This is the Best Water Heater – Water Heaters Reviews | 2018
When things get broken in the home, the next step is replacing them and what happens when you want to get or replace your water heater, you go for the best water heater.
It get bad most times, when you really to get that hot water for coffee or take your shower with a well heated water especially when the weather is extremely cold or after a tiring day.
Time and low performance get to everything in the home and your water heaters are not left out either too. You may bee tempted to go for a quick and easy alternative but don’t!
Do not ever get a model of water heater without knowing its history and getting something cheap or substandard may be detrimental in the nearest future.
You may ask now, so what then is the best water heater for my home? The following response will be removing all the unnecessary info and guesswork when you shop for your next hot water heater.
Stay heated as we do an in-depth rundown off all the best water heater there is.
Best Water Heater Table
Types of water Heaters
There are various types of water heaters depending on functionality, source of power and accessories:
- Tankless (On-demand)
- Hot Water Storage Tank
- Heat Pumps (Hybrid)
- RV Water Heaters
- Pool Heaters
Best Water Heater Reviews
This is a complete rundown of the best water heaters you can find today:
Rheem Performance Platinum Gas Water Heater
This Rheem Performance Platinum may possibly be the best 50-gallon gas water heater for medium-sized households.
Beginning with a 40,000 BTU/hour, low NOx burner, this heater provides ample water at a lower cost than older models. The savings continue with a maintenance-free combustion air intake system and self-diagnostic gas control valve.
A simple push button ignition system makes for safer startups, while the tank’s lifespan is increased by a premium grade anode rod.
The heater comes with a 3-year in-home labor warranty, a 12-year limited warranty for tank and parts, and full 2015 NAECA compliance. With a 0.62 energy factor, 86 gallon delivery in the first hour, and ability to provide for homes up to 8,500 feet in elevation, this tank provides excellent efficiency for most homes.
A large percentage of owners have installed the heater themselves, with little or no issue and minimal cost in additional parts.
Those who have owned this model for a long period of time have noted that there is no leakage, and hot water is consistently provided. In the few cases where the unit was damaged upon delivery, consumers have noted that replacement was quick and pain-free.
The single largest problem with this heater is that it doesn’t meet the current Ultra Low NOx emissions standards in California, meaning that residents cannot install non-ULN water heaters in certain air quality districts.
Other complaints have been geared towards poor warranty support, leaving many users stuck without hot water for periods of time or given limited replacement options.
Rheem RTGH-95DVLN Tankless Water Heater
Sometimes you want an intuitive natural gas tankless water heater. The Rheem RTGH-95DVLN boasts a 94 percent energy efficiency, low NOx emissions, and intelligent electronic controls.
The excellent 9.5 GPM flow rate is almost on par with the Rinnai above and also allows plenty of non-stop hot water for families.
Its stainless steel condensing heat exchanger also means a longer lifespan for your heater. With a 199,000 BTU/hour capacity, this heater can function in most homes without needing to alter the meter, although some modifications to plumbing may be necessary.
A good number of consumers have chosen to install the RTGH-95DVLN themselves, noting that the instructions are clear and easy to follow if you have a bit of plumbing experience. Some may even say the Rheem is a bit easier to install than Rinnai but the process is similar.
Owners have also noted a drop in both noise and bills. Like the Rinnai, owners love the Rheem’s ability to allow multiple hot water taps and/or showers to be run simultaneously without a drop in water temperature.
The biggest complaints from owners of this model aren’t with the product itself, but with warranty issues. According to some reports, Rheem will at times void the warranty on even minor deviations from their requirements, even if that deviation has nothing to do with the problem.
Thankfully, those who have bought from certified resellers, such as Amazon or Home Depot, have reported that those sellers will honor the warranty, even though Rheem may not.
Takagi T-KJr2-IN-NG Tankless Water Heater
Takagi has created an amazing natural gas tankless water heater for those who want an environmentally-friendly alternative at a great price.
Running at 140,000 BTU, energy factor of .81 to .83, and a maximum flow rate of 6.6 gallons per minute, this heater is perfect for smaller households but may not be enough for moderate to large families.
The unit requires a 4-inch category III stainless steel vent, but may be converted into a direct-vent unit. One of the most interesting complaints about this heater is that it does not work with water-saving fixtures.
Despite being designed to be efficient and reduce costs, the unit will only run while there is a minimum flow of 1/2 gallon per minute.
Between this and an anti-DIY warranty restriction, this heater is a poor choice for those in water-restricted areas. But for everyone else, it’s a great option and probably the best budget tankless hot water heater out there.
A.O. Smith XCG-50 ProMax Water Heater
The XCG-50 ProMax may is one of the best 50 gallon water heaters on the market. Starting with a corrosion-resistant blue diamond glass coating, this heater is built to last.
With a 40,000 BTU/hour input and an 81 gallon First Hour Rating, there’s plenty of hot water from a fully heated tank and faster than average recovery (for a tank water heater).
The internal microprocessor provides more precise sensing and quicker heating response, while the thermopile-powered electronic gas valve runs the gas control without needing external power.
Meanwhile, a Dynaclean diffuser dip tube made of durable PEX cross-linked polymer further extends the life of your tank.
Those who have bought this direct vent model for a busy household have noted that it provides ample hot water for their entire family. Additionally, installation was quick and easy for those upgrading from an older gas heater, with few or no additional parts required.
Another feature that consumers love is the control panel, which not only allows easy adjustments, but includes a flashing indicator light with full flash code guide posted beside it to allow for quick problem-solving.
Generally, owners have not had much to complain about. Installation is pretty straightforward and the 10-year warranty allows peace of mind even though you will probably never need it with an A.O. Smith.
If you’re looking for a new water heater for a family of 4 (maybe 5) or less, this 50-gallon model is a great option. Larger families or those that love long showers may want to consider a tankless model instead of going with a larger tank (where the price jumps up a bit).
Rheem Performance Platinum Hybrid Electric Water Heater
Rheem’s Performance Platinum line isn’t just for gas tanks. This 50-gallon hybrid model is four times as efficient as standard electric models, and is estimated to provide an energy cost savings of as much as $4,000 in a 10-year period.
This heater is compatible with the EcoNet WiFi kit to provide instant mobile alerts, and includes a 10-year home warranty and additional 1-year in-home labor warranty.
A built-in leak detection feature and multiple modes to provide only as much hot water as needed can further reduce bills. This hybrid is easier to install than you may think and includes a premium brass drain and stainless steel elements to make maintenance a breeze while extending the tank’s lifespan.
Owners have noted that this tank has been extremely easy to install and provides ample water for their households. The unit heats quickly and only activates as-needed, which has impressed many eco-aware owners.
Additionally, the ability to link the heater to WiFi makes this ideal for many users who like to monitor their footprint. This is next-gen stuff that’s actually helpful.
There are a lot of considerations regarding the design which have caused problems for consumers. A taller clearance, as well as the positioning of intakes, drain valve, and overflow on the front of the unit have been subject to many complaints by owners who have their heaters in finished basements or have needed to do extensive plumbing to connect the tank. For typical garage installs, there’s generally no issue.
Water Heater Manufacturers
By market share, the water heater industry is dominated by a handful of brands.
#1 – AO Smith is the largest manufacturer, and recent acquisitions of other companies have expanded their reach even farther.
#2 – Rheem Corporation is a relatively close second and widely respected throughout the United States and abroad.
#3 – Bradford White Corporation rounds out the top 3 and has an extensive market share and the distinction of being available only from authorized dealers, installers and wholesalers.
The list of major manufacturers does not end with the top 3, and includes a number of well-known companies, including:
- American Standard – Produces residential and commercial water heaters.
- Bosch – Electric, gas and solar waters heaters, as well as mini-tank systems
- General Electric – Manufactures electric water heaters
- Reliance Water Heater Company – Sells a variety of types, distributed by Ace Hardware.
- Rinnai – Top selling brand of tankless water heaters in the US.
- Ruud Company – Water heaters of all types, distributed through authorized dealers and installers.
- Sears Kenmore – Makes gas and electric water heaters and heating pumps
- State Water Heater – Electric, gas and solar water heaters
- Steibel Eltron – Specializes in small, tankless and water pump systems, respectively
Notable foreign manufacturers include the Giant Company, a Canadian manufacturer recognized as the first to implement a 3 element heating system, and the Swedish Nibe company, which makes water heaters and heating pumps.
Looking for a new water heater for your motorhome, camper, or travel trailer? Here are some of the best RV water heater brands:
Best Water Heater Brands & Manufacturer
We have compiled a list of top-rated manufacturers based on sales, performance and variety. Their top 5 are:
- AO Smith
- General Electric
- Bradford White
- S. Craftmaster
On the other hand, we recommend putting a little more research and planning into your purchase, and offers some valuable tips for selecting a unit, as we will discuss in the following section.
Best Water Heater Features to Consider
Before you make payment, you have to consider the following before making payment for your water heater. Selecting a new water heater requires a bit of thought and planning. Among the many factors that need to be considered are:
Coverage for most water heaters typically runs 3 to 12 years. While you’ll usually pay a bit more for longer-warranty models, we’ve found that they tend to have larger elements or burners that can speed up water heating and thicker insulation for less heat loss. Choose a water heater with the longest warranty available.
Some brands advertise features that are supposed to reduce buildup of mineral scale at the bottom of the tank by swirling the water.
While scale can shorten the life of the heating element, you don’t need to invest in fancy features to get a long-lived water heater. Just look for one with a 12-year warranty, which typically includes a longer or thicker element.
The most commonly used types of water heaters are: Traditional storage tank units, tankless units, heat pumps, solar water heaters and condensing units.
Calculate the peak usage
How big a water heater you need will depend on a few factors. Buying a tank that is too small will leave family members frustrated at the lack of hot water, and getting a tank that is too large simply uses unnecessary energy to heat water that is never needed.
A longer warranty is usually better, and the best warranties are typically available from the companies with the largest market share.
Brass vs. plastic drains
Plastic tends to be less expensive, but brass is longer lasting and more easily replaced.
Designed for a reduction in corrosion and buildup inside the tank.
This can help you monitor the energy usage of your water heater and help you fine-tune the settings for maximum performance.
Gas, Electric, or Solar
In some cases, the fuel source of your water heater will depend on the existing design of the home, but changing from electric to gas is not especially expensive aside from the need for a licensed contractor to perform the conversion in many locations.
Solar water heaters are great, but they often work better as a secondary system, heating the water or keeping it hot without eliminating the availability of water heated by gas or electric.
Even a small solar water heater can cut your annual energy costs dramatically (depending on your climate) and in some cases, larger systems make gas or electric unnecessary.
An indirect water heater system can also be an option for some. Not widely popular, it can be one of the most efficient systems out there.
Performance vs. Popularity
Taking the factors above into account, you may discover that the best brand for your home is not the leading brand by market share. The length of warranty outweighs, for example, the additional cost of anti-corrosion devices, and the size of the tank is more important than factors such as plastic drain fittings.
We all have different water usage requirements, and you will have to do the calculations and comparisons to find the best water heater for your needs.
Efficiency standards for gas and electric water heaters are different, but both use the Uniform Energy Factor (UEF) ratings system, where higher scoring units produce more hot water while using less energy.
To earn an Energy Star certification, for example, electric water heaters with tanks up to 55 gallons must have a UEF greater than 2. In contrast, gas water heaters with tanks up to 55 gallons only need a UEF above 0.64 or 0.68, depending on how they use water during the day.
Qualifications for tanks over 55 gallons are even higher. Choosing a water heater near or above the Energy Star standards will save money on your utilities, though the most efficient units usually command the highest prices.
Tankless Water Heaters
Although most homeowners choose traditional gas or electric storage-tank water heaters, tankless water heaters are an alternative that provides on-demand hot water more efficiently, contributing to lower energy costs. Whole-home tankless water heaters are very expensive compared to traditional water heaters.
Water Heater Installation
If you hire a professional to install your new water heater, they will most likely remove the old one for you. But what do you do with the old one if they don’t take it away or you install the new water heater yourself? Be sure to check out our guide on Water Heater Disposal.