Best Electric Water Heater
We might not be able to agree on everything, but one thing that every human on this planet has in common is their love for a good, hot shower. There is just no better feeling than coming inside after a long day, peeling of sweaty or muddy clothes, and and cranking that faucet to as hot as it can get. To achieve this bliss, you need to have a good and reliable water heater. In recent years, electric options have been gaining a lot of popularity over their gas powered counterparts because they are generally smaller, more efficient, and will save you a good deal of money on your energy bills. Plus many of the smaller options can come along with you camping. In this guide, you will find some of our favorite picks that will keep yous showers piping hot, and your wallets full.
In a Hurry? The test winner after 5 hrs of research
Excellent water pressure
- American Standard
- EcoSmart ECO 11
- Stiebel Eltron
- Sio Green
- Criteria Used for Evaluation
- Frequently Asked Questions
Top 10 Picks
1. American Standard
Excellent water pressure
Takes about 2 hours to recover from being emptied out
Topping out our list is this option from the trusted brand of American Standard. This company has been in the business of providing homeowners with great quality kitchen and bathroom products since 1929, so it is no surprise that they have landed a top spot will this well designed tank.Read more
Due to its large size and bigger tank, this unit can be used as a central unit for your entire house. Due to its size, users might want to elect to have a professional install it for them to ensure that it is properly hooked up as well as mounted correctly.
The tank on this unit will provide users with 12 gallons once completely filled. This is slightly lower than many of the average 80 gallon home models, and is designed to be more of a point-of-use device.
This unit measures to be about 22 inches high, 16 inches wide, and 16 inches deep. This smaller frame will make it easier for users to place in smaller spaces. It also weighs in, when empty, at 60 pounds.
Changing the temperature on this product is a little bit more difficult and less accurate than many models that have a digital screen or even those that have a dial. There are pressure and temperature gauge along the top to allow users to push it one way or the other to raise and lower the temperature.
What we liked most about this option is that it comes in at a really affordable price point. Keep in mind, however, that it is significantly smaller than many of the tank designs, but that smaller size means that it is going to save you some money.
This option from American Standard is going to check all of the boxes for what you would look for in one of these devices. It is smaller than most tank options, it comes from a trusted brand, and it is offered at an affordable price point.
Max temperature of an impressive 145 degrees
Easy to install
No need to wait for it to warm up when faucet is turned on
Unreliable temperature settings- some find that one small turn of the dial goes from warm to incredibly hot
Bosch is a company that has been making great quality electronics out of Germany since they were founded in 1886. What we liked most about this design is that it is simple to install, simple to use, and will provide users with a hot shower right on demand.Read more
Due to its smaller size, this unit can be used as a supplemental source of warmth where you need it. This means that it is a perfect device to take with you when you are camping in your RV, or simply placing it in the kitchen or mini bar where you need an extra kick of warmth.
The tank on this design is able to hold a mere 7 gallons, which isn’t quite enough to really take a shower because the average person uses about 17 gallons. It does, however, make it ideal for kitchens and bars, or any place that you just need a quick jolt of warmth.
The best part about this design is that it measures to be about 18 inches long, 18 inches wide, and just under 15 inches deep. This means that it is going to be the perfect size to mount right up under your sink. Plus, it only weighs 30 pounds.
To change the temperature, simply turn the dial on the base of the unit. While it doesn’t offer you exactly temperatures, it has 3 settings that are listed as low, ideal (temperature), and max. This range is between 65 degrees and 145 degrees.
From what we could gather, users really like the affordable price that this unit is set. It provides all of the power of a standard and full sized tank, but it comes in a much smaller package.
If you are looking for something that is small to use in a singular space, this is a great option that comes from a very trusted company.
3. EcoSmart ECO 11
Easy to install
Small and lightweight
Digital temperature display
Will only reach max temperatures of 105 degrees
This design from EcoSmart is like the little engine that could. It offers a tankless design that warms as liquid travels through the mechanism. While performance typically depends on the climate in which you live, this unit is capable of warming for at least one shower at a time.Read more
Despite its smaller size, this little unit is powerful enough to warm one shower and one sink at the same time. Plus, if you live in warmer parts of the world, it can actually provide enough power for 2 showers and a sink at the same time. Users also found that it is incredibly easy to install as well.
Due to the fact that it is a tankless design, there is no need to store anything within the unit itself. Liquid runs up from the source, and is warmed as it runs along the central components on the inside of the unit.
This unit is incredibly small, and measures in at just 10 inches high and 13 inches long. What is the most impressive about this design is that it only weighs just over 6 pounds, making it one of the lightest options out there on the market.
Another thing that users really like about this design is that it has an easy to read LCD display on the front of the unit to let you know exactly how hot it is set at, down to a single degree. The only downside to this option is that it is only able to reach max temperatures of 105 degrees.
One would assume that a powerful little model such as this would pack a wallop of a price tag, but it is actually only a tad more expensive than most of the smaller tank options from some of the big names on this list.
If you want a powerful design that is going to provide enough energy for a full shower while keeping energy costs low and taking up very little room in your home, this option from EcoSmart is going to be one of your better options.
4. Stiebel Eltron
LCD temperature display
Advanced Flow control will reduce pressure to keep from getting cold
Small and easy to install
Some users do not like decreased pressure to keep it warm
This company might not have immediate brand recognition as some of the other heavy hitters, but it doesn’t mean that they should be discounted. Stiebel Eltron has been making great quality heating products since they were founded in 1924, and this product is no exception to that high quality.Read more
This option offers something only form Stiebel Eltron that is called Advanced Flow control. What this means is that users will be able to use this small little unit throughout their entire house. When too many people are taking a shower or running a faucet at the same time, instead of having the temperature drop, this unit slightly reduces the water pressure to keep up with demand.
This is another tankless design that doesn’t need to store anything in a central chamber. As the liquid comes up from the source and passed through the central mechanisms. This means that it is going to be small enough to place under sinks or simply mount on the wall in a closet or utility room.
This unit is about 21 inches long, 20 inches wide, and just shy of 10 inches deep. It also weighs just over 16 pounds, making it one of the lighter units out there on the market, and it is going to be easier to mount on a wall than some of the heavier options.
Users like that there is an LCD display along the front to indicate what the temperature is set at. Users will simply need to adjust the dial in the center to set how warm they will like it. This unit is able to reach temperatures of up to 120 degrees.
While this unit is small and powerful, the price tag packs quite the punch. It is listed to cost about three times as much as some of the other name brand options on our list.
If you are in the market for something that is able to get really hot, work for your entire house, and is small enough to mount on a wall in a closet- this is going to be one of your better options if you are willing to pay the much higher price point.
Some found that it is easy to install
Comes with a 6 year warranty
Users report faulty pressure relief valve
Only holds 6 gallons
What we liked most about this smaller tank option from Reliance is that it is made from solid and high quality materials, and it also comes in at a very affordable price point. If you are looking for something to place in a hunting cabin or a lake house, or even just to use in a small home, this is going to be an excellent option.Read more
This unit is going to be just a little bit more difficult to install than some of the tankless designs, so you might want to consult some professionals in getting it all set up. Users found this unit to be ideal for smaller spaces and part-time residences like cabins or lake houses.
With only the holding capacity of 6 gallons, this unit is going to be a little on the small side for taking showers, but on the positive side, it doesn’t take all that much time to refill.
This unit measures to be incredibly small for a tank option, and is 15 inches high, 14 inches wide and 14 inches deep. When completely empty, it weighs about 34 pounds.
There are no LCD displays on this option to indicate what temperature you are at. Users will adjust the temperature by using the metal temperature value along the side of the unit that doesn’t offer exact temperatures.
The cost of this unit runs pretty par for the course, and costs about the same amount as many of the other tank and tankless options from some of the bigger brands. The reason this unit falls down our list is because while it still costs about the same amount, it doesn’t hold as much or have as many features.
For users that are looking for a tank option that is just a little bit smaller than some of the others out there on the market, this option from Reliance is going to be an excellent selection.
Can reach temperatures of up to 165 degrees
120 volt means that it is going to warm slower that 220 volt options (but save on energy)
For those that need just a little jolt of warmth in smaller spaces or humidifiers, this little unit is going to do the trick while saving you quite a bit of money. In fact, it is one of the most affordable options out there on the market, but it is also one of the smallest.Read more
This little unit isn’t going to be ideal for showering or anything that is going to require long and continued use. Past users use this option for things like placing in their camper for things like washing their face or washing dishes. The small and lightweight frame makes it easy to install and just as easy to mount.
Considered one of the smallest units out there on the market, its design is only capable of holding up to 2.6 gallons at a time.
Measuring in at just 18 inches tall, 11 inches wide and 12 inches long, this unit is going to be incredibly easy to mount under a sink. Plus, it only weighs just shy of 15 pounds.
While there is no indicator light on the front to show you the temperature that you set it at, users can use an easy to read dial that is located on the top. This dial has options such as frost mode (to keep it from freezing if you are out of town), low mode, energy efficient mode, and high. One thing that we liked most about this option is that it is able to achieve impressive temperatures of up to 165 degrees, which far surpass many of the other designs out there on the market.
One other thing that we liked about this option is that the price tag is almost half as some of the name brands options on our list. It is important to keep in mind that this design also holds half as much, but it is able to reach much higher temperatures than many of the others.
The high temperatures are something that is important- this is going to be an excellent choice. Users like it because it is small, easy to install, and comes in at a really great value.
7. Sio Green
Uses infrared technology
Easy to install and use
LCD temperature display
Some users feel that the temperature struggles to reach luke warm
You may not have heard of Sio Green before, but that is because they focus all of the energy and resources in making the very product that we selected on this list. It uses infrared technology to provide a tankless experience, and it is incredibly easy to use as well as install.Read more
Due to its smaller size, users will benefit most from installing this unit under the sink for washing their hands and face, or for washing the dishes.
This is another tankless design that doesn’t need to store anything in a central chamber. How it works is that it allows the liquids that pass through the chamber to be warmed using infrared tech to warm it quickly as well as efficiently.
As one of the smaller options out there on the market, this unit measures to be about 14 inches long, 12 inches wide, and 4.4 inches deep. It also weighs in at just shy of 7 pounds, making mounting it to the inside of a cabinet a snap.
Users will be able to adjust the temperature via a button along the side, and an LCD screen will display the temperature. It as a max temperature of 129 degrees, which is pretty impressive for such a little device.
The cost of this unit runs about in the middle of the road in terms of price. It isn’t the most expensive smaller tankless options out there, but it isn’t the least expensive.
For users that are looking for a quick and efficient kick to their kitchen, bathroom, or RV sink, this option from Sio Green is going to be one of your better options to save a little bit of money on your energy bills.
Holds 80 gallons
Some find that it doesn’t stay as warm after a few months of use
Westinghouse is a brand that really needs no introduction. They got their start in 1886 in Pittsburg making electronic equipment, so it is no surprise that they are making our list at least once. This tank design is made to service your entire home, and is going to save you a lot of money if you are deciding to ditch the gas powered models.Read more
Due to its large size, this is something that you are going to install full time in the utility room to service your entire home. It is powerful enough to provide enough energy to use multiple faucets at the same time.
Clocking in at 80 gallons, this unit is one of the largest options to make our list. From what we have gathered, 80 gallons seems to be the standard size for families of 3+.
Be prepared to make some room in your utility closet. This unit measures to be about 69 inches high and 23 inches deep. Be sure the keep a friend handy to help you carry it, because it weighs a whopping 151 pounds.
To change the temperature there is a dial along the side that users can turn to set it to their ideal warmth. Unfortunately, there are not LCD displays on the front like some of the tankless options.
The cost of this unit is one of the most expensive designs out there on the market. Keep in mind however that this is also one of the biggest and most powerful designs on our list, making it well worth the price point.
If you are looking for a design that is large enough to work throughout your entire home for multiple showers, even some at the same time, this is an excellent choice that comes from a brand that users have come to trust.
Holds 50 gallons
User found that it eliminates bad odors in well water
Easy to install
Difficult to find replacement parts
Warranty does not include heating elements
Perhaps you have quite a large house, and you are looking for something to replace your existing gas powered tank. This option from Rheem is going to be one of your better options because it boasts a massive tank that is made from high quality materials, and it’s going to save you a bundle on your energy bills.Read more
This bigger tank is going to be the perfect size to supply warmth to every room in your house, and at the same time. Due to its larger size, we suggest that if you have limited plumbing knowledge that you let a professional install this design to ensure that it is done right.
With a capacity of 50 gallons, this is one of the larger options on our list. Plus, it is stored in a stainless steel chamber which is going to keep it warmer for longer without the need to run it, which in turn is going to keep your energy costs lower.
This isn’t going to be something that you are going to be able to place in a closet or mount on a wall. Measuring in at 62.8 inches high, 23.5 inches wide, and 23.5 inches deep- this is going to be something that demands its own utility room. Plus, it weighs in at a whopping 100 pounds, to be sure to get a friend to help you get it into place.
There is no screen to indicate what temperature that you are set at, only a dial along the bottom. From what we could gather, this unit is capable of reacher temperatures of up to 150 degrees.
We hope that you are sitting down, because this unit packs a wallop of a price tag. Keep in mind that it is designed to replace the main unit in your home, and it can hold an impressive 50 gallons at a time.
For those looking for a larger unit to replace their old gas powered energy hog in their utility room, this option from Rheem is going to be a great choice for your entire home.
Only holds just over 3 gallons
Does not hold up very well over time
If they have been a little bit sticker shocked by all of the choices found on our list, you may be happy to find this option from Anaheim called the Quick & Hot. This options may be small and a little oversimplified, but it delivers on the one job that it is designed to do, and will save you a good deal of money in its simplicity.Read more
This smaller unit is ideal for smaller spaces such as RVs and campers, and are also typically used in places such as bathroom and kitchen sinks.
The brand description lists this unit as being able to hold 60 cups (which we found to be a peculiar form of measurement), which breaks down into a little over 3 gallons.
This unit is small, albeit a little boxy. It measures to be about 13 inches tall, 10 inches wide, and 10 inches deep. The best part about this design is that it weighs in at just over 7 pounds, making it one of the lightest options out there on the market.
There are no max temperature settings located on the brand description, but adjusting the settings is as simple as turning the dial on the front of the unit. Level settings include off, low, and high.
The best part about this design from Anaheim is that it comes in at one of the most affordable price points of any of the other brands out there on the market, and users find that considering well it works that it is offered at a great value.
Perhaps you just want something simple and easy that doesn’t have complicated temperature settings or an LCD display in order to save yourself some money. If that if the case, this design from Anaheim is going to be one of your better options.
Criteria Used for Evaluation
There were two things we considered when it comes to using these products- how easy are they going to be to install and where in your home are they intended to be used.
The serious tank design that hold over 50 gallons and weigh upwards of 100 pounds are going to be designs that you are going to want to leave to the professionals that make the big bucks. Calling a plumber may sting your wallet a bit, but when you are dealing with plumbing, it is always better to leave it to the professionals or else your house may quickly turn into a boat. For tankless or smaller situational designs, you can put off calling the plumber because they are generally easy enough to install, even to those that don’t have a lot of experience. The other thing that we took into consideration is where you will be using it. While there are many options that are powerful enough to work in your entire home, sometimes you just need something small if you are going camping or touring the countryside in your RV. We wanted to make sure that we selected a good array of designs that would work for those with big homes in cold climates, and smaller designs for those that live in warmer climates that don’t need something as big and impactful.
How much the tank is going to be able to hold means that you can take a 45 minute shower without worrying about it turning cold on you just as you start to belt out the second chorus in Hotel California.
Naturally, bigger tanks can hold more. We wanted to select a wide variety of designs that had various size tanks, because not everyone needs a really big tank. On the high end of the spectrum were 50-80 gallon tanks that require their own space in you utility room, and often weigh over 100 pounds. Of course, these units aren’t needed by everyone, especially if you are just looking for something to keep at your modest lake house that you only go to on the weekends. For smaller use for sinks or bars, 3-6 gallons tanks are going to be perfect for tasks such as washing your hands, or washing the dishes. On the lowest end of the spectrum are the tankless designs. These designs are perfor for those working with very little space, and need something that will provide enough power to warm a shower (although these units typically do not get as hot as tank options).
When you are at home or traveling in your RV, space is always going to be an issue.
We wanted to make sure that we selected the smaller and more manageable models that were going to be easy to hide away in a closet or under a cabinet. The tankless options are the designs that are going to save you the absolute most space, because they don’t require to hold and liquid in the tank. Liquids simply pumps up from the source and through heated coils that eliminate the need of a holding tank. They are the thinnest and slimmest options out there on the market, and ideal for those that are working with very little space. If space isn’t much of an issue, tanked designs may take up a lot more room, but they do have their advantages. From what we could gather, the temperature ranges on tank options were far superior than tankless designs, so you are free to take a shower that comes real close to melting your face off.
Being able to raise and lower the temperature easily was something that a lot of users find is very important.
What we discovered with a lot of the smaller or tankless models is that they are often equipped with a smart LCD screen that displays the temperature of the unit. That makes it much easier to be able to tell at a glance what the max it set at. Plus, if you are using these designs for places such as lake houses or cabins that you don’t visit frequently, you will be able to turn down the temperature before you leave and easily be able to determine where it is set at a glance. For other tanked options, users are typically just offered a dial that has a few vague settings on the dial such as low, medium, and high. Another thing we looked at at maximum temperatures. We liked designs that had a high range of possible temperatures because some people like to take cooler showers, while others cannot function without a piping hot shower.
The key to saving money in this instance is to be sure that you don’t buy a size bigger than what you need.
It is important to save you a little bit of money whenever we can. The price of these units are seemingly all over the map. There are some affordable options that may cost you as much as a modestly prices microwave, while there are others that could run you as much as much as a washing machine. However, it is easy to determine which one are going to cost you more based upon their capacity. The highest priced options out there on the market hold over 50 gallons, and are made to be used throughout the entire house. From what we discovered, the smaller the capacity means the smaller the price tag. If you are looking to save quite a bit of money on a smaller unit, be sure to select a design that doesn’t have additional features such as an LCD display and push button design. The model from Anaheim is just is simple small and compact box, and it is listed to be one of the most affordable options out there on the market.
Expert Interviews & Opinions
A poorly installed unit will take your much loved home and turn it into a boat. Plumbing is a complicated game, that's why we pay the plumbers the big bucks! If you are worried about the installation of your unit- whether it is a very small tankless frame or an 80 gallon tank- be sure to call on help if you are feeling even the slightest bit unsure.
Temperature range might not be an issue for some, but it can be for others. Taking a lukewarm shower when you were in the mood for something piping hot is tantamount to being punched in the face. If you require showers that mimic the surface of the sun, be sure to take a look at the max temperature setting on each unit. Tankless models may be nice, but they often can't reach the high temperatures as tank designs.
We have mentioned it before, but it is worth repeating- be sure that you buy only the size that you need. Having a giant drum of piping hot water all for yourself might make you feel like a sultan, but you are actually going to be losing more money in keeping that drum hot while it isn't in use. Smaller sizes such as tankless options are also great because they don't take up that much room in your home, and they also will not cost as much because there is nothing in a tank to keep warming up.
Frequently Asked Questions
There are a few reasons why users in recent years have been flocking to electronic sources for their showers, and the reasons have to do with cost as well as energy conservation. There are two ways that you are going to save money using one of these devices, and the first source of savings is going to be in the base cost. These units often come at a much more affordable price point than their gas counterparts, and the savings can be quite a lot when you start to head into the brand named models. If you gas model in your home died on you and you don’t quite have the cash on hand to replace it- these design are going to allow you ro replace it without your wallet taking quite the hit. The second way you are going to save in in your energy bill. These typically use just a little bit less energy to use on a daily basis, but that savings is going to be just a little less than gas powered options. The real savings comes in the tankless designs because it will only need to run when you take a shower, compared to tank options that have to run continuously.
To understand how these designs work, we first must understand how gas powered options work in the tank designs. These models typically are long and slender, and stand to be about 60 inches tall (or more). Liquid fills the central chamber from the source, and sits there waiting to be used. Just like a gas stove, a bottom burner that is ignited from a pilot light turns on the flame that in turn heats up the contents of the chamber. There is a sensor indicator to tell the flame source how hot the contents of the chamber is, and when it should turn on to warm it up again. The good news here is the electrical options work in the exactly same way. All of the materials in the cannister are exactly the same, and they still use a sensor to indicate how hot it is and when it needs to be warmed up. However, instead of using gas powered flames, these units use a series of heated coils- much like you would find on an electric stove.
To answer this question, we first need to know where you are using it, and how frequently you intend on using it. For those that are selecting something for their RV or their weekend cabin, smaller options are going to be the right choice. Tanks that hold about between 2-5 gallons are generally used in places like bathroom and kitchen sinks, as well as RVs. The average shower uses up about 17 gallons of water, so if you are selecting something that you intend on using for your showers, be sure that you select a tank design that allows for about 20 gallons. Space is also something to take into consideration when you are picking a design for you. If you are living in a very small space, we suggest selecting a tankless design. These options are incredibly compact, and often are mounted onto a wall so it isn’t even going to take up any space on your floor.
For most tank designs, they max out at around 151 degrees. The department of energy recommends that to save on energy- which is going to save you money in the long run- the recommended setting should be at around 120 degrees, which is just slightly less than the standard setting on most models. Keeping the temperature low may be less than ideal, but there are also other benefits other than saving money. Cooler showers are going to be a lot easier on your skin, and will prevent it from becoming overly dry and itching during those bleak and dry winter months. Tankless designs actually max out at about 120 degrees, which will give you no choice but to give your skin and energy bill a bit of a break! If you are someone that simply cannot function without a shower that rides right up to the point of melting your skin off, you will be better suited for a tank design, much to the chagrin of your cracked and dry skin!
Tankless options are neat because they are much more space efficient than tanks, and they are also more cost effective because they don’t need to keep rewarming an unused tank. How they work is that the components on the inside of the device warm the liquid as it pumps through the device from the main source. Some use simple coils, while others use infrared technology. This means that there isn’t going to be any time wasted while you wait for the faucet to get hot. As soon as you turn it on, you are ready to jump right into the shower. The only downside to these devices is they they often cannot reach the super high temperatures that other devices can reach. So, if you are someone that likes your showers to be like the surface of the sun, you may be a little disappointed by these designs.
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