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10 Best Electric Water Heater in 2017 – Tank vs Tankless Models Compared

One of the things that we tend to take for granted is access to hot water. However, if your water heater is not up to the challenge, then it can be a major hassle to try and make it work for you and your family. Fortunately, you don’t have to settle for a heater that won’t allow you to enjoy your hot water for as long as you like. Instead, you can upgrade to an electric model that will work much faster and more efficiently than your old unit.

If you want to see what an electric water heater can do for your household, see what these products have to offer. Also, we’re going to discuss the most important considerations to look at when making a decision, that way you can be sure that you’re getting the right one for your needs.

Image Name Dimensions Size Price
Bosch Tronic 3000 T 17.5 x 14.5 x 17.5 7 Gallons Check Latest Price
EcoSmart ECO 11 23 x 13.4 x 8 1.5 Gallons Check Latest Price
Camp Chef HWD5 23 x 13.4 x 8 1.5 Gallons Check Latest Price
Rheem RTE 13 7.2 x 7.2 x 7.2 4 Gallons Check Latest Price
American Standard CE-12-AS 15.9 x 15.9 x 21.9 12 Gallons Check Latest Price
Eccotemp EM-4.0 14.5 x 14.5 x 12.9 4 Gallon Check Latest Price
Ecosmart POU 3.5 7 x 11 x 3 2 Gallons Check Latest Price
A.O. Smith ENS-50 ProMax 24 x 24 x 50 50 Gallon Check Latest Price
Westinghouse 52 Gal. 66.8 x 19.5 x 66.8 0.3 Gallon Check Latest Price
SioGreen IR260 POU 14.3 x 12.8 x 4.4 1.5 Gallons Check Latest Price

Best Electric Water Heater Reviews

1. Bosch Tronic 3000 T 7-Gallon Electric Heater

Bosch Tronic 3000 T 7-Gallon Electric Heater

One of the issues that plague most water heaters is that they have to send it all over the house.

Depending on how large your place is, that could have a significant impact on the quality and reliability of your heater.

The other issue is that more cold water sits in the pipes, which winds up wasted while you wait for the hot water to arrive. Fortunately, this Mini-Tank Heater from Bosch solves both of those problems by generating hot water right at the source. Its compact design provides instant results for any sink, meaning that you never have to wait around for it.

Best of all, it is easy to install and can be mounted practically anywhere, so whether you’re trying to supplement your current setup or you want to add hot water to your camper or small living space, it is both versatile and reliable.

In this case, you have seven gallons of heated water at your disposal, so as soon as you turn on the faucet, you are ready to go. Best of all, it refills and recovers within the hour, so you never have to wait too long once it’s empty.

The materials used for this machine are high-quality so that it requires less maintenance and will stay working for years to come. Finally, it even has an adjustable control knob on the front so you can have your water at the perfect temperature every time.

What we liked

  • Seven-gallon capacity
  • Compact design fits under your sink
  • Easy to use controls
  • Quick installation
  • Glass-lined tank requires less maintenance
  • Fast recovery rate (6.8 gph)
  • Can be mounted to shelf, wall, or floor
  • On-demand hot water
  • Insulated for energy efficiency
  • Max water pressure of 150 psi
  • Heats water up to 145 degrees

What we didn't like

  • In rare cases, the unit may start to drip
  • Must be hardwired into your electrical grid

2. EcoSmart ECO 11 Electric Tankless Heater

EcoSmart ECO 11 Electric Tankless Heater

When trying to figure out the right kind of water heater for your home, you can either choose an old-fashioned model that heats everything in a tank before sending it off to the various parts of your house, or you can choose a tankless version that warms it up as it enters the pipe.

This way, you don’t have to wait forever for hot water to arrive, and it will never run out. In this case, the EcoSmartTankless Heater is remarkable because it self-modulates its energy output. While it can handle up to two sinks and a shower simultaneously (depending on the climate), if you don’t need that much at once it will automatically adjust accordingly.

This way, you can save up to 60% on your energy bills without having to lift a finger. The other great thing about this heater is that it offers complete control regarding the temperature. A digital control panel allows you to set it within one-degree increments, so your shower or sink will always be just right.

What we liked

  • Advanced, self-modulating heater
  • Save up to 60% on your bill
  • Never run out of hot water
  • Compact design mounts practically anywhere
  • Digital temperature control
  • Heats two gallons per minute
  • Can handle up to two sinks and a shower
  • Low maintenance and easy to repair
  • Flow rate of 1.5 gallons per minute

What we didn't like

  • Must be installed by a professional
  • In rare cases, some components may need replacing

3. Camp Chef HWD5 Triton Water Heater

Camp Chef HWD5 Triton Water Heater

If you love spending time in the great outdoors, then you know that you have to sacrifice some of life’s modern luxuries along the way.

Fortunately, with the Camp Chef Water Heater, hot water is not one of those sacrifices. As long as you have a propane tank and access to pressurized water, you can get all of the comforts of home.

The way that this heater works is that you connect it to a propane tank and a standard hose. Then you turn it on, and it heats up your water as it flows through, allowing you to get up to 1.5 gallons per minute. Best of all, it activates as soon as the water turns on, so it’s super convenient.

Some key features of this heater include a control panel that allows you to adjust the water flow and temperature, feet so that you can stand it up on its own, and a built-in shower head for your convenience. Overall, if you really want hot water outside of your house, this is one of the best ways to get it.

What we liked

  • Portable water heater
  • Durable steel construction
  • Heats up to 1.5 gallons per minute
  • Easy carry handle also acts as a hanger
  • Self-standing feet built in
  • Operating pressure of 30-80 psi
  • Heater activates automatically 
  • Easy to use control knobs
  • Adjust flow and temperature
  • Hooks up to any standard hose
  • Showerhead and hose built in

What we didn't like

  • Must have pressure coming into the tank for it to work
  • Batteries and propane tank sold separately

4. Rheem RTE 13 Electric Tankless Heater

Rheem RTE 13 Electric Tankless Heater

Next, we have another tankless electric heater, which means that you can have instant access to piping hot water whenever you need it, without any fear of it running out.

In this case, the Rheem 13 provides ample flow for a single shower or two sinks operating simultaneously. 

Overall, it’s perfect for small households or single people who don’t need a lot of hot water at once. What makes the Rheem so valuable to have is the fact that it is self-regulating. This means that it won’t turn on unless the water is flowing, which helps you save a bundle on your electric bill.

Rather than having to maintain a whole tank of hot water, this unit will only work when you want it to. Best of all, you can adjust the temperature so that it’s perfect every time. Also, if you set it at a lower heat level, you can further save money since it doesn’t have to work as hard.

What we liked

  • Tankless water heater
  • Produces up to four gallons per minute
  • Adjustable temperature control
  • Durable construction
  • Easy to install
  • Self-modulating power
  • Ideal for single shower or two sinks
  • Compact design fits almost anywhere

What we didn't like

  • Must be hardwired to your electrical grid
  • In rare cases, the unit may turn on even when water isn’t flowing

5. American Standard CE-12-AS 12 Gallon Heater

American Standard CE-12-AS 12 Gallon Heater

As we’ve seen, on-demand water heaters can be a great solution for your home, particularly if you want to minimize the amount of energy that you use or you have a limited amount of hot water potential.

In this case, the American Standard Water Heater provides excellent results, with a large 12-gallon tank and a responsive system. What we like most about this heater is the fact that it’s built to last. A heavy-duty steel exterior will inhibit corrosion and wear and tear, and the inside is thick Dura-Glass, which will stay in pristine shape for decades.

Another cool feature of this heater is the presence of a drain valve on the bottom. Not all point-of-use model have that, but it allows you to clean the tank on a regular basis (remove sediment and deposits), as well as have access to water in an emergency.

What we liked

  • Durable, heavy-duty construction
  • 12-gallon capacity
  • Dura-Glass lined tank for less maintenance
  • Drain valve at the bottom for cleaning 
  • Compact design
  • Fits under most sinks or inside most cabinets

What we didn't like

  • Does not have temperature control
  • Can be tricky to install

6. Eccotemp EM-4.0 Electric 4.0-Gallon Heater

Eccotemp EM-4.0 Electric 4.0-Gallon Heater

So far, the on-demand water heaters that we’ve seen have been relatively large, which makes them ideal for home use.

However, if you have a camper or mobile home that needs some hot water, then you want a machine that is more compact and portable.

In that case, you want something like this Mini Heater from Eccotemp. With a four-gallon capacity, this model is much smaller than the other ones we’ve seen, but the fact that it recovers in less than an hour (25 minutes in some instances) means that you can do a lot with such a little machine. Not only that, but you can set the temperature just how you like it so that you can make it even more efficient.

Overall, as far as compact water heaters go, this one has a lot to offer and can instantly upgrade any camper or cabin. Best of all, it’s easy to install as it just plugs into a 120-volt outlet and hooks up to your water line. While we do recommend that a professional handles the installation, you could theoretically do it yourself. 

What we liked

  • Mini-tank water heater
  • Four-gallon capacity
  • Compact design fits anywhere
  • Adjustable temperature control
  • Max heat of 140 degrees F
  • Temperature and pressure relief valve built-in
  • Mounts to either the floor or the wall
  • Recovers in 25-45 minutes
  • Easy to install 
  • Plugs into any standard outlet

What we didn't like

  • In rare cases, some parts may not work correctly upon arrival
  • May not fit under some sinks

7. Ecosmart POU 3.5 Point Electric Heater

Ecosmart POU 3.5 Point Electric Heater

If you like the idea of having an on-demand mini heater, but you don’t want to have to wait for it to recover, then you may prefer to have something like this Tankless Heater from Ecosmart.

We’ve seen what a larger model can do, but this is designed for single sink use, making it ideal for smaller homes or campers.

Although the flow rate is not as much as other models (only .5 gallons per minute), it should be more than enough for most applications. As with all Ecosmart Heaters, this one is self-regulating, meaning that it will adjust its power needs based on your usage levels.

Also, you can set the temperature the way you want it in one-degree increments (up to 105 degrees). Overall, if you don’t use that much hot water and want to save money, this is the best way to go.

What we liked

  • Tankless water heater
  • Compact design installs anywhere
  • Save up to 60% on your utility bill
  • Digital temperature control
  • Self-modulating operation
  • Easy to install
  • Max flow rate of .5 gallons per minute
  • Ideal for single sinks
  • Heats water up to 105 degrees F

What we didn't like

  • Not as hot as other models
  • Flow rate may not be as much as you desire

8. A.O. Smith ENS-50 ProMax Electric Heater

A.O. Smith ENS-50 ProMax Electric Heater

While tankless heaters can be a great way to ensure that you never run out of hot water, the fact is that they usually have a more limited range because they have to heat water as it comes in, rather than by batches.

So, if you prefer to go with an old-fashioned model instead, then you might like this unit from A.O. Smith.

As far as standard water heaters go, this one is built to be both energy efficient and low maintenance. It has a 50-gallon capacity, which makes it ideal for most households. Although you can’t adjust the temperature or the flow, it will provide enough hot water for your sinks and showers.

Finally, it comes with a drip tube to reduce the amount of buildup that can happen inside the tank, and a drainage valve so you can access the water in an emergency.

What we liked

  • Extra large heater
  • Heats up to 50 gallons at once
  • Durable construction
  • Permaglass interior for less maintenance
  • Dip tube reduces lime and sediment buildup
  • Drainage valve at the bottom of the tank
  • Corrosion-resistant materials
  • Energy efficient design

What we didn't like

  • No temperature control
  • Can take a while to recover

9. Westinghouse 52 Gal. 4500W  Water Heater

Westinghouse 52 Gal. 4500W  Water Heater

When compared to the A.O. Smith model above, we have to say that we prefer this Westinghouse Electric Water Heater. There are several reasons for this, including the fact that it’s more energy efficient (save more money) and that it has a slightly larger tank.

So, if you’re looking to have an old-fashioned water heater in your home, you can’t do much better than this. The other thing that we like about this heater is the recovery rate.

With most models like this, it can take forever before it’s ready to go again, but this unit can operate at 20 gallons per hour. Best of all, during the first hour after emptying, it will refill at a rate of 66 gallons per hour, which means that you can be ready to go in no time.

Finally, the design and construction of this heater are top-notch, and it will last years without needing any fixing or maintenance. Simply install it and forget about it.

What we liked

  • High-powered heater
  • 52-gallon capacity
  • Durable stainless steel tank
  • Corrosion-free materials
  • Recovery rate of 20 gph
  • Heats 66 gallons during the first hour
  • Sleek design
  • Energy efficient

What we didn't like

  • Cannot adjust the flow or temperature

10. SioGreen IR260 POU Infrared Water Heater

SioGreen IR260 POU Infrared Water Heater

One of the issues with some tankless water heaters is that they use metal heating elements to operate.

While this isn’t a problem in itself, the issue occurs when the metal starts to break down, leaving limescale and calcium deposits in your water. Over time, they will corrode, so you have to replace them every so often.

With this model, however, you never have to worry about it since it uses quartz infrared technology instead. Simply put, it uses lasers to superheat your water, making it both more energy efficient and safe for your family.

This particular model is rated as a point-of-use heater, meaning that it works best for a single shower or sink. The flow rate is 1.5 gallons per minute, and it’s self-modulating so that it won’t activate when the water is turned off. Finally, there is a digital temperature control for your convenience.

What we liked

  • Tankless water heater
  • Flow rate of 1.5 gallons per minute
  • Highly efficient quartz infrared tech
  • No coils, no corrosion, no sediment
  • Self-modulating design
  • Compact so it can install anywhere
  • Digital temperature control
  • Ideal for single point-of-use

What we didn't like

  • In rare cases, the quartz may stop working properly after a while
  • Can be tricky to install

How to Choose an Electric Water Heater

Tank vs. Tankless

While there are plenty of other details that you have to pay attention to, the most important thing when picking out a heater is whether you want it to have a reserve tank or not. Here is a breakdown of the two options so that you can compare.

Tankless

  • Never run out of hot water
  • Instant results
  • Customizable temperature
  • Energy efficient
  • Limited range
  • More prone to wear and tear

Tank

  • Limited amount of hot water at any time
  • Can take a while to recover
  • Uses more energy
  • Wastes water while you wait
  • No temperature controls
  • Longer lasting design
  • One heater can work for your whole house

Overall, if you are focused on saving money and reducing waste, then a tankless heater is by far the best way to go. However, if you don’t want to have to install multiple heaters around your home, or you don’t use that much hot water to begin with, a tank could be an excellent option.

Another thing to consider is the fact that a tank will provide you with clean water in an emergency. If you live in an area where you may be without water for a while after a disaster, having a tank could be beneficial.

Size

When most people think of water heaters, they imagine a huge machine that sits in a cabinet or the basement somewhere. However, the fact is that there are so many different sizes to choose from now that you can customize your hot water experience much more easily.

As we’ve seen, there are point-of-use heaters, which can either have a tank or not. In this case, you are heating the water for a particular source (i.e., a shower or a sink) instead of relying on a central unit. There are many benefits to doing things this way, including saving money and reducing waste (no cold water going down the drain).

Overall, you can either set up your home to have multiple POU heaters with no central option, or you can add some to augment your main heater so that it doesn’t have to work as hard.

The other thing to consider about size is where you are going to install the unit. POU heaters can usually fit under a sink or in a cabinet, but you do have to have access to both your water pipes as well as an electrical outlet. Thus, when it comes to the installation process, size can matter a lot.

Adjustable Controls 

For the most part, only tankless or POU heaters allow you to customize the temperature and the flow of water coming out. That being said, not all systems are the same, so if you do decide to get a heater that allows for that kind of control you want to pick one that meets your needs.

In some instances, the dial will have ratings like hot, medium, or cool. They may have temperatures attached to them, but usually, they are more of an estimate. Higher end devices will often allow you to set the temperature within one degree, which can be helpful if you’re trying to save extra money.

Flow Rate 

Another thing to pay attention to with a tankless or POU heater is how much water can flow through at once. Typically, you want something that is at least 1.5 gallons per minute, but you can find models that offer more or less.

With showers, you need about 2 gallons or so, but sinks can get away with as little as half a gallon per minute. Overall, pick a rate that works best for your setup (i.e., if you have multiple sinks for one heater) so that you aren’t left in the cold. 

Final Verdict 

As far as all of the heaters we looked at, we have to say that our top picks are either the Ecosmart 11 or the Westinghouse Heater. If you want a tankless model, Ecosmart is one of the best options out there, but if you need a tank, then you can’t go wrong with Westinghouse. Also, both are built to last and energy efficient so that you will get more bang for your buck. 

David Valle
 

I started this blog to provide advanced material, guiding you towards a better and more comfortable fishing experience. I deliver more than fishing gear guides, and motivate people to hit the water!

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