In the realm of water heaters, the ‘heat’ between electric and gas is literally endless. Indeed, this is one of the century’s biggest turns as technology yet attempts to take the torch and consequently the lead in this industry. However, how good of an alternative does electric heaters represent and are they really worth it?
On the other end of the spectrum, the conflict is upgraded to a whole different zone which is known as the tank vs. tankless heater clash whose radius goes to encompass both electric and gas heaters alike, affecting them in the same manner.
But let’s not rush into things as the answer to the first question may carry along a hint for the second.
Before we proceed, note that this article will be dedicated to tankless electric water heaters as opposed to the tank alternative to answer questions such as:
- What is the best tankless water heater?
- What are the benefits of an on demand electric water heater?
- What is the best instantaneous electric water heater?
And also list a handful of tankless electric water heater reviews to help give you a clearer image of your options, their advantages and short comings.
Best Electric Tankless Water Heaters Reviews
1- Stiebel Eltron Tempra 36 Plus
Stiebel Eltron is a pioneer and leader in tankless water heating technology for over nine decades. They offer a wide range of tankless water heaters of different types.
The Stiebel Eltron Tempra 36 Plus is one of the best electric tankless electric water heaters that the German company has to offer. It’s a bit expensive, however, it’s very well-engineered and it would be a great be a great invesment for anyone who’s looking for a powerful, reliable electric tankless water heater.
This compact unit features a sleek design and will easily fit in tight spaces. It’s a great option for medium sized homes with normal day to day hot water requirements. Speaking of which, Tempra PLus series of water heaters feature Advanced Flow Control™, which prevents cold water suprises by delivering slightly less water, but at the correct temperature.
Additionally, this water heater is incorporated with several temperature and flow sensors that feed their readings into the water heater’s microprocessor control. The latter continually monitors incoming water temperature and the water temperature it produces.
To prevent variable flow output, this tankless water heater is featured with smart microprocessor technology that ensures a steady output temperature even if flow rates vary up or down.
For maximum efficiency, this water heater engages its multiple heating elements in stages to achieve your desired water temperature as efficiently as possible.
Stiebel Eltron Tempra® tankless water heaters are designed to respond directly to your demand for hot water without interruption. That said, you’ll never run out of hot water and your showers will always be hot, even if there are several taken in a row and they run long.
As with all Tempra Plus Series tankless water heaters, the Tempra 36 Plus has a digital temperature display and a relatively large knob which allows you to set the desired output water temperature between 86°F – 140°F.
The GPM or gallons per Minute that this water heater can deliver depends significantly on the temperature of the incoming water. The colder the incoming water, the lower the flow rate (GPM). For example at 42F, this water heater can only provide 3.9 GPM (gallons per minute), but at 72F, it can supply up 7.5 GPM.
2- Ecosmart ECO 36
Ecosmart is another well-reputed brand in the water heating industry. They’ve been around for quite some time now and have mastered the art of providing quality tankless water heaters of different types and sizes.
The ECO 36 is one of the best electric tankless water heaters that Ecosmart has to offer. It’s designed to be an ideal solution for a large single family home with a busy family with the need to run hot water simultaneously from multiple applications, even in colder climates.
Thanks to its compact size, this water heater can fit almost anywhere. making it a perfect solution not only for homes, but also for small to medium sized offices or businesses. In addition, to being super compact, this unit features a stylish and advanced design that is pleasing to the eye.
Unlike most low quality tankless water heaters out there do not perform well in cold weather (i.e northern United States) where water temperature drops to as low as 37°F, The Ecosmart ECO 36 can deliver up to 3.6 GPM at this low temperature.
In hot weather (i.e southern United States), this unit can fulfill higher demands for hot water – At 77°F , the ECO 36 can deliver up to 8.8 GPM which is quite outstanding. With that said, you’ll never run out of hot water even if your demand for hot water is higher than the average. In cool temperatures, this unit can cater for up to four showers and two sinks simultaneously without running out of hot water.
This electric tankless water heater is featured with one of the most advanced, self-modulating technology, which allows it to adjust energy usage based on how much hot water is needed. It also has a digital temperature control with 1-degree increments which allows control of hot water.
3- Rheem RTEX-13
Rheem is one of the most recognized brands in the water heating world. They’ve been in business for almost a century. They offer innovative, efficient, air, water, and pool solutions for your home and business.
Rheem is simply a beast at what it does and it is because of that that it has made it as one of the most prominent brands in the industry.
Rheem offers a wide range of different tankless water heaters. They make the highest quality tankless water heaters out there. They have water heaters for almost every application. So, whether you’re looking for a point of use water heater, tank water heater, or solar water heaters, Rheem has got you covered.
Rheem RTEX-13 is one of the top-rated on demande electric water heaters that Rheem have to offer. This water heater is 99.8% energy efficient. It features a compact, yet stylish design with digital temperature control in increments of of 1°F ranging from 80°F to 140°F. It also has a digital temperature display.
This is not by any means the most powerful electric tankless water heater out there. It’s clearly outclassed by most of the other top 5 best electric tankless water heater we listed here. So why did we list it? Well, it’s because of the price.
While most electric on-demand water heater are priced upwards of $700, the Rheem RTEX-13 gets the job done for much less. It’s actually one of the best electric tankless water heaters at this price point. So, if you’re on a budget and looking for a reasonably price on demand water heater, Rheem RTEX-13 is a good option to consider.
The RTEX-13 is quite easy to install. It’s best suited for singles and couples who don’t require a ton of hot water. It might also be a good option for household members who do not need to take showers, do laundry and dishes all at exactly the same time.
All in all, We do think you get a lot of bang for your buck with this ultra-compact tankless water heater.
4- Ecosmart ECO 24
The Ecosmart ECO 24 is a slightly less expensive, slightly less powerful version of the ECO 36 we reviewed above. Both, the ECO 36 and the ECO 24 are featured with the same technologies and have the same features. They are also about the same size.
The only difference between these two units is their GPM flow rate. Granted, the ECO 36 can deliver more GPM than the ECO 27. This is due to the fact that the ECO 36 is rated at 36 KW at 240 volts, which means that internally it has four separate 9KW heaters operating in series and in sequence based on water demand, instead of just three separate 9KW heaters as is thec ase with the ECO 27.
So, if your budget can’t stretch beyond $500, or if your needs for hot water are modest, then you don’t want to splurge on the ECO 36 when you can get the ECO 27 for much less.
Tank Vs. Tankless
Gas or Electric
There has been a huge and constant debate around which of the two power sources is more practical, efficient and economical. However, the answer to those questions was not as black and white as you would like them to be.
In fact, the debate is often still revived to remind us that electric heaters sell just as good as gas heaters do and that goes to show that in the end of the day, it all boils down to the buyer.
Let’s start with gas powered heaters which, depending on the brand, can be everything you ever wanted. Truly, gas heaters bring water to desired temperatures in a matter of seconds, they are less complicated, they don’t require any extra electric superstructure and not to mention that gas is comparatively cheaper.
As for electric heaters, the argument goes to pin point the green aspect of the energy, the safety aspect and the fine tuning and adjustment abilities which are backed up by advanced technologies.
Tankless Water Heaters Pros
1- Instant hot water
A tankless water heater is a unit that is capable of instantly heating water on demand using a couple types of energy. It is a machine that will deliver hot water in various degrees depending on your requirements in a matter of seconds.
2- Space saving
Also, one of the greatest advantages of tankless water heaters in general is their compact size which is especially evident when compared to tank water heaters. Indeed, the fact that they are tankless makes them much more practical and convenient for smaller and bigger houses.
3- Long lifespan
It is rather logical that tankless water heaters last longer than their tank counterpart. Indeed, the fact that they are tankless already crosses out one gigantic component that is prone to failure at any given moment after a few years of use. Hence, a high quality tankless water heater is estimated to last roughly over a decade which can be extended with moderate use.
4- Lower expenses
When investing in a water heater, your thinking should extend further into the future because that’s where the real cost of a heater lies. Indeed, the month to month cost of a heater should definitely impact your decision here in favor of the tankless heater because your savings would be in the hundreds annually.
5- Limitless hot water
As opposed to tank water heaters, you can say goodbye to your concern of running out of hot water at some point because it’s not going to happen.
Indeed, one of the best advantages of the tankless water heater is the fact that it’ll never run out of hot water which cannot be said about the tank counterpart.
6- Longer warranties and better tax cuts
Tankless water heaters in general are clearly more glorified everywhere you go and our governments / sellers take part of it. Indeed, not only are tankless heaters come with less parts and thus longer warranty life but they also come with less tax deals generally.
7- Substantial for smaller homes
There is no doubt that tankless heaters can perform well wherever you place them but all in all, they are of more value to people living in smaller homes and limited hot water requirements. That goes to show that tankless heaters are efficient in size, month to month cost and water saving.
Tankless Water Heaters Cons
1- Significant Upfront Cost
Not to scare you off or anything but the initial cost of tankless water heater is usually higher than that of a tank heater and for obvious reasons. Indeed, tankless heaters are more expensive but they can always make up for their initial cost on their month to month saving potential.
2- Inconsistent heat with excessive use
One of the few disadvantages that tankless water heaters have, depending on how powerful they are, is the fact that temperatures noticeably drop when you’re using it for multiple things at the same time. For example, if you’re taking a shower while someone else is washing the dishes or using the same heater elsewhere, you’ll experience a significant drop in water temperature. However, as mentioned earlier, this is strongly defined by how strong your heater is and that is something you’ll have to keep in mind when making your purchase.
3- Expensive installation
As you would expect, you’ll have to make some pipe accommodations for a tankless gas water heater and that includes rerouting your gas lines, raising your expenses significantly. On the other hand, this concern should be absent if you choose to go with an electric tankless water heater.
4- Don’t make up for initial price quickly
As mentioned earlier, tankless water heaters will eventually make up for their significantly larger initial cost and prove to be the cheaper alternative in the long run but that might take a few years to get even.