What is the Best 50-gallon Electric Water Heater? (2022 Review)

Last Updated On May 26, 2022
The Best 50 gallon electric water heater Our Thorough review

Are you in the market for a new water heater, and considering a 50-gallon electric-powered water heater? There are a lot of options in the market to be aware of. How do you pick the best 50-gallon electric water heater for your home? 

In this PlumbingNav review, you will learn: 

  • What are 50-gallon electric water heaters?
  • How do 50-gallon electric water heaters work?
  • Are 50-gallon electric water heaters worth it?
  • What do you look for in the best 50-gallon electric water heaters?
  • The Best 50-gallon electric water heaters reviewed.

ImageProduct
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Bosch Thermotechnology 50-Gallon Standard Electric Storage Water Heater Tronic 5000T
  • Two magnesium anode rods
  • Foam insulation 
  • Highly efficient
  • Two magnesium anode rods
  • Foam insulation 
  • Highly efficient
View on Amazon
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Bradford White BWC RE350S6-1NCWW 50GAL 240V
  • Hydrojet technology
  • Inexpensive
  • Dual 4500w elements
  • Hydrojet technology
  • Inexpensive
  • Dual 4500w elements
View on Amazon
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Rheem MR50245 Marathon Tall Electric Water Heater, 50-Gallon
  • Brass components 
  • Strong tank
  • Up to .94 efficiency ratings
  • Brass components 
  • Strong tank
  • Up to .94 efficiency ratings
View on Amazon
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AO Smith 50 Gallon ProLine Residential Electric Water Heater – Short Model
  • .95 Efficiency
  • Approved for manufactured homes
  • Stainless steel heating element
  • .95 Efficiency
  • Approved for manufactured homes
  • Stainless steel heating element
View on Amazon
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Ruud 50 Gallon 4.5KW EF95 Medium Professional Achiever Electric Water Heater, 6 Year (240v)
  • LED diagnostic system
  • Easy installation
  • Automatic thermostat
  • LED diagnostic system
  • Easy installation
  • Automatic thermostat
View on Amazon

Our Overall #1 Rated Pick

Updated On May 26, 2022

Our #1 Rated Pick: Bosch Thermotechnology 50-Gallon Standard Electric Storage Water Heater Tronic 5000T

Made by the trusted Bosch name, this electric water heater offers an efficient and simple hot water solution for your home. Dual heating elements allow for efficient heating, and the two magnesium anode rods work to prevent tank corrosion. For further protection and reduction of heat loss, the tank also includes foam insulation and a glass lining. 

Our Top 5 Picks for 50 Gallon Electric Water Heaters for 2021

We cover each of our favorite electric water heaters in the article below. Pressed for time? Check out our top 5 picks below. You can click each one to check availability and current pricing on Amazon.

What's In This Guide?

      What Are 50-gallon electric water heaters?

      A water heater keeps the water in your home hot on demand, and the 50-gallon capacity refers to how much water the tank will hold. This allows you to enjoy hot water the moment you activate the hot water faucet or shower, assuming that 50 gallons is the right amount of reserve for your household. 

      Electric water heaters are powered by electricity versus natural gas. The tank version means that water is held in a tank versus the alternative heat-on-demand options or tankless options. Remember that with electric water heaters, if the power goes out, the hot water goes out, too. 

      What Are The Different Types of 50-gallon Electric Water Heaters?

      50-gallon water electric heaters use either a single-heating element or dual-heating element. Single-heating element water heaters use one thermostat to heat the entire tank, making the system simple to use. 

      However, dual-heating element water heaters use two thermostats to heat the water in the 50-gallon tank. Only one element runs at a time, with the top element receiving priority. Dual-heating element systems are the more popular choice in 50-gallon units as they are more efficient. 

      How Do 50-gallon Electric Water Heaters Work?

      Cold water enters the tank and is forced to the bottom through the dip tube. Electric heating elements at the bottom of the water heater warm up the water to the temperature set on the thermostat, and the hot water rises to the top of the 50-gallon tank. When needed, the heat-out pipe transports the hot water throughout the house. 

      The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) advises homeowners not to set the thermostat higher than 120 degrees. Higher temperatures often lead to injuries and reduce the efficiency of the water heater. 

      Buyers-Guide-for-50-Gallon-Electric-Water-Heaters-USA-usage

      Are 50-gallon Electric Water Heaters Worth it?

      50-gallon electric water heaters make a great choice for many homes. Along with gas units, these are the most common choices for households across the U.S. Some things to consider before making your purchase include:

      Size

      Is a 50-gallon tank right for your needs? Typically speaking, a 50-gallon tank works best for one to two people but can also accommodate 3 to 4. Other factors are how often you run the dishwasher, clothes washer, etc. A 50-gallon tank is not the best choice if you have 5 or more people in your household. You may end up waiting for hot water to catch up to your demands.

      Efficiency 

      The more efficient your electric water heater, the less electricity is required to run it. This means a lower electric bill. Every electric water heater has a rating to indicate its efficiency. 

      Efficiency depends on a number of factors, including:

      • Tank material
      • Tank and pipe insulation
      • Tank size
      • Energy used
      • Temperature setting

      Initial Cost vs. Savings 

      A 50-gallon electric water heater can be viewed as an investment. If you need a new water heater, it’s best to spend the money wisely in view of how this will affect you in the years to come.  

      High-end electric water heaters have high-efficiency levels and higher life expectancies, making the initial cost worth it over time. However, people who plan to sell their house soon may not want to invest in something high-end. Just like an investment, your goals and time horizon will play into the decision.

      What Do You Look For In The Best 50 gallon Electric Water Heaters?

      Insulation

      Insulation effectiveness depends on the material used to create the tank itself, and the material used to line the inside of the tank. Stainless steel is the best material for efficiency. The insulation inside the tank usually consists of fiberglass. The thicker the insulation, the more efficient the tank will be. 

      If heat emits from the water heater and makes the room hot, that indicates that the tank needs better insulation. You can help this by buying a water heater jacket. 

      First Hour Rating (FHR)

      The First Hour Rating (FHR) refers to the amount of hot water produced when the hot water recovers. The FHR is calculated with the following formula:

      Tank capacity in gallons X 0.70 (rule of 70%) + recovery rate = first-hour rating 

      To calculate the best first-hour rate for you, consider the busiest point of water usage throughout the day and complete this worksheet for calculating peak hour demand/ first hour rating

      Best 50-Gallon Electric Water Heaters Reviewed

      Now let’s explore our favorite units so you can decide on the perfect choice for your situation.

      Our #1 Rated Pick: Bosch Thermotechnology 50-Gallon Standard Electric Storage Water Heater Tronic 5000T

      Made by the trusted Bosch name, this electric water heater offers an efficient and simple hot water solution for your home. Dual heating elements allow for efficient heating, and the two magnesium anode rods work to prevent tank corrosion. For further protection and reduction of heat loss, the tank also includes foam insulation and a glass lining. 

      Pros

      • Two magnesium anode rods
      • Foam insulation 
      • Highly efficient

      Cons

      • Requires professional installation
      • Noisy
      • Limited reviews

      Our #2 Rated Pick: Bradford White BWC RE350S6-1NCWW 50GAL 240V

      Get hot water without breaking the bank with this Bradford White short electric water heater designed to fit in places with limited headspace. It includes a magnesium anode rod to reduce corrosion. 

      Pros

      • Hydrojet technology
      • Inexpensive
      • Dual 4500w elements

      Cons

      • Non-simultaneous elements
      • Less efficient than other models
      • Heavy

      Our #3 Rated Pick: Rheem MR50245 Marathon Tall Electric Water Heater, 50-Gallon

      The Rheem Marathon electric water heater offers high efficiency ratings and a 20 GPH recovery rate. The rust-resistant polybutene tank contains multiple layers of filament wound fiberglass that give the tank unparalleled strength.

      Polyurethane insulation helps reduce energy consumption. The design is also made to make it easy to use

      Pros

      • Brass components 
      • Strong tank
      • Up to .94 efficiency ratings

      Cons

      • Expensive
      • Tall design requires space
      • Reports of leaks

      Our #4 Rated Pick: AO Smith 50 Gallon ProLine Residential Electric Water Heater – Short Model

      If you want to limit your carbon footprint, use this AO Smith ProLine series water heater with .95 efficiency and roughly 20 GPH recovery. The valves are made from brass to ensure that they don’t leak over time. The tank also comes with a glass lining for added protection and an anode rod.

      Pros

      • .95 Efficiency
      • Approved for manufactured homes
      • Stainless steel heating element

      Cons

      • Heavy 
      • Aluminum anode rod
      • Not digital

      Our #5 Rated Pick: Ruud 50 Gallon 4.5KW EF95 Medium Professional Achiever Electric Water Heater, 6 Year (240v)

      This dual heating element electric water heater uses one copper heating element and one stainless steel element made to contribute to the elongated life of the tank. Runs at an efficiency rating of .9. It’s also designed for easy installation with the junction box conveniently located above the heating elements. If something does go wrong, an LED diagnostic system will help you pinpoint and resolve the problem.

      Pros

      • LED diagnostic system
      • Easy installation
      • Automatic thermostat

      Cons

      • Not Energy Star rated
      • Limited warranty
      • Heating elements may require replacemen

      Final Thoughts On 50-gallon Electric Water Heaters

      There are numerous reasons you may want an electric water heater with a 50-gallon tank. Today’s electric water heaters are lightyears ahead of yesteryear’s, with efficiency ratings very high. Don’t be afraid of high utility costs with these modern electric units.

      The 50-gallon size is suitable for households of 2-3 people, but 4 person households can also get by just fine. The biggest factor in choosing a 50 gal vs a 60 gal will be the number of simultaneous hot water usages, such as showering at the same time in the morning or running multiple appliances without staggering usage.

      Looking to go tankless? Find comprehensive info here on both Rinnai and Rheem.

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      About Plumbing Navigator

      We write about "all things plumbing," helping you navigate common questions, repairs, and the best plumbing products on the market.

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      We write about “all things plumbing,” helping you navigate common questions, repairs, and the best plumbing products on the market.

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