A cold sink or shower is about as useful as a chocolate teapot. You can’t even wash your hands effectively with cold water, let alone wash dishes or take a decent shower. So, when your hot water is shot it’s an absolute nightmare!
Luckily, getting a new water heater is easier than it ever has been, not to mention a much better value purchase.
Why’s that? Well, because electric tankless water heaters are readily available these days, of course! They’re easy to install, can be ordered online, and provide hot water on demand for your sink, shower, or in some cases whole home.
Why an electric tankless water heater
Electric tankless water heaters have a few main advantages over traditional storage heaters.
Firstly, electric tankless water heaters are much, much smaller than a heater with a tank. In fact, they can usually be mounted on any wall with very little labour, and fit in mist cupboards. Point of use filters can often be installed under sinks, or high up where they are unlikely to be noticed.
Secondly, when compared to other types of water heater an electric tankless system saves a huge amount of power and in turn a huge amount of money. When you replace a storage heater with an electric tankless heater, you will usually see your power bills drop by around 30-50%.
Finally, an electric tankless water heater means you have hot water on demand. There’s no waiting time while a tank fills, and you never run out of hot water. Modern models like those on this list are all self modulating, too, which not only keeps water at a constant steady temperature but also means energy is never wasted.
Here is a handy table that covers the features of each of the electric tankless water heaters on this list, making it easy for you to compare them and decide which will work for you.
And now, a little more detail on each of these top rated electric tankless water heater models.
The EcoSmart can heat between 1.3 and 3.1 gallons of water per minute, dependent on incoming water temperature. That means hot water on demand, whenever you need it, whether it’s for hand washing, cooking, cleaning, or anything else.
Self-modulating technology means that the EcoSmart uses only the amount of electricity needed to warm your water at any given time, meaning very little electricity is wasted and overall power bills should be reduced compared to older or less ecologically sound models of water heaters.
As with most electric tankless heaters, you’ll save a huge amount of space with an EcoSmart ECO 11. In fact, this model is about 90% smaller than an average water heater with a tank. This is also a really easy to use bit of kit, with a large digital temperature control that allows you to adjust between 80 and 140f. That’s lovely warm water, but never scalding!
The EcoSmart Eco 11 is easy to install for anyone with some plumbing skills, and is equally easy to maintain. It comes with a fantastic lifetime warranty, and EcoSmart’s customer service team are US based and some of the best in the business.
If you’re looking for a dependable, eco-friendly tankless water heater, look no further than the EcoSmart ECO 11.
A digital display means you can very carefully control temperature, and pre-set temperature button options means you can quickly switch between the various water temperatures you might need at home.
Advanced flow control means that the right amount of water is always heated to the right temperature. Essentially, no cold showers, no matter how little or how often you use your water heater! This is part of what makes the Stiebel Eltron so eco friendly, and wallet friendly too.
The heater’s intelligent self modulating technology means energy savings are constant, with no standby losses ever. Plus, the savings monitor feature means you can see how much you’ve saved. That’s one financial stat everyone can actually enjoy looking at!
The Stiebel Eltron comes in a variety of sizes and voltages, so you can choose the best one to suit your home and your family. The water heater should be installed by an electrician, but it’s a simple process. Water temperature output should be from 68 to 140f, and if anything goes wrong there are included 7-year leakage and 3-year parts warranties included with purchase.
If you’re looking for a reliable whole-home electric tankless water heater, and your priorities include lower power usage, then give the Stiebel Eltron Tankless Water Heater a go.
It’s a durable heater, with robust copper heating elements and brass tops for maximum toughness. On top of that, parts are really easy to replace in the Rheem RTEX-18 so if you’re reasonably handy you should be able to carry out upkeep and even installation yourself. The digital thermostat control also makes it really easy to keep an eye on water temperature, and adjust when necessary.
This small, compact heater is exceptionally quiet even when it’s working hard to heat your water. There’s no clicking, whirring or buzzing, making it even more appropriate for a small home in which noise carries easily into the bedrooms and living spaces.
Given the Rheem’s mid-range price, you might not expect self-modulation, but that feature is actually really advanced. This tankless water heater never uses more power than needed to heat your water, and so saves you money in the long run.
If you need to heat water for a small home, and are in a position to balance performance and price, then the Rheem RTEX-18 might be exactly what you need.
The Bosch Electric is easy to maintain, with a premium glass lining almost guaranteeing a long working life. The simple design blends in easily if it has to be mounted somewhere visible, and it is small enough to be mounted on the wall or sit on a floor or shelf. The Bosch can be plugged into a normal 120v outlet, making it exceptionally easy to install.
As the Bosch is a small (and very good value) electric tankless water heater, it can only heat water for up to two sinks. Given its price point, though, it has a whole variety of potential uses in bathrooms, kitchens, break rooms, and anywhere else where hot water is needed instantly and on demand. The Bosch can be used as a point of use water heater, or as a booster for a sink or shower that is simply too far away from the main water heater.
Finally, some people choose to use a 2.5, 4 or 7 gallon Bosch Electric water heater as a buffer installed along with another electric tankless heater that doesn’t always provide hot water. This is called cold water sandwiching. However you use the Bosch Electric, though, there’s almost no standy-by loss from the heater.
If you’re looking for an affordable point of use heater, or an additional tankless hot water heater for an underperforming system, then the Bosch Electric will be of great interest to you.
This glimmering blue heater, with easy touch dial controls and a digital temperature reading, is small, compact and easy to mount. It can be used for domestic or commercial water heating purposes, and can heat the water for up to two sinks and a shower. That means it works as a water heater for a whole studio apartment, for example, or a single storey or wing of a larger home.
Like all good electric tankless water heaters, the Eemax heats only the water you need. That means it doesn’t waste electricity, and in turn doesn’t waste money! So, although this is a mid-price unit, its excellent performance and the money it saves you over time actually make it potentially a very sensible, thrifty purchase.
The Eemax might well be the perfect electric tankless water heater if you’re looking for something small and stylish for your apartment.
The Titan doesn’t look as flashy or modern as some of the electric tankless water heaters on this list, but don’t let that fool you. In actual fact, the N-120 from Titan is one of the most popular and efficient models of electric tankless water heater for two-bath homes in warmer climates.
Although barely bigger than a phonebook and easy to mount, the Titan provides seemingly endless water for any two-bath space at or smaller than 1,500 meters. It will keep up with your needs flawlessly, while self modulating to make sure no electricity is wasted heating water you aren’t going to use.
In fact, if you are switching from a heater with a storage tank to a Titan N-120 you can expect to save up to 60% on your water heating bills in the first year after installing your new water heater! That’s pretty impressive, and means that the Titan eventually pays for itself.
The Titan works best when incoming water temperatures are 65f, which means it is most suited to warmer climates. If water coming in is colder, it won’t be heated to a temperature high enough for a bath or shower.
If you live somewhere that has mild winters, and you’re looking for a great value electric tankless water heater, look no further than the Titan N-120.
This self adjusting heater balances use and temperature, using less power when you are running water slower, making sure that only the necessary amount of electricity is used to what your water. This saves power, is good for the planet, and is light on your wallet too!
The heater is safe and carefully designed, with water and power lines kept separate at all times. It should require very little upkeep and, as it’s no bigger than an oatmeal box, it can be installed easily and discreetly pretty much anywhere.
This ETL approved product includes overheat protection, over voltage protection, dry combustion protection and sensitive leakage protection, making it one of the most trustworthy and durable options available for a point of use electric tankless water heater.
If you need a great value, modern point of use water heater, the EcoTouch should certainly be on your list for consideration.
Things to Consider When Choosing an Electric Tankless Water Heater
Once you know what sort of electric tankless water heater best suits your needs, there are a few more things to think about. Here’s what to consider when choosing an electric tankless water heater.
GPM stands for gallons per minute. It’s a metric used in a lot of plumbing and plumbed in appliances to measure flow rate.
In an electric tankless water heater, the GPM represents how much water your setup can heat per minute. If the GPM is 1.5, for example, the heater can heat water for approximately one shower and one sink at a time. A higher GPM, though, and the heater can heat more water, and therefore serve more of your home.
A whole home electric tankless water heater needs a GPM of around 4, assuming a normal size family home with two full or almost full bathrooms.
There’s no mystery to what this one means - how much space do you have for your new heater? If you’re replacing an old system with a tank, would a smaller electric tankless water heater free up space for, say, extra storage? This is a personal decision, and often space, price and GPM all need to be weighed up in order for you to choose the perfect water heater for your home.
3. Warranties, if any
You will be using this water heater every day, sometimes almost all day! Does the model you are considering come with a warranty? And if so, what sort?
Often, leakage warranties are longer than parts warranties. Some units come with both but cost more initially, others don’t have a warranty at all. Think about what you need here, and how much you are willing to spend.
4. Ease of installation
Some electric tankless water heaters can be installed 360 degrees. With smaller models, this means you can put them pretty much anywhere! If that is something you need (say you have to install in a smaller space) then look out for it.
Types of Electric Tankless Water Heater
As you may have noticed through reading my list, there are a few different types of electric tankless water heater on the market. They all offer various pros and cons.
1. Portable Electric Tankless Water Heaters
A portable electric tankless water heater is a great investment if you have an RV, caravan or campervan. You can take them with you anywhere easily, and they cost less than most other models.
You just need to plug the heater into an outlet or in some cases your car cigarette lighter, and off you go. Many even come with a showerhead attachment.
Of course, there is a catch. Portable electric tankless heaters can be tricky to master, and you will need to get to know your exact model before you find it easy to use. Plus, you need water or a water supply in addition to the heater.
A portable electric tankless water heater is a great investment if you do a lot of camping or road trips, but it won’t heat water for your whole home!
2. Point of Use Electric Tankless Water Heaters
A point of use electric tankless water heater is, in some ways, a step up from portable.
These are small electric heaters that can heat enough water for one or two sinks, and are commonly found in restrooms at commercial properties, work break rooms, and sometimes in bathrooms that are poorly served by a home’s main water heater.
Whether your main heater falls short on storage capability or gpm, a POU electric tankless water heater where you most often need hot water on demand may solve your problems.
3. Whole Home Electric Tankless Water Heaters
The largest and most powerful type of at home electric tankless water heater you’re likely to run into when purchasing them yourself, these heaters often replace traditional storage heaters for the whole home.
They come in various sizes and levels of power and gpm, and for larger homes more than one heater (or additional point of use electric tankless water heaters) may be required.
These water heaters use less energy than traditional heaters with tanks, so although they are initially expensive they do lead to savings over time.
There are electric tankless water heaters on this list that should fit all lifestyles and budgets. Many of them are about as modern as it is possible for a water heater to be, with energy saving features that would make Greta Thunberg proud. Okay, not quite that energy efficient, but they do save a lot!
Your final choice will depend on your needs. The Eemax is a fantastic option for a small apartment or studio, it’s really good value, looks great, and will last years.
If you want to heat water for a whole home, however, I would recommend the Rheem, which is robust and very easy to control once it is installed.
Finally, if you’re getting a new water heater largely because of environmental concerns or worries over your current power bills, then the EcoSmart is probably perfect for your needs!
Whichever water heater you choose, though, you won’t be disappointed with any on this list.