Installing the best tankless water heater comes with various benefits one of which is the absence of constant fear of water heater explosion, no tedious maintenance as well as never having to consider a replacement for at least 8-10 years of usage.
Installation of these tankless water heaters can be can also ease the long hours of waiting in the shower after using up all the available heated water and can be mounted just anywhere without taking excess space around the house.
Switching from the conventional tank water heater could be challenging in terms of not just the installation but the budget.
These are models more expensive than the traditional tank water heater, but when you understand the benefits of owning one, it’s worth every penny.
1. Ecotemp L10 2.6 GPM Portable Tankless Water Heater
This portable water heater has an output of about 176k BTUh of heat and is capable of handling a maximum of 2.6 GPM which is pretty impressive.
This unit runs on propane as expected but gets ignited by a pair of D batteries and is expected to be used as an RV unit even with its portable design.
Weighing in at 27 lbs, this unit is quite heavy and bulky 8″ x 14″ x 25.5″ which is not an ideal hiking gear, but suitable on a campground.
Priced at under $300, this is one of the most powerful units in this category and it’s hard to get a better deal.
- Easy to set up
- Delivers instant hot water
- Ideals for all showerheads and hose
- Great for outdoor shower
- Due to the absence of a visual thermostat, users cannot monitor the current water temperature
- Gives support to only one household faucet at a time.
2. Stiebel Eltron Tempra Plus
This high-end unit stands out as one of the most powerful tankless water heaters out there and is ideal for colder environments.
This unit has a high flow rate heating up to eight gallons per minute.
There is also the advanced flow technology specially designed by Stiebel Eltron that automatically adjusts the flow of water when it senses a higher demand than the heater is capable of handling.
This means users can always enjoy hot water at constant temperatures unlike the other heaters out there that start to produce cold water as soon as the flow exceeds the heating capacity of the unit.
There is also the true thermostatic temperature control that adjusts power based on the temperature of the flow rate and incoming water.
This unit is designed to modulate the power output to match the heat demands of the incoming flow of water to sustain the desired temperature of the outflowing water.
Users also never have to guess what temperature level their water is currently running on as this unit is equipped with a large display in an easy-to-read digital format for this purpose.
There is also a highly sensitive dial selector allowing users to control the temperature levels between 86-140 degrees Fahrenheit, this is an ideal unit and only the price could deter you from making a purchase right now.
- Energy-efficient unit
- Automatic flow rate
- 5-star performance rating
- This unit doesn’t come cheap
3. Takagi T-H3-DV-N Tankless Water Heater
You get an endless heated water supply on the Takagi T-H3-DV-N Tankless Water Heater and this energy-efficient unit also comes equipped with innovative safety features.
This unit delivers a flow rate of 10gpm which is far above any model in the same price category.
The water heater on this unit operates on natural gas which means heat exchangers, as well as, internal burners fire up as soon as cold water in the pipes, is detected by the sensors.
Due to its smooth operation with a condensing system, this water doesn’t require vents as a result of intense fumes, this is a game-changer in this sector.
- Ideal for both residential and commercial properties
- You never have to bother about installing heavy-duty vents thanks to the built-in condensing systems.
- Equipped with built-in computerized safety features to prevent malfunctions and leaks.
- Although most models can only deliver up to 110 degrees of temperature, this model is capable of heating water up to 185 degrees which are higher than almost all the models out there.
- This unit is powerful and capable of running multiple showers and appliances at once.
- You may need to consult with a specialist to determine if certain components are required to enjoy the water heater’s total wattage as the operation requires about 199,000 BTUs to operate this model.
- Quite on the heavy side, weighing in at 60 pounds.
- Absence of a precise temperature control found in other models in the same price category, you could purchase a remote temperature controller to help adjust temperature degree. This remote temperature controller has to be Takagi brand for it to function effectively with the water heater.
- Installation may be quite challenging due to the drainage system so it’s best to hand it over to a specialist.
- If you intend to set up yourself, ensure to get reliable ground wires, a hose, a drain, a valve kit, and you may need an acid neutralizer kit for installation.
- There is no precise temperature control on this model, users can purchase a remote temperature controller to adjust temperature degree.
4. Rinnai V Series HE Tankless Water Heater
For anyone who gets tired of timing hot water needs, you may want to consider this efficient and reliable unit.
You never have to spend tie waiting for water out the faucet or hose as this model ensures water is made available when required.
There s also the ThermaCirc360 technology that enables the recirculation of hot water via the pipes to ensure users always have enough hot water.
This unit is a space-saver has it takes up very little space around the house due to its diminutive build which allows for easy installation.
You can enjoy up to 9.4gpm of water flow rate on this model, this is dependent on the temperature of the groundwater, but this is one of the most efficient models out there.
- Can be operated on a mobile app to control
- Zero water wastage
- ThermaCirc360 technology
- This unit doesn’t come cheap
5. EcoSmart ECO 27 Tankless Water Heater
This energy-efficient unit is the newest tankless water heater model from EcoSmart and is ideal for a single-family home and it offers precise temperature control and is self-modulating.
There is also the digital control panel to enable users to enjoy one-degree increments to adjust the temperature degree for the water flow.
You get 6.5gpm on this unit which is pretty cool for a model in this price category, and the energy-efficiency, as well as, flow rate is dependent on the water temperature when it first gets in the water heater.
This model works quickly and more efficiently in terms of heating up when handling a larger volume of water as the temperature at the inlet gets higher.
This unit can adjust the degree of energy required based on the quantity of water being used and the preset temperature thanks to the self-modulating feature.
You need up to 240V of electricity to power this water heater and there is an auto thermal protection that prevents overheating and overloading.
- Low maintenance
- Highly adjustable, users can choose between water temperatures
- Energy-efficiency on this water heater is at 99%
- This unit is lightweight weighing just under 14 pounds and can fit into small spaces
- Requires a specialist to install due to the 0.75″ NPT pipe fitting which is quite rare
- Although this unit is energy-efficient, it’s not certified by Energy Star
- This heater can struggle with heating up a larger volume of water when more than one shower is in operation during colder climates.
6. Bosch Tronic 3000 T 7-Gallon Electric Mini-Tank Water Heater
This cost-effective unit is ideal for anyone working on a tight budget, this model may seem affordable but highly efficient.
This is the smallest model on this list and fits under a sink cabinet, blending seamlessly with your interior designs due to the sleek design.
The 3000T can be mounted both indoors and outdoors and this “plug and play” unit does not require venting like most models.
Just tap into your cold water line, mount directly, and this unit is ready to go.
The heating capabilities on this model is quite impressive, it has the ability to heat water at a temperature rate of 65-145 degrees Fahrenheit.
The flow rate on this water heater stands at 7gpm and users can get this unit in 2.5 and 4-gallon capacities.
- Lightweight and compact
- Sleek design
- There is a glass-lined tank for extended usage
- There is a CFC-free foam insulation system for optimal energy efficiency
- Only suitable for small homes
7. Rheem RTEX 13 Electric Tankless Water Heater
This popular brand is an outstanding manufacturer in this sector and has delivered the RTEX-13 which is an updated version.
Ideal for a one-shower household, but could be useful for two showers when equipped with 1.5gpm low flow showerheads.
- Compact design
- A flow rate of up to 4gpm which is pretty impressive for this price category
- Easy to install
- Users get a user-friendly digital thermostat on this updated model, equipped with a simple dial and precise temperature readout.
- Efficiency level is at 99.8%
- Durable, unlike the previous version
- Small units are always less powerful when compared to larger models, users should not expect to run two showers simultaneously without low flow showerhead, and at 4gpm, users can’t enjoy dual 2.0gpm at once.
- Not ideal for large hoes
- For colder climates, you may want to consider other options in the market.
8. Stiebel Eltron Tempra 24 Plus Whole House Tankless Electric Water Heater
This German brand was established in 1924 by Dr. Theodore Stiebel and is considered a specialist in this sector.
There are two flow rates on this water heater; one for 208V while the other for 240V and users can enjoy a higher flow rate on the highly powered consuming option, but ensure to there is enough juice on it to get it running.
The flow rate of this model sits at 0.58gpm -5gpm, but this is dependent on the temperature rise needed.
Getting up to 5gpm can deliver enough water flow for two bathrooms and can cater to medium-sized homes and other useful utilities.
For those who desire extra power, there are the Tempra 29 or 36 that delivers just what you need.
The Tempra 24 is eco-friendly, efficient rate of up to 99% and is electrically powered, virtually all the energy in use goes towards waring the water.
Another unique feature on this unit is the Tempra Advanced Flow Control which automatically reduces the water flow rate to maintain steady water temperature and this feature is what distinguishes the Tempra 24 and 24 Plus.
This unit is sleek but relatively larger in size when compared to other models in the same category.
There is also an analog dial equipped with a digital temperature output ranging from 86 °F – 140 °F and this manufacturer has gone for a user-friendly display that shows the recommended settings for whatever usage type needed.
- Great temperature range
- German engineering from a reputable brand
- Energy efficiency at 99%
- No negative reviews from users
- Tepra Advanced Flow Control
- Users enjoy seven years warranty against leaks as well as three years against other forms of defects.
Choosing the best tankless water heater
A major reason for switching to a tankless water heater model is due to the energy efficiency associated with this unit.
So it is therefore imperative to choose a brand due to its Energy Factor (EF) that saves you that extra cash and a higher EF delivers a more efficient unit.
Additionally, it is important to note that a high EF does not necessarily equate to a lower operating cost.
You need to invest in a tankless water heater capable of delivering between 2-5gpm and it’s common knowledge that gas-powered water heaters provide higher flow rates when compared to the electric systems.
You could save yourself the trouble and get a model with a flow rate of around 8gpm or simply apply these guidelines;
Kitchen faucet: 3.0-7.0gpm
Bathroom faucet: 3.0-5.0gpm
This includes other appliances that may be used with the water heater such as dishwashers and washing machines, asides these, you should try calculating the temperature rise to ensure the right model has been selected.
You can deduct the temperature of the incoming water from the preferred hot water output temperature of your choice.
An ideal tankless water heater should deliver a non-stop flow of hot water while reducing energy costs.
The three major fuel types to choose from include gas, electricity, and propane, ensure to make a decision based on the cost of each fuel type in your vicinity.
Also, note that the fuel supply line has to be well-sized to deliver the power required to provide instant water and most gas water heaters out there have an output of around 200,000 BTU.
There are three major ignition systems out there and the expensive models often sport the complex types, and it’s imperative to note that the simpler ignition systems often save less heat.
To function at an optimal level, gas tankless heaters need venting and while you may choose to let the vents run through the rough horizontally, it’s best to get a model with support for category III venting to deliver the best combustion.
Venting is only required when you purchase an indoor gas tankless water heater unit.
Get an anti-freeze kitted unit if you purchase an outdoor gas tankless water heater, one that is durable enough to handle extreme weather conditions.
For those using an electric system, it’s best to get additional space on your electrical panel and consider your location as well as the level of impact the groundwater will have on the tankless water heater.
Gas-powered units are best suited for locations with zero and below temperature degree.
You need to understand that tankless water heaters are not “instant hot water” heaters as often promised by some manufacturers as it takes few minutes to get heated up like the conventional tank-based systems.
In the aspect of maintenance, the tankless water heater is easier to maintain than the tank-based systems.
You still have to keep an eye on it and stay on top of things to ensure a lasting experience.
For anyone looking to get a tankless water heater, expect to save up to 60% on water expenses and could go as higher with the right showerheads.
A notable decrease from 2.5gpm to 1.5gpm can conserve even more.
Consider getting distillers
Tankless hot water heaters are liable to tough water and when water becomes heated, calcium and magnesium quickly become a scale.
These models like the storage-tank units often get choked by range.
The world is switching to sustainable energy which implies that tankless water heaters would be here for a while.
You need to get one within your budget as this can help you save some money on water expenses.