Best electric Tankless Water Heater Reviews: Buying Guide 2018
People often ask, “Is a tankless water heater better than a traditional water heater?” Ideally, answering the question above with a simple yes or no would be an injustice to this topic. This is because there are both advantages and disadvantages to either type of water heaters. As such, it is important to consider carefully the features in both types of heaters, and especially the modern tankless water heater models. With that in mind, read through our tankless water heater reviews below, identify the best tankless water heater for your needs, and then select the best water heater for your home needs.
If what you want in your home is a water heater that can avail hot water for cleaning the dishes and for the shower at all times, read this article to the end. Below you can find an instantaneous water heater priced at your ideal budget. You can also find an efficient heater that will supply exactly the amount of water you need at home.
The EcoSmart ECO27 stands out as a great choice for someone looking for an energy efficient tankless water heater. In fact, this water heater enjoys a great reputation among experts due to its great energy efficiency that is approximated at 99.8 percent. It is also easy to install, easy to operate, and most importantly efficient at its job.
Performance – The Ecosmart ECO27 is capable of delivering plenty of hot water when you need it. In fact, the heater can deliver water for two showers as long as the external temperatures are not too low. Therefore, this heater is probably not your best companion if you live where the external temperatures are too low.
Energy Efficiency – As already mentioned this water heater capitalizes on energy efficiency to the point that it has an energy efficiency rating of 99.8 percent. The heater achieves the incredible rating by using a smart technology that can balance power usage depending on your needs. In turn, this small tankless water heater is capable of reducing your energy bills by approximately half.
Reliability – The Ecosmart ECO27 comes with a lifetime warranty for its parts as an assurance of its durable and reliable nature. In addition, the heater is credited for its fast water heating capabilities. On average, the machine will raise water for two shower heads running at 1.5 GPM in just a few minutes, even when the external temperatures are low.
Water Flow Rate – The Ecosmart uses a flow sensor to ensure that you can activate it even under cold temperatures for a water flow rate of 0.25GPM. At full flow, however, the heater is capable of delivering water at 7 Gall per minute, ideally providing enough water to wash clothes and fill an average bath tub.
Easy Installation – The manufacturer advises that you call a professional to install the heater for you. However, you can still install the heater on your own, but you will need to be careful not to avoid the warranty.
The Stiebel Eltron Tempra 24 plus is one of the best rated tankless water heaters on the market today. It features some of the most advanced technological features for water heating, making it an ideal water heater for your home or workplace. The Stiebel Eltron model also boasts of a quiet operation and a construction designed to last for a long period of time.
Digital Display – The good electric tankless water heatercomes with a digital display on its front cover. The display helps you adjust the desired temperature with ease. However, most of its features are largely automated, and you rarely need the control panel for adjusting aspects such as power usage. Instead, the Stiebel model relies on its advanced microprocessor technology to ensure you adjust to different water temperatures smoothly and effectively.
Flow Control Regulation – Some of the unique capabilities this water heater has to include its automatic flow control regulation. With the feature, water temperatures at your home will always feel stable even when demand for hot water in your home increases.
Design – The Stiebel’s compact and small design helps increase energy efficiency to a great extent. Its design requires no venting after all, which is a great feature, noting that you could then install this machine close to water draw off points. Again, the machine is tankless, which reflects in more energy conserved in the long run.
Long 7-year warranty – Stiebel’s manufacturer promises to honor its model’s 7 year warranty as long as you called a licensed professional to do installation work. You could, however, install the heater on your own if you are really good at it, but be careful to follow all installation guidelines.
Rated as one of the best on demand water heaters in the market today, the Eccotemp is, by all means, a machine you should check out. The portable water heater is also low priced, easy to install, and generally less complicated than many other tankless water heaters. If you are looking for a point of use heater especially, the Eccotemp L5 is a great heater you should consider buying.
Compact and Portable – The Eccotemp L5 is small and compact, with a weight of 13 pounds only. It is also portable and battery powered, meaning that you can always carry the heater in your RV and have an enjoyable camping as you will have hot water on demand. The heater’s 2 “D” cell batteries are especially convenient during a camping event. This is because they are easy to set up, and far more convenient than propane or gas.
Easy to Install – Unlike several other top tankless water heaters, the Eccotemp L5 can easily be installed by a DIY enthusiast. It comes with appropriate fittings and adapters to help you with the installation process. Operating this heater I also easy. Technically, the heater will operate immediately it is connected to a garden hose and a propane tank.
Customized settings – One of the reasons the Eccotemp L5 is considered a good outdoor tankless water heater is because of its customized settings. The heater, for instance, offers you the choice to choose the right water pressure for our needs after which it automatically adjusts temperatures to your convenience.
Offers a 30-35 degrees temperature rise with a water flow rate of 1.5 GPM.
Multiple Accessories – The L5 comes with important accessories like a gas regulator, a shower nozzle, and a garden hose adapter. It also features a vent shield and an instruction manual for installation purposes.
Takagi is one of the pioneers of tankless water heating systems in the US. That said, the company has great experience making water heaters with the features customers want. Their competence in making satisfactory products can also be noted in the Takagi T-K Jr2 model. The portable heater is relatively powerful and has the ability to supply enough hot water to run two shower heads concurrently.
Performance – While tankless, the Takagi model is designed to perform with the same efficiency a 40 gallon tank model would. The T-K Jr2 is also powerful and has often been voted as the most energy efficiency ankles water heater among Takagi models. With its advanced technology, which includes the use of thermistors and air to fuel ratio system, this water heater is able to supply hot water consistently with few emissions made.
Water Flow Rate – Although it is the smallest among Takagi models, the Jr2 can’t be underrated when it comes to water delivery. The heater supplies 6.6 GPM at 350F, which is, in turn, a good flow rate to help clean, shower and run your kitchen faucet. As you may note, however, this model relies on natural gas for power, which is why it is more efficient than many other heaters at its price range.
Easy Installation – Being a gas fed heater, you will need to structure your home for appropriate vertical or horizontal venting. Other than that, installing the Takagi model is easy. But to ensure the job is done right, it is advisable to call a licensed professional to install the heater for you. That way, you are also guaranteed that the warranty can be honored in case of a problem.
Durable Construction for long durability – The Takagi model comes with a design meant to last for up to 10 years. The presence of features like DIP switches also ensure the heater survives that long, as you are now able to adjust performance based on the altitude at which you installed the water heater.
If you are looking for an instant electric water heater that is also great at conserving energy, look no further. The EcoSmart ECO18 is small in size, compact and efficiently designed for all your hot water needs. It may not deliver water at the highest water flow rate, but its 2-3 gallons per minutes can guarantee you hot water either in the shower or in the kitchen during cold weather conditions. And if you live in a relatively warm area, this water heater can supply hot water for two shower heads comfortably.
Performance – One of the best features in the ECO 18 model is the control panel. It allows you to precisely set the water temperatures to your convenience. As such, you can increase or lower water temperatures even a degree lower or higher to your convenience. Fortunately, the ECO18 is also rated as a whole house water heater, meaning that it can serve some of your home’s most important hot water needs.
Installation – The Eco18 is less complicated to install than most other whole house heaters. In fact, with necessary installation accessories like a 125 amp electrical panel, assorted wires and a 60 amp double pole breaker, installing the heater isn’t difficult.
Features advanced technology – The Eco18 is considered the most efficient tankless water heater for a reason. To start with, it features a temperature modulating system, which helps control temperature based on your needs. It also features an automatic temperature control system for efficient energy usage. Again, the heater is tankless, which adds up to an energy saving rate of up to 80 percent.
Compact and portable – The Eco18 is easy to install thanks to its small and compact nature. It is also light and easily portable to our desired location. However, EcoSmart allows you to call them and ask for a bigger heater in case you have a large house with more needs.
The Eccotemp L10 is larger than the L5 model from the same company. The water heater is mainly designed for use in summer homes, hunting camps and in other locations where a portable heater would be the best option. When it comes to performance, the Eccotemp L10 is an above average heater. It delivers water at a flow rate of between 2 and 2.65 GPM and at a water pressure of between 20 and 80 PSI.As such, this is a water heater you buy when you need convenience and ease of operation the most.
Powered by Liquid Propane – You don’t need electricity to heat water as long you have the Eccotemp L10 with you. With a 20lb. propane tank especially, you can install and operate the water heater to your convenience. Again, it comes with 2 “D” batteries for easy ignition.
Easy setup and Installation – Since it comes with all the accessories you would need for its installation, you don’t need a professional to do the work for you. The heater can also be installed permanently outside your home, making it a great water heater irrespective of where you want to use it. Another feature to note about the Eccotemp model is its quick activation system. In fact, the model can deliver hot water in just a few minutes after ignition.
Additional Features – Other important features with the Eccotemp L10 model include its manual temperature control switches and a safe switch off the system. The switch off the system, for instance, is designed to go off after twenty minutes. Overall, the heater delivers water at a 2.6 GPM, which is a great flow rate for a one or two shower heads on warm climatic areas.
A tankless water heater is basically a water heater that does not store hot water in a tank. Instead, this heater heats water as it passes from the source to the points of use, ideally meaning you get hot water on demand. Tankless water heaters are often small in size, sometimes small enough to be transported for a camping event. When it comes to prices, though, tankless water heaters tend to be expensive.
How Do They Work?
As already stated, tankless water heaters lack a water tank, thereby heating water as it flows towards points of use such as the shower or the faucets. The tankless models mainly rely on electricity, liquid propane or natural gas for heating. All of the above elements have their own pros and cons but natural gas and electricity powered heaters are the most popular in the market.
Technically, a tankless water heater’s performance depends on several things. The heater’s stipulated water flow rate, for instance, can guide as to how powerful or incapable a tankless heater is. Usually, the flow rate is measured in terms of gallons per minute, with higher flow rates indicating a better performance from the heater. On average, a good tankless water heater should be able to deliver a water flow rate that can supply the faucets, the shower, and the dishwasher.
All tankless water heaters use the same mechanics despite the fact that gas powered heaters tend to be more powerful. Usually, most heaters have a flow sensor that triggers the burner to warm the heat exchanger. As water comes in, it encircles the warm heat exchanger and leaves for the point of use when it is already hot as necessary. Gas powered heaters, however, release combustion gasses at the end of this process. For safety reasons, therefore, every home with a gas tankless heater requires a venting system to help eliminate the unwanted gasses.
Tankless water heaters are undoubtedly great at conserving energy. For one, they lack a tank, meaning that no heat is wasted while the heater would be in a standby mode. On the other hand, energy star certified heaters are designed to have a secondary heat exchanger for improved energy efficiency.
Best Tankless Water Heater Buying Guide
Tankless water heaters are increasingly becoming popular in the US and other countries where they were less popular in the past. Their great energy efficiency and cost effectiveness, in the long run, are the main reasons people now prefer them over the tank water heater models. Tankless models are also easy to install, even when your last water heater was a tank model. With that in mind, let us look at reasons why you should probably buy a tankless model as your next heater, and how you can effectively get the best tankless water heater at your budget.
Endless Hot water
When switching to a tankless water heater, keep in mind that you will no longer worry about running out of hot water in the house. You don’t have to wait for a half an hour as you wait for a heater to heat enough water for showering. Instead, your shower head, your spa or faucets can now have hot water at all times as long as you have the right tankless water heater in your house. The only thing you need to keep in mind, however, is that the best tankless water heater for your home will be one that can supply enough water for all your needs. And since we don’t compare tankless heaters based on gallon size, the water flow rate should be your biggest concern in this case.
Tankless water heaters are relatively smaller than tank water heaters. You can install the machine in a small space within your garage and have the rest of the space for other purposes. Their small sizes are as a result of the lack of a tank. Despite their small footprints, however, there are tankless water heaters that can’t be installed indoors for safety reasons.
The most convenient tankless water heaters in the world are mainly tankless models. Their lack of a gallon tank that would waste energy while on standby mode helps tankless models save a lot of energy. In fact, the average energy efficiency rate of a tankless water heater is 80%, which is 13% more than the average energy efficiency in a traditional tank model. Tankless water heaters that are energy star rated are especially great energy savers, with some of them having an energy efficiency rate of 99%. In the end, someone with a tankless water heater can save up to $400 in energy bills per year.
While an average traditional water heater can barely last for 12 years, the average tankless model will perform efficiently well for up to 30 years. With such long service lifespan, you can always offset the high installation costs with annual energy savings in the long run.
With the multiple benefits a tankless water heater provides, it is important to only settle for the best among the best whole house electric tankless water heaters in the market. A good water heater can, in any case, improve your home’s resale value. That is not the problem, though, but identifying the best tankless water heater for your needs at home. With that in mind, continue reading as we help you make the right choice for an appropriate tankless water heater for your home.
Gas Powered Vs. Electric Powered Heater
As you probably already know, the most popular tankless water heaters are either powered by gas or electricity. A gas powered heater is usually faster, more powerful and thus is able to deliver more hot water than an electricity model would. On the downside, a gas fired heater must vent combusted gasses, meaning you would have to incur additional installation costs for this purpose. Despite their additional installation costs, many people still tend to buy gas fired heaters. They are after all very reliable after all. But as you buy a gas powered heater; be keen to buy a model that does not require a pilot light for ignition. Instead, settle for a compact heater that is electronically ignited. Such models may be more expensive, but more energy saving in the long run.
Electric tankless water heaters, on the other hand, are cheaper, safer and reliable as well. They are also more convenient when you need a point of use tankless water heater, or when you need a portable heater for your summer house.
Size and Water Flow Rates
Think of a heater’s water flow rate when buying a tankless water heater. Tankless models don’t run out of the water after all, but instead, some of them may not have the capability to supply all the hot water you need at your home. Usually, a heater’s capability is measured in terms of BTU (British Thermal Units) ratings. In turn, these ratings determine the water flow rate a heater can achieve, and in the end, the number of showers and faucets a water heater can accommodate at any given time. A single shower, for instance, may need a flow rate of 2.3 gallons per minute while a sink 1.2 GPM. If you buy a heater with a flow rate of 6 GPM, you can, in turn, have a tool capable of providing enough water for two showers and a sink at the same time.
Tankless VS Traditional Water Heaters
Traditional water heaters are still very popular in the market. They are cheaper and advantageous in several ways. But are they any better than tankless water heaters? Well, it up to you to decide what water heater to have in your house. Read below therefore as delve into the main differences between tankless and standard traditional water heaters.
A tankless water heater basically relies on electricity or gas to heat water on demand. They lack a tank to hold pre-heated water but instead supplies hot water whenever you need it. A traditional water heater, on the other hand, preheats water and stores it in a tank of between 20-80 gallons. You can use that water for your showers, cleaning laundry or for washing dishes. When it gets depleted, however, the water heater begins to heat water again.
Tankless Water Heater Pros and Cons
Tankless water heaters are more energy efficient-In fact, studies show that you could save an equivalent of $200 or more every year on energy bills. Families that use less than 40 gallons of water in a day can, in fact, lower their energy bills by up to 35% as per research from Energy.gov.
Space saving-Tankless water heaters are much smaller in size, noting that they lack a gallon tank to hold preheated water.
Durable – An average tankless water heater can last for up to 30 years as opposed to traditional heaters that barely last 10 years.
Provides water as you need it-A good tankless water heater can supply enough water for your showers and sinks whenever you need it.
Higher Initial costs and installation
Traditional Water Heater Pros and Cons
Lower Initial costs
Easier to install-Traditional water heaters are less complicated in terms of installation.
Higher Utility bills
Often runs out of water, especially the small gallon heaters.
take alot of space t home
Tankless Water Heater Installation
Deciding on what tankless water heater to buy is certainly not an easy job. Installing the water heater into your home isn’t simple either. Some tankless water heaters are actually very complicated, and making a mistake in the installation process can pose a great risk to your family. Most tankless water heaters, therefore, demand that you hire a licensed technician to do installation work for you. Fortunately, there isn’t anything the technician will do you can’t as long as you follow the installation procedure accordingly. In fact, you can effectively install your tankless water heater in the following quick steps.
Before you start installing the unit, observe a lot of caution in how you handle the supply lines and fittings that they will feed your heater. Ensure that your home is served with large gas supply lines (if the heater is gas fired). Check to confirm that the venting was done right or the electric on demand heater will be served by high quality wires. It is also advisable to use a special union connector as it helps with lime maintenance over the course of the heater’s lifespan.
Turn off the water supply from the old heater supply system and in the main water supply system. Ensure you have a bucket near the supply line to collect water that is often left in the supply lines even after you switched off the main supply system.
You will need a lot of keenness in this step as you prepare to disconnect the heat source of the old water heater. If the old heater was gas fired, ensure the supply valve is closed before making the disconnection. As for an electric tankless water heater, simply disconnect the appliance from the wall outlet. After that, disconnect the old heater and get prepared to install the new tankless model.
Remove the tankless heater from the carton box, and place all installation accessories near you. Decide on the place to install the new heater and follow the manufacturer’s manual to install the heater accordingly. If you are installing a gas heater, ensure you have installed and connected the vent ducting system accordingly.
Connect the water supply line and then switch on the gas supply line or plug it into a wall socket. Ignite or switch on the water heater and head on to the showers to check if you did everything right. Note however if the installation details become too complicated for you, call a technician immediately.
Tankless Water Heater Maintenance
A tankless water heater can last for up to twenty years. With proper maintenance, the heater could actually survive another ten years to give you a servicer that spans over thirty years. And given how cost saving these tools are; there is no possible reason as to why you shouldn’t make the effort to clean up and maintain your water heater regularly.
Usually, gas tankless water heaters need more maintenance when compare to electric water heaters. After all, they have a burner that could get clogged or a supply line that could get clogged by minerals from hard water. A clogged burner is, however, more dangerous, and it could cause fires or burning the water heater. On average, you should flush your water heater after one two to years. This way, you can eliminate the most common types of minerals that clog apertures in the water heater and ensure that it lasts for as long as possible
Procedure to Follow
Turn off the source of power; either the gas supply or plug the tool from the wall socket.
Add isolation valves in the in/out connections and then turn off the water connection supply that serves your home.
Attach the correct hoses to both isolation valves and a to a 5 gallon bucket that will act as a descaler. Also, place a submersible pump into the bucket. Connect a hose one side to the sump pump and the other to the heater’s inlet. Connect another hose from the pressure relief point on one side and the other to the bucket.
Add vinegar or your preferred limescale remover to the descaler bucket and add a gallon of clean water. Circulates the content for about 20 minutes as the limescale remover eliminates any mineral buildup from your tankless water heater.
Shut off the pump and remove the inline filter for cleaning. If it is already worn out, buy a new filter.
Clear the bucket for any remaining lime scale remover before placing your pump back to rinse the heater.
Empty the bucket and fill with clean water. Switch on the pump and run water through its system for about five minutes.
Disconnect the hoses and the pump before you switch on the water supply line and the power source once again.
When cleaning an electric powered tankless water heater, make sure to follow every step guided by the manufacturer. Be keen as well when handling the heater’s wiring system, so that you can have an easy time reconnecting everything back once you are done cleaning your heater.
Tankless Water Heater Problems and Troubleshooting
In the next five minutes, let’s explore some of the most common problems your tankless water heater is likely to experience. We shall also look at the causes, signs and possible ways to troubleshoot the issues. But before we even delve into the topic further, note that many tankless water heaters don’t really supply hot water instantaneously. However, if the water heater really delays in warming your water, there is a big chance you have a problem.
Lukewarm Water or No Hot Water at All
This is a common problem in many homes, but it is also easy to fix. To start with, check if the power sources are well connected to the water heater. If power seems to be okay, check if the flame rod in your gas water heater generates a spark.
Confirm that the water heater is served with cold water at the minimum or higher flow rate. Sometimes the tap could be delivering water at a very slow rate, thereby prompting the water heater not to work. The water pipes could also be frozen, in which case the heater can’t heat your water accordingly.
If water is supplied at lukewarm temperatures, start by adjusting the water temperatures upwards. If that method fails to work, reduce the water flow rate and later check the shower head or in filter for clogging. In fact, it is always good to flush the tankless water heater once in a while to prevent such encounters.
Too Hot Water
This problem is mainly caused by temperature settings. However, a blockage in the filter or a clogged shower head can also make the water supplied feel hotter than normal. In such cases, clean the filter and unclog the shower heads to clear the way for more water to pass.
Note to check the temperature sensor as well, as sometimes a breakage could affect water temperature control.
Bruner does not ignite
If you just installed the heater, check if the gas type and gas lines properly matched. If the problem happened after months of use, here could be more than one reason for the cause.
Confirm that the frame rod is operational and that the wiring system is not loose or damaged.
Check for a short circuit or a faulty flow sensor.
Check for debris in the fan
Ensure that venting in your gas heater is properly working.
The best tankless water heater can serve you for twenty years or more without experiencing any problems. However, failing to service your unit and to troubleshoot problems promptly can drastically lower its service life. And as noted in the above tankless water heater reviews, some problems can damage your unit in just a matter of weeks, such as a burnt burner. All the same, tankless water heaters are the only sure bet for someone who wants an energy efficient and a well performing water heater. They are also easier to maintain, and better yet they can serve you for very many years.