Best Electric Water Heater (2022 Complete Buying Guide)

Last Updated On May 26, 2022
best electric water heaters (Complete 2021 Buying Guide) (1)

In the debate between gas and electric-powered water heaters, more and more people are making the switch to electricity. 

Have you decided you want your next water heater to be an electric water heater? There are a lot of electric water heaters to choose from, so you need to find the right one for you. 

The right water heater gives you enough hot water for the entire household and runs efficiently so that you may actually see a bit of a return on your investment over the years. 

In this PlumbingNav review, we cover:

  • What is an electric water heater? 
  • What are the different types of electric water heaters?
  • How electric water heaters work
  • Electric water heater buying guide
  • Review of the top 5 electric water heaters

ImageProduct
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Bosch Thermotechnology 50-Gallon Standard Electric Storage Water Heater Tronic 5000T
  • Quiet
  • Efficient
  • Long-lasting
  • Quiet
  • Efficient
  • Long-lasting
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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Stiebel Eltron 224110 Model SB 300 E Domestic Single Heat Exchanger Hot Water Tank with Electric Element for Solar, Geothermal or Hydronic Applications
  • 79 gallon tank
  • 3″ R-21 urethane foam insulation
  • Compatible with solar and geothermal applications
  • 79 gallon tank
  • 3″ R-21 urethane foam insulation
  • Compatible with solar and geothermal applications
View on Amazon
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A.O. Smith ENT-40 ProMax Tall Electric Water Heater, 40 gal
  • Brass drain valve
  • High end anode rod
  • Tall design
  • Brass drain valve
  • High end anode rod
  • Tall design
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, the Tronic 5000T electric water heater runs efficiently thanks to the HFO foam insulated 50 gallon tank and dual heating elements.
To prolong the life of the unit, there are two anode rods and glass lining to prevent corrosion.

Our Top 5 Picks for Electric Water Heaters for 2021

Find the best electric water heater for you in a flash with our quick list of the top 5 models on the market.

What's In This Guide?

      What Is an Electric Water Heater?

      An electric water heater is a device in your home that uses electricity to heat incoming water before sending it to the appropriate fixture.

      People in the home need the hot water for showering, cleaning, and space heating. 

      Why Electric?

      An electric heater usually costs more than a gas water heater, but they run much more efficiently. Pair this with a hot water heater timer switch, and you can experience significant savings on your energy bill.

      Electric water heaters don’t require ventilation since they don’t create hazardous gases as they operate, and they don’t use a pilot light, making them safer than gas models. 

      An electric tankless model is considerably smaller than a gas tankless water heater.

      did you know best electric water heaters (Complete 2021 Buying Guide)

      Different Types of Electric Water Heaters

      Electric Tank Water Heater

      An electric tank-style storage tank water heater uses a tank to store hot water until you need it, and these are the most common type of electric water heaters. 

      Once you use up the water in the tank, the device must refill the tank and heat the water, which can cause you to wait for hot water if you don’t have a large enough tank. 

      Tankless Heater

      A tankless water heater provides water on demand instead of keeping it heated in a tank, allowing for higher efficiency ratings and a lower utility bill.

      A tankless heater also doesn’t take up as much room as giant tanks, making them ideal for tight spaces.

      Finally, an electric tankless water heater will last up to 20 years with proper maintenance.

      However, a tankless water heater may require expensive upgrades for proper installation. 

      Hybrid Water Heater

      A hybrid water heater, or heat pump water heater, provides you with the best of both worlds by using a heat pump heating system. You get the full coverage of a tank and high-efficiency levels with endless hot water.

      Point of Use Water Heater

      A point-of-use water heater is a model that produces less hot water than whole-home products. Most people use it to produce hot water to a remote part of the home or small RV/cabin. 

      How Electric Water Heaters Work

      Water enters your electric heater from the cold water supply through a dip tube. A thermometer recognizes the cool temperature of the water and activates the heating element(s), located in the heat exchangers. 

      The water passes through the heat exchanger, where it comes into contact with the hot coils and absorbs the heat. Finally, the heater transports the water to the correct fixture.

      Storage tank water heaters and tankless water heaters work very similarly except for the fact that tank water heaters hold the water in a tank while tankless devices heat the water on demand. 

      Heat pump water heaters have the additional feature of absorbing heat in the area around it and transferring that heat to the water, allowing it to run more efficiently. 

      Buying Guide For New Water Heater

      Storage Tank Size/Flow Rate

      You need a hot water heater storage tank that can support your hot water needs.

      You need to consider the tank size and the recovery rate or the speed at which the unit heats new water that enters the tank.

      An electric tankless water heater uses flow rate to describe how much hot water a tankless unit can produce measured in gallons per minute (GPM).

      The flow rate depends on the temperature rise, or the difference between the temperature of the incoming water compared to the temperature setting of the water heater.

      Water Temperature

      You don’t want to exceed 120 degrees for most water heating situations, especially for residential use.

      However, if you have high-temperature requirements for commercial or industrial purposes, you will need a more powerful device to accommodate your needs.

      Materials

      Better materials mean that the water heater will last longer. Pick a device with stainless steel or copper drain valve and heat exchanger. Plastic and aluminum options don’t provide the same level of quality.

      Top 5 Best Electric Water Heater Review

      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, the Tronic 5000T electric water heater runs efficiently thanks to the HFO foam insulated 50 gallon tank and dual heating elements.
      To prolong the life of the unit, there are two anode rods and glass lining to prevent corrosion.

      Pros

      • Quiet
      • Efficient
      • Long-lasting

      Cons

      • Plastic drain valve
      • Only sold on Amazon
      • 240v (may require electrical upgrade)

      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-simultaneuos elements
      • Less efficiency than other models
      • Heavy

      Our #3 Rated Pick: Stiebel Eltron 224110 Model SB 300 E Domestic Single Heat Exchanger Hot Water Tank with Electric Element for Solar, Geothermal or Hydronic Applications

      Enjoy the future of water heating technology with this electric water heater also set up for solar, geothermal, or hydronic applications.
      The device itself comes with one or two electric heating elements that keep the water hot in the extra large, insulated 79 gallon tank.
      The tank is made from high-end materials designed to last. A special access point makes maintenance easier than ever, also helping prolong the life of the unit.

      Pros

      • 79 gallon tank
      • 3″ R-21 urethane foam insulation
      • Compatible with solar and geothermal applications

      Cons

      • Large and bulky
      • Expensive 
      • Limited reviews

      Our #4 Rated Pick: A.O. Smith ENT-40 ProMax Tall Electric Water Heater, 40 gal

      Perfect for smaller families, this 40 gallon tank comes with a high-end anode rod that lasts longer than most anode rods as well as glass coating.
      The tall design allows you to utilize height to save space in circumference.
      The product adheres to all regulations put in place by the National Appliance Energy Conservation Act (NAECA).

      Pros

      • Brass drain valve
      • High end anode rod
      • Tall design

      Cons

      • Small, 40-gallon tank
      • Less efficient than other electric models
      • Reports of damaged burners

      FAQs on the Best Electric Water Heaters

      Why choose electric over gas water heaters? 

      The main reason people choose electric water heaters is that they are the more efficient option, and they don’t require ventilation or use a pilot light, making them the safer option. 

      What brand of electric water heater is the most reliable? 

      AO Smith, Rheem, Bradford White, and Steibel Eltron all make great electric water heaters. 

      What is the longest-lasting electric water heater? 

      The Rheem Marathon comes with a lifetime warranty on the tank. 

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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.

      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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