So you’re looking for the best tankless hot water heater?
Then you’ve definitely come to the right place. As an alternative to those bulky, costly and wasteful water tanks, tankless devices are quickly taking the nation by storm.
As opposed to storing unnecessarily large hot water volumes, tankless heaters work by simply heating cold water in a matter of seconds as it passes through – see the difference?
Since you’re here, you’ve probably heard about all the wonderful benefits that these heaters bring into our homes and businesses. In addition to providing us with a continuous supply of hot water, these devices have been known to last longer than the tanked ones.
But that’s not all; a decent device will also save you a sizeable chunk of change on power and gas bills every month.
Sounds impressive, right?
I’m sure you see where we’re going with this. If you’re in the market for a great heater, we’ve done the hard yards and found the top 10 most popular tankless water warmers on the planet.
This particular goes as far as saving you money even as you use it.
Offering high-powered performance, an incredibly high flow rate of about 9.5 GPM and an even higher price range, the Rheem 9.5 GPM Indoor RTGH-95DVLN Tankless Natural Heater is built just for you.
The Rinnai V65EP 6.6 GPM Outdoor Low NOx Tankless Propane is easy to install, compact and even easier to operate.
While the T-KJr2-OS-NG is the smallest unit from Takagi, it scores pretty high when it comes to technology.
The Eccotemp High Capacity FVI-12-NG Tankless Gas Heater will feel right at home in smaller cottages, bungalows, apartments and vacation cabins.
The Rheem 6.4 GPM RTG-64XLN Low NOx not only comes with a generous 6.4 GPM flowing rate, but it also incorporates a ton of eco-friendly features to boot.
How We Tested
By this point, I’m sure you’re wondering who the quack we are and why we qualify to tell you a thing about these tankless heaters. Well, all you really need to know is that our team was reviewing tankless models when your folks were still talking about tanked heaters. Suffice it to say; we know our stuff.
However, we go to great lengths to ensure that all our products are tested and retested to make sure that they do what it says on the box. If anything is amiss, off place or just in the slightest funny looking, our team of reviewers will be all over it like white on rice.
In addition to carrying out our own tests under different climates, environments, altitudes and other factors, we also reach out to long-time consumers of these products. This way, we have an informed idea of what we can expect from our tankless devices in 10 years to come.
C’mon; you didn’t think we went to the future now, did you?
All Types of Tankless Hot Water Heaters
Check this out:
In the end, it’s all about getting the right tool for the right job. Before you shell out your hard earned money for a killer heater, it’s important to understand all the different types of tankless heaters out there.
When you hear the terms gas powered or electric, you should be able to see more than just a power source. Our extensive testing and retesting showed us that there are a whole lot of variables that need to be considered before you decide what type of heating system you’ll be installing.
Enough chit-chat, we’ll have time for all that in the shopping guide below.
But for now, I’m sure you want to see how each of the different types work right?
Yeah, I thought so. And we’re going to start with Mother Nature at her very best.
- Natural Gas Heater
Getting your natural gas might be simple, but the tankless heaters for water are a bit more complicated than that. In a tankless, natural gas powered heater, cold water is drawn directly into the unit where it proceeds through a quick heating process. Basically, the water is passed through a series of burners and heat exchangers where it is warmed to your desired temperatures.
Since natural gas-powered units are able to handle incredibly high volumes of water, they are more than ideal for large homes. They’re also quite familiar with most of us who live in freezing climates all year round. Now, naturally (pun intended), natural gas will always be cheaper than electricity.
So when it comes to both long-term utility perspective and saving money, a gas powered model might just be the best tankless hot models on the market.
But wait; A word of caution for all our esteemed visitors.
As always, every type of tankless devices has its own limitations. For the gas powered units, the biggest drawback is always the upfront cost. This means that a gas powered model is more expensive than electric powered. Furthermore, the fact that these heaters emit fumes means that we’ll have to vent all the emissions outdoors.
Fortunately, most brands already anticipate this issue and take all the right steps to sort it out. If you’re buying a gas or propane powered tankless heater for water, then chances are that they will include a proper venting kit with the purchase.
This way, all we have to do is install the venting system to exhaust fumes either from walls or through the ceiling. That’s definitely a small price to pay for efficient heating capabilities.
- Propane Heaters
Propane powered heaters work pretty much the same way as natural gas-powered models. The cold water is drawn directly into the unit where it then proceeds through a quick heating process. The water is then passed through another series of burners and heat exchangers where it is warmed to your preset temperatures.
However, there are some differences when it comes to how methane and propane burn. These differences are the ones that affect factors like energy efficiency, cost, as well as longevity of the unit. Propane units seem to provide more power and as a result, they offer us some of the highest flow rates on the market.
Some of these models can even hit an impressive 9.5 GPM. However, propane gas is also infamous for its higher levels of emissions. As such, users will need even more ventilation. This means plenty of maintenance and cleaning as compared to the other types of tankless items.
- Electric Heaters
There’s no other way to put it; tankless electric heaters for water are by far the most affordable option. In addition to costing a lot less up front, they don’t require nearly as much maintenance as the other gas-powered models.
However, this does not mean that they skimp out on performance. When it comes to quality and performance, electric heaters can match their propane and natural gas counterparts pound for pound. However, they cannot possibly supply as much power as the other heavyweights.
But here’s the interesting thing.
Aside from the fact that they are cheap to purchase and require virtually no maintenance practices, the tankless electric power models are popular for other reasons. They are smaller and compact enough to install practically anywhere in your home. We’re talking under sinks, in closets, over shelves, or just next to the hot water applications.
However, their smaller size means that they are only suitable for smaller homes that have slightly lower intermittent water needs.
Heater for RV
When it comes to tankless heaters, even recreational vehicles have caught on. After all, you still need hot water in the kitchen and bathroom even while RVing across the countryside. However, you have to consider a couple of factors.
Since your RV has limited space, you obviously want something small and compact. Similarly, you also want to make sure that you get as much venting in there as you can. The fact that RVs are in constant motion helps make exhausting any fumes very easy. Since RVs are also limited when it comes to a power source, you will also have to go with a gas-powered model.
Rinnai Tankless Devices
Allow me to shift your attention to something here real quick; if you’re new to the world of tankless H2O heaters, you’re going to want to go with the simplest, most recommended model.
We’re talking about:
In a world where tankless heaters are getting really complicated, Rinnai comes to the rescue. Much to the relief of many technologically challenged people, one brand has really made its mark to impress us.If you’re in the market for such an item that will just get the job done plain and simple, then check out the Rinnai tankless heaters for water that make work easier, faster and more efficient.
Riddle me this if you will; just exactly how much maintenance does a tankless heater for water need?
And what on earth does their maintenance include?
Don’t worry; we’ll share all this information to help you maintain your unit and get the most out of her.
Basically, tankless heater maintenance entails flushing the unit at least once a year. See, the biggest problem facing most tankless units is a buildup of lime and scale around the heat exchange elements. Not only does this compromise the lifespan your heater, but the lime also causes a severe impact on the efficiency of the entire system.
This often leads to longer burner cycles and a drastically reduced GPM. Flushing the unit helps clear any deposits and keep your heater free from mineral scale deposits and lime buildup.
Since tankless models do not have tanks that deteriorate due to years if storage, they tend to offer long-term reliability. However, each brand offers its own unique warranty policies. Make sure you check your manufacturer’s terms.
Typically, most manufacturers require the product to be serviced or replaced if it was bought from a genuine source.
But here’s what you really ought to know:
Warranties for these types of items are only applicable to the original owner of the product and valid only for the specified period. If in any case the heater was bought from an unauthorized dealer or you have tampered with the factory serial code, then you will not qualify for compensation. So make sure have proof of purchase and have the genuine article when claiming warranties.
How to Choose Tankless Hot Water Heaters
All right! We finally managed to convince you huh?
But before you make that purchase, you still have a couple of factors to hone in on and a few questions to answer.
Think about it; are you buying the heater for your home or a business. And just exactly how much use will you get out of it per day? And can you even afford the damn thing in the long run?
All these and more questions are answered when you consider the following factors when shopping for a tankless warm/hot device.
While some of the most popular electric models are as small as a book or shoe box, others like gas or propane powered models require more room for their valves, burners, and vents.
This means that gas powered units will definitely take up a lot more space than their electric counterparts. Make sure you picture where the heater will go as well as how much space you have available.
This is by far the most important factor to consider when buying a tankless heater for your home. You will have to calculate how many gallons of hot water you need the system to pump out every minute. Similarly, you will want to check up the unit’s BTU and determine if its suitable for you.
Generally, the bigger your house is, the more powerful your heater will have to be. Getting the power requirements right will ensure that your heating system is sufficient for your home or business’s hot water requirements.
Ah yes, the all-important aspect of the budget. In fact, most of us start considering the budget before anything else.
Basically, the more expensive models are usually gas or propane powered. However, that’s just the initial buying cost. They get cheaper as you use them. On the other hand, electric models are super cheap to purchase, but they tend to be more costly in the long run.
- Step 1 – Turn off the main incoming water line to the house.
- Step 2 – Disconnect supply line to old item if you were using a tanked system.
- Step 3 – Disconnect power or heat source from the old heater.
- Step 4 – After removing your tankless heater from the package, determine where you will place it. Make sure you allow for proper clearances to comply with state and local building codes.
- Step 5 – Mount your heater on a wall, under the sink or anywhere appropriate.
- Step 6 – Hook up the connectors; for gas powered units, hook up the ventilation. Electric models just plug in.
- Step 7 – Turn on the water line and let it flow into the heater.
- Step 8 – Hook up and turn on electrical lines for electric models and gas supply lines for gas models.
- Step 9 – Light up the pilot light or switch and enjoy your hot water system with a much-needed shower.
Our Verdict and Recommendations
Congratulations for making it all the way to the end of the journey. We really appreciate taking the time to know your tankless water heaters a little bit better. Hopefully, our guide has made it much easier to narrow down the type of the item you’re looking for, or even managed to teach you something new. We’ve definitely done our part to inform and educate you; the rest is now up to you.
But just one more thing before you go!
We’re yet to announce our champion of the day and why we think this particular heater deserves a standing ovation. After much deliberation with our team of reviewers, we’re proud to announce the Rinnai RL75iN Natural Gas Tankless Water Heater as the best choice for H2O heaters; the undisputed champion on our list.
It’s a well-known fact that Rinnai devices are among the most expensive pieces of equipment, but as always, you tend to get what you paid for. So we can definitely expect very high-quality components and service from this bad boy. But don’t take my word for it – get one for yourself and see what the fuss is all about. Trust us, your family and customers will thank you munificently for it.