If you plan to renovate your home, cabin or cottage, or maybe even replace your hot water heater, we recommend switching to an on-demand electric tankless water heater from a traditional hot water tank. Aside from it being more popular with households today, there are also great advantages to using electric tankless water heaters. One of them is that you will be able to save on your monthly electricity bill and the other is cheaper up-front costs, not to mention that is also easy to install. If you aren’t familiar, electric tankless water heaters are generally used under a sink or for single appliance use. Although there are those can heat a whole household, a gas powered unit is generally much more recommended for that purpose as it will be easier on the monthly bills.
If you are looking for the best electric tankless water heater and don’t want to read further, then we recommend going for the Stiebel Eltron Tempra Plus. This baby is the cream of the crop when it comes to electric tankless water heaters. This is considered as the most powerful electric tankless water heater in the market today. It has an impressive 4.0 GPM with a 30F temperature rise and is very efficient. Since it has a small and sleek design, it will not require any ventilation. Made by one of the industry leading warranties, you will never go wrong with the Stiebel Eltron Tempra Plus.
What You Need To Consider Before Buying One
Before you buy one, there are several things that you need to consider. We’ve taken the liberty to outline the important factors below.
Incoming Water Temperature
Electric water heaters are most efficient when they don’t need to raise the temperature to more than 30F. Not one water heater is capable of producing a temperature rise of 50F with and still provide reasonable flow rate. If you live in the northern side of the United States or even in Canada where the water temperature is slightly lower, we recommend buying a hot water tank or go for a gas powered unit instead that is more capable of a higher temperature rise. If you are in the southern side of the United States or just want to use the heater during the warmer months, an electric water heater is recommended.
We’ve already mentioned flow rate above. This is also another important factor because different appliances and faucets will require different amounts of water. A bathroom sink for example, will use less hot water than a washing machine or maybe even a dishwasher. Electric tankless water heaters have different flow rates and it’s a crucial factor when shopping for one. Generally, the more expensive unit will have a higher flow rate and will require more electricity to use.
Here’s a guide on the flow rate demand of different appliances and faucets.
Bathroom Sink 0.5 GPM
Standard Shower 2.5 GPM
Low-Flow Shower 1.5 GPM
Dishwasher 1.0 GPM
Washing Machine 1.5 GPM
Kitchen Sink 0.5 GPM
Laundry Sink 1.0 GPM
Electric tankless water heaters have different sizes. That is why you need to measure the space you plan to install the unit before you buy. For kitchen or bathroom sinks, you will have to go for a smaller unit to in order to fit one and still have enough space to be able to do proper maintenance or repairs.
Electric tankless water heaters are made of metal that will cause limescale build up and will require annual maintenance. So expect to do that. There are much more advanced electric tankless water heaters that use infrared technology that can reduce scale build up and will require less maintenance. The downside is, they are more expensive and generally have smaller flow rates. They will also depend on how hard the incoming water is. If the water is harder than normal, we recommend going for an infrared unit that won’t require as much maintenance and will have a lesser chance of breaking down.
The Top Electric Tankless Water Heaters
1. Stiebel Eltron Tempra Plus
As mentioned above, the Stiebel Eltron Tempra Plus is hands down, the best electric tankless water heater on the market today. It has one of the highest GPM flow rates available at 4.0 GPM. It can also raise the temperature of the water 50F. Its capabilities widely surpasses the industry standards. The Tempra Plus has an advanced flow control that allows you to limit the amount of flow when it’s not required. This feature alone will allow you to save a lot of money in the long run. Although this unit is very powerful, it is not capable of providing enough hot water for an entire household. If you still want to use the Tempra Plus, we would recommend you install a unit in each room that will require hot water. It has enough power to run a shower and a bathroom sink or a washing machine and laundry sink, and of course a dishwasher and a kitchen sink. So if you’ve got the budget, the Stiebel Eltron Tempra Plus is your best bet.
- The most powerful electric water heater on the market today
- Advanced flow control
- Compact design
- Very silent with no mechanical switches
- A bit expensive
- Design isn’t elegant
2. EcoSmart ECO
The second best electric tankless water heater on the market today is the EcoSmart ECO. The top Eco 36, which is their top model, has an impressive 3.5 GPM with a temperature rise of 40F. Although it is not as powerful as the Tempra Plus, it is sufficient enought to provide hot water to an entire room. It works great in a kitchen, a bathroom or a laundry room. Just like the Tempra Plus, if you want your entire house to have hot water using an EcoSmart ECO line, you will have to buy one for each room. What makes the EcoSmart unique is its design. In terms of visual appearance, it’s the runaway winner. If you can’t afford a Tempra Plus, then the EcoSmart is the next best option.
3. Rheem RTEX-18
The Rheem RTEX-18 provides the best value for your money above all other electric tankless water heaters on the market today. Manufactured by an industry leader in hot water heaters, the Rheem RTEX-18 can provide 3.0 – 3.5 GPM of flow rate which is sufficient to power the hot water needs of any room in the house. Probably the best thing that this electric tankless water heater can offer is the peace of mind you get when you buy from a company that has been around for many years, and when we say many years, what we really mean is decades. The only downside to this unit is its large dimensions. It may take up too much space under a small sink. Also, it isn’t an eye candy unit either. But if you have lots of space to place the unit, then this will work perfectly fine for you.
- Manufactured by an Industry leading brand in hot water heaters
- Provides excellent warranties
- Adequate flow rate at 3.0 – 3.5 GPM
- 99.6% energy efficiency
- Not suitable for small spaces
- Does makes some noise
4. SioGreen IR8000
If the water in your area is particularly hard, or if you have an RV or tiny home and want a water heater, the SioGreen IR8000 is your best bet. It is made of non-metallic materials, which will eliminate limescale build up. Because it is using infrared technology, it doesn’t require any maintenance. The only downside to the SioGreen IR8000 is that it isn’t capable of very high flow rates at a 50F temperature rise. So if you live somewhere colder, then this is not ideal. It is best suited in warmer climates or during the warmer months where it doesn’t require a high temperature rise. Since infrared technology in tankless water heating is fairly new and it is expected to improve over the next few years. One thing to take note of the SioGreen IR8000 is that it has a very visually appealing design and looks very modern. This water heater can’t provide hot water to an entire house. So expect to buy several units if you plan to use this electric tankless water heater for your whole house.
- Doesn’t require maintenance
- Visually appealing
- 99% energy efficient
- Not very powerful compared to other units of the same price
- A bit expensive
5. Bosch Electric Tankless
Last but certainly not the least, the Bosch Electric Tankless is the most inexpensive in the list. This electric tankless water heater made it to the list mainly because it is the least expensive among all its competitors. This compact and very efficient unit uses very little energy and is manufactured by a premium brand and is the perfect fit if you have high water heating needs. This water heater is very easy to install and is perfect for your cabin or cottage. It costs less than $200. It is also suitable for providing hot water to a sink, but anything more than and it will prove insufficient. The bottom line is, for its price, this is a great water heater for houses with very modest water heating needs.
- Has a lot of power for its size
- Manufactured by an industry leading brand
- Excellent for cabins and cottages
- Can’t handle cold incoming water temperatures
- A bit loud
It is easier to shop for an electric tankless water heater than it is with a gas powered one. No matter what a manufacturer says, there isn’t any electric tankless water heater that can adequately provide hot water to an entire household. So, using an electric tankless water heater will depend on the appliances you will be using it with. Before you buy one, evaluate the incoming water temperature (remember, the colder the water is, the more power you will need) and the flow rates that you will need. So if you still want to use an electric water heater for your whole household, we recommend you buy a unit for each room that will require hot water. Also, if you want to extend the life of your water heater, place a whole house water filter at the source of your water.