Best Tank Water Heaters

Review & Comparison, Last Update March 16, 2017
If there's no centralized hot water supply in your house, you can solve the problem a different way and purchase a water heater. It also can be useful for an RV, a cabin in the woods, yachts, etc. In this review, you'll find the best and most popular electric and gas heaters as of today.   ...Read more ...Read less
BEST 2017
PROS
CONS
OUR VERDICT
Type
Capacity
Wattage
Temperature Range
Thermal Efficiency
Recovery Rate at 90 °F Rise
Corrosion Resistance
Dimensions
Weight
Warranty
 
PROS
The tank is made of high-grade 316L stainless steel which is known not only for corrosion-resistance but also for shockproof features. It is frequently used in healthcare institutions.
CONS
The unit is rather heavy.
OUR VERDICT
This model will be the best solution for a big family living in a large house. It is so big and efficient that you will always have enough water for everything: from washing dishes to having a bath.
detailed parameters
Type
Electric
Capacity
80 gallons
Wattage
4500 W
Temperature Range
120 - 180°F Temp. limit 200 °F
Thermal Efficiency
98%
Recovery Rate at 90 °F Rise
20 GPH
Corrosion Resistance
316L stainless steel
Dimensions
69" x 23.2" x 23.2"
Weight
151 lbs
Warranty
Residential use warranty: 10 years - heat exchanger, 5 years - parts, Commercial use warranty: 5 years - heat exchanger, 1 year - parts
PROS
GE tank has a display window and sensor buttons for temperature adjustments and controls. The unit can also be controlled remotely via a smartphone (Wi-Fi module is sold separately).
CONS
A bit noisy in Hybrid and Heat Pump modes.
OUR VERDICT
Exceptionally good heater for a 3 or 4-member family. A lot of different modes, including Hybrid, can help you save on water supply bills.
detailed parameters
Type
Electric, Hybrid
Capacity
50 gallons
Wattage
4500 W, 550 W in Hybrid mode
Temperature Range
100 - 140°F
Thermal Efficiency
98%
Recovery Rate at 90 °F Rise
Not specified
Corrosion Resistance
Aluminum-Zinc anode rod
Dimensions
58.5" x 22.8" x 24.3"
Weight
179 lbs
Warranty
10 years limited on parts, 1 year limited on labor
PROS
The unit is very compact, hence you can install this heater anywhere you want, even right under a sink.
CONS
Not suitable for people who like having a shower for long.
OUR VERDICT
This heater is the perfect choice for household use. You can easily use it as a main or emergency hot water supply at home.
detailed parameters
Type
Electric
Capacity
7 gallons
Wattage
1440 W
Temperature Range
65 - 145°F
Thermal Efficiency
98%
Recovery Rate at 90 °F Rise
6.8 GPH
Corrosion Resistance
Glass lined
Dimensions
17.6" x 17.6" x 14.5"
Weight
29.5 lbs
Warranty
8 years limited warranty on tank, 1 year limited warranty on parts
PROS
The water heater is equipped with the internal microprocessor that automatically sets all necessary operating parameters.
CONS
The installation is somewhat difficult.
OUR VERDICT
A.O. Smith gas water heater is suitable for those who need a big water tank but want to save on electricity bills.
detailed parameters
Type
Gas
Capacity
50 gallons
Wattage
4500 W
Temperature Range
120 - 160°F
Thermal Efficiency
60%
Recovery Rate at 90 °F Rise
41 GPH
Corrosion Resistance
Blue Diamond glass coating
Dimensions
60.8" x 21" x 21"
Weight
148 lbs
Warranty
6 years limited warranty on tank and parts
PROS
Inlet and outlet connections are side-mounted, providing easier assembly and installation in any cramped place.
CONS
Not the best option for a large family.
OUR VERDICT
If you are a family of two living in a mid-sized apartment this water heater is just for you. It is also a good option to install in an RV, on a yacht, etc.
detailed parameters
Type
Electric
Capacity
19 gallons
Wattage
1650 W
Temperature Range
~120 - 160°F
Thermal Efficiency
Not specified
Recovery Rate at 90 °F Rise
8 GPH
Corrosion Resistance
Glass lined
Dimensions
33.5" x 20" x 18.8"
Weight
68 lbs
Warranty
Residential use by original owner warranty: 6 years on tank and parts, Other use warranty: 1 year

What is a Tank Water Heater

All the time we seek new means that could make our household life more comfortable and less stressful. Today it's almost impossible to imagine a house without such amenities as gas, electricity or hot water. The thing, however, is that we wouldn't have had all these conveniences if not for certain appliances. In this review, we're going to give a rundown on popular water heaters that are widely used by people as a main or emergency source of hot water for washing dishes, taking a shower, etc. Learn the features to consider and make your pick.

You can also get an oil heater to keep your place warm and comfortable in wintertime.

What Features to Compare

Type

The choice of a water heater depends on certain requirements against the features like size, capacity, and so on. It is important to understand the difference between various water heaters to be able to pick a suitable one. First of all, you should know that some heaters are electric and others are gas-powered. The latter are usually powered by natural gas or butane (some heaters are oil-fired) and fitted with exhaust pipes to draw out exhaust fumes. Electric water heaters do not need any air pipes, what they need, however, is connecting to a power grid.

Technical Details

Before you decide on a water heater, you should ask yourself several questions, how big is your family, why exactly you need a water heater, is it going to be only a backup water source supply or maybe you would need it for regular use? Your own answers will help you choose the right capacity and power of the heater you need. People who live by themselves shouldn't overpay for big water tanks, while if your family is rather big, you wouldn't get along with a tiny water heater. The power should be considered too. It will tell you how quickly the heater can heat the water and how long it would take it to run a new cycle.  

Special Features

Nearly every water heater has certain special features that can provide users with extra convenience. The heater should be equipped with user-friendly controls and convenient inlet and outlet connections. It may also feature an information display on the front. Don't ignore the material; tank water heaters should be made of corrosion-resistant material and feature protective inner layer. This is the only condition you can be sure of great performance and long service life of the chosen heater. 

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Westinghouse WEC080C2X045 High-Efficiency Electric Water Heater

Hot Water Everyday

The WEC080C2X045 water heater made by Westinghouse is, no doubt, one of the best in its class. It represents a wonderful combination of a long service life and an energy-saving technology. The appliance can heat water continuously for a really long time, consuming minimum energy. The heater is designed so that cold water comes directly to the heating element located on the bottom of the tank. As a result, cold water does not mix with hot one. Technical features of the tank are also amazing. The recovery rate is up to 20 gallons of hot water within 1 hour and standby losses are minimized due to 2-inches thick walls of the heater.

Review of Westinghouse WEC080C2X045 High-Efficiency Electric Water Heater

Anti-corrosion Protection

This heater can keep water hot for a long time. To make the tank durable, Westinghouse made it from laser-welded stainless steel. The manufacturer guarantees that this material isn't prone to corrosion and scale and it doesn't require using anode. The exterior of the water heater is also quite nice. It should be mentioned that Westinghouse covers its product with a lifetime warranty if it's used by the original purchaser only for household needs. Taking the high top temperature limit of the heater into account, there's no need to worry about overheating. You can pick a smaller Westinghouse tank water heater; there are two capacities available - 40-gallons and 52-gallons.

Westinghouse WEC080C2X045 High-Efficiency Electric Water Heater in the use

Do You Know?

Westinghouse is famous not only as the manufacturer of top-notch home appliances but also for its immense contribution to the development of the nuclear power industry. The company was founded by George Westinghouse in 1886. After his return from the Civil War, George was employed by maintenance workshops of a large railway company and began his research activities at the same time. In 1866, he started his own business in Pittsburg and opened a railway car repair shop. Soon, he developed automatic air brakes for railway cars and started their production. Those Westinghouse products gained great popularity on the US and European markets. Some time later, Mr. Westinghouse recognized a potential of electricity and invested considerable funds into the production of electric machinery. As a result, his company became the largest producer in the electrical industry with the headquarters in Pittsburg, PA. Today, Westinghouse is engaged in development and design of nuclear power-generating units. It is the world leader in production of pressurized water and boiling water reactors. Three companies share 75% of the world market of nuclear fuel currently and 31% of this share belongs to Westinghouse.

More Products to Consider

The tap water is full of chemicals and can make your skin too dry and itchy. The best way to prevent such troubles is to use a shower filter!

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer


Westinghouse WEC080C2X045 High-Efficiency Electric Water Heater
Westinghouse WEC080C2X045 High-Efficiency Electric Water Heater
 

General Electric GEH50DFEJSR Hybrid Water Heater

Heat Conservation

General Electric water heater has several major functions that make it pretty unique. Due to the 1.6"-thick tank walls, it effectively keeps the warmth inside and has a great heat preservation ratio. This leads to fewer reheat sessions and, therefore, saves your money. The manufacturer claims that this model is up to 70% more efficient than any standard 50-gallon tank heater, saving up to $150-300 per year for an average family of 4. The reason is that the unit boasts a special Hybrid mode in which water is partially heated up by a heat pump, consuming just 550 W - a lot less than most other tank water heaters do.

Review of General Electric GEH50DFEJSR Hybrid Water Heater

Digital Controls

We want to tell you more about the functions and modes of this tank water heater. General Electric GEH50DFEJSR has a small digital display on which you can see a temperature in Fahrenheit or Celsius degrees. Along with the touch buttons, the front panel features an Ethernet port to be used with a special Wi-Fi module (not included) and control heater settings remotely via digital gadgets through a mobile app (download one for Android or iOS devices). This way it's become possible to adjust heater energy consumption from any corner of the world. Someone might consider this feature pretty useless until he's out of the country or left home in a hurry and forgot to switch the heater off. More than that, this app allows for a remote switching between modes. In High-Demand mode, for example, the heater would start heating water at an increased rate, which is handy if you plan to host many visitors. In the Electric mode, the water is heated by anode only whereas the heat pump isn't used at all. The Heat Pump mode is most efficient during warm seasons; needless to mention, this mode is the most power-saving.

So, despite looking like an average basement heater, this 50-gallon hot water tank heater is a truly high-end and modern appliance that has various modes for different situations.

General Electric GEH50DFEJSR Hybrid Water Heater in the use

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Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer


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General Electric GEH50DFEJSR Hybrid Water Heater
General Electric GEH50DFEJSR Hybrid Water Heater
 

Bosch T Electric Mini-Tank Under Sink Water Heater

What Compact Size Hides

Bosch ES8 Tronic 3000 T heater is a compact water heater. It is necessary to mention that despite moderate tank capacity, the heater's capable of providing a continuous flow of warm water and heating a new cycle really fast. Owing to efficient insulation inside the heater, the heater can keep water hot in a long while too. The insulation consists of a thick layer of energy-efficient CFC-free foam, ensuring the appropriate water temperature. The tank interior is glass-lined for extra corrosion resistance and durability. All in all, this great water heater can be used as a main water heating source for a single sink, as a supplement to another bigger heater located far from a sink, or as a buffer appliance installed in-line with a tankless water heater to avoid a cold water flow during frequent use of a faucet. The primary purpose of this heater is to provide users with hot water at the point of heating: for washing dishes, shaving and all other minor household needs. Due to its compact size, the unit can be installed literally in any place: on a rack, on a floor, under a kitchen sink, on a wall, etc.

Review of Bosch T Electric Mini-Tank Under Sink Water Heater

First Success of Bosch

Probably, everyone in the modern world has heard the name Bosch. It's a renowned manufacturer of versatile high-quality equipment and home appliances. Though few people know that the company's founder Robert Bosch started his business in a backyard workshop where originally he repaired typing machines, telephones, photo cameras, and other devices (1886, Stuttgart). The first business success of the company was the development of a low voltage magneto for gas motors. The patented Bosch magneto for automobiles was exactly what the car manufacturer Gottlieb Wilhelm Daimler needed. At that time, his cars were equipped with a hot tube ignition that required some time to start the car. The replacement of the hot tube with the Bosch magneto simplified the work of a mechanic and made the ignition a lot faster. As a result, Daimler and Bosch joined their efforts on designing the ignition system that would later be installed in Daimler automobiles. After two years of work, a new magneto was created. It was so good that the demand for this device grew immensely. By 1901, Bosch had produced over 10 000 magnetos per year. It was the first major success of the company.

Bosch T Electric Mini-Tank Under Sink Water Heater in the use

More Products to Consider

To install a tank water heater, make sure to purchase a valve kit additionally. 

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer


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Bosch 3000T - Instant Mini-Tank Hot Water Heater
Bosch T Electric Mini-Tank Under Sink Water Heater
Bosch T Electric Mini-Tank Under Sink Water Heater
 

A.O. Smith GCG-50 ProMax Tall Gas Water Heater

Smart Water Heater

The A.O. Smith GCG-50 water heater is a gas-fueled appliance. It is necessary to highlight that it features a lot of remarkable functions. This water heater has an internal microprocessor that calculates and automatically sets correct operating parameters for efficient operation of the unit. Equipped with thermopiles, the heater can generate electricity without being connected to a power grid. It has a relatively low emission rate (less than 40 ng/J) despite the fact that it burns gas. The Dynaclean diffuser dip tube is made of PEX cross-linked polymer that prevents the build-up of lime and sediment in the tank. You should be aware of the fact that the appliance is fully compliant with NAECA standards. The gas water heater is equipped with stainless steel core anodes for extra durability, corrosion resistance, and a long service life.

Review of A.O. Smith GCG-50 ProMax Tall Gas Water Heater

History of Water Heaters

The first gas water heaters were used in Germany in 1895. They were sold by Junkers&Co. Actually, they were invented by Hugo Junkers who patented a calorimeter – the device for measuring a calorific value of natural gas in 1892. Initially, a calorimeter was supposed to be used in gas engines. The invention of Hugo Junkers was awarded at the World Exhibition in Chicago. It was a huge success and led to the development of a whole range of boilers - from wall-mounted to free-standing ones. By the way, the name of Junkers is still used by Bosch as one of its sub-brands after the merger of the two companies. Although the first gas heaters were very complex appliances, they became really popular with customers as they heated water in a relatively simple way. At the beginning of the 20th century, gas water heaters were already advanced enough to control the gas burn depending on water pressure.

A.O. Smith GCG-50 ProMax Tall Gas Water Heater in the use

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Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer


A.O. Smith GCG-50 ProMax Tall Gas Water Heater
A.O. Smith GCG-50 ProMax Tall Gas Water Heater
 

Reliance Products Compact Mobile Home Electric Water Heater

'Golden Mean' Water Heater

The Reliance Products 6 20 SOMS K water heater can be called a golden mean among other similar appliances. It does not have a large tank, though the capacity of 19 gallons is sufficient for one person to take a shower, wash dishes, or shave. At the same time, it is relatively small, allowing you to install it in any convenient place. A cold water inlet and a hot water outlet are side-mounted for the ease of installation even in cramped places. We would like to highlight that the process of installation is really simple! Perhaps, it is the perfect option for a small apartment, an RV or a yacht. The heater is very durable and protected from corrosion by the inner glass lining. The anode is used for heating water up. The warranty for residential use amounts to 6 years (on the tank and parts). We have highly appraised the efficiency of the heater; the maximum outlet water temperature is approximately 160 degrees Fahrenheit - a really fantastic result for a tank water heater!

Review of Reliance Products Compact Mobile Home Electric Water Heater

Invention of Electric Water Heaters

The idea to use electricity as a source of heat was developed in Germany at the end of the 19th century. The German company called Allgemeine Elektrizitaets-Gesellschaft patented the invention of Johann Vaillant in 1885. He invented an electric water heater consisting of a tank and a heating element used for boiling water. But this appliance was not that perfect. The tank was not very big and not corrosion-resistant though the electricity consumption was considerably high. In 1924, another German, Doctor Theodor Hermann Friedrich Stiebel, invented the first immersion heater. The first unit had a round rod which was later replaced with a coil. The advantage of coils was obvious - it increased the heating area and reduced the boiling time. This idea was used by the Stiebel Eltron company that started a mass production of home water heaters in the middle of the 20th century.

Reliance Products Compact Mobile Home Electric Water Heater in the use

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Mounting a boiler requires some tools; we think that a screwdrivers set will help you with any task from minor repairs to some complex jobs.

Detailed review of Reliance Products Compact Mobile Home Electric Water Heater

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer


Reliance Products Compact Mobile Home Electric Water Heater
Reliance Products Compact Mobile Home Electric Water Heater
 

Sources:

1. A Plumber's Guide To Hot Water Heaters, HubPages. June 18, 2012.

2. Don Vandervoort Water Heater Troubleshooting & Repairs, HomeTips. September 17, 2016.

3. Your guide to RV water heaters, About. February 29, 2016.

4. Marshall Brain, Sara Eliott How Water Heaters Work, HowSuffWorks.

5. Gas vs. Electric Water Heater, Diffen.

6. SELECTING A NEW WATER HEATER, Energy Saver.

7. Charles W.Bryant How to Choose a New Water HeaterHowStuffWorks.

8. Water Heater Buying GuideLowe's.

9. Choosing a New Water HeaterThe Family Handyman.

10. Donna Boyle Schwartz How To: Choose a Water HeaterBob Vila.