Written by, Jalluri
Updated March, 14, 2023
Water heaters are an essential home appliance.
The most important advantage of this type of water heater is safety. Gas heaters work by burning up propane and transferring the heat energy to water, and whenever there’s combustion involved, there is a risk of an explosion.
Electric heaters are also known to explode from a build-up of pressure, but it is much less common and practically impossible with modern heaters. Because of this, they are dubbed as the most reliable electric water heaters on the market.
The second advantage is the cost. It’s much cheaper and more convenient to install an electric heater than a gas one. Generally, electric heaters are more efficient, hence the easiness to install.
For example, a tankless unit from Takagi that was rated as the best gas water heater of 2017 has an energy factor of 0.81, while most electric heaters are around 0.90 or more. It may not seem like a significant difference, but rest assured it is. And even with that, it’s still advisable to go for the best tankless electric water heater solutions instead of gas water heater ones.
If you’re on the lookout for an electric water heater, there are certain factors that you should keep in mind. Not all heaters are built the same, and they have a lot of variable characteristics from unit to unit.
Capacity and size is the first thing you should consider. Just how much hot water do you actually need? If you live alone and are the only one that’s going to be using the heater, you could probably get away with a small unit, anywhere from 5 to 10 gallons. However, a typical family of four uses anywhere between 28 and 56 gallons of hot water per day.
Even the best water heaters won’t last you more than 10 to 15 years, so your warranty should be able to cover anything that potentially happens to the heater before that time. Look for units that come with a five-year warranty, at least, and you should be fine.
It’s also important to note that the warranty doesn’t necessarily cover the whole unit (this is known as a limited warranty). For example, there have been a lot of complaints in Bradford White electric tankless water heater reviews about the warranty not covering certain services, even though the manufacturer’s warranty policy makes this very clear.
Having said that, it is essential to have a clear understanding of this and know what to expect before making a purchase. This way, you will avoid potential headaches and possibly save yourself from any unnecessary complications that may occur with your order.
Something that many water heaters have nowadays are anti-scale features. Limescale – or simply scale – is a chalky substance that builds up in areas that frequently come into contact with hard water – like the inside of a heater. It mainly consists of calcium salt crystals.
Limescale can cause a heater to break down more quickly than it usually would, so having a way to remove it should increase its lifespan and reduce the chance of a mechanical or electrical failure.
However, it’s worth mentioning that the efficiency of anti-scaling methods in heaters is still a somewhat controversial subject. There are many skeptics out there that claim it isn’t nearly as effective as companies claim it to be.
Some heaters offer additional features that can make them a bit easier to use, safer, and more convenient. Many modern heaters have timers, and some include dry-fire protection, as well as leak alarms.
This is not a necessity but is definitely worth considering, especially for the safety features, as any money that goes toward increasing your safety is money well spent.
Hybrid water heaters should be mentioned as an option as well – these are units that utilize electricity and a heat pump to provide you with hot water. This is very economical, and many hybrid electric water heater reviews suggest you will save hundreds of dollars over time.
As you can see, electric water heaters come in all shapes and sizes, and the best choice depends on your particular requirements. Larger heaters are better for households with more people, while if you live alone, it’s probably a good idea to get a small unit that doesn’t use a lot of power.
Hopefully, this concise list will help you make that choice without having to spend hours reading through various reviews, so you can quickly make a purchase that you will be satisfied with.
This is a medium-sized heater with a capacity of 38 gallons and two 4,500-watt heating elements. The A.O. Smith includes an adjustable thermostat, so you can set different temperatures for your washing machine and dishwasher if need be.
The inside is lined with foam insulation to keep the heat loss to an absolute minimum, and the tank itself is covered with a coat of corrosive-resistant material. Additionally, the heater comes with a 6-year warranty, which should cover any potential unfortunate incidents.
Eemax is the best electric water heater choice for you if you want to set the unit up by yourself with as little hassle as possible. This unit’s extra small capacity means that you’ll easily be able to fit it under your sink and it won’t take up any space.
This water heater has a special function that actually saves water by eliminating the wait for hot water to reach your tap. It plugs into an ordinary 120-volt outlet, so there’s no need to do any complex electrical operations when installing it. Finally, the unit features a thermostat that allows you to set the temperature between 50 °F and 140 °F.
Like the Eemax Mini, this heater has a very small capacity, so it’s not suited for families of four. However, various Lowboy electric water heater reviews point to the fact that if you live on your own, you’ll find that the Bosch Lowboy is more than sufficient for a quick shower or even a medium-long one. Its glass-lined tank is easy to maintain and clean, which increases the lifespan of the unit significantly.
The fast recovery rate of the water heater makes sure that it gets to the sink the moment you open the valve. And possibly the biggest advantage of this unit is that it can be floor or wall-mounted so that you can put it virtually anywhere in the bathroom.
Although it’s not the most expensive one, the price of this electric hot water heater can be reduced by using Walmart promo codes.
The compact design of this 19-gallon unit makes it perfect for installation in places that wouldn’t allow installing a full-sized heater. Temperature is adjustable, and there is a water supply connector on each side of the heater.
The tank is insulated with 1-inch thick non-CFC foam to minimize heat loss. Additionally, according to AO Smith reviews, the company is very fair with its warranty policy and will replace the unit multiple times in the event of a failure.
Many Rheem electric water heater reviews tell us that this unit offers a 12-year limited warranty for the tank and a 3-year in-home labor warranty. The heating elements are stainless steel and rated at 5,500 watts, sufficient to heat the plentiful amount of water.
The Platinum Smart Tank includes a built-in WiFi module, and the PlusOne water management control helps you conserve the water as much as possible. Unlike previous units, this one requires a 240-volt connection, so it might be a bit trickier to install.
It’s a good non-gas alternative to the Rheem Fury 22V40F1 water heater from the same company, with a slightly larger capacity.
The stainless steel construction of the Westinghouse heater is laser-welded and resists corrosion, which does a great deal for its durability. Like the Rheem, it possesses a 5,500-watt heater made of stainless steel.
A unique design in the heater diverts cold water to the heating element, which works to minimize the mixing of cold and hot water. The recovery rate is very impressive, as this unit can deliver 71 gallons of water in the first hour of use.
This is a reliable choice because Westinghouse is another proven-quality brand based on various electric water heater reviews.
The Whirlpool heater features a touchscreen with an electronic user interface that supplies you with a full diagnostic of the unit’s operation. In other words, if there’s any sort of issue with the heater, there’s no need to open it up to see what’s wrong; all you have to do is look at the screen. When the unit is in Energy Smart mode, it reacts to your hot water use and automatically calibrates to reduce standby heat loss.
Considered by many the best electric water heater brand, the Whirlpool is also self-cleaning due to its anti-scale capabilities, and the tank is lined with ceramic for maximum corrosion protection. Since you’ll hardly find this model on Amazon or eBay, look for Groupon coupons to get savings at other retailers.
This is another compact unit that you can use in hard-to-reach areas where conventional heaters and boilers are difficult to install.
The Marey Tank10L has a capacity of 2.5 gallons and comes with a 5-year warranty, perfectly sufficient to sustain one person in your household. This makes it a cheap electric hot water heater compared to other alternatives, especially for a one-person household.
There’s a temperature control that allows you to choose how hot you want your water to be, and a pressure relief valve to prevent accidental hyper-pressurization. The heating element is rated at 1,400 watts, perfectly sufficient for a heater of this capacity.
In terms of dimensions, the unit is 16 inches in height and 11 inches in diameter, allowing it to fit into most places such as under the sink. You can get this neatly designed water heater at eBay. In fact, you’ll even make significant savings by using one of the eBay promo codes and offers.
A.O. Smith makes the GPVL-50 that was often rated as the best 50 gallon electric water heater. With its high capacity of up to 55 gallons, this unit is slightly larger and perfect for sustaining a household of four.
Thanks to the combined power of two 5,500 watt heating elements, this heater has a recovery rate of 25 gallons per hour. This means that it can heat up to 6 gallons of water in just 15 minutes. The heater is a bit on the large side at 56 inches in height, but since the diameter is only 24 inches, it can still fit in most bathrooms without a problem.
Rheem is one of the most reputable companies when it comes to heating units, and by the look of various water heater reviews, its products are high-quality and long-lasting. As the name suggests, this heater comes with a lifetime warranty, a testament to its durability.
The non-metallic tank is constructed in such a fashion that prevents the build-up of limescale and is entirely corrosion-resistant. Its high capacity is enough for sustaining a household of three people and can even supply multiple bathrooms with hot water.
This water heater is a perfect choice even when compared with the best whole house electric tankless water heater available out there.
The most impressive feature of this unit is its fast recovery rate, able to supply you with 48 gallons of hot water in an hour of use. Rheem Performance comes with a 6-year limited warranty and 1-year in-home labor warranty.
Its energy factor is rated at 0.95, so it’s extremely efficient and impervious to any kind of heat loss. As the case is with many larger heaters, it takes a 240-volt connection to supply the power it needs to heat a large volume of water.
This medium-sized heater is a good choice as it is one of the most efficient water heater options for a household of two and comes with a 6-year warranty. It’s a point-of-use model, so it should be installed as close to your faucets as possible.
The unit uses a single copper element for heating the water, and the non-CFC foam insulation makes sure that heat loss is kept to an absolute minimum.
This Eemax mini-tank water heater is another compact point-of-use unit that you can use as an additional heater, useful for places where installing a conventional one is difficult. Nevertheless, this may be the best water heater to buy for tight spaces.
The thermostat allows you to set the temperature between 50 °F and 140 °F, and the quick recovery time provides you with hot water almost instantly. Eemax heater comes with a 5-year warranty and plugs into a conventional 110V socket.
With a capacity of 28 gallons, this unit is perfect for a household of two. Two 4,500 watt heating elements provide a recovery rate of 21 gallons per hour at 90 °F, and the built-in thermostat allows you to change the temperature based on your different needs.
Numerous AO Smith electric water heater reviews suggest that this unit is surprisingly small considering its capacity, so much that it is possible to place it in cabinets or under counters.
The tank of the Bosch Tronic is actually lined with glass, making it completely resistant to limescale and corrosion.
The recovery rate is fast enough to supply two faucets with instant hot water, and a thick layer of non-CFC foam prevents heat loss and maximizes efficiency.
Even though it is a smaller version of the Westinghouse 52-Gallon heater, this unit is considered the most efficient electric water heater as it features the same characteristics with a somewhat less powerful heating element (due to the lower capacity).
These heaters are rated at 4,500 watts, and the heater is a bit smaller than the 52-gallon version. The unit still uses a lot of power, so a 240-volt connection is required. Since this is one of the most expensive items on our list, you should look for Amazon discount codes to get the best price possible.
How many years does an electric hot water heater last?
To preserve your home appliances, including water heaters, you need to ensure they are properly installed and regularly maintained. Even though electric water heaters are of better quality than gas water heaters, about 53% of Americans own a gas heater instead, compared to 40% who use electric water heaters. That said, not only are electric water heaters more efficient, but their life expectancy is also greater. Electric water heaters last between 10 and 15 years, which is a higher number compared to gas water heaters that can last somewhere between 8 and 12 years.
What brand of water heater is the most reliable?
Choosing which water heater brand to buy for your home can be tricky. After all, there are so many options out there, and most of them are not cheap at all. Besides, buying a water heater isn’t an everyday thing, which means you’ll want to get it right as it needs to serve you for many years to come. Plenty of factors determine the choice for a water heater, and the brand you choose is a major one. Let’s take a look at the most reliable water heater brands: 1. A.O. Smith 2. Rheem 3. Eemax 4. Bosch 5. Westinghouse 6. Whirlpool 7. Marey 8. Bradford White
Do electric hot water heaters use a lot of electricity?
Determining how much electricity water heaters use depends on many variables, including the set temperature, age of the unit, the amount of hot water you might use daily, and other factors. You’ll also need to read the specifications for the watt usage of the unit per hour, and, of course, your local electricity price. With that in mind, let’s say you have a 4,000-watt unit that uses a tank and runs for about three to five hours per day. That means that 4,000 watts for three hours per day at $0.10 per kWh will cost you about $1.20 per day, $36.50 per month, or $438 per year.
How long does it take to install an electric water heater?
This will depend on the setting where you want to install the water heater, the access to the power line and water supply line, and if you have an old water heater to remove. Generally, though, it takes about 60-90 minutes to remove the old water heater, and an additional 60-90 minutes to install the new one. Therefore, only installing a new water heater unit will take up to 90 minutes. Removing an old unit and installing a new one may take up to 180 minutes in total, regardless if you hired a top plumber or purchased the best electric water heater available.