Features:

  • Endless hot water for your entire home
  • V65iP HE High Efficiency Tankless Hot Water Heater – Propane: Indoor Installation Only
  • Up to 6.5 GPM hot water flow rate (varies by groundwater temp)
  • Control-R 2.0 mobile app features timers and schedules throughout the day and allows you to remotely put the system into vacation mode.
  • Residential Factory Warranty – 120 months (heat exchanger), 12 months (labor), 60 months (parts)

8. Rheem RTGH-95DVLN 9.5 GPM – Best Gas Water Heater

Key Features:

  • 94-Percent Energy efficient with stainless-steel condensing heat exchanger
  • Intelligent electronic controls designed to increase energy efficiency and safety
  • Third party efficiency listed by AHRI
  • Up to 38-Feet of 3-Inch PVC Pipe or 5-Feet of 2-Inch PVC Pipe
  • Low Nox Version

9. Rheem XE50T10HD50U1 Performance Platinum – Best Water Heater Pump

Key Features:

  • Easy installation
  • Smartest, most quiet and most efficient water heater
  • Delivers hot water faster than most standard electric water heaters
  • LCD Screen with built-in water sensor alert with audible alarm
  • EcoNet® WiFi-connected† technology and free mobile app gives users control over water systems, allowing for customizable temperature, vacation settings, energy savings and system monitoring at home or away. 
  • Premium grade anode rod with resistor extends the life of the tank

10. Takagi T-H3-DV-N – Best Condensing Tankless Water Heater

Key Features:

  • Endless hot water, On-demand usage, Compact, Space saving, Energy conservation
  • Computerized safety features, No pilot light to have to worry about
  • Satisfies the 2012 SCAQMD Rule 1146.2 for Ultra-Low NOx Emissions

Top 7 Best Water Heater - By Brand

1. Rheem

Rheem is a well respected name in temperature control, and the Rheem RTEX-13 240V Heating Chamber Residential Tankless Water Heater is a good example of quality temperature control at a reasonable price.

durable copper immersion heating element will last through the years, and is field serviceable for your convenience.

You can easily adjust the temperature of your hot water with an external adjustable digital thermostatic control. The LED display can be clearly seen no matter the lighting conditions.

It is very easy to install this unit, with a three foot electric cable and ½ NPT adaptors included. It is threaded to make replacement simple.

This impressive machine is 99.8 percent energy efficient, so you will know you are conserving energy as well as possible.

You can check out other models, Rheem EcoSense review.

2. AO Smith

The AO Smith EJC-6 Residential Electric Water Heater has a compact design that can fit almost anywhere, for a very reasonable price.

Side-mounted electrical and plumbing connections make installation easy under counters or in discrete spaces. At only 25 ½ pounds, most people will have no trouble working with this little unit.

The brass drain valve is durable and tamper resistant. This unit has a six-year warranty to put your mind at rest about your purchase decision.

If you are looking for an affordable water heater in a classic tank design that is nonetheless compact, this may be the right product for you.

3. EcoSmart Eco

Do you long for the money savings, instant heat, and convenience of a tankless water heater, but don’t want to take the risk of not having enough hot water?

The EcoSmart ECO 27 Electric Tankless Water Heater, 27 KW at 240 Volts, 112.5 Amps with Patented Self Modulating Technology is one of the biggest water heaters you can find on the market with this patented self modulating technology.

It is perfect for the northern parts of America, where the temperature of incoming water is very low. This powerful machine can heat almost three gallons per minute.

This kind of powerful heating can keep two showers running hot at the same time.

If you are running this versatile unit in warmer climates, it can handle even more. Up to six gallons per minute of hot water can run up to four showers and a sink at the same time.

With this kind of heating, you won’t ever miss your tank. This unit is easy to control with a digital control that sets temperature in increments of one degree from a mild 80°F to a blistering 140°F.

4. Bosch

For efficient heating in a convenient package that fits under your sink, look no further than the Bosch Tronic 2.5-Gallon Electric Mini-Tank Water Heater.

This unit is extremely easy to install and can fit anywhere. You can hang this heater on a wall with the included bracket or mount it on the floor.

It can even by nestled under a sink or in a cabinet space. The sleek and seamless design will blend with your decor even if it is stored in a visible location.

It is easy to install this unit. Just attach to the cold water line and you’re good to go. Whether you need to supply hot water to a sink in your basement, RV, or boat, this is a great unit for you.

If you want to supplement a primary heating source or use this product as the sole heating source, this versatile unit can meet your needs.

Do you experience cold water sandwiching, but don’t want to pay to replace your entire hot water system?

Use this unit to supplement existing heat and serve as a buffer, providing continuous hot water at a fraction of the cost of replacing your system.

5. Takagi

The Takagi T-H3-DV-N Condensing High Efficiency Natural Gas 10-Gallon Per Minute offers endless hot water on demand in a compact, space saving design.

199,000 BTU of gas powered energy can produce sufficient hot water for four bathrooms in warm climates or three bathrooms in cooler climates.

This compact model can fit anywhere inside your home in a nondescript design that won’t draw attention to itself.

computerized safety feature means that you won’t have to worry about a pilot light which may start a fire.

This unit satisfies the rule for Ultra-Low NOx emissions, making you feel good about using it. Condensing units are much more efficient than other units.

6. American Standard

The American Standard CE-12-AS 12 gallon Point of Use Electric Water Heater is a powerful, sturdy heater for a very reasonable price. The heavy gauge steel tank will last through the years.

The tank is lined with Dura glass ™ that has been fired at temperatures of 1600 degrees Fahrenheit, to give optimal protection from rust and corrosion.

The Brass drain valve is factory installed for secure, easy draining of the unit to eliminate sediment deposits, thereby extending the life of your tank.

This unit is certified at 300 psi and thoroughly tested for reliable performance.

This is a perfect product to use anywhere that it may not be practical to run hot water pipes. This compact unit can be installed under a counter or any other confined area.

A six-year limited tank and parts warranty can give you confidence in your purchase decision.

7. General Electric

The General Electric GEH80DFEJSR Hybrid Water Heater, 80-Gallon uses heat pump technology to heat the water for your household.

This innovative machine can save your household of three or four people up to $450 a year, compared to other types of water heater.

This is a unit that is designed for energy saving, so if saving money and reducing your environmental footprint are near the top of your list, this is a good unit for you to consider.

An energy factor of 2.9 gives you confidence that you are saving energy. This unit meets the 2015 standards for water heaters, so you know it is able to do the job despite utilizing an untraditional heat source.

A compressor and evaporator are incorporated into this unit, to draw ambient heat from the surrounding air. Coils then transfer this heat into the water, heating more efficiently and cost effectively than you will believe.

A removable filter prevents debris from depositing on the evaporator, while fans keep the heat pump running well.

This product is made in the USA, so you can feel good about your purchase decision.

Final Verdict

Stiebel is a respected name in temperature control, and if you are thinking about an electric, tankless system, this powerful Stiebel Eltron 224199 240V, 1 Phase, 50/60 Hz, 24 kW Tempra 24 Plus Whole House Tankless Electric Water Heater, Advanced Flow Control uses as little energy as possible to satisfy your heating needs, so you will save money not just on the low initial cost but in running the system as well.

Advanced flow means you experience consistent water temperature. No more fiddling with the temperature controls while you take a shower. This unit can heat two showers in cold climates or four showers in warmer climates.

You can have consistent water temperature even when the system is overloaded since it will compensate by reducing water pressure. This tankless unit makes only as much hot water as you need, saving you money.

How to Pick the Best Water Heater for Your Needs?

There are a lot of important considerations to be made in choosing a water heater. The first one being how much hot water you need.

You can get away with a less powerful unit in warmer clients than what it will take to do the same job in colder climates.

If you are thinking about a tankless water heater, you can choose a more powerful unit than you may need without wasting money to run it, since these units will only produce as much hot water as you need. 

If, on the other hand, you are choosing a tank, heating more water than you really need can get costly.

Units that utilize heat pump or condensing technology are often more efficient and cost less to run than other systems, although they may cost more up front.

Heaters can be used either inside or outside, whether they run on electric or gas, so you can choose where you want your unit located.

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