Best Electric Water Heater Reviews (2019) for Regular and Inline Hot Water

Planning on remodeling or renovating your home in 2019? Well, now is the time to switch your classic water heater to new technology. The traditional water heater occupies a lot of space in your home.

Aside from space, classic water heaters use a lot of electricity to heat water and supply it to your home. This explains why you have been experiencing increased utility bills every month.

With this new tech, this is not the case. Not only do these units ensure that you get to save each month on utility bills but they are efficient too. Also, installation costs are minimal which means more savings.

We understand that shopping for a tankless solution is not easy. That is why we have researched and compiled the list of great models below. By doing so, we ensure that you get to find the best model that offers value and is right for you.

Why select electric models over gas models?

  • Electric products are affordable compared to gas models.
  • They are durable compared to their counterparts
  • During installation, no venting is required
  • Can be used with solar panels when off grid
  • No need to pay for set up costs associated with gas piping

Comparison of the Top 3 on the Market Today

Preview
Rheem 240V Heating Chamber RTEX-13 Residential Tankless Water Heater
Best Value
EcoSmart ECO 27 Electric Tankless Water Heater, 27 KW at 240 Volts, 112.5 Amps with Patented Self Modulating Technology
Stiebel Eltron Tempra Plus 36 kW, tankless electric water heater with Self-Modulating Power Technology & Advanced Flow Control
Title
Rheem 240V Heating Chamber RTEX-13 Residential Tankless Water Heater
EcoSmart ECO 27 Electric Tankless Water Heater, 27 KW at 240 Volts, 112.5 Amps with Patented Self Modulating Technology
Stiebel Eltron Tempra Plus 36 kW, tankless electric water heater with Self-Modulating Power Technology & Advanced Flow Control
Who's this for?
99.8% energy efficient. Lower energy costs every month. Suitable for small households.
Energy efficient. Best heaters for small and medium-sized households.
Ideal for household in both warm & cold climate and for homes with 5 to 6 people.
Prime Benefits
Preview
Rheem 240V Heating Chamber RTEX-13 Residential Tankless Water Heater
Title
Rheem 240V Heating Chamber RTEX-13 Residential Tankless Water Heater
Who's this for?
99.8% energy efficient. Lower energy costs every month. Suitable for small households.
Prime Benefits
Best Value
Preview
EcoSmart ECO 27 Electric Tankless Water Heater, 27 KW at 240 Volts, 112.5 Amps with Patented Self Modulating Technology
Title
EcoSmart ECO 27 Electric Tankless Water Heater, 27 KW at 240 Volts, 112.5 Amps with Patented Self Modulating Technology
Who's this for?
Energy efficient. Best heaters for small and medium-sized households.
Prime Benefits
Preview
Stiebel Eltron Tempra Plus 36 kW, tankless electric water heater with Self-Modulating Power Technology & Advanced Flow Control
Title
Stiebel Eltron Tempra Plus 36 kW, tankless electric water heater with Self-Modulating Power Technology & Advanced Flow Control
Who's this for?
Ideal for household in both warm & cold climate and for homes with 5 to 6 people.
Prime Benefits

1. Rheem RTEX 13

Rheem 240V Heating Chamber RTEX-13 Residential Tankless Water Heater
  • External adjustable digital thermostatic control with LED display (+/1 degree accuracy
  • Durable Copper immersion two heating elements, field Serviceable.Self-modulating power control

Rheem is one of the most popular brands that manufactures stylish water heaters. The Rheem RTEX 13 is no exception. It is energy efficient as well as space efficient compared to its predecessors. Also, the new model comes with a digital thermostat and user-friendly controls.

Features

Copper Immersion heating elements

It comes with copper immersion heating elements. Here is how they work. Once you switch it on, the copper elements become hot. They heat the water before distribution to the entire house. One thing you need to know is that the immersion heaters have a brass top. This helps to increase durability. Thanks to the threading, it makes replacement very easy.

Digital temperature display

The digital temperature display is a cool way to track the temperature. Users have the option of setting the temperature according to their preference. They can do so via user-friendly controls and ensure that the house has hot water all day and night. Homeowners have the option of increasing temperature by 1 degree. Just so you know, the unit’s temperature ranges from 80 degrees F to 140 degrees F.

Stylish and compact

Classic water heaters are big and they occupy a lot of space. Actually, most homes had to dedicate a small room. This was to ensure proper installation and ventilation. With the Rheem RTEX 13, you don’t have to dedicate a lot of space for the unit. Since its compact in size and wall mounted, it occupies the least space in your home.

Self-modulating technology

The Rheem RTEX 13 offers continuous hot water to small households. To ensure you save on energy costs, Rheem has added the self-modulating technology. The technology works by regulating the amount of energy used. That is why it is 99.8% energy efficient.

Pros

  • The water heater has a maximum flow rate of 4 GPM. What this tells you is that the unit is capable of heating 4 gallons of water per minute. As such, it is suitable for small households with a single bathroom. The unit can also be connected to dual showers but the showerheads should have a flow rate of 1.5 GPM.
  • As said earlier, the water heater is compact and stylish. So, it does not occupy much space in your home compared to traditional water heaters. Thanks to its compact size, the unit fits anywhere in the home. This is a plus for small households.
  • 2019 is the best year for homeowners who are yet to turn their homes into energy efficient households. The water heater is 99.8% energy efficient which means energy savings all year round. Basically, when you install the unit, it pays for itself within a year and a half.

Cons

  • While the unit has a maximum flow rate of 4 GPM, its performance in cold areas is wanting. This is true, especially in large households. As said earlier, the unit works best in small households. That is households with a single bathroom or two bathrooms with a 1.5 GPM flow rate. So, if you have a large household, this is not the best choice for you.

Overall

The Rheem RTEX 13 is a better upgrade compared to its predecessors. Thanks to the self-modulating technology, the unit is 99.8% energy efficient. This means lower energy costs every month. With a maximum flow rate of 4GPM, the unit is not suitable for large households. It is suitable for small households with 3 to 5 people. Looking for a compact and stylish water heater with a modern display and dial control? We recommend the Rheem RTEX 13.


2. Ecosmart ECO 27

Sale
EcoSmart ECO 27 Electric Tankless Water Heater, 27 KW at 240 Volts, 112.5 Amps with Patented Self Modulating Technology
  • 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

Ecosmart is another great brand renowned for making high-quality water heaters. And that is why the company has produced the Ecosmart ECO 27. As one of the most powerful water heater, the unit is able to handle on-demand water heating needs.

It is able to heat 3 gallons of water per minute even at low temperatures. This means the unit can supply a medium sized household or large household with hot water.

Features

Digital temperature control

The Ecosmart ECO 27 comes with a digital temperature control unit. For control, you have a user-friendly dial. To set the temperature anywhere between 80 degrees F to 140 degrees F, all you have to do is turn the dial. You can increase or decrease the temperature in increments of 1 degree F.

Compact design

Modern water heaters like the Ecosmart ECO 27 are available in a compact design. As such, homeowners don’t have to dedicate a room bigger than a closet for the unit. With this unit, all you need is space on your wall. To ensure durability, replacement of elements and other components is easy.

Advanced self-modulating technology

Ecosmart has incorporated its patented self-modulating technology into the unit. By so doing, the heater is capable of adjusting the energy needs based on the demand of the household. As such, homeowners get to save on utility bills every month.

Pros

  • One of the best features we liked about the Ecosmart ECO 27 is that it only turns on when you need hot water. For the rest of the time, the unit is on standby. This means heat loss is cut down saving you more than 50% in energy costs.
  • The heater is available as a compact unit. Unlike classic heaters that take up a lot of space in your home, this heater is available as a wall mounted option. Due to its design, it frees up your floor space.
  • Thanks to the self-modulating technology, the unit consumes a small amount of energy. It works by adjusting energy needs based on the amount of water required in the household. That means increased energy efficiency and cost savings on your bill.
  • Best of all, the manufacturer provides a lifetime warranty. This assures you of durability.

Cons

  • A lot of reviewers have complained that the unit is not able to meet the maximum flow rate of 3 GPM. They have highlighted the problem to be common in areas with cold inlet temperatures. While a few reviewers did not complain about performance, most pointed out that it performed below par.
  • The company offers a lifetime warranty but there is a lot of fine print which you should be careful about. When installing the unit, make sure it’s done by a certified contractor. Failure to do so may void the warranty.

Overall

The Ecosmart ECO 27 is one of the best heaters for small and medium-sized households. Its self modulating technology ensures that you get to save on your energy bills every month. Unlike traditional water heaters, this unit frees up your floor space. This is because it comes as a wall mounted design. To cut down on heat loss, the heater only turns on when family members need water that is hot. We highly recommend the unit to small and medium-sized homeowners.


3. Stiebel Eltron Tempra 36 kW

Stiebel Eltron is a leader in the tankless technology. For the past century, the company has pioneered the production of high-quality heaters. Each unit is Made in Germany. It comes in an innovative design with high-quality build quality. As such, the heater is extremely efficient and well worth the price tag.

Features

Advanced flow control

The Stiebel Eltron Tempra has the advanced flow control feature. This feature works by automatically reducing the flow of water depending on demand. Unlike other models from the competition, this unit delivers less water. It does so at the desired temperature.

Self-modulation technology

Every product made by Stiebel Eltron comes with the self-modulation technology. Also called auto modulation, it ensures the least amount of electricity is used. Here is how it works. The heater has sensors that send signals to the unit’s microprocessor. In turn, the microprocessor engages the heating elements. This heats the water up to the set the temperature. Thanks to the self-modulating technology, homeowners get to save on energy costs.

Smart microprocessor technology

These are complex devices. To control the temperature sensors and self-modulating technology, it has smart microprocessor technology. Just so you know, the unit does not have any mechanical switches and so, its silent when operating.

Pros

  • As said earlier, the heater comes with smart microprocessor technology. Thanks to its smart design, the microprocessor controls the sensors, and flow module. That is not all. It calculates and displays the correct temperature on the digital display.
  • One thing we noticed is that the manufacturer has not indicated the maximum flow rate. Upon research, we discovered the reason why. The unit is so efficient for many applications that the indication is not necessary. Of course, the heater comes with digital temperature control and smart technology. And so, it saves you on energy costs.
  • Stiebel Eltron Tempra comes with a 3-year warranty on parts. Thanks to the superior build quality, you are assured of durability at all times.

Cons

  • The unit is expensive, there is no doubt about. But it pays for itself within a year or so thanks to the high-quality build and smart components. While its priced close to gas models, it is powerful than gas models at the same price.
  • A few reviewers complained of temperature drop in the hot water. This was witnessed in high demand households located in a cold region. However, a huge number of reviewers praised the company for incorporating smart technology.

Overall

From our research, we can conclude that the Stiebel Eltron Tempra is the best choice. That is, it’s ideal for homes with 5 to 6 people. As indicated earlier, the unit has self-modulating technology and a smart microprocessor. It also has temperature sensors and an advanced flow control module. All these components are bundled into a quality build unit that works as advertised. We highly recommend the unit to every shopper.


Buying guide

Selecting the top electric water heater for your home is not an easy exercise. There are many factors to consider from flow rate to climate and the unit’s price. For those living in warmer climates, less energy is needed to heat the water. Despite this, we advise users to leave a safety margin between the rated flow rate and your actual needs.

Climate

For those living in warmer climates, we recommend buying units with a lower flow rate. This is because such units use less energy to heat the water.

If you live in a cold area, we recommend buying a unit with a higher flow rate. The reason for doing so is because, in cold areas, heaters work hard to heat water to the desired temperature.

The good news is that manufacturers provide a chart with every individual unit. This chart indicates the maximum flow rate depending on the climate and location. If you take a look at the chart, you are able to know beforehand if the unit is right for you or not.

Household size

How many showers would you like to connect the unit? Do you want to run dishwashers, washers while the shower is on? Taking into consideration the household size is very important if you want to enjoy consistent output.

If you live in a small household, choosing a unit with a lower flow rate is good. Alternatively, you can connect two showerheads to the unit with a low flow rate. For this to work, you need a low flow rate showerhead.

Living in a large household is a whole different issue. You need a unit with a high flow rate. Also, the unit should be able to work in both warm and cold climate regions. The reason why large households need units with a high flow rate is to ensure the needs of the entire house are met.

Cost of installation

Each unit has its own installation costs. Some may need you to part with a few dollars while others need you to part with a few hundred dollars. Yes, there is the option of DIY. You can do this using the instruction manual provided by the manufacturer.

Problem is, if something goes wrong, you may void the warranty. To be on the safe side, hire a professional contractor. Working with a certified installer ensures that the unit is installed professionally. This saves you the trouble of damaging the unit yourself as you attempt DIY.

Conclusion, which one is the best?

From our research, we can conclude that the models reviewed above are well designed. They are also of a high-quality build. Each comes with unique features. They include a smart microprocessor, self-modulating technology, and advanced flow control modules. Whether you live in a small, medium or a large household, one of the units above fits your needs.

The most affordable unit is the Rheem RTex 13 while the most expensive is the Stiebel Eltron Tempra. While it’s expensive, it can meet the needs of any household in both warm and cold climate regions. This happens without compromising on performance. The Eco 27 is ideal for both small and medium-sized homes.