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Hot water is essential to your comfort, especially if you live in colder areas. A nice hot shower or rinse of your face in the morning can help you relax. With all the different water tanks on the market, it can be hard to distinguish between the different types and features. Water tanks can make up a large percentage of your bills so it is important to choose the best one to fit your needs. Most people overlook the importance of choosing a quality water heater since it can get a bit complicated. In this guide we help to break down some of the nitty-gritty details to wash away some of the confusion.
Things to Consider Before Buying
Size and Capacity
The size and capacity of the water tank are important to consider. There are ones that can equip your whole home and others that are more suitable for individual faucet use. Typical tank water heaters have a wide range, anywhere from 4 gallons to over 100 gallons. This usually depends on how many people live in the home and how much water is used.
This rating is the number of gallons the heater can deliver in one hour. There are tools to help you calculate this depending on the size of your home. It also helps to save energy and money over time. This rating is essentially the tank’s efficiency.
Remember, you need to be able to install your water heater so it is important to check the size of the new water heater you want to buy since it will not always fit in the same spot. Since water heaters do not need to be replaced that often; when it comes time to change it, there are new models. Companies are making changes to efficiency and insulation, which may change the sizing.
Additionally, if you are replacing a tankless water heater with a storage tank-type water heater, there is going to be a large change in space requirements.
Gas vs. Electric
This refers to how the water heater is powered. It usually depends on what type your home offers. You can opt to switch the type; however, the installation to switch water heater types can run up to over $1000. In most cases, people just choose to go with whichever their home offers. To help you decide which one is best for you, we break down the two different types.
Gas water heaters use natural gas, and when the water starts to heat up, it rises to the top and comes out of the faucet. Electric water heaters are the same, except it uses electricity to heat up. In the United States, electricity usually costs more than natural gas, so this is important to consider. Gas water heaters usually have a higher upfront cost and can also be hard to install by yourself. It is important to note that electricity goes out more often than gas would. This means that your hot water could be interrupted if the electricity goes out. The dangers of the gas alternative are water heater explosions, but in this day and age, it is very unlikely to occur. Both gas and electric water heaters are rated by the amount of power used to heat the water in the tank.
Point-of-Use Electric Mini-Tank Water Heaters
This is a type of water heater that is used for single applications such as a sink, extra rooms, or even small apartments. The hot water is usually located near the faucet, so the most important factors are the flow rate and tank size. The small tank heats the water to a set temperature until you are ready to use it. Note that these have a limited capacity and should not be used in large quantities. They also work much quicker than traditional water heaters since the tank is small and heats up quickly. They typically range anywhere from 2-7 gallons.
Features to Look Out For
- Warranty- Water heaters are not cheap, so you want to look for one with a quality warranty program. The last thing you want is for your tank to start leaking, and you need to purchase a brand new one. The longest warranty is best, but these are often a bit pricier.
- Brass vs. Plastic Valves- Higher quality valves are more durable and require less maintenance and replacing. Plastic valves help to reduce the price of the unit, but they break much more easily.
- Safety- Especially if you choose a gas water heater, the safety of the product is important. If not, there are risks of a gas leak, and lead to a serious accident. Many water heaters come with improved safety functions so be sure to look out for these.
- Energy Efficient- This is essential in keeping your bills down. High energy-efficient heaters use less energy and are available for gas models. Typical higher-priced units will give you better efficiency.
Our Top Choices for Tank Water Heaters
Now that you know what to look for when choosing a new tank water heater, we list out some of our favorites to help you narrow down your choice.
|Top||Ariston Andris 8 Gallon 6 Year 120-Volt Point of Use Mini-Tank Electric Water Heater||Prime||Check Current Price|
|Top||Stiebel Eltron 233219 2.5 gallon, 1300W, 120V SHC 2.5 Mini-Tank Electric Water Heater||Prime||Check Current Price|
|Top||Bosch Electric Mini-Tank Water Heater Tronic 3000 T 4-Gallon (ES4) - Eliminate Time for Hot Water - Shelf, Wall or Floor Mounted||Prime||Check Current Price|
|Top||Camplux ME25 Mini Tank Electric Water Heater 2.5-Gallon with Cord Plug,1.5kW at 120 Volts||Prime||Check Current Price|
|Top||Ecosmart ECO MINI 2.5 2.5-Gallon 120V Electric Mini Tank Water Heater||Prime||Check Current Price|
The Ariston Andris tank water heater has an 8-gallon capacity, which is on the higher end of mini water heaters. It provides instant hot water use, which can be wall or floor mounted. It comes with brackets and rubber feet for easy installation. Since this is a small unit and it is electric, it is easy to install on your own. It is extremely powerful, yet it has a compact size that can fit almost anywhere. The tank features a durable titanium glass-lined tank to reduce corrosion and extend the life of the system. This versatile system can be used as a single-use heater or a booster to your existing unit.
- High capacity tank for larger use
- Glass-lined tank for extended life
- Instant hot water usage
- Can be difficult to install for new users
- Can be too big to fit in cabinets
This mini water heater has a capacity of 2.5 gallons and plugs into any standard outlet for versatile use. It is made to be wall-mounted and comes with an included bracket. This unit is also glass-lined to help with quicker recovery of hot water. The small size makes it perfect to use anywhere. It comes with high-quality insulation that delivers hot water instantly. They work great for sinks or even kitchen applications but may be too small for apartments.
- Small capacity makes it easy to install
- Glass-lined for increased durability
- High-quality insulation for quick heat up
- Can be too small for some users
- Made more for wall mount usage
The Bosch water heater has a 4-gallon capacity and is able to be mounted on any surface. It also plugs into any standard outlet and the easy installation can be done by anyone. The 4-gallon capacity is a great in-between option for mini water heater users. It is not too large to fit in tight spaces, but also provides an adequate amount of hot water. It is glass-lined and foam insulated to give you instant hot water. The simple and sleek design of the unit lets it blend in seamlessly with your decor.
- Easy installation and has a long cord
- Supplies up to two sinks at a time
- Sleek design that blends in
- Descaling is required for maintenance
- Temperature range is broad
The Camplux mini water heater has a lower capacity of 2.5 gallons. A great feature of this product is easy temperature control. The front of the system has a know that easily sets the temperature you need. It also features a built-in insulation foam that reduces the heat lost and provides you hot water instantly. This water heater also comes with a safe thermostat control, which protects from overheating.
- Easily mounts to different surfaces
- High-efficiency heating element
- Overheating protection
- Low capacity not for everyone
- Dimensions do not include the valve and stubs
The Ecosmart mini water heater also has a capacity of 2.5 gallons and fits in most spaces. It comes with a 6-year limited warranty, which is higher than most. This is a quality product that has a sleek design that can blend in with your space. This water heater has a 99.8% energy efficiency, which helps to decrease your bills. The small capacity is most optimal for under the sink usage or for a single kitchen appliance. The simple design makes it easy to use and adjust.
- Compact size fits in most places
- Easy plugin and adjusting
- High efficiency
- Can be difficult to install different parts
- Flow rate is restrictive
Mini Water Tank heaters are great in helping you reduce your energy usage. Especially for smaller appliances, a traditional water heater is not necessary. With this option, you can get hot water instantly. When choosing a tank water heater, be sure to decide what capacity you need. With all the different options on the market, you are sure to find the one best for you.