Best Electric Tankless Water Heaters For Your Money

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Key Features:

  • Savings of up to 50% on water heating costs.
  • Compact size saves valuable storage spaceDesigned for efficiency, durability and easy replacement.
  • Endless hot water
  • The most advanced self modulating technology 
  • Limited lifetime warranty

Anybody else get tired of having to wait for the water to heat up because somebody else in the house took an extra long shower? I know I did.

Tank water heaters have been the standard for a long, long time and they’re definitely functional, but they’re not exactly convenient. Enter the tankless water heater: unlimited hot water (unless your well dries up or something, but that’s not the heater’s fault!) available just by turning on the tap. Wait a few seconds for it to heat up and boom, it’s ready to go.

No more waiting for the water to “recharge” between uses, no more getting slapped in the head by a burst of freezing cold water 10 minutes into your nice, relaxing shower, and no more admittedly small chance of the whole affair exploding and taking your house with it.

Today we’re going to look at some of the best electric tankless water heaters around and go deep into why exactly they’re so darn good, what you should look for, and how to avoid the pitfalls that some new buyers might fall into that could turn them off of this type of water heater for good.

Let’s get to it!


Top 7 Best Electric Tankless Water Heaters Reviews (2021)

1. EcoSmart ECO 27

This model is excellent. It’s actually a scaled up version of the model I use in my own home office (the Ecosmart Eco 11). It provides all the features you need in one easy to use package, adjusting temperature with a  nicely responsive knob and providing a great GPM and energy efficiency for its price. I’m very confident in saying that Ecosmart makes the best electric tankless water heaters around.

Pros

  • Capacity:  The ECO 27 gets between 3 and 6 GPM, depending on the heat of your water. This is excellent if you get at least 4 GPM out of it; that’s reasonably enough for your whole house if you don’t go overboard.
  • Temperature Range: This tankless water heater can heat water to between 80 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit. I personally like mine to be around 105 degrees for showers, but sometimes go up to 115 in the winter. It handles it all easily. It can be adjusted in 1 degree increments, so no jumping from too hot to too cold.
  • Warranty: The ECO 27 has a lifetime warranty on electronics, exchanger, and element. This does not, however, cover labor and damages, only parts replacement.
  • Price: This unit is surprisingly cheap for its performance, being about 2/3 the price of similarly performing models.

Cons

  • Cold Weather: Very unsuitable for cold climates, as the price is terrible for only 3 GPM. This is true of most if not all electric models, but worth noting. If you live in cold areas a condensing gas or propane model is better.
  • High Minimum Flow: The hot water doesn’t kick on until you hit .3 GPM. It may not sound like a lot, but I have fairly bad water pressure in some of my faucets, and this basically means it will not provide hot water to one of my bathroom sinks since the flow is so low. Other units are far better at this.

2. Bosch Electric Mini-Tank

This is a bit of an interesting one. While not a true tankless model, it does work on a similar principle, being a bit of a hybrid between the two. It has a very small tank that rapidly fills and heats water for a single point of use. While technically it does have a tank, in principle it serves the same function: provides (nearly) limitless hot water efficiently and quickly.

Pros

  • Easy Installation: Basically just a matter of connecting two hoses and plugging it in. You can install this water heater in maybe a half hour, hour tops, and half of that will just be figuring out where exactly you can/want to put it.
  • Sturdy: While it looks like plastic, it has a sturdier glass interior that will provide a long service life (and no weird plastic taste to your water).
  • Efficient: 98% thermal efficiency is exactly what we’re looking for here in terms of power to heat. Yes, it’s kind of standard, but it’s a good standard to meet.

Cons

  • Bulky: One of the benefits of a true tankless model is the sleek profile. You can stick an electric tankless water heater especially pretty much anywhere; mine is in a tiny broom closet I keep my vacuum cleaner and a couple of other cleaning supplies in. This thing though? It’s a 4 gallon tank. That is big, heavy, and needs a very specific kind of space.
  • Price: In absolute terms this thing is very cheap, but for not being an actual tankless water heater and only being a point of use model, it really falls short. There are better Bosch electric tankless water heaters out there in the same price range.

3. Stiebel Eltron 36 Trend Tempra 

This is a heavy duty machine that can provide water to a very large home with few issues.  A few major flaws hold it back from being perfect, most of which are sadly not present in a similar (now discontinued) model from the same company. Still, if you need a huge electric tankless water heater, this one will do it for you.

Pros

  • Huge GPM: A 7.5 GPM is enough to cover a ton of simultaneous faucet usage. Even assuming maximum flow rate that’s a total of 3 showers or faucets running at the same time with no strain on the system.
  • Easy to Use: A simple display and responsive knob are really all that’s needed to make a tankless water heater’s daily use quick and easy. It’s good for situations like mine, where different people prefer different shower temperatures (I like mine hotter than other residents do).
  • Price: While still pricy, the price of the Tempra 36 Trend is significantly lower than when I looked at the 36 Plus last year, making it a far more affordable option for what it gives you.

Cons

  • Minimum Flow Rate: If I mentioned a .3 GPM minimum as a minor issue for the Eco 27, you can imagine I’m even less pleased with a ludicrous .77 GPM minimum flow rate for the Tempra 36 Trend. That’s quite a lot of water before it even kicks on, and can result in wasted water when you just want to run a trickle for whatever reason.
  • Flow Control: The 36 Trend sadly lacks one of the biggest features of the previous model: Advanced Flow Control. This would regulate flow automatically if demand for hot water ever became bigger than what the heater would allow. Given the massive capacity this could be a minor issue, but it’s still a nice feature to have.

4. Camplux ME40 Mini Tank

Another “not technically tankless” model, this time from Camplux. Camplux is a brand, as the name implies, focused a lot around outdoor living and camping. They make some of the very few portable tankless water heaters around. While this is not one of them, it exists in a similar wheelhouse, being designed primarily for cabins and other permanent but rustic accommodations.

Pros

  • Fill Rate: This 4 gallon tank fills at a rate of 6.8 GPH (gallons per hour), which means it fills up in under 40 minutes. That means so long as you don’t go out of your way to waste water, it will always be available for you to use.
  • Compact: While still a bit bulky, it’s definitely slimmer and sleeker than similar mini tank models, like the Bosch model below. This increases the number of places you can stick it without cutting into your storage or standing space (at a premium in cabins and the like).
  • Freeze Protection: When not in use or during very cold spells, you can switch it to the snowflake position to prevent the water from freezing. Excellent for cold climates.
  • Easy Install: Basically just a matter of screwing in some hoses and plugging it in. This is a plus not only for first time set up, but for the fact that it means the opposite is also true: you can unhook it just as easily and drain it when you leave your cozy cabin for the year.

Cons

  • Temperature Control: The Camplux mini tank only has 4 preset heat settings, meaning it can be hard sometimes to find the perfect temperature for your own preference.

5. Bosch Electric Tankless Water Heater

This Point of Use tankless water heater is cheap and good, providing hot water to a single sink at very high efficiency. It can also be used as a “booster” for another water heater if you find performance is fine elsewhere but weak in one area of the house (common for larger homes using a single tankless water heater).

Pros

  • Compact: This small Point of Use model is small enough to fit anywhere. Even the scaled up variants (which we’ll talk about later) are tiny and easy to place under any sink or inside convenient cabinets.
  • Modularity: The Bosch Tronic series in four sizes, each nearly as compact as the last, but still more powerful, and nearly the same expense. This is one of the few brands that offers a model like this that scales to different uses but doesn’t have a steep price increase for the small jump in performance. The most powerful unit is only around $30 more expensive than the cheapest one, so there’s little downside in getting that if you need it.
  • Power and Efficiency: The Tronic series is highly energy efficient at 98%, and puts out enough power to provide .5 GPM at the weakest and 1.5 GPM at the stronger end of the series, which is perfect for a single sink. It runs by default on 120v power, but can be used on 110v power, sadly at a loss of efficiency (it drops to 84%). It’s worth noting that this is actually still better than most gas or propane powered tankless water heater, but far lower than the par set by other electric ones.

Cons

  • Minimum Flow: A minor gripe, but the weakest model’s maximum and minimum flow rate are both .5 GPM. This can lead to some weird circumstances if the faucet isn’t properly set to such a low flow rate.

6. ECOTOUCH Electric Tankless Water Heater 

As far as Point of Use models go this one is pretty good. I treat Point of Use models fairly harshly in a lot of cases because their price to effectiveness ratio is fairly poor, but this one hits the perfect sweet spot that makes it cost efficient if you truly only need one outlet to have hot water.

Pros

  • Capacity: For a Point of Use model, 1.2 to 1.5 GPM is really good. This is perfect for a faucet or especially a sprayer (one of the intended uses for this is in a hair salon), where a 2.0+ GPM is unnecessary and overkill. I do not recommend it for showers, except maybe in the rare RV that supports a normal (non-RV focused) tankless water heater.
  • Price: This tankless water heater is super cheap, making it a great buy for people who only need one thing or maybe even two (it’s still pretty cost efficient if you buy two) supplied with hot water.
  • Low Power Draw: This runs on normal 240v power in the US, and uses only 23 amps. This means once you get it up and running the cost of operating it over a year is basically nil. This is also great for places with strict power concerns (like the aforementioned RV).

Cons

  • Cold Weather: This Point of Use model is unacceptably weak when dealing with cold groundwater, providing only a .7 GPM flow. That is practically unusable for any purpose, and is deceptive as well; your facet will typically be providing more water than that, meaning it will all be cold as it overloads the system.
  • Minimum Flow Rate: This unit has a .7 GPM minimum flow, which is insanely high for a Point of Use model. It makes more sense for larger models, but a Point of Use is meant to provide hot water to a very small area, meaning it should be designed to function at a much lower minimum flow than that; .3 GPM at most.

7. Titan SCR2 N-120

For what it is, this is at first glance is a good model that fills the needs of a middle sized unit for a low price if you get the maximum GPM out of it. Unfortunately doing so is surprisingly difficult, and the unit suffers from poor performance in most climates, making it difficult to recommend.

Pros

  • Voltage: The Titan N-120 comes in a variety of voltage selections, which is unusual compared to most electric tankless water heaters. You get your choice of 208v, 220v, 240v, and 277v. This makes it good for residential areas in both the US and many places in Europe (which tend to use 110v and 220v instead of 120v and 240v) as well as light commercial (208v) and larger commercial buildings (277v).
  • Warranty: The Titan N-120 is covered for 1 year on all electrical components, and 10 years on water components. This gives you a little wiggle room when setting it up.

Cons

  • Archaic Design: Button presses instead of a knob annoy me somewhat, but I could let it slide. It’s that in combination with the other factors, like the tiny readout, and lack of clear numbering when adjusting temperature that pushes it over the edge. There’s no excuse for this level of unclearness in a device like this.
  • Temperature: This model suffers from one of the worst cases of temperature falloff I’ve seen in a tankless water heater of any kind. It optimally gets 4 GPM, which would be solid…if that wasn’t when it only raised the temperature of the water by 20 degrees. For reference, I live somewhere with very warm groundwater: 72 degrees Fahrenheit.My preferred shower temperature is 105 degrees. This unit only provides that temperature if it’s providing 2.5 GPM (it actually misses the mark by a smidge; it’s a 32 degrees rise at 2.5 GPM). This essentially means that even in very warm climates this unit is a glorified Point of Use model, except twice as expensive and far bulkier.
  • Price: In absolute terms the price is reasonable, but not for the level of performance provided.

Final Verdict

The Ecosmart Eco 27 is, hands down, the winner. It has the performance and the price to beat out any of the other models on this list, including the more expensive and larger Tempra 36 Trend. There are models on the market that rival or exceed the Eco 27 (and not just the Eco 36), but they’re hard to find and usually come with a much greater price tag (the Tempra 36 Plus’ downfall in the past).

If you don’t need a whole house tankless water heater, I recommend either the Camplus mini tank model or the Bosch Tronic series of tankless water heaters, depending on your use. The Camplux is much better for situations where you want to use it as the primary source of hot water in an outdoorsy setting, while the Bosch series of units is better for things like wet bars or small handwashing sinks in a mobile restaurant or something similar.

The rest are generally fine, save the Titan N-120, which I’d avoid like the plague, but don’t compare to one of these three models in any of the arenas they’re supposed to be competing.


Are electric tankless water heater worth it?

There are a few big factors when looking into your tankless water heater, and some advantages and disadvantages you should keep in mind. Let’s start with the latter.

Why Go Tankless?

Quite honestly there’s not much reason not to if you’re thinking of how to provide hot water to a new home.

First time installation and removal of the old tank water heater can be a hassle for an existing home, so should be considered more as part of a larger remodeling than something you casually do one weekend.

But once you have one, you’re never really going to want to swap back to a tank.

They provide hot water on demand to any number of appliances. If you have a very high simultaneous water usage you want a bigger model or multiple smaller ones, but that’s really the only compromise you need to make.

Generally I find I’m only using 1, maybe 2 sources of hot water at once; the shower and the dishwasher, the washing machine and a faucet, or some combination of those. If that’s your situation you can get away with a very small and cheap model for your whole house.

Tankless water heaters are just very convenient, that’s the best reason to get one.

What Are Some Disadvantages?

The main thing you’re looking at is heat, or more accurately cold. The efficiency and efficacy of your tankless water heater is going to be directly tied to how cold your ground water is, which is pretty directly tied itself to how cold your climate is.

Tankless water heaters therefore struggle in very cold locations, like the American North.

Other than that, for electric tankless water heaters specifically, many homes (older ones especially) don’t provide the right power output and need some kind of electrical upgrade.  This makes installing one on a whim even more of a bad idea, as you could end up with just a big electrical brick on the wall.

Other than that though there’s surprisingly little to mention.

Energy Efficiency

You want an energy efficient model, for obvious reasons. Nobody likes an exorbitant power bill. You’re looking for something in the range of a 98% efficiency rating, and/or some kind of Energy Star certification that tells you almost all of the heat your water heater is producing is going into the water.

This not only lowers your power consumption, but increases the performance of your unit. The more heat that goes into the water, the faster it heats and the quicker you can use the hot water.

Gallons Per Minute

This is the big one for any tankless unit. You want a tankless water heater that can handle a large GPM, heating a satisfactory amount per minute. Your average shower uses between 2 and 2.5 GPM (average of 2.1), and most other common appliances use less than that.

That means for a Point of Use model (that heats only one thing) you want at least 2.5, but more if you plan it to be a whole home unit.

A good whole house electric tankless water heater runs about 8 GPM, enough for 3 to 4 common appliances (enough for a faucet, shower, dishwasher, and washing machine to run all at once).

Cost

You’re in luck: electric tankless water heaters are surprisingly inexpensive compared to their gas guzzling counterparts. Both in initial installation (unless you need to remodel your electrical system) and in the long term, electric tankless water heaters are very cost effective.