Best Off Grid Water Heater (2021 Review)

Last Updated On October 19, 2021
best off grid hot water heater

Do you want an off grid hot water heater that works just about anywhere and also provides hot water self-sufficiently with minimal reliance on public utilities? 

Off grid water heaters provide hot water without the need to plug into electricity. Instead, the device creates its own power and uses its own fuel source.  

For the optimal hot water solution when camping or in an area without access to electricity, an off-grid water heater is a great choice. However, what off grid water heater will work best for you?

In this PlumbingNav review, we will cover: 

  • Different types of off grid water heaters
  • How off grid water heaters work
  • What to look for when shopping for an off grid water heater
  • Review of top 5 off grid water heaters

ImageProduct
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Tengchang 10L LPG Propane Tankless Water Heater
  • Usable with ultra-low water pressure
  • Operates at 80% efficiency
  • Accessories included
  • Usable with ultra-low water pressure
  • Operates at 80% efficiency
  • Accessories included
View on Amazon
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Ridgeyard 12L Propane Tankless Water Heater
  • Easy installation
  • Switch between Celsius and Fahrenheit 
  • Stainless steel design
  • Easy installation
  • Switch between Celsius and Fahrenheit 
  • Stainless steel design
View on Amazon
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EZ 202 Tankless Propane Water Heater
  • No pilot light
  • Works in high altitude 
  • Highly efficient design
  • No pilot light
  • Works in high altitude 
  • Highly efficient design
View on Amazon
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Gasland BE158 Propane Tankless Water Heater
  • 11.5% energy-saving technology
  • Fully customizable with digital display
  • Easy to install (accessories included)
  • 11.5% energy-saving technology
  • Fully customizable with digital display
  • Easy to install (accessories included)
View on Amazon
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Happybuy 18L Propane Tankless Water Heater
  • 4.8 GPM water flow
  • Advanced safety features
  • Easy wall-mount installation
  • 4.8 GPM water flow
  • Advanced safety features
  • Easy wall-mount installation
View on Amazon

Our Overall #1 Rated Pick

Updated On May 21, 2021

Tengchang 10L LPG Propane Tankless Water Heater

This battery-powered propane tankless water heater generates up to 2.6 GPM of hot water for either indoor or outdoor use at 80% efficiency. It can increase the water temperature up to 45°F and comes with advanced safety features. 

You can use the knobs on the device to adjust both the fire and water, and you can choose between the winter and summer setting. This product comes with a three-year warranty on parts.

Our Top Off Grid Water Heaters for 2021

1. Tengchang 10L LPG Propane Tankless Water Heater (Best Overall)
2. Ridgeyard 12L Propane Tankless Water Heater (Best Budget)
3. EZ 202 Tankless Propane Water Heater (Best High End)
4. Gasland BE158 Propane Tankless Water Heater
5. Happybuy 18L Propane Tankless

What's In This Guide?

      What Are The Best Off-Grid Water Heaters?

      The best off grid water heaters provide adequate hot water when you need it without relying on public electricity or gas. 

      Since plugging into an electrical outlet plugs you into the grid, you won’t see many electric off grid water heater options. Instead, most off-grid water heaters use solar power or gas with a battery-powered ignition. 

      To allow you to bring your off grid water heater with you wherever your adventures take you, most off grid water heaters come in a portable, tankless design.

      How Does An Off Grid Water Heater Work?

      When talking about how off grid water heaters work, we need to look into battery-powered gas water heaters and solar-powered water heaters separately since they operate in very different ways. 

      How Do Gas Off Grid Water Heaters Work?

      Your off-grid water heater connects to your water source and uses battery power to ignite the heating elements inside that heat the water and deliver it to you. The water flows continuously until you turn it off. 

      How Do Solar Powered Off Grid Water Heaters Work?

      Solar power water heaters convert sunlight into heat, as opposed to turning it into energy. You have two options when it comes to passive solar power: direct and indirect. 

      In a direct solar water heater, the water runs through the solar thermal collectors to the desired fixture. 

      In an indirect solar water heater, heat-conducting liquids transfer between the thermal collectors and a heat exchanger. The water then waits in a storage tank until needed. Indirect systems work better in cold weather conditions, making them the more popular option. 

      What Do You Look For In The Best Off Grid Water Heaters?

      When looking into the best off grid water heater, you have a couple of things to take into consideration, including the amount of water the unit can produce and the brand name. 

      Hot Water Production

      You need an off grid water heater that will produce enough hot water for your needs. If using the device for a quick shower while camping, you won’t need as much hot water as you will if you want to use the device to provide a whole home hot water solution at your residence. 

      Note: If you simply need extra water in locations of your home, consider a point of use model. Some can even be located under the sink.

      Your off-grid water heater will come with a flow rate that indicates how many gallons of hot water per minute it can provide.

      When determining the proper water heater size for you, take into consideration that the temperature of the local water has a drastic impact on a water heater’s flow rate. The higher the temperature rises, the less hot water the unit can produce. This can impact how long it takes for your water to heat up.

      Brand Name

      You want to buy a water heater you can trust, and that means picking a trusted brand name. Some of the trusted brands include:

      did you know best off grid hot water heater reviews

      What Are The Different Types Of Off Grid Water Heaters?

      Off grid water heaters fall into one of two categories based on their fuel source. The two main fuel sources used to operate off-grid water heaters are gas and solar power. 

      Off Grid Gas Water Heaters

      Gas water heaters offer a reliable source of hot water without the need to plug into an electrical outlet (as long as you choose a battery-operated ignition). You will need to provide your own gas or propane, and you will need to keep plenty of batteries on hand. 

      Most off-grid gas options are tankless and portable. This option works best when you need a water heater on the go. But you can also use it to provide a whole-home solution if you don’t mind changing the batteries every two weeks. 

      Off Grid Solar Powered Water Heaters

      Solar-powered water heaters generate power from the sun, meaning you don’t need to pay for any gas or batteries. Solar power also comes with environmental benefits as a clean fuel source. You can use these water heaters anywhere, despite the climate. 

      However, the technology leaves room for improvement in terms of user-friendliness and reliability. They can also cost a substantial upfront investment, so keep this in mind. 

      You have multiple options when choosing a solar power system. To avoid the need for electricity, you will need to use a passive solar power water heating system to stay off grid. This system won’t work if you need a portable option as solar power water heating systems require a storage tank. 

      See how a solar-powered water heater is installed:

      Top 5 Best Off Grid Water Heaters Reviewed

      For off-grid purposes, you want a battery-powered propane water heater. Read our review of the top 5 off grid water heaters to pick the best one for you (batteries not included). 

      Our #1 Rated Pick: Tengchang 10L LPG Propane Tankless Water Heater

      Tengchang 10L LPG Propane Tankless Water Heater

      Best Overall Pick

      This battery-powered propane tankless water heater generates up to 2.6 GPM of hot water for either indoor or outdoor use at 80% efficiency. It can increase the water temperature up to 45°F and comes with advanced safety features. 

      You can use the knobs on the device to adjust both the fire and water, and you can choose between the winter and summer setting. This product comes with a three-year warranty on parts.

      Pros

      • Usable with ultra-low water pressure
      • Operates at 80% efficiency
      • Accessories included

      Cons

      • Only suitable for low pressure conditions
      • No vent from the bottom
      • Only increase water 45°F

      Our #2 Rated Pick: Ridgeyard 12L Propane Tankless Water Heater

      Ridgeyard 12L Propane Tankless Water Heater

      Best Budget

      This battery-powered tankless water heater can generate water up to 3.2 GPM in a highly efficient design. You get the choice of how high you want the temperature and propane setting. This product comes with a two-year warranty on the parts.

      Pros

      • Easy installation 
      • Switch between celsius and fahrenheit 
      • Stainless steel design

      Cons

      • Exhaust pipe not included
      • May not work with low-flow fixtures
      • Showerhead of poor quality

      Our #3 Rated Pick: EZ 202 Tankless Propane Water Heater

      EZ 202 Tankless Propane Water Heater

      Best High End

      Get up to 4.1 GPM water flow with this battery-powered tankless heater that uses a no pilot design to ensure the device works as efficiently as possible. This device works great for semi-permanent, vertical outdoor installation for modest hot water requirements. The device comes with a one-year warranty. 

      Pros

      • No pilot light
      • Works in high altitude 
      • Highly efficient design

      Cons

      • Limited customizability
      • Not suitable for indoor installation
      • One-year warranty, lower than most

      Our #4 Rated Pick: Gasland BE158 Propane Tankless Water Heater

      Gasland BE158 Propane Tankless Water Heater

      This propane tankless water heater generates hot water at 1.58 GPM in a compact, portable design. It includes all the accessories you’ll need to get hot water outdoors, including a showerhead.

      This device works perfectly for washing the dog or basic hot water needs when camping. Three knobs on the control panel allow you to customize it to your preferences, and you can read the temperature easily on the digital display. 

      Pros

      • 11.5% energy saving technology
      • Fully customizable with digital display
      • Easy to install (accessories included)

      Cons

      • Not recommended for indoor use
      • Only suitable for basic hot water needs
      • Power vent

      Our #5 Rated Pick: Happybuy 18L Propane Tankless Water Heater

      Happybuy 18L Propane Tankless Water Heater

      Generate hot water at up to 4.8 GPM at home or on the go with this propane battery-powered tankless water heater. You can rest assured your family will stay safe due to the six safety features in the device. And you can use the dual settings to choose between low-level or high-level fire power.

      Pros

      • 4.8 GPM water flow
      • Advanced safety features
      • Easy wall-mount installation

      Cons

      • Maximum 20 minutes of power at a time 
      • Steel casing susceptible to rust
      • Lesser known manufacturer

      Final Thoughts On Off-Grid Water Heaters

      Off grid water heaters give you the opportunity to remain self-sufficient and maintain control over your hot water. You have two great options for off grid water heaters: battery-powered gas water heaters and solar power water heaters.

      When selecting an off grid water heater, you want to select a water heater from a respectable brand that understands how to make products that help you achieve your unique goals. Ideally, you want portable water heaters with battery-powered ignitions when off the grid to avoid plugging into the electrical grid. 

      Like this Post? You can also read more about traditional tankless options. We have reviewed the best brands, such as Rinnai, AO Smith, Rheem, and also the best condensing models as well as water heaters that stand up to hard water.

      FAQs for Off Grid Water Heaters

      What brand of water heater is the most reliable?

      You have a lot of options when you want to buy a water heater from a reliable brand. Some of the most dependable water heater brands include Rheem, Rinnai, and AO Smith, but you can trust most of the major brand names you find. 

      How do you heat water off the grid?

      The most popular method of off grid water heating is to use propane water heaters with a battery-powered ignition. You can also use solar power. 

      What is the most reliable tankless water heater?

      The most reliable tankless water heater is the Tengchang 10L tankless propane water heater that comes with a 3-year warranty. 

      What is the best energy efficient water heater?

      Solar-powered water heating systems operate at 100% efficiency. However, if that option doesn’t suit your current needs, the most efficient off grid option is the EZ 202 tankless water heater.

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      I'm passionate about all things plumbing, and love sharing tips, "how-to", and reviewing the latest products to help make your project a success!

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      I'm passionate about all things plumbing, and love sharing tips, "how-to", and reviewing the latest products to help make your project a success!

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