Not a long time ago, you could walk in the market street selling water heaters and the only options you could get were two: gas and electric. Water heaters in every home are crucial as you won’t have to wait for the water to heat up on these old model water heaters.
With the advancement in technology, the water heater market has greatly changed, and now we have different and several options to choose from.
As a buyer, you can now even consider tankless and hybrid water heaters. Such freedom and options may make you feel confused and in a deep dilemma when choosing the right and the best water heater. In this buying guide, we bring you all the information you need on water heaters and some of the best models in the market.
Factors to consider before buying the best water heater
While owning the best water heater on the market is a good feeling, it is equally important to know what you need to consider before you get your dream shower. Some of the key things to check are as follows.
Electric vs. gas
The only difference between the gas and the electric water heater is the cost. If you prefer a gas water heater, you can pay an average of between $ 1,300 and $2,600, including the installation fee. In comparison, an electric heater will cost you relatively between $950 and $1,500, according to the prevailing rates.
Although both gas and electricity operating costs keep fluctuating, gas is cheaper than an electric water heater. Gas will cost you around 30 dollars, and electricity will cost you about $42 a month.
When buying your water heater, it is wise to consider your heater’s ventilation if you intend to buy a gas water heater. Gas water heaters produce carbon monoxide that is harmful to human health hence the need for ventilation. There is no need to worry about ventilation issues with electric water heaters since they require no ventilation and can be installed in any location.
Size and capacity
The size of your family or the people you leave with also plays a role in deciding the kind of hot shower you want. The larger the capacity, the more water you can use before the supply runs out and waits for more water to begin.
If you live in the same building as a family of four people, hot water of between 40 to 50 gallons of water would be perfect water for you. It is also important to consider the water heart’s size and the space available in your home. Both gas and electric water heaters come with different heights, and this will call for a consideration of the space available before you purchase.
Different showers come with efficiency as far as energy consumption is concerned. Efficiency tells the amount of energy used by the water heater.
For instance, if a water heater has an efficiency of 80%, it means in the amount of energy consumed by the water heater, 80% of it is used in heating water. But remember, this is not an indication of the amount of money you will pay as the electric bill. In this can, gas will have lower efficiency compared to electrical heaters because they are cheaper.
A tankless water heater may cost you less than a heater with tanks since they do not always run to the hot water supply.
Regarding the water usage in your home, a tankless water heater may save you some coin as it saves up to 40% of the energy bill. We recommend estimating the water heater’s yearly cost to determine one that will not interfere with your overall budget.
The tank water heater comes with valves most at the bottom used to clean the tanks. They can be connected to a garden hose, and since they are made of either brass or plastic, it is advisable to choose the one made of brass since it’s more durable than the one made of plastic.
With the current water heaters, they are designed with digital features like a display screen that you can use to perform and program your water heater to perform a different task at a different time, including shutting it when the family is away.
It may seem an additional cost to the electricity bill, but it is worth noting that it improves the water heater’s efficiency.
You would not like it when you have just bought your water pump, and within no time, you find it not functioning. That’s the last thing you would ever wish to happen, even to your worst enemies. So it is wise to consider how durable the water heater you intend to buy lasts.
This way, you will cross-examine different water heaters and probably land on a durable and long-lasting product.
Working with the right plumber
When buying, installing the same water heater will have a big role in the latter’s performance. Not all the plumbers will have experience in the installation of every other water heater. Consult with your plumber and get to know whether he is familiar with installing the water heart.
Poor installation of the water heater is the leading problem associated with the performance of the water heaters.
Consider water heaters with a warranty.
Normally, water heaters come with a warranty between three to twelve years. Although you may pay more for the products with a lengthy warranty, it is an indication that the product is of high quality and the manufacturer trusts that the chances of performing beyond the warranty are very high.
They are mostly made with elements that can heat water faster with thicker insulation to prevent heat loss. For this reason, choose a water heater with a longer warranty.
Types of water heaters
When that time comes to choose a water heater for yourself or the whole family, you would wish you had the right and most performing water heater. That’s not possible until you familiarize yourself with the types of water heaters available in the market. The following are the types of water heater you need to know before you embark on buying.
Conventional water heaters
Conventional water hearts are also referred to as the storage tank water heaters and are the common types. Conventional water heaters are installed with a storage tank used to store heated water until they need to be used.
A natural water heater can be expensive and difficult to install. Still, it is worthy to note they are cheaper to operate than electric water heaters because they use less energy. With conventional water heaters, you will require regular maintenance to operate efficiently and effectively.
Again, conventional water heaters must be drained at least once every year to remove residues and sediment, and build up that may cause clogging. The conventional water heaters’ life expectancy is estimated to be between 10-12 years but with the right and consistent maintenance.
Tankless water heaters
Tankless water heaters are water heaters that intensely flash heat against water-filled coils to heat water on demand. They are more energy-efficient than conventional water heaters but come with a high upfront payment. Tankless water heaters can serve bigger families that use a lot of water once as they continuously provide hot water.
One downside with tankless water heaters, if you prefer to use them with natural gas, the installation may require a larger diameter gas line, which is potentially expensive to purchase.
You may require upgrading your home’s electricity capacity with the electric water heaters if it is insufficient. Like the conventional water heater, tankless water heaters require to be descaled of minerals and other sediments at least once a year to keep them functional and reliable.
Heat pump water heaters
Heat pump water heaters, also known as hybrid electric water heaters, work through a mechanism whereby they capture heat from the air or the ground and transfer it to the water; they relatively cost more upfront payment but uses at least 60% less energy, making them energy efficient while making owners realize a return in their investment in the form of energy bills.
However, for the people living in cold space, a heat pump water heater may not work for them because the heat pump is placed on top of the appliance and the hybrid unit requires as much as 7 feet clearance from the floor to ceiling.
Solar water heaters
Solar water heaters work through solar panels installed on the roof of the building that absorbs solar heat and transfers it to the eater enclosed in a loop system that runs to the water tank and heats the water.
They are water heaters that can save you huge money during summer as far as electricity bills are concerned, making them ideal for the warm and hot regions. Consider talking or consulting an expert for advice accordingly on the right solar panel depending on the family size and the energy usage expectations.
Condensing water heaters
Condensing water heaters are water heaters with tanks like the conventional water heaters that capture hot exhauster gas normally expelled from home.
The gas expelled is directed through a coil on the water heater base, where the incoming cold water is heated. Condensing water heaters are highly efficient water heaters for homes that use gas and require a large capacity of more than 55 gallons of water.
The Best water heaters – Tankless Water Heaters
Rinnai RUC98In tankless water heater
It might be something hard to shift from heaters with tanks to tankless water heaters. With Rinnai RUC98In tankless water heaters, you have all the reasons to shift. Suppose you have multiple teenagers in your family. In that case, you won’t have to worry about water sufficiency as the Rinnai RUC98In tankless water heater has a flow rate of 9.8 gallons of water per hour, which is a perfect rate for families.
This product uses an electronic ignition that is environmentally friendly and is proven by NEMA as a pollutant-free water heater.
It also boasts of 95% efficiency, and you can expect your gas bills to go down drastically even with increased water usage.
Rinnai RUC98In tankless water heater is so customizable that people use it for residential purposes with the temperature between 98 and 140 while people using it for commercial purposes can also set it up to 185 degrees but with an optimal commercial controller.
It also comes with 12 years for the heat exchanger, five years for part warranty, and one year for labor, making it the best water heater for residential purposes. Not only does this water heater have a rated input of 15,200 to 199,00 BTUS, but it also requires no output if used by houses composed of 1-2 people.
- Uses less energy
- Takes up less space
- A continuous and constant supply of water
- Safe and clean
- Easy to install immediate savings
- Quiet while working
- Temperature control
- High GPM trigger of 10GPM, meaning it won’t heat water unless the GPM is reached
- There would be a drop in temperature with many opened faucets, but for a few seconds.
- May take time to heat the water
Rheem RTGH -5DVLN tankless water heater
Sometimes you may feel that you want a tankless water heater, and Rheem RTGH -5DVLN poses as one of the best water heaters following its features: 94% energy efficiency, low amount of emissions, and intelligent electronic controls.
If you have a family that uses water at a high rate, this is the water heater for you. It comes with a 9.5 GPM flow rate that allows your family not to stop the hot water flow.
It is a durable and long-lasting water heater following the heavy-duty stainless steel used to make it. It can function in most households without any need for the alter meter, although it may call for some modifications.
It is easy to install, with less experienced users finding it easier to install due to the simple and clear manual that comes with it. You can run many faucets, and the water temperature will not drop. It also comes with a warranty that is only honored when you buy directly from the manufacturer.
- Easy installation process
- Special low NOx systems reducing emissions
- Powerful unit available in natural and propane gas
- 12-year warranty
- Industry-leading low flow activation
- Recirculation pump kit ready
- It Maybe relatively priced
- Might call for connections with multiple units for commercial use
Takagi T-KJr2-IN-NG tankless water heater
If you may be looking for a cheap, environmentally friendly water heater, Takagi Company has created one for you. Takagi T-KJr2-IN-NG tankless water heater can run 140,000 BTU and provide a flow rate of 6.6 gallons of water per minute, making it ideal for small households but not enough for moderate to large households.
The unit may require you to get a 4 inches category III stainless steel vent but may be converted into a direct vent unit. One of the things that we have heard users complaining about is the heater does not work with the saving fixtures. Even though it is designed to be efficient and minimize costs, the latter will not run unless there is a minimum flow of ½ gallons per minute.
For the people living in water-restricted areas, this may not be the best for you, but it is great for any other person, most probably the best budget tankless water heater in the market out there.
- Ability to turn off itself when it detects overheating
- Equipped with frost guard to counter cold temperature
- A high flow rate can be achieved through a larger connection.
- Comes with a heater size of 38 pounds, making it ideal for indoor usage and installation
- It is gas-powered, electricity consumption and energy bills remain low
- Complex, expensive, and tricky installations process
- May supply a limited amount of hot water that is used in two bathrooms
- Limited warranty application if a professional installs the unit
- Some units may create an annoying vibrating noise
- Safety issues may arise with poor installation
Best electric water heater
Rheem performance platinum hybrid electric water heater
Rheem performance platinum is a water heater four times as efficient as the standard electric modules. It is estimated to offer an energy cost saving up to $4000 in ten years.
There is one feature that stands out in this water Heater. It is compatible with the Econet WI-FI kit to alert you via mobile phone and comes with a 10-year warranty and an additional one-year in-home labor warranty.
Besides the ability to give you alert via the WI-FI, Rheem performance platinum also has won the heart of many following its ability to monitor its footprint.
It is also incorporated with a built-in leak detector to alert you in case of leakage and multiple modes that provide you as much water as you need, hence reducing bills. Rheem performance platinum is an easy-to-install water heater and includes premium brass drain stainless steel elements making maintenance a breeze while increasing its durability.
- Easy installation process
- Dry fire protection
- The stainless steel resistor element
- Low lead compliant
- High capacity
- Instant hot water
- It is a bit heavy
Best Gas Water Heaters
Rheem performance platinum gas water heater
Rheem performance platinum can be assumed to be the best market considering gas water heaters available in the market. This has been made possible by special features that the manufacturer has incorporated while designing it.
Starting with a 40,000 BTU per hour, low NOx burner, Rheem performance platinum avails ample water at a cheap cost compared to other models. With Rheem performance platinum, you still save with a maintenance-free combustion air intake system and self-diagnostic gas control valve.
It provides excellent efficiency for most homes as it is designed with 0.6 energy factor, 86 GPM, and the ability to provide homes with up to 8,500 feet in elevation. This water heater is compliant with full 2O15 NAECA and has a home three-year warranty and 12-year limited warranty for both tanks and parts.
Rheem performance platinum is durable. For a long time, people who have used it have witnessed no leakages while providing consistent and continuous hot water despite a long period of use. Additionally, it involves a do it yourself installation process, with no noise and minimal cost in buying additional parts.
- A high-quality anode rod increases its life.
- Fight material and sediments buildup saving on fuel cost.
- Dual certified for both portable space and water heating.
- Electronic control improves service and monitoring.
- Its application functions are limited.
- May stop working after a few years.
- You may be required to change the favorite sensor after a few months of using it.
A.0. smith XCG-50 Promax water heater
XCG-50 ProMax is another water heater that is considered among the best 50 gallons water heaters in the market. Here is the real deal if you want a water heater made of non-corrosive and rust-resistant material. XCG-50 Promax water heater is made of blue diamond glass coating that is rust and corrosion resistant built to last for ages.
With XCG-50 ProMax in your home, you are assured of plenty of hot water from a fully heated tank and faster than the average recovery following its ability to provide a flow rate of 40,000 BTU per hour input and 81 gallons first-hour rating.
It also comes with an internal microprocessor sensitive and quick in heating response with the thermopile powered electronic valve running the gas control with no need for external power.
XCG-50 ProMax is also a durable and long-lasting water heater following the dynaclean diffuser dip tube that is made using the durable PEX cross-linked polymer. It involves an easy installation process for upgrading the older heater with either little or no additional cost.
- Appealing appearance
- Easy to install
- Lowered energy bills
- Giving alerts over the mobile and monitoring footprint
- Reliable and consistent
- Not enough water
Benefits of upgrading old water heaters
When you upgrade your old water heater, you benefit more than you think. With older water heaters, you can account for around 18%-25% of the average monthly bills in your family. The newer tankless water heater can save you a lot since they don’t need to store water but constantly heat it throughout the day. In other words, tankless water is more like hot water on demand.
If you have been having issues with your old model water heaters, replacing it or repairing it would save you many hassles and uncertainty.
Don’t let depression kill you when you can enjoy hot water by installing a modern and current model. If you find that getting a new water heater is something you cannot afford, look for the means of upgrading the one you already have.
While speaking on the tankless water heater, do you know new water heater models come very small than the older models? If you have a limited space in your room, most probably occupied by your older water heater model, you can get to enjoy a modern water heater that is relatively smaller in size and saving yourself at least a small space to do other things.
Endless hot water
Most of the houses with many family members may have a high demand for water that sometimes may be hard to satisfy using the old model water heaters. However, no modern water heater can fail to satisfy the demand for hot water to any household whatsoever. This assures you of sufficient hot water meeting all the demands of your households.
Prevent future plumbing problems
Water heaters have life spans just like every other product, and you need to replace them before their life span is over. It will save you unexpected uncertainty and failures that can lead to a bath without hot water.
Keeping up with technology
Technology is advancing at a high rate in the water heaters sector and any other field. While you may not enjoy the new water heater like you would do a new phone, it is worthwhile changing and advancing your water heaters. It will help you save some bucks, meaning you are also saving energy, hence going green.
Question: What is the average price for replacing a water heater?
Answer: It all depends on the size of the water heater you want. For instance, if you want to install a 40 -50 gallon water heater with a tank, the cost will range from $400 – $900. If you want a tankless water heater, you can pay anything from $1470 – $ 2500.
Question: Can I install the water heart myself?
Answer: Installation of water is not a do it yourself project. You need to have different skills related to electric heating, ventilation, and carpentry. You should know the state and the codes related to the building, obtain a permit for the installation, and then arrange for the relevant authorities to come and inspect your work.
Question: What is the lifespan of a water heater?
Answer: According to the manufacturer’s suggested life expectancy, a well-maintained water heater’s lifespan should be about twelve years. This will greatly depend on the location and the unit’s design, quality of the installation, and water quality.
Question: What to do if the water heater stops working?
Answer: If your water heater is not heating water, it may be due to a limit switch or one or more heating elements have failed. Firstly, reach for the service panel and check if the circuit breaker has tripped. If you find that it has tripped, switch it off then on again. It should work after this but if it fails, call for professional service.
Question: What maintenance does a water heater need?
Answer: To ensure that your water heater is safe, always make sure you maintain 2 feet of clearance around the appliance except when the manufacturer states otherwise. You will also need to drain water to about a quarter of the turn to remove the sediments and debris. You can also turn off the cold water supply, hook up the drainage valve, and run the water into a bucket until it’s clear.
Rinnai RUC98In tankless water heater remains our choice as far as performance is concerned. It can provide you with sufficient water due to its flow rate of 9.8 gallons of water per minute, which is a perfect rate for big families.
It is environmentally friendly and proven by NEMA as a pollutant-free water heater. It also boasts 95% efficiency, drastically reducing your energy bills even with increased water usage.
Rinnai RUC98In tankless water heater is customizable for residential purposes with a temperature between 98 and 140 and for commercial with a temperature of up to 185 degrees but with an optimal commercial controller.
Warranty of 12 years for the heat exchanger, five years for part warranty, and one year for labor is assured. Not only does this water heater have a rated input of 15,200 to 199,00 BTUS, but it also requires no output if used by households composed of 1-2 people.