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Best Water Heater Brands

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Stop searching! We have the best 15 water heater brands

Shopping for a new water heater can be a challenge. Aside from whether you go for a tank or tankless model, there’s also the question of which brands to consider. From A.O. Smith to American Standard and Bosch to Bradford White, which one do you choose?

We conducted thorough research, looking at different brands, comparing them for warranty, price, type, and years in the industry to bring you the best water heater manufacturers.


What Makes the Best Water Heater Brands?

Defining what makes a water heater brand worth investing in comes down to several factors. Let’s take a look.

Performance

When we talk about performance, we mean the first-hour rating (FHR) of the heater. This is the number of gallons the unit can supply in a single hour. If your peak hour demand matches the FHR, you should have enough hot water to satisfy your needs.

Some brands measure their flow rate in gallons per minute, but the principle is the same.

Maintenance

Maintaining your water heater is crucial if you want it to keep supplying you with hot water for years to come. This is especially important if you live in a hard-water area, where pipes chalk up with sediment.

If you have a tankless model, you should flush the system at least once a year, using water and vinegar to remove sediment, and if you have a tank version, drain the tank by a quarter every year to flush out the debris.

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Warranty

Warranties range from 3 to 12 years on average. The models with a longer warranty period tend to cost slightly more because they have thicker insulation to reduce heat loss and larger burners or elements to speed up water heating time.

For peace of mind, choose the water heater with the most extended warranty possible.

Anti-Scale Technology

Anti-scale features reduce the amount of sediment in the bottom of the tank. It works by swirling the water to stop the debris from settling. If you have less mineral scale in the tank, you can potentially extend the water heater’s life.

Safety Features

There are plenty of products you can buy to improve the efficiency and safety of your water heater. Look for timers, expansion tanks, water heater stands, water heater blankets, and pans.

Best Water Heater Brands

With so many brands, makes, and models available, finding the best of the best is tricky. Here is our rundown of the best brands available.

A.O. Smith

A.O. Smith is one of the largest manufacturers of commercial and residential water heaters in North America. The company was founded in 1874, so it has a long and illustrious history, and it employs over 15,000 people in 24 locations worldwide.

They manufacture water heaters and air purifiers, as well as investing heavily in hydronic water heating and water treatment. Their most popular line of water heaters is the ProLine series, which is a great fit for larger households.

They are also an excellent option for manufactured housing as they have an FHR of 79 gallons per hour. A.O. Smith manufactures tank and tankless heaters, as well as hybrid and gas-powered models.

Additional Specs

Country of origin USA
Years in the Industry 147
Type of water heaters Tank, tankless, hybrid, gas
Most popular product ProLine Series
Warranty 6 to 10 years (depending on model)
Price $$$
Website https://aosmithinternational.com/about-us/history-a-o-smith/

Rheem

Rheem was founded by Richard and Donald Rheem in Emeryville, CA, in 1925. The company produces domestic and commercial water heaters and air purification units.

Rheem is still privately owned and has several brands under its global umbrella. They also produce stoves, refrigeration units, and HVAC systems.

One of their most popular brands of water heaters is the RTEX-Tankless range, which produces up to 4.4 gallons of water every minute. That’s over 250 gallons every hour! And because it’s tankless, it is the ideal heater if you are stuck for space.

Additional Specs

Country of origin USA
Years in the Industry 96
Type of water heaters Tank, tankless, hybrid, gas
Most popular product RTEX-Tankless
Warranty 5 years
Price $$$
Website https://www.rheem.com

Rinnai

Rinnai has a 100-year history as a manufacturer of tankless water heaters. While it all started in Japan in the 1920s, today, Rinnai claims to be the number one tankless brand in the United States. And according to their website, they were the first major manufacturer to make tankless water heaters in American facilities.

They began producing water heaters in the 1960s and now make 4 main models that increase in efficiency as you go up the price scale.

Their tankless water heaters are mainly powered by natural gas or propane, making them ideal for manufactured housing. And because they are tankless, they are compact, which is ideal if you have limited space.

One of their most popular models is the propane outdoor tankless V65eP, which runs on propane, so is a great choice for mobile homes and it produces a water flow rate of 6.5 gallons per minute.

Rinnai mainly focuses on producing tankless water heaters, although they do make a range of commercial kitchen appliances, including a gas-powered rice cooker.

Additional Specs

Country of origin Japan
Years in the Industry 100
Type of water heaters Tankless
Most popular product Outdoor tankless V65eP
Warranty 15-year heat exchanger, 1-year labor
Price $$$$
Website https://www.rinnai.us

Bradford White

Bradford White is an employee-owned company based in Ambler, Pennsylvania, with a manufacturing facility located in Michigan.

Established in 1881, Bradford White now employs over 2,300 people in its American factories and offices. They are specialists in gas water heaters, electric models, and indirect heating systems.

They also have a commercial wing that manufactures boilers and water heaters. On the domestic front, one of their most popular models is the BWC RE350S6-1NCWW 50-gallon water heater, thanks to Vitraglass tank lining and Hydrojet Total Performance System.

While this is a tanked system, the company also makes tankless models.

Additional Specs

Country of origin USA
Years in the Industry 135
Type of water heaters Tankless, tanked, electric, gas, and indirect
Most popular product BWC RE350S6-1NCWW 50-gallon
Warranty 10-year limited
Price $$$$$
Website https://www.bradfordwhite.com

American Standard

American Standard started life 140 years ago, producing high-quality bathroom and kitchen fixtures and appliances. In 1929, a merger took place between the American Radiator Company and the Standard Sanitary Corporation, and the group was renamed in 1967 as American Standard.

Today, they make plumbing fixtures like baths, toilets, and sinks, plus they produce heating and cooling systems, and water heaters. In 2007, the company fell under the Ingersoll Rand umbrella and today is known across the globe as Ideal Standard.

Their water heater range includes natural gas models, tank and tankless, as well as electric versions. However, they do tend to produce larger water heaters, better suited to the commercial market.

It means they cost more than other makes and models featured, but if you are prepared to spend the cash for quality, you will get a reliable and efficient water heater.

One of their most popular brands of water heater is the tankless condensing model. It has a water flow of 11 gallons per minute and comes with a 12-year limited warranty on the heat exchanger and a 5-year limited parts warranty.

Additional Specs

Country of origin USA
Years in the Industry 140
Type of water heaters Tankless, tanked, electric, gas
Most popular product Tankless condensing water heater
Warranty 12-year heat exchanger and 5-year limited parts
Price $$$$$
Website https://www.americanstandardwaterheaters.com/

American Water Heaters

American Water Heaters are not to be confused with American Standard. They have offices and a manufacturing plant in Johnson City, TN. They make residential and commercial water heaters of all varieties.

From tanked and tankless to electric and natural gas, they have a product that covers your needs. They even produce a solar-powered water heater for environmentally aware consumers.

This company lacks the pedigree of other brands, but since it was established in the 1970s, it has forged a formidable reputation for quality products. The company is owned by A.O. Smith but still makes water heaters under the American Water Heater brand.

It produces propane, natural gas, electric and solar water heaters. Their water heaters tend to be on a smaller scale, so they are suitable for smaller homes and manufactured housing.

One of its most popular brands is the Polaris High-Efficiency Natural Gas Water heater.

Additional Specs

Country of origin USA
Years in the Industry 45
Type of water heaters Tankless, tanked, electric, gas
Most popular product Polaris High-Efficiency Natural Gas
Warranty 10-year
Price $$$$
Website https://www.americanwaterheater.com

Bosch

Bosch is a German company with a long pedigree of innovation and top-quality engineering. It was established in Stuttgart in 1886 and has grown into one of the world’s most recognizable brands, famed across the globe for a wide variety of products.

They are known for high-end power tools and kitchen appliances, so it comes as no surprise that their water heaters are of equal quality. However, all this advanced technology and reliability don’t come cheap. You will pay a premium for a Bosch water heater, but it will give you years of hassle-free service.

Ironically, one of Bosch’s most popular models is the Tronic 3000-T Mini-Water heater, which is one of the cheapest to feature on the list. But it has sold in the thousands on Amazon alone.

Additional Specs

Country of origin Germany
Years in the Industry 135
Type of water heaters Tankless, tanked, electric, gas
Most popular product Tronic 3000-T Mini Water heater
Warranty 6-year unit, 2-year parts
Price $$$$
Website https://www.bosch-thermotechnology.us/us/en/residential/home/

EcoSmart

Eco-Smart is the greenest of all the brands featured and delivers a greater return for your money in efficiency savings. They use SmartBoost technology to outperform many larger water heaters at a reduced purchase price.

The company claims that its heaters produce more heat than models 45 percent larger. This equates to energy-saving and reduces your monthly electricity bill by up to 60 percent.

Eco-Smart meters should cost more than they do, but the price is one of the main reasons why you would buy one, other than for its environmental credentials.

Unlike Bosch and the other big names out there, Eco-Smart is a relatively obscure brand with minimal pedigree, but if you care about the environment and your fuel bills, give them a whirl. At this price, you have very little to lose.

Their most popular model is the Eco-Smart ECO 27 Electric Tankless Water Heater.

Additional Specs

Country of origin USA
Years in the Industry Unknown
Type of water heaters Tankless
Most popular product ECO 27 Tankless Water Heater
Warranty 6-year unit, 2-year parts
Price $$
Website https://www.ecosmartus.com

Navien

Navien is a great alternative to Eco-Smart because it shares many of the same environmental credentials. Established in 1978, the company had an ethos of producing the most efficient water heaters to reduce the impact on energy use and the environment.

Navien has a limited range of tankless water heaters, which restricts your choice, but it does mean they have perfected their models, giving you the best quality possible. They produce 2 lines of water heater: the NPE-S line and the NPE-A line, which is the upgraded version.

Navien is among the less well-known water heater brands, which means that just like Eco-Smart, you are taking a calculated risk buying one. However, big brands often charge extra for their name branding, unlike Navien, which doesn’t have that luxury.

The upside is you only pay for the boiler rather than the reputation of the company.

Additional Specs

Country of origin South Korea
Years in the Industry 43
Type of water heaters Tankless
Most popular product NPE-S Line
Warranty 6-year
Price $$$$$
Website https://www.navieninc.com

Noritz

Noritz may not be a name that rolls off the tongue with the familiarity of American Standard or Bosch, but it does have a pedigree in the water heater market. The company was established in Kobe in Japan in 1951.

Back then, it was the Noritz Bath Industry, and the strategy was to focus on bath boilers and furnaces. It was a simple progression to making tankless water heaters. Today, Noritz has a global presence, with facilities in Europe, Australia, and the USA.

It produces high-quality tankless water heaters that deliver efficiency and energy savings, much like Eco-Smart. Their most advanced heater has a Wi-Fi adaptor that sends data to your smart device, which increases your control over what you spend.

Some Noritz water heaters have an industry-leading 25-year guarantee, but for other models in their range, you get a 5 years warranty on the heat exchanger.

Their most popular model is the Noritz Indoor Condensing Natural Gas Water Heater.

Additional Specs

Country of origin Japan
Years in the Industry 70
Type of water heaters Tankless
Most popular product Noritz Indoor Condensing Natural Gas Water Heater
Warranty 5-year replacement on heat exchanger/ 25 years on some models
Price $$$$
Website https://www.noritz.com

Whirlpool

If you thought Whirlpool just made washing machines and other household appliances think again. The company was founded in 1908 by Lou Upton and his uncle Emory Upton. By 1911 they had opened their first washing machine shop in Saint Joseph in Michigan.

Since then, the company has expanded into a global brand, making washing machines, dishwashers, and tons of other appliances for domestic use.

They also produce gas, propane, and electric water heaters that range in size from 30 and 50 liters for the gas-powered models and 6 to 50 gallons for the electric varieties. Because Whirlpool is such an established name, their water heaters are reliable and have warranties between 6 to 12 years.

Interestingly, Whirlpool doesn’t physically manufacture their water heaters, instead choosing companies like A.O. Smith to produce them. They then slap their sticker on the side and sell them as Whirlpool models.

One of their most popular lines is the 40T12-40NG, which is a natural gas tanked water heater with a 40-gallon capacity.

Additional Specs

Country of origin USA
Years in the Industry 113
Type of water heaters Tanked, electric, gas
Most popular product 40T12-40NG 40-gallon Water Heater
Warranty 12-year
Price $$$
Website https://www.whirlpoolwaterheaters.com

Kenmore

You might recognize Kenmore for their extensive range of appliances and kitchen gadgets like kettles, toasters, and microwaves, but they also make water heaters.

They were founded in 1913 when they produced their first sewing machine. Since then, they have diversified so much that it is estimated that 1 in 3 American households have a Kenmore product.

They produce electric, hybrid, gas, and propane versions of their water heaters, and like their electrical appliances, they are reliable and efficient. Kenmore backs up its products by giving them warranties that range from 6 to 12 years.

Modern innovations include app-controlled water heaters to put you in complete control, even when you are away from home. Popular models include the Kenmore 33176 74-gallon tanked model with its Ultra-Coat glass-lined tank.

Additional Specs

Country of origin USA
Years in the Industry 108
Type of water heaters Tanked, electric, gas
Most popular product Kenmore 33176 74-gallon
Warranty 12-year
Price $$$
Website https://www.kenmore.com/products/air-and-water-treatment/water-heaters/

Reliance

Reliance was launched in 1981 as part of State Industries but has since been acquired by A.O. Smith. They still produce Reliance-branded water heaters, and they are considered to be among the greenest you can buy.

While Reliance makes gas, electric, and propane water heaters, the tankless versions are among the most respected in the range.

Reliance always strives to deliver the latest in technology by adding to their product lines, which means you should have little trouble finding a water heater to suit your home.

They currently make 20 condensing water heaters and 21 non-condensing, with many controlled remotely.

Their most popular models include the Reliance 6-50-YRVIT, which has a 50-gallon capacity and a first-hour output of 79 gallons.

Additional Specs

Country of origin USA
Years in the Industry 40
Type of water heaters Tanked, electric, gas, tankless
Most popular product Reliance 6-50-YRVIT
Warranty 6 to 10-year (depending on model)
Price $$$
Website https://www.reliancewaterheaters.com

Stiebel Eltron

Stiebel Eltron was established by Dr. Theodor Stiebel in Germany in 1924 and is still owned by the family today. It started out making immersion heaters for the German market and has grown into the country’s largest manufacturer of water heaters.

Its success has meant that the brand is now global, supplying water heaters internationally, and the company has a reputation for making compact water heaters to a high standard. It means they would suit small to medium homes and manufactured housing.

They make tankless and heat pump models and pride themselves on their safety record and high-quality products. Popular models include the Stiebel On-Demand Tankless Electric Water heater Tempra 24 Plus.

Additional Specs

Country of origin Germany
Years in the Industry 97
Type of water heaters Tankless, electric
Most popular product Stiebel On-Demand Tankless Electric Water Heater Tempra 24 Plus
Warranty 7-year leakage, 3-year parts
Price $$$$
Website https://www.stiebel-eltron.com/en/home.html

Takagi

You can save money and help save the environment with a highly efficient Takagi water heater. The company started life in Japan in 1951, making quality heaters for the residential and commercial sectors through a network of contractors and wholesalers. They maintain strict controls on their manufacturing process, producing excellent water heaters.

The company maintains it is the only specialized tankless water heater manufacturer in North America. In 2010, A.O.Smith acquired their North American operation, giving them the backing of one of the industry giants.

Takagi water heaters are still made under the Takagi banner, and the company strives to be at the forefront of innovation, design, and energy efficiency.

One of their most popular models is the Takagi T-H3-DV-NG, which is a high-efficiency unit with a 10-gallon per minute water flow.

Additional Specs

Country of origin Japan
Years in the Industry 70
Type of water heaters Tankless, electric
Most popular product Takagi T-H3-DV-NG
Warranty 15-year heat exchanger, 5-year parts, 1-year labor
Price $$$$ (top-end models cost $$$$$)
Website https://www.takagi.com/

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About the Author

Mark Weir

Mark spent 24 years working in real estate, so he knows his way around a home. He also worked with contractors and experts, advising them on issues of planning, investments, and renovations. Mark is no stranger to hands-on experience, having renovated his own home and many properties for resale. He likes nothing better than seeing a project through to completion.

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