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Finding The Best Water Heater In 2020

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Last Updated: 20 March 2020

Can your household even function without hot water? We know for a fact that you don’t want to walk around with your hands frozen and attempt to perform various tasks around the house. And this is exactly why you need to be certain that you will have a solution so that hot water will be a permanent fixture. And we are trying to address that exact need; by bringing you a complete review coupled with a detailed buyer’s guide.

Picking the correct brand means that you have fixed half the problem. A brand that is backed up by a solid reputation, thus making it a key player on the water heater market. The only catch is that the more reputable the brand, the higher the price tag. You can find below a review list that keeps into account value for money while ensuring that high-quality products are featured.

Quick Comparison
Best Water Heater

TOP 10 Best Water Heater: Comparison Chart

Rheem 240V Residential Tankless Water Heater
best value
Rheem 240V Residential Tankless Water Heater
Rheem Manufacturing seal of quality
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High-performance output
Rating: 10 / 10
Rheem 2 Heating Chambers Water Heater
best price
Rheem 2 Heating Chambers Water Heater
Silent operation while being capable of providing hot water to a family of up to 5 members
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Digital LED temperature display
Rating: 9.9 / 10
Rheem Indoor Tankless Gas Water Heater
Rheem Indoor Tankless Gas Water Heater
n impressive 9.5 GPM that would be capable of providing hot water to multiple outlets simultaneously
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Freeze protection kicks in at -30F
Rating: 9.7 / 10
Ecosmart Electric Tankless Water Heater
Ecosmart Electric Tankless Water Heater
Rating: 9.6 / 10
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4
The only way you can tell if the unit is currently running is to check the display lights. It makes close to no noise.
Bosch Electric Mini-Tank Water Heater
Bosch Electric Mini-Tank Water Heater
Rating: 9.5 / 10
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5
Fast recovery rate that enables the unit to provide hot water on demand
EcoSmart Electric Tankless Water Heater with Patented Self
EcoSmart Electric Tankless Water Heater with Patented Self
Rating: 9.2 / 10
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6
Save money and energy by having your tankless water heater turn on only when required
Stiebel Eltron Tankless Water Heater
Stiebel Eltron Tankless Water Heater
Rating: 9.1 / 10
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7
Great warranty for leakage and parts
Ecosmart 120V Electric Mini Tank Water Heater
Ecosmart 120V Electric Mini Tank Water Heater
Rating: 8.8 / 10
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8
A great solution for houses with plumbing issues
Rinnai Tankless Hot Water Heater
Rinnai Tankless Hot Water Heater
Rating: 8.7 / 10
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9
Average life expectancy for the unit is 20 years
Stiebel Eltron Single/Multi-Point-of-Use Tankless Electric Water Heater
Stiebel Eltron Single/Multi-Point-of-Use Tankless Electric Water Heater
Rating: 8.5 / 10
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10
Three years warranty on parts

1 place :

Best Overall Water Heater: Rheem 240V Residential Tankless Water Heater Review

Best Overall Water Heater: Rheem 240V Residential Tankless Water Heater Review

Rheem 240v hot water heater features an adjustable digital temperature control that has an LED display ( you can expect a +/1 degree error). Two durable copper immersion heating elements ensure that the water reaches the desired temperature as fast as possible. The electric water heater from Rheem has an impressive 99.8% energy efficiency, and you should not purchase anything lower. The Water-Saver function is enabled so that when you take a shower, you are able to save up to 1.5 GPM.

Quality guaranteed by the longevity of the company and the fact that the product is made in the USA. Affordable price with high-performance output makes this unit our top choice.

Why We Like It?
  • Designed and assembled in California, USA.
  • Closing in on the 100th year of operation so you can expect high-quality products
  • A simple and straightforward installation process that can be done with a little DIY skill
  • Flow rate for the RTEX-13 is an at impressive 3.17 GPM
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2 place :

Best Tankless Water Heater: Rheem 2 Heating Chambers Residential Tankless Water Heater Review

Best Tankless Water Heater: Rheem 2 Heating Chambers Residential Tankless Water Heater Review

Choosing between an electric and a gas-powered water heater will be influenced by several factors such as affordability of local utilities and personal preference. The 50 gallon water heater under review from Rheem has more than enough capacity to accommodate a family of up to four members with the daily hot water intake. The 240V electrical motor enables the tank to output around 50 gallons of hot water per hour of use. The design of the on demand water heater also enables the delivery of cold water if required.

An impressive high-performance water heater that makes almost no noise while running. It delivers exactly what it is set out to deliver – hot water at all times.

Why We Like It?
  • Replacement can be easily performed due to the fact that the unit is threaded
  • Installation can be done in under 15 minutes
  • Digital LED temperature display
  • A self-modulation feature that makes sure that the unit can provide hot water as requested
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3 place :

Best Overall Gas Water Heater: Rheem Indoor Tankless Natural Gas Water Heater Review

Best Overall Gas Water Heater: Rheem Indoor Tankless Natural Gas Water Heater Review

Next on our list is a high-end gas hot water heater model from Rheem – the RTGH that is capable of 9.5 GPM. The only reason it is not at the top of the list is the price. This unit is capable of heating up larger households than the first two models from Rheem. There have been notable improvements done on this model when it comes to electronic controls that enable an increase in efficiency and safety. 9.5 GPM is nothing to scoff at and we strongly recommend this water heater to those that have the household large enough.

Rheem has gained a reputation for its top-quality water heaters. That is the very reason that it has been able to obtain the first three places on our list.

Why We Like It?
  • Shipping weight equal to the unit weight at 79 pounds
  • Guardian overheat film wrap will be included in the shipping
  • Capable of operating at high altitude of up to 9.840 ft.
  • Freeze protection kicks in at -30F
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4 place :

Best for Medium Households: Ecosmart Electric Tankless Water Heater Review

Best for Medium Households: Ecosmart Electric Tankless Water Heater Review

The Ecosmart ECO 18 electric 40 gallon water heater is designed to be able to satisfy the hot water needs of the entire house. It can achieve this in climates where the temperature of the incoming water is above 62F. It comes with a heating capacity of 2.5 gallons every minute. It is also capable of sustaining two showers simultaneously. Because it has one of the most advanced technologies on the market, it is capable of saving up to 60% of the water heating costs.

The Ecosmart best tankless water heater has an intelligent design feature that will ignore faucet drips. When you go on vacation, you do not have to worry that the water heating unit will start working.

pros +
Built to last with highly durable parts
Stainless steel and copper parts
Lifetime warranty if it is not used commercially
Easy to use and just as easy to install
cons -
Just as with most electric tankless water heaters, you can expect the temperature to fluctuate when more than one water outlet is running.
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5 place :

Best Point of Use Water Heater: Bosch Electric Mini-Tank Water Heater Review

Best Point of Use Water Heater: Bosch Electric Mini-Tank Water Heater Review

The electric mini-tank water heater from Bosch is a convenient solution if you only require your water heated at the point of use. The 2.5-gallon mini-tank is highly convenient and can fit under most sinks while providing 98% thermal efficiency. Maintenance is easy to achieve, and due to the premium glass-lined materials, it can have a long service life. The purpose of this high efficiency water heater is to provide hot water on demand while being able to supply two sinks simultaneously.

Easy to install and capable of delivering hot water instantly, this point-of-use water heater from Bosch is perfect for its intended purpose.

pros +
Can be easily mounted on either a shelf, on the wall or even kept on the floor
Independent installation
Minimal time wasted waiting for the water to become hot
2.5-gallon capacity
cons -
Point-of-use water heaters are not a good choice if there is high hot water demand within your household.
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6 place :

Best for Small Households: EcoSmart Electric Tankless Water Heater with Patented Self Modulating Technology Review

Best for Small Households: EcoSmart Electric Tankless Water Heater with Patented Self Modulating Technology Review

The Ecosmart ECO 11 has one purpose: to make certain that you always have hot water when requested. There is a reason for all the buzz they received with their best electric tankless water heater. The ECO 11 is simply the best choice on the market if you are trying to supply hot water to a small apartment or a small house because it can handle two showers simultaneously along with one sink. The small water heater can deliver up to two gallons per minute if the water temperature is above 67F.

The younger brother of the ECO 18 model we have just featured is the best choice if you have a small household.

pros +
Can save up to 50% in costs required for heating
Great sleek design that allows space-saving
Lifetime warranty
All the elements can be easily replaced
cons -
Not suitable for climates where the water temperature is low. It can function, but it will be restricted to one point of use.
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7 place :

Best Warranty: Stiebel Eltron Tankless Water Heater Review

Best Warranty: Stiebel Eltron Tankless Water     Heater Review

Stiebel Eltron has invented and patented the technology that will enable this tankless high efficiency water heater to provide a continuous flow of hot water. If the hot water demand exceeds capacity, the heater will only reduce the slow slightly. This means that hot water will not be interrupted. Due to its sleek and appealing design, it can provide great space-saving. The unit makes little to no noise, and you can tell that it’s working by checking the digital temperature display.

pros +
7-Year Leakage Warranty
3-Year Parts Warranty
Can provide hot water between the temperatures of 86F and 140F
24kw on 240v/208v
cons -
Several users have reported that customer service is not very reliable. They will assist but will not always provide useful solutions.
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8 place :

Best for One Sink: Ecosmart 120V Electric Mini Tank Water Heater Review

Best for One Sink: Ecosmart 120V Electric Mini Tank Water Heater Review

This point-of-use water heater from Ecosmart is designed with eliminating the time spent waiting for hot water to reach the faucet. In order to achieve this, you will have to connect to the waterline as close as possible to your sink. This, in turn, will result in a cheap installation that does not require you to recirculate the lines or purchase expensive water pumps. It can also be coupled with a tankless or a storage tank unit if you require a higher volume of hot water in a specific place within your household.

pros +
The unit only weighs 15.8 pounds
Can provide up to 2.5 gallons of hot water per minute
The water temperature is visible on the digital display
Manufactured in the United States
cons -
It will only be capable of sustaining on the sink. If your hot water needs require more volume we suggest you look into other Ecosmart products.
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9 place :

Best Propane Water Heater: Rinnai Tankless Hot Water Heater Review

Best Propane Water Heater: Rinnai Tankless Hot Water Heater Review

The V65iP is a great choice if you are on the market for a tankless water heater that uses propane and can be installed indoors. Depending on the groundwater temperature it can output up to 6.5 gallons per minute of hot water. Control-R 2.0 is the mobile app that can connect to your water heater and will enable you to remotely turn it on/off. It comes with a 120 months warranty if used in a residential setting – along with a 5-Year warranty on all the parts.

The Rinnai tankless water heater is the number one propane gas heater when it comes to sales made in the USA. They have over 100 years on the market.

pros +
Compact design so that the unit can fit in attics or even closets
ThermaCirc360 technology
Less hot water wasted
40% energy efficiency compared to other water heaters
cons -
Due to the fact that it uses propane in order to heat the water, you can expect a delay between 15 to 20 seconds until the hot water hits your desired point of use.
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10 place :

Best Design: Stiebel Eltron Single/Multi-Point-of-Use Tankless Electric Water Heater Review

Best Design: Stiebel Eltron Single/Multi-Point-of-Use Tankless Electric Water Heater Review

Simply rotate the knob on the front cover and the unit will provide hot water between 86F and 125F. It is intended as a single point-of-use unit. It can be matched with a sink even in commercial or industrial settings. The flow switch makes sure that the heating element cannot dry-fire. You do not have to worry about having a water heater that is noisy because the Stiebel Eltron is controlled hydraulically.

The Stiebel Eltron excels at providing hot water if it is properly sized for the application. High-quality products made in Germany.

pros +
Get instant hot water as requested
The high limit switch can be reset as needed
Copper-clad heating elements
Quiet operation
cons -
You can expect hot water to reach the sink where you have installed the heating unit in about 60 seconds.
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Buyer’s Guide: All You Need to Know About the Best Water Heater

What is a Point of Use Water Heater

A point-of-use water heater is intended to be placed near the location where the water is going to be used as opposed to a central water heating unit. They can also be used to increase the water temperature at a point of use that is too far away from the central water heating unit.

What Size Water Heater Do I Need?

What Size Water Heater Do I Need

In order to figure out the size of the water heater required you will first of all need to figure out how much hot water is used during the busiest moment in your household. If you are unable to get an exact estimate you can follow these guidelines. 30 to 40 gallons are usually required for a household with two people. Three people require a 50 gallon electric water heater. If you have a household of 5+ people we recommend you purchase a unit that can output 60-80 gallons of hot water.

How Long do Hot Water Heaters Last

Life expectancy greatly varies based on location, the unit design, if the installation was performed properly if the unit is well looked after and maintained and the quality of water. Having all the variables that we have just mentioned in mind you can expect a water heater to last between 8 to 12 years. The best electric tankless water heater out can even last up to 25 years.

What Brand of Water Heater is the Most Reliable

What Brand of Water Heater is the Most Reliable

When it comes to reliability on the water heater market we need to take a look at manufacturers that have been on the market for a long time and have maintained quality all throughout. Rheem, Ecosmart, and Bosch are just some examples of highly reliable water heater brands that have a great reputation and huge experience in the water heater industry behind them.

How to Choose the Best Water Heater

Dimensions

The dimension will greatly depend on a few variables. The fuel source will highly impact the size of the water heater as it will function differently based on it. You will have to measure out the water heater and the location you plan to install it in to make sure that there is enough space. The household size will be, however, the most important aspect you need to keep in mind when purchasing your next water heater. If you plan on running two showers, a dishwasher, and do some laundry at the same time, then you will most certainly need a water heater with a large output.

Fuel Type

Gas

The most common water heater types are fueled by natural gas, propane or electricity. Natural gas and propane hot water heater units operate following the same principles – a gas burner under the water tank that heats the water and keeps it hot.

Electric

The tankless water heaters can either use a gas burner or an electric element that heats the water. The difference is that they do not store the water but instead heat it when requested.

Tank capacity

Tank capacity

The most common tank capacity when it comes to water heaters that are not designed for commercial use is between 40 and 60 gallons. They can, however, start as low as 20 gallons for cheap gas water heaters and climb up to 100 gallons. Keep in mind that you do not want to purchase a tank water heater with a capacity that is larger than you require because it will drive up your electricity bill while not offering anything in return.

Energy Efficiency

In order to figure out energy efficiency, we need to take a closer look at the various water heater options we have on the market at the moment. Efficiency greatly depends on the availability of resources in your area. Generally speaking, electric models will have a higher operation price tag but you can double-check this with your utility company. Gas heaters do cost less to operate but have a higher upfront cost and if you are on the market for them you should check the heat pump water heater reviews.

Digital Display

The industry norm is to have a digital display available on the unit. All the units we have featured have such a display bar the point-of-use units.

Ease of installation

If you plan on replacing your old water heater the installation process should be a breeze. However, if you plan to do it yourself you should look into obtaining a permit. A quick call to your local building department should offer you all the information required. The electric tankless water heaters are the easiest water heaters to install.

Price

The price greatly depends on the fuel type used. You can expect propane gas and oil to have a higher price. But you need to think past the initial cost and look into the costs that would be required annually to use the unit – this way you can calculate the real price.

Best Water Heater Types

Tankless (on demand) Water Heaters

Tankless (on demand) Water Heaters

Tankless water heaters do not store hot water. Instead, they heat the water up when you request water at the point of use. They achieve this by using electricity to instantly heat the water thus making it an energy efficient water heater. This fact is confirmed within our tankless electric water heater reviews.

Storage Tank Water Heaters

Water heaters that have a tank will store hot water so that it is available when needed. This is why it is important to have a large size tank. If the water in the tank is depleted you will need to wait until the unit can heat more water. While you are here it would be a good idea to consult our best water ionizer article.

Hybrid Water Heaters

Hybrid Water Heaters

Hybrid water heaters are a combination of a tankless water heater and a water heater with a tank. Usually, the tank has a lower size as is used when the hot water is requested. Afterwards the electric heating comes in and maintains the water temperature for these top rated water heaters. For more information, you can consult the hybrid water heater reviews that have been featured in this article.

Solar Water Heaters

These smart water heaters work on a simple concept. A solar panel is used in order to heat the water that is then stored inside a tank that maintains its temperature. They are highly energy efficient but if you do not live in an area with constant sun they cannot be considered an option. However, if you do have the proper climate and you are moving in the direction of a green house you should also consider the best dual fuel generator.

Condensing Water Heaters

They are gas-fired units that heat the water in the same fashion a normal gas unit would. The difference is that they do not store the water. The water just passes through the heat exchanger and gets heated up but not stored. This increases efficiency greatly and the costs are also diminished. They are highly popular in Europe and can be found in 70% of the homes in the UK.

Verdict and Our Recommendation for 2020

Coming from a prestigious brand that has been on the market for more than a century it’s not really a surprise that we have placed Rheem 240V Residential Tankless Water Heater on our list. An unbeatable flow rate and highly energy efficient operation are what recommend this unit for our top pick. And the water saving functions it comes equipped with are nothing to scoff at – you can save up to 1.5 gallons per minute of hot water that would simply go to waste otherwise. Homemakerguide is content with bringing you information about the best water heater 2020. For other great articles please browse our site.

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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

This is a very common question because people want to find out if their gas water heater will function during a power outage. Yes, unfortunately you do need electricity to operate the best tankless gas water heater. It is at a minimal rate that electricity is required but it is required nonetheless.
Testing an electric water heater is a straightforward operation. If the one you want to buy is available in a showroom, you can just go and give it a go to see how it performs. Unfortunately, it’s not something you can do online. So, if you don’t want to test before purchasing the heater, make sure you have a long-enough return period so you can test it and return the device if it’s not what you need.
It takes about 5 minutes to drain a water heater. This greatly depends on the gallons per minute that your unit can output and the pressure allowed by the hose. But generally speaking 5 minutes is how long it would take if the goal was to drain a 50 gallon water tank heater. A 30 gallon water heater would take about 3 minutes by comparison.
This greatly depends on the type of water heater you have and the brand. We suggest that you start inspecting the performance of your heating unit as soon as 6 years. This does not mean that you will need to replace the unit after 6 years. But you will need to monitor performance and keep track of water heater ratings. You could just as well have a 20 year old unit that works flawlessly. The quality of the water will play an important role when it comes to the life expectancy of your water heater. Consult our best whole house water filter article to learn how to prolong your water heaters life.
PRODUCTS TESTED BY HomeMakerGuide
How We Tested
In order to test the units as reliably as possible we have provided each of our editors with one of the best hot water heater models. We have allocated two weeks for testing and tinkering. After two weeks we have collected the data from our editors and compiled it as best as we could in this article. We hope that you have received vital information that will aid in your decision process when it comes to purchasing a new water heater unit for your household.
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Best Choice
Rheem 240V Residential Tankless Water Heater
Rheem 240V Residential Tankless Water Heater
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Rating: 10 / 10
Rheem 2 Heating Chambers Water Heater
Rheem 2 Heating Chambers Water Heater
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Rating: 9.9 / 10
Rheem Indoor Tankless Gas Water Heater
Rheem Indoor Tankless Gas Water Heater
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Rating: 9.7 / 10