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The 10 Best Water Heaters

results are based on 1,195 reviews scanned

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Yellow first place 1 Rheem Rheem Rheem RTEX-13 240V Heating Chamber Residential Tankless Water
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2 GASLAND GASLAND Gasland 1.58GPM 6L Outdoor Portable Propane Gas Tankless
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3 Bosch Tronic 3000 T 4-Gallon Electric Mini-Tank Water
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Orange best value 4 CAMPLUX ENJOY OUTDOOR LIFE CAMPLUX ENJOY OUTDOOR LIFE Camplux 5L 1.32 GPM Outdoor Portable Propane Tankless
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5 American Standard Water Heaters American Standard Water Heaters American Standard CE-12-AS 12 gallon Point of Use
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6 Bosch Thermotechnology Bosch Thermotechnology BOSCH Tronic 3000 12kW Electric Tankless Water Heater
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7 Stiebel Eltron Stiebel Eltron Stiebel Eltron SHC 2.5 Mini-Tank Electric Water Heater
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8 Stiebel Eltron Stiebel Eltron Stiebel Eltron 220816 Mini 3 Point-of-Use Tankless Electric
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9 Stiebel Eltron Stiebel Eltron Stiebel Eltron 232099 Mini 3.5 Point-of-Use Tankless Electric
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10 Stiebel Eltron Stiebel Eltron Stiebel Eltron 234046 SHC 4 Point-of-Use 3.96 Gallon
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Your Guide To Buying a Water Heater

By Yehudah Posnick

It’s a major challenge to find an economical solution to heat the water in your home year ‘round. It’s estimated that 65% of a house’s energy use goes to heating water. But it’s up to you to decide how to distribute those expenses. You’ll see that every option has advantages and disadvantages. The tank water heaters have the advantage of being cheaper, but a disadvantage, that they heat  large quantity of water at once. If you don’t need so much hot water, the energy expended to heat the whole tank goes to waste. Electric-powered water heaters are similarly less expensive than the gas counterparts--but gas heats more cheaply than electricity. You’ll see that the extra expense at the beginning will end up paying for itself, and will be more environmentally-friendly.

We’ve composed this buyer’s guide to help you make the right decision when selecting a water heater. It'll help you:

  • Choose the right type of water heater,

  • See useful tips about that particular type of water heater,

  • Read reviews of different water heaters, and what customers are saying,

  • Select the right brand of water heater, and

  • Compare prices and find the best deals.

Types of Water Heaters

We can distinguish between water heaters by whether they employ a tank of water for storage or not. Alternatively, we can take note of the method by the means which the water is heated. There are gas and electric powered tank water heaters.

  • Tank water heaters--These will typically contain around 6-12 gallons of water. Electric heaters will have a copper heating element inside which heats all of the water at once. An example is the Reliance 6 6 SOMS K electric water heater. Tank water heaters running on gas will typically be more cost-effective than those running on electricity: they’re more expensive at first, but natural gas will heat more efficiently than an electric heating element.

  • Tankless water heaters--These have several advantages, although being more expensive than the tank water heater models. Firstly, they will not occupy as much space as a tank water heater. Also, if you heat the water in a tank, and don’t use it immediately, that heat will dissipate. Thus, a tankless water heater heats water as it passes through the pipe.

What Reviewers Say

  • Point of use heater: This indicates that the heater is installed very close to a sink or bathtub where the water will be used. This is an alternative to a central water heater, which heats the water for the entire house. This can either be tankless or a tank version.

  • Dual use heaters: There are also tankless heaters, such as the Titan N-120 that can be used as a point-of-use heater, or to supply enough water for an entire apartment. But this option is available only in warmer climates, where the unheated water temperature is over 65 ℉.

Important Features

  • How much hot water available: Your water heater will provide you with hot water when you start washing dishes or taking a shower. But how long can you expect to have hot water? There are two specs to water heaters that tell you that:

    • For storage tank systems: First Hour Rating (FHR): This is an indication of how much hot water will the heater provide in the first hour of use.

    • For tankless water heaters: Gallons per Minute (GPM): This tells at what rate can water go through the heating element, which you can still expect to be hot. For example, the Titan N-120 Electric Tankless Hot Water Heater has a 4 GPM maximum flow rating. That means that you can be assured that you’ll have 4 gallons per minute of hot water at any one time--even if you use a dishwasher while taking a shower. It will still be able to raise the water temperature by 24 ℉. (Clearly, if you use less water, it will succeed in raising the temperature much more. If you just use 1 gallon per minute, it will be able to raise its temperature by 95 ℉.)

  • Dealing with limescale: If you live in a region with hard water, the limescale deposits on any heating elements will reduce their longevity. If you use a storage tank water heater, try to make sure that it is lined with glass on the inside. This will keep limescale from depositing in the tank. If you use a tankless system, get one with a large heating element, so that the sediment will not deposit on it so thickly.

  • Advantages of point-of-use water heaters: The makers of tankless water heaters emphasize the benefits of a tankless heater.

    • Occupy less space: A tankless water heater doesn’t require a large reservoir of water--that makes it much easier to install.

    • Heats more quickly: A tankless heater will heat the water up more quickly, since it heats as the water runs through the pipes. This will also save water, since you won’t have to let the water run until the hot water comes out.

    • More durable: A tankless heater is estimated to be able to last for 25 years, versus 10-15 years as is common for tank water heaters.

Top-Rated Brands

Rheem--was founded in Emeryville, California in 1925 by Richard and Donald Rheem. They originally made gas-powered water heaters. They produce home heating, cooling, and water heating technologies. They now work on water heating as part of a home automation project.

Takagi--is a manufacturer of hot water solutions and tankless water heaters since 1952. They have regional offices in California, Tennessee, and New Jersey, and a global office in Canada. They also make water valves and plumbing products for their heaters.

American Standard Water Heaters--has been making water heaters for both commercial and residential use since 1995. Their headquarters is located in Pomona, California. They make water heaters that work on gas and electricity, as well as storage tanks, as well as tankless condensing water heaters.

Reliance-- are manufacturers of water heaters, making high-efficiency, gas, electric, and tankless heaters, as well as pump tanks.

Titan--founded in 1986, are makers of tankless water heaters. They also make installation accessories for their tankless heaters, as well as shower heads, and electric fan heaters. They are located in Miami, Florida.

Marey--was founded in 1955 by Mariano Reyes, as an innovator in tankless water heaters. Their products now include tankless gas water heaters, duct exhaust, force exhaust, and portable water heaters. They also make electric water heaters and mini-tank heaters.

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