Tankless Water Heaters are a smart, energy-efficient answer to your water heating needs. Whether it’s while camping or for use at home, the best tankless water heater can save you money as well as negating the need for the bulky, giant water heaters of the past, which simply aren’t an option for everyone. Some tankless water heaters even feature battery power so even those off-grid can take advantage of their usefulness.
The benefits of buying a better tankless water heater
Jump to right section
- 1 The benefits of buying a better tankless water heater
- 2 What to look for when buying a tankless water heater
- 3 Tankless water heater reviews
- 3.1 Eccotemp L5 Portable Tankless Water Heater and Outdoor Shower
- 3.2 EcoSmart ECO 27 Electric Tankless Water Heater
- 3.3 Stiebel Eltron Tempra 24 Plus Electric Tankless Whole House Water Heater
- 3.4 SioGreen IR260 Point of Use Infrared Electric Hot Tankless Water Heater
- 3.5 Westinghouse Residential High Efficiency Electric Water Heater 52 gallons
- 3.6 Conclusion
The obvious benefit to buying a better tankless water heater is that it heats your water, but without the need for the tanks that are traditionally associated with water heaters. But there’s a bit more to it than that. Because there is no tank, tankless water heaters are an option for people who don’t have the space for water heaters, for one thing. Also, tankless water heaters feature many energy-saving technologies that just aren’t possible for traditional water heaters.
A big reason people opt for tankless water heaters over their traditional counterparts is energy efficiency. Because of the way traditional water heaters work, they’re just not that efficient. Tankless water heaters, on the other hand, heat your water only when you need heated water. Their on-demand functionality ensures that you never have a surplus of hot water you don’t need, running up your bill.
Additionally, because of the way on-demand tankless water heaters work, there may be extra benefits for those living in colder parts of the country, which can make the energy efficiency and the cost savings tankless water heaters provide even more worthwhile.
Some tankless water heaters are battery-powered. While most are electric, the battery-powered options are great for campers and people living off-grid who don’t have access to or don’t want to use electricity, meaning hot water is now a possibility for a whole new subset of people who just didn’t have that option before battery-powered tankless water heaters. And on that note, many of the battery-powered options are also compact and super-portable, because they’re made with camping and outdoor use in mind.
Also for campers in mind, some tankless water heaters have features that allow them to double as an outdoor shower, which is a big benefit you could never have with a traditional water heater.
What to look for when buying a tankless water heater
Some tankless water heaters are electric and others are battery-powered. Electrical options have the benefit of being great for home use while battery-powered are ideal for camping or off-grid lifestyles. Which type you choose should be based on your needs and intended usages.
Another thing to look for when shopping for tankless water heaters is how much hot water they yield. This varies greatly, so it’s important to check it out, because if you intend to use the tankless water heater for showering, whether indirectly as you would use a traditional water heater or directly as an outdoor showering apparatus, it’s important to know whether there will be enough hot water to meet your needs.
On that note, temperature range is important. Ideally, a tankless water heater should have a thermostat that you can set so that the temperature range you need is easily achieved and adjustable as your needs vary throughout the year. This aspect benefits both your utility bill and safety concerns that are common to all water heaters of every type.
Thing about durability. A tankless water heater isn’t worth its salt if it’s going to fizzle out on you in a couple of months. Go for models made out of durable components like stainless steel, which prevents corrosion, a common cause of water heater malfunction in general.
Tips on how to choose the best tankless water heater for your needs
There are a few things to keep in mind in order to find the best tankless water heater for your needs. Consider the following:
- Choose a battery-powered or electric tankless water heater based on your needs and intended uses.
- If you’re going to be camping, or if you live off-grid, consider a model that has a shower feature so your water heater can double directly as an outdoor shower.
- Look at the specs and ensure the model you’re interested in can yield enough hot water to meet your needs.
- Look for models with a thermostat and/or temperature controls. This lets you know how hot your heater is running and easily allows you to adjust the temperature for safety or economic reasons.
- Remember that durability is important or you could end up spending more money than you save.
Tankless water heater reviews
Eccotemp L5 Portable Tankless Water Heater and Outdoor Shower
Key Features of Eccotemp L5 Portable Tankless Water Heater and Outdoor Shower
Ideal for off-grid use
The Eccotemp L5 Portable Tankless Water Heater and Outdoor Shower functions entirely without electricity, featuring an ignition powered by two, 3V D-cell batteries and running on propane. Without the need for electricity, this tankless water heater is ideal for off-the-grid usage and pretty much any outdoor application.
Great for showers
A must-have camping accessory, the L5 Portable Tankless Water Heater is capable of putting out more than a gallon per minute of hot water and comes with a showerhead nozzle attachment with multiple settings, making it great for showering outdoors. The temperature range is from 80F to 150F, so even finicky campers will be pleased by the shower feature’s capabilities.
Easy to use
Everything you need to set up and operated the Eccotemp L5 is included with purchase. Setup is simple, merely requiring connection to a garden hose and a propane tank.
Not only does the Eccotemp L5 function as a water heater and shower, you can take it anywhere you need hot water outdoors. It’s great for washing cars in cold weather or washing animals like horses, who shouldn’t have to put up with an ice-cold shower and a cool autumn’s morning. Additionally, you can also hook up the heater to a pressure washer, which ups its versatility and allows you to pressure wash for applications you may normally not due when cold water is traditionally involved.
At 13lbs, the Eccotemp is lightweight and portable with compact dimensions of 16.5” x 11.5” x 5.5”. Because it’s small yet powerful, packing it for a trip isn’t a chore at all.
What to like about the Eccotemp L5 Portable Tankless Water Heater and Outdoor Shower:
- 1-year limited manufacturer warranty
- Lightweight and portable
- Battery ignition
- No electricity required—perfect for off-grid use
- Ideal for showers with a multi-setting shower nozzle attachment
- Easy setup, only requiring a garden hose and propane tank—all other components are included
- 80F to 150F temperature range
What to consider:
- The required water pressure range is 20PSI to 100PSI. While for most this won’t be an issue, not exceeding the recommended 100PSI may be difficult for some who’ve hooked up the heater to a high-pressure hose.
- Like all propane-powered equipment, it must be stored away from fire and heat sources, which means it’s necessary to think ahead and not put it anywhere near campfires or lanterns. That said, this is only a minor annoyance but worth mentioning.
EcoSmart ECO 27 Electric Tankless Water Heater
Key of Features EcoSmart ECO 27 Electric Tankless Water Heater
Robust temperature range
The EcoSmart Eco 27 Electric Tankless Water Heater features a heated water temperature range of 80F to 140F, which more than suits the needs for most homeowners and campers alike.
Twice as effective and efficient in warmer climates
The ECO 27 is primed for usage in the Northern United States where underground water temperatures can be as low as 37F in the wintertime, and it’s made to be an economical option for those in that region. However, in the Southern United States, where underground water temperatures are sometimes twice that of temperatures in the north, the ECO 27 is touted to be twice as economic and efficient, with the capability to produce up to 6 gallons of hot water per minute, as opposed to the 3 gallons per minute in northern climes.
Lightweight and portable
The ECO 27’s dimensions are 17″ x 17″ x 3.75″ and it weighs a featherlight 13.75lbs, meaning most will be able to transport it single-handedly; additionally, it’s lightweight makes it a great option for families that move a lot or campers.
The ECO 27 gets its name from the 27kW, 240V power requirement it has. While electricity-powered options aren’t ideal for off-grid living, the electricity-powered ECO 27 makes a lot of sense for use in homes with electricity, because there’s no need for a cumbersome propane tank.
Digital temperature controls
The ECO 27’s temperature controls are digitally displayed. Temperature can be set in increments of 1 degree Fahrenheit for ultimate customization.
What to like about the EcoSmart ECO 27 Electric Tankless Water Heater:
- Lifetime warranty
- Sleek, modern appearance
- Touted for the ability to save up to 50% on energy costs
- Perfect for homes or for campsites that have electricity
- Digital temperature controls set to 1 degree Fahrenheit increments
- Copper and stainless-steel components
- Components are easy to replace
- Compact and lightweight at 13.75lbs
- Double efficiency in warmer climates
What to consider:
- This tankless water heater requires electricity, so if you’re off-grid or camping at a rural campsite with no access to electricity, this isn’t an option. That said, its electricity requirements won’t be a problem if your campsite has electricity, providing you meet the 27kW, 240V requirements.
- Some in the north have opined it’s not powerful enough to work in the wintertime. That said, if you live outside of the coldest extremes of the Northern US, this won’t really apply to you as underground water temperature is about twice as warm for the rest of the country.
Key of Features Stiebel Eltron Tempra 24 Plus Electric Tankless Whole House Water Heater
The Stiebel Eltron Tempra’s efficiency is touted for the ability to save the homeowner anywhere from 15% to 20% energy costs, saving you money on your electricity bill.
Easy to install
Being electric, the Tempra is easy to install in any home and doesn’t require venting.
The sleek design and small dimensions (21.5 x 19.5 x 8.8 inches), combined with the vent-free requirement means it’s easy to install anywhere.
Digital temperature controls
The temperature controls are displayed digitally with easy-to-read clarity.
What to like about the Stiebel Eltron Tempra 24 Plus Electric Tankless Whole House Water Heater:
- 3-year limited warranty (if the Tempra is installed by licensed personnel)
- Compact and lightweight
- Easy to use
- Easy to install
- Cost saving: Saves 15%-20% on energy costs
- Digital temperature controls and display
- Certified frustration-free
What to consider:
- People have reported paying $1000 for professional installers due to the difficulty of installation.
- It should be noted that installing the Tempra yourself negates the 3-year limited warranty by ignoring the essential requirement of professional and licensed installation.
SioGreen IR260 Point of Use Infrared Electric Hot Tankless Water Heater
Key of Features SioGreen IR260 Point of Use Infrared Electric Hot Tankless Water Heater
Infrared Tankless Water Heater
The SioGreen IR260’s standout feature is, hands down, its use of quartz infrared energy to heat the hot water. Without heater coils, the heated water never comes into contact with metal components.
Noncorrosive, no buildup
Because metal doesn’t come into contact with the water, there’s no chance of corrosion and things like lime scale and calcium buildup are just not a problem. Additionally, because there’s no water collecting in the bottom of the tank, you’re unlikely to have any issues with algae or bacteria building up as well.
The IR260 only heats water when there is an immediate demand for it. It doesn’t store hot water, so the only energy expended is energy on hot water you actually end up using, making it a very energy efficient option.
At just 5lbs, the SioGreen IR260 is one of the smallest tankless water heaters on the market.
What to like about the SioGreen IR260 Point of Use Infrared Electric Hot Tankless Water Heater:
- Energy-efficient and cost-saving: Only heats water on demand
- Quartz infrared energy-powered—metal doesn’t touch water
- Certified frustration-free
What to consider:
- The manufacturer explicitly states that the IR260 shouldn’t be used with showers, and that it’s intended for sinks and outdoor faucets.
- Furthermore, they state they aren’t responsible for efficiency when the incoming water is below 72F.
Westinghouse Residential High Efficiency Electric Water Heater 52 gallons
Key Features Westinghouse Residential High Efficiency Electric Water Heater 52 gallons
Stainless steel tank
The laser-welded 316L water heater tank is made from stainless-steel, which is resistant to corrosion. Because you don’t have to worry about rust, you don’t have to worry about tank failure as a result of that. Plus, the stainless-steel tank is designed to be durable enough for a lifetime’s worth of use.
One of the features that makes the Westinghouse offering practical for residential use is its fast recovery time. At 90 degrees Fahrenheit, recovery is 20GPH.
Designed with energy efficiency in mind, the Westinghouse 52-gallon Residential High Efficiency Electric Water heater boasts a thermal efficiency of 98% with only 0.57% standby loss per hour. These energy efficient traits ensure you save money on your utility bills.
The water heater is designed so that cold water goes to the heating element at the bottom of the tank. This means that cold water doesn’t get a chance to mix with hot water, which further boosts efficiency as well as the long hot water draw times this model affords.
Compact and robust
The Westinghouse Residential High Efficiency Electric Water Heater is a compact tankless water heater option while still offering a respectable 84 gallons of first hour delivery.
What to like about the Westinghouse Residential High Efficiency Electric Water Heater 52 gallons:
- Limited lifetime warranty (if you register online)
- Adjustable thermostat with max temperature settings for safety
- Energy efficient: 98% thermal efficiency
- Fast recovery: 20GPH for 90 degrees Fahrenheit
- Durable construction intended for decades of use
- Laser-welded tank
- Stainless steel, noncorrosive tank doesn’t rust
- Does NOT require anode rods
- Easy to set up
What to consider:
- The issue with the Westinghouse Residential High-Efficiency Electrical Water Heater is the heating element, which people complain burns up in as few as 3 to 6 months of use. It’s unclear if this is a design flaw or a problem with user installation or other factors; that said, if you properly register the tank, it does have a lifetime warranty, so it should be replaced or refunded if that issue arises.
There are a lot of affordable and efficient tankless water heaters on the market today, but there can only be one winner of the roundup for best tankless water heater which is the Eccotemp L5 Portable Tankless Water Heater and Outdoor Shower. The most important reason the Eccotemp L5 wins is its reliability. And in the rare times that problems do occur, they’re not catastrophic, unlike some of the other models out there.
Additionally, the Eccotemp L5 is also unique in that it doesn’t require electricity. The ability to use the L5 off-grid is a huge boon to campers and outdoor enthusiasts who need a reliable, robust tankless water heater to suit their electricity-free needs. Finally, the shower nozzle attachment is a great addition to the Eccotemp’s already great qualities, providing further benefits to those in the great outdoors that simply can’t be beat by competitors.