The Best Electric Tankless Water Heaters of 2020

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Categories Water Heating
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Are you on the hunt for a quick and easy way to heat your water instantly? Sick of the invasiveness of those cumbersome tank heaters? We may have a solution for you.

Saving energy, time, space, and money, electric tankless water heaters are a great option for your home. If you’re redecorating, or just looking to save on your utility bills, this could be the answer.


What Are Electric Tankless Water Heaters?

Electric tankless water heaters are a nifty appliance to install within the home. They’re compact, and heat your water — no tanks needed.

Why Tankless?

If you have a nosy around anyone’s home, you’ll most likely find an old cupboard containing a large boiler somewhere. This is the case in most older homes. The tank is constantly filled with hot water, and maintained at a warm temperature, ready for use.

These days, tanks are becoming obsolete, and here’s why:

  • They contain a finite amount of water: This means they will run out after too much use. Then, to use more hot water, you must wait for the tank to refill and heat up.
  • They waste energy: This is because they maintain the heat of the water inside them, so it’s ready to be used.
  • They take up a lot of room: In some cases, they can take up an entire cupboard or a corner of a room. This makes them a bit of an eyesore and a storage issue.
  • They’re ineffectual for larger families: As they tend to run out of water, tank heaters are a pretty poor option for larger families with many appliances.
  • They’re less hygienic: When water remains unmoved for long periods, in warm conditions, it’s easy for bacteria to build up. This makes tank water heaters quite a grimy option for someone who often doesn’t use up all the water daily (1).

The modern solution to heating water in the home, whether that be for your shower, sinks, or dishwasher, is a tankless water heater. These take in water from your water source, heating it instantly through their mechanism for an unlimited supply of hot water.

Generally, they help to save energy as they don’t have to maintain the temperature of any residual water. Also, they save time, as their infinite water source ensures you don’t have to wait for the tank to fill up before use.

If you want instant, unlimited hot water, electric tankless water heaters will suit you best.

Why Electric?

Electricity comes a digital interface. A digital control on your water heater is great as it enables you to be much more precise with your temperature choices.

Instead of just estimating a basic measurement using a dial, you can go up in one-degree increments.

It’s also a lot easier to use, even if you’re not in-the-know about technology. The interfaces are usually simple. Plus, the unit will come with a manual to help out if you need.

To top it off, digital water heaters often have inner mechanisms to safeguard against major issues. For example, automatic water flow reduction allows you to use more appliances with higher temperatures, but lower water pressure.

So, if you’re looking for an easy-to-use, smart option which reduces your carbon footprint, look no further.

Why Buy an Electric Tankless Water Heater?

We’ve already touched on the digital, money, time, and space-saving benefits of electric tankless water heaters. So, if any of these matters for you at the moment, then an electric tankless heater will be ideal.

Before purchasing, it’s important to know one thing: the initial expense of electric tankless water heaters is higher than tank heaters. That said, in the long run, tankless water heaters will save on your utility bill. In fact, they should end up making up the difference in cost over time (2).

Moreover, if you have a larger family, this is a fantastic option for you. With a simple tank heater, using multiple water outlets at once can be tricky. If the water runs out, you’re left frustrated.

With a suitable electric tankless water heater, this won’t be a problem. You can use every shower in the house, alongside the dishwasher, washing machine, and sink — all at once! So, if this sounds like it’ll suit your growing family, perhaps you should take note.

Types of Electric Tankless Water Heaters

When it comes to electric tankless water heaters, there is a real array to choose from. Whether you’re on a campsite adventure, or just in the home, there is choice after choice.

Specifically, we’d like to discuss the portable, under-the-sink, and, home water heaters. Each of these has a specific purpose, so depending on your needs, we’ve got the information you require.

Portable Electric Tankless Water Heater

EcoSmart ECO 27 Electric Tankless Water Heater, 27 KW at 240 Volts, 112.5 Amps with Patented Self Modulating Technology,White
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These are probably my favorite. You can take them on a camping trip, to a festival, or to an RV park — warm shower, wherever you are. They usually come with a shower head too, making them well-suited for their purpose.

Simply plug them into the nearest electrical outlet or your car battery, and the portable water heater will do its job.

PROS:
  • Space-saving: Being tankless, these can easily be carried around with you, and packed away again as needed.
  • Protected from harsh weather: Water heaters must be safeguarded against the risks that come with an outdoor lifestyle, namely colder climates. Luckily, most portable tankless water heaters have mechanisms, like antifreeze, to avoid damage from cold weather.
  • Safe: Portable water heaters come with extra safeguards for using outdoors. Some will shut off automatically after being tipped past a 45-degree angle or when left running for 20 minutes.
CONS:
  • Tricky to work: To get them working properly, you need to know how to attach them safely to a car battery. And, it requires a little bit of prior knowledge or research to get it right the first time.

Under-the-Sink Electric Water Heater

Bosch Electric Mini-Tank Water Heater Tronic 3000 T 4-Gallon (ES4) - Eliminate Time for Hot Water - Shelf, Wall or Floor Mounted
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These water heaters are small, designed for fitting right under your sink. They can also be attached to a spare shower or bath.

This is great for anyone who already owns a tank heater but runs out of water before they get the chance to wash their dishes. It could also be ideal for anyone whose current water heater doesn’t quite have the required GPM for the entire home.

PROS:
  • Save money: If you’re on a budget, these are ideal. Simply attach them to the required water appliance, and you’ll get hot water where it’s needed most.
  • Cleaner water: Due to the immediacy of these water heaters, the water is often cleaner than with larger water heaters.
  • Less environmental impact: Since they provide hot water on demand, they don’t use up any unnecessary energy.
CONS:
  • Cannot supply the entire home: What’s important to remember is that these water heaters will be too small to supply your entire home. It’s just the ideal method to direct your hot water where you need it most.

Home Electric Tankless Water Heaters

EcoSmart ECO 11 Electric Tankless Water Heater, 13KW at 240 Volts with Patented Self Modulating Technology
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Finally, the option which we’ll be focusing our attention on in the product reviews — the indoor home water heater. These are the most popular, and often replace the old-fashioned tank heaters you may already have. With the correct GPM, they should provide hot water for every water appliance in the home, at once.

PROS:
  • Save money: Compared to tank heaters, we’ve already seen how they can save you money in the long run.
  • Less environmental impact: We’ve also talked about the minimal energy needed to keep these bad boys running smoothly.
  • Cleaner water: Also, compared to tank heaters, the water is usually cleaner, as it isn’t sat in a tank all day.
CONS:
  • Initial cost is expensive: In comparison to tank water heaters, electric tankless water heaters are usually more expensive to buy.

Choosing the Best Electric Tankless Water Heater

Before we take a look at our choices, you’ll need to know what to look for in the best ones. This way, you can make a more informed choice and purchase such a long-lasting appliance.

1. GPM

GPM, or gallons per minute, is the rating for the output of water your electric water heater can handle per minute. For example, 1.5 GPM can heat around one shower and one sink at a time. That said, the GPM can still depend on several factors.

One of these factors is the external water temperature. If the temperature of the water going into the machine is too low, it can take a little longer to heat up. In this case, the GPM will be lower.

If you have a larger family, a higher GPM will work better for you. It will ensure that you can use a larger array of appliances at once.

In our selection of best products below, we have included a range of choices — from 1.2 GPM to 4.4 GPM. So, whatever your preference, there should be an option for you.

2. Ease of Installation

What’s cool about some electric tankless water heaters is the 360-degree installation option.

Depending on the layout of your home, you may not have an obvious place to install your water heater. With no restriction on which way up to install it, you can squeeze one into the smallest gap.

This is also ideal if you want to hide your water heater away. If you want to install it in or behind a cupboard, this is possible. As long as there are electric outlets nearby, you’ll be good to go.

3. Small

If you’re on the hunt for an electric tankless water heater, your first thought may be on space-saving. I mean, that’s probably why you’re looking for a tankless heater in the first place.

Well, all of our products below are on the small side. That’s the nature of tankless water heaters, to be honest. However, we do have a variety of dimensions.

4. Warranty

When it comes to home appliances, we expect them to last a long time. That said, things do break, and it’s often a comfort to have a product with a long warranty.

Considering the long-wear expectation of products like water heaters, a short warranty is pretty pointless. Some of the products below have a disappointing warranty, but others really stand up to the mark.

If you worry about having to spend unnecessary cash on repairs, a longer warranty may be a better choice.

5. Durable

A couple of our options below contain copper innards to ensure the mechanisms work for long periods. This is ideal for a home appliance, as the last thing we want to see is a leak or breakage when you need a shower before work.

However, that’s not all. One of the options below actually has fire safeguards, due to the tempered glass exterior. This is unique, and robust enough to ensure it is protected long into the future.

More On This Topic
Home tankless gas water heaterThe Best Tankless Gas Water Heaters of 2020

The Best Electric Tankless Water Heaters of 2020

After scouring the internet for the best electric tankless water heaters, we’ve found our five favorites. Although it wasn’t a simple task, we think we’ve rounded up the best of the best.

Below, we have a number of options, purely for home purposes, which we’ve awarded five different accolades. This way, whatever your requirements, you can choose something which will fit your home to a T.

1. EcoSmart ECO 11 Electric Tankless Water Heater

Best Space-Saving Water Heater

EcoSmart ECO 11 Electric Tankless Water Heater, 13KW at 240 Volts with Patented Self Modulating Technology
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The EcoSmart Electric Tankless Heater comes in a number of different sizes, which provide an array of GPMs. This is ideal for anyone who wishes to stick to the EcoSmart brand but tailor their product to suit them.

What’s more, the unlimited warranty really shows us that the company takes pride and has faith in its product. You can get pretty much any part of the product replaced or fixed, at no extra cost. So, it seems this product doesn’t just save money through reducing energy costs, but in other ways too.

Our confidence in this product is also doubled by the huge number of positive reviews it has received.

To top it all off, this is the smallest product on our list — it’s perfect for a smaller home.

PROS:
  • Space-saving.
  • Lifetime warranty.
  • Most positive reviews.
CONS:
  • Low GPM.

Why We Love It

Space-Saving

These days, modern homes are all about aesthetics. So, the EcoSmart electric water heater comes in handy as it’ll fit neatly into any area of the home.

Lifetime Warranty

This is actually the only option on our list with a lifetime warranty. Many of the others do have a decent warranty on certain parts of around five or six years. However, this is our top option in terms of warranty promises.

Most Positive Reviews

There is a comfort in purchasing a product that has been tried and tested by the unbiased masses. In this regard, the EcoSmart water heater does not disappoint. The thousands of people who have reviewed this product positively have no reason to lie, and this gives us ultimate trust in the product.

Keep In Mind

Low GPM

This option has one of the lowest GPMs on our list. Although 1.5 GPM is certainly enough for a small home—perhaps an apartment—it won’t do for a growing family home. So, if you’re looking to grow your family, or already have a larger family, this option won’t see you through the winter months.

However, if you like the EcoSmart brand but fancy a higher GPM, they do have several options to accommodate you. Yes, they are more expensive, but this is expected for a higher GPM.

Additional Specs

Dimensions14.5 inches by 9.8 inches by 4.1 inches
Weight6.5 pounds
Flow Rate (Gallons Per Minute)1.5 GPM
Activation Flow0.3 GPM
Input Temperature Range67 to 105 degrees Fahrenheit
Volts Required240

2. ECOTOUCH Electric Tankless Water Heater

Best Low-Cost Water Heater

Tankless Water Heater Electric 5.5kw 240V, ECOTOUCH Point-of-Use Hot Water Heater Digital Display,Electric Instant Hot Water Heater with Self-modulating,Overheating Protection,White
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This EcoTouch heater is an excellent option for anyone on a tight budget. Although tankless water heaters are often more expensive than tank ones, that isn’t always the case. This low-cost option is a prime example.

However, this budget-friendly price doesn’t affect the caliber of the product. It’s still highly sought after — no surprise, considering its appealing qualities.

PROS:
  • Small.
  • Two color options.
  • Sturdy and safe construction.
  • 360-degree installation.
  • Tempered glass and a fire retardant case.
CONS:
  • Low GPM.

Why We Love It

Small

This is another compact option, ideal for anyone with minimal storage space for these appliances. It should fit in any spare nook or cranny within the home.

Two Color Options

What we particularly love about this option is the choice of two simple colors — black and white. The sleek design and choice of colors mean your water heater should blend seamlessly into your home decor.

Sturdy and Safe Construction

What sets this option apart from our others is its construction. The sleek design is not just aesthetically pleasing, but also functional. This comes from the many tests that go on behind the scenes to ensure the product is 100 percent safe.

Made using tempered glass and a fire retardant case, it should withstand high heat and even fires! What’s more, the product’s inner electricity and water lines are completely separate to avoid any unsafe leaks.

360-Degree Installation

Due to the positioning of the input and output pipes, as well as the lightweight and compact nature of this product, it’s pretty versatile. In fact, it can be installed in any position — whatever fits your needs best.

Keep In Mind

Low GPM

We’ve already discussed the importance of GPM for the effectiveness of the product. Additionally, the EcoTouch water heater has one of the lowest GPMs on our list. Depending on your requirements, this may not be the choice for you.

Additional Specs

Dimensions3.8 inches by 8 inches by 11.5 inches
Weight6.22 pounds
Flow Rate (Gallons Per Minute)1.5 GPM
Activation Flow0.475 GPM
Input Temperature Range67 to 109 degrees Fahrenheit
Volts Required240

3. Stiebel Eltron 24 Plus Tempra Tankless Water Heater

Highest Flow Rate

Stiebel Eltron Tankless Water Heater – Tempra 24 Plus – Electric, On Demand Hot Water, Eco, White
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The Stiebel Eltron is another option with a decent warranty. This one has a seven-year warranty for leakage and three-year cover on parts.

One outstanding element of this product is the switch which allows it to function in near-silence. If you want to pop your tankless water heater in a communal area, like the kitchen, you may appreciate this.

To add to this, the flow rate of this option reaches a whopping five GPM. It can facilitate as many as three showers at once, which is great for a big family.

In fact, this is almost too much water, considering most houses only have one or two showers. Perhaps this would make it ideal for a student house, with numerous showers on each floor.

PROS:
  • High GPM.
  • Thin design.
  • Advanced flow control.
CONS:
  • High cost.

Why We Love It

High Flow Rate

As we’ve touched upon already, the Stiebel electric water heater gains the accolade for the highest flow rate. Naturally, this depends on the outside water temperature, but it still stands in most cases — even with lower climates.

This makes it a great option for a bigger house. Perhaps the student housing landlords need to consider this option for their homes.

Thin Design

Although this is not the smallest option on our list, the thin design makes up for this. It’ll sit nicely against the wall, taking up minimal space, and blending in seamlessly. In today’s modern homes, this is always a bonus.

Advanced Flow Control

Patented by Stiebel themselves, advanced flow control is a nifty trick for tankless water heaters. In most cases, too many appliances working at once can cause every appliance in use to turn cold. However, with Stiebel’s mechanism, this is not the case.

Instead, it maintains the temperature of each water appliance. It does this by automatically reducing the water pressure for each appliance. This means that the overall GPM is not affected by such heavy usage.

Keep In Mind

High Cost

While money is relative, cost-wise, this option is miles above our other four options. That said, considering the fantastic benefits this unit provides — including the Stiebel advanced flow control — it may be worth it. It depends on your outlook and available funds.

Additional Specs

Dimensions4 inches by 15 inches by 9 inches
Weight8.5 pounds
Flow Rate (Gallons Per Minute)4.4 GPM
Activation Flow0.5 GPM
Output Temperature Range86 to 140 degrees Fahrenheit
Volts Required240

4. Rheem RTEX-18 Residential Tankless Water Heater

Easiest to Install

Rheem RTEX-18 18kW 240V Electric Tankless Water Heater, small, Gray
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The Rheem tankless water heater is a sleek, metal option for anyone who needs to have their heater on display. With easily replaceable and repairable parts, it’s easy to maintain. It’s also super easy to install, due to its 360-degree installation, so it’ll fit almost anywhere in your home.

Additionally, its thin exterior furthers the possibilities of installation locations. This way, you’ll be able to slide it into any small space if needs must.

This is another option with a pretty high GPM of up to 4.4. So, it’s perfect for a house with around two showers—perhaps a family home would be served well by this choice.

PROS:
  • High GPM.
  • 360-degree installation.
  • Durable.
CONS:
  • Short warranty.

Why We Love It

High GPM

Although this option doesn’t have the highest GPM of the lot, it’s still quite impressive. This makes it ideal for anyone with a bigger home, which requires multiple appliances to be used all at once.

360-Degree Installation

Not only is the product aesthetically pleasing on the exterior, but it’s also topped off by the freedom of installation. It can fit into even the tightest nook, perhaps under the sink, or beside a cupboard.

Durable

Alongside the easily replaceable parts, the Rheem water heater has an inner mechanism made using robust copper and brass. This increases durability, as these metals are known for their long-lasting wear. That said, even if they needed replacing, they could be easily threaded in and out of the mechanism.

Keep In Mind

Short Warranty

Although this product has a five-year warranty on the heating chamber itself, it only has a one-year warranty on parts. This is a lot less than most of our other options. Despite the easily replaceable parts, unfortunately, you won’t be able to rely on free replacements after a short time.

Additional Specs

Dimensions4 inches by 15 inches by 19 inches
Weight8.5 pounds
Flow Rate (Gallons Per Minute)4.4 GPM
Activation Flow0.3 GPM
Output Temperature Range59 to 140 degrees Fahrenheit
Volts Required240

5. Eemax EEM24018 Electric Tankless Water Heater

Most Aesthetically Pleasing

Eemax EEM24018 Electric Tankless Water Heater, Blue
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The Eemax water heater is a good-looking metal option. With a shiny, blue exterior, it may seem a little daring to some, but it will certainly add something to an otherwise dull room.

With a GPM of 3.5, this option sits in the middle of all of our selected products. This makes it well suited for a family home, perhaps where the kids have now left, but visit often. So, you can be confident that you can cater to everyone who may come and go on a weekend visit.

According to Eemax, this is enough to accommodate one shower and two sinks in cold climates. It can supply up to four showers when the weather is warmer!

It’ll serve well for a house with numerous water appliances, like a dishwasher and washing machine.

PROS:
  • Fancy exterior.
  • Decent GPM.
  • Durable exterior.
CONS:
  • Short warranty.

Why We Love It

Fancy Exterior

Although it is a little loud, the blue metal exterior is sleek and fashionable. Therefore, it would suit a room that’s pretty plain and needs a little jazzing up.

However, if you don’t fancy that, its small size means it can be hidden in a cupboard or the like. This makes it the best of both worlds.

Decent GPM

Although this option doesn’t have the highest GPM on our list, 3.5 is more than enough, in most cases. Some might even say that any more than this is unnecessary — especially in warmer climates when the GPM is a lot greater.

The Eemax option is a happy medium, working well for a household where visitors come and go.

Extras Included

This is another choice with a copper exterior. Therefore, it’s not only easy on the eye, but it also makes repairs a breeze. It’s durable too, so it should last for years to come.

Keep In Mind

Short Warranty

Similar to the Rheem water heater, the Eemax water heater has a five-year warranty for leaks and one-year for parts. But, it’s highly unlikely that a product’s parts will become broken after just one year. Therefore, this warranty is somewhat redundant.

Additional Specs

Dimensions17 inches by 14 inches by 3.8 inches
Weight14.5 pounds
Flow Rate (Gallons Per Minute)3.5 GPM
Activation Flow0.5 GPM
Input Temperature Range55 to 105 degrees Fahrenheit
Volts Required240

Detailed Comparison

ProductAwardDimensionsWeight (lbs)Flow Rate (GPM)Activation Flow (GPM)Input Temp. (F)Voltage (V)
EcoSmart ECO 11Best Space-Saving14.5″ x 9.8″ x 4.1″6.51.50.367 – 105240
ECOTOUCHBest Low-Cost3.8″ x 8″ x 11.5″6.221.50.4867 – 109240
Stiebel Eltron 24Highest Flow Rate4″ x 15″ x 9″8.54.40.586 – 140240
Rheem RTEX-18Easiest To Install4″ x 15″ x 19″8.54.40.359 – 140240
Eemax EEM24018Most Aesthetically Pleasing17″ x 14″ x 3.8″14.53.50.555 – 105240
Jump to the Full Electric Tankless Water Heater Reviews

Flowing Continuously Hot

So, that’s our list of the best electric tankless water heaters. Whether you’re on a budget, have a large house with lots of appliances, want something small, or just something aesthetically pleasing, they’re all here.

We’ve shown you the top factors to watch out for when purchasing an electric tankless water heater. We’ve also explained why electric and tankless are often better options than gas or tank water heater. So, now you know everything you need to know.

We hope you enjoyed this article and feel better prepared to decide for your home. We’d love to hear your thoughts, so please comment below with any additions.

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About the Author

Peter Gray

Peter has been a homeowner for 35+ years and has always done his own repair and improvement tasks. As a retired plumber, Peter now spends his time teaching others how they can fix leaks, replace faucets, and make home improvements on a budget.
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