What is a point-of-use water heater?
Regardless of how efficient your house’s main water heater is, there is always that one spot in the house where the water simply refuses to flow at the right temperature from the very start.
You may get warm water when the sink is close to the heater. However, if you want to take a shower while someone else is washing the dishes, you might have to face the Arctic waters before the temperature is finally warm enough.
But what if we told you that you could get warm water instantly, without flushing gallons of water down the drain first? You could easily do that with an under the sink (also known as point-of-use) tankless water heater.
Top Point-of-Use Water Heaters to Consider
Purchasing the best point-of-use water heater, no matter if it’s for the sink or the shower (or anywhere else you might want to install it), is a significant investment for your home. You need to choose one that is reliable and that will be able to support the demands of your home.
Having said that, we have compiled a list of the most popular products in this category. Depending on your preferences, your home requirements – and also your budget – you may want to choose one of these products. You will see a range of sizes so that you can determine which one would best suit you. Also, when you follow the links, most of them have other sizes in the same line-up, if you determine that a water heater that is bigger or smaller would better meet your needs.
|Bosch Electric Mini Tank WaterHeater Tronic 3000 T 4-Gallon||13.75″ X 13.75″ X 13.5″||17.4 lbs|
|Thermoflow UT10 2.6 GallonsElectric Mini Tank Water Heater||18″ X 12.2″ X 11″||14 lbs|
|Camplux ME25 Mini Tank ElectricWater Heater||11.75″ X 17.25″ X 10.38″||20 lbs|
|Ecosmart ECO 8 Electric TanklessWater Heater||12″ X 9.5″ X 4″||4.75 lbs
|Ecosmart ECO 8 Electric TanklessWater Heater||4.6″ X 16.6″ X 14.5″||20 lbs
Best Point-of-Use Tankless Water Heaters (2020)
- 6.8 GPH recovery rate
- 150 psi water pressure range
- 65-145 degrees Fahrenheit temperature range
- 12 amps, 120 volts requirements
- 4-gallon tank volume
- Electric water heater
If you are looking for a good, small water heater that you can install exactly where you want, then the Bosch Tronic water heater is exactly what you may need. It does have a tank, indeed – but it draws enough water so that you can take a quick shower or wash a few dishes. However, it is more appropriate for a sink – particularly if you are fond of long showers.
Considering that it is relatively compact and lightweight, this mini water heater may be installed wherever you like. You can mount it to a wall, place it on a shelf – or simply leave it on the floor. Regardless of where you decide to place it, it will always be easy to carry it from one place to another.
Having in mind the price that you pay for it, this product knows how to do its job pretty well. For one, this unit features CFC-free foam insulation that will allow you to save on energy. This way, water that has already been warmed will not drop in temperature anytime soon – and the heater will not be wasting precious resources to heat it up once more.
Furthermore, the tank has been glass-lined to increase its durability. This way, you will not need to have the unit replaced anytime soon, as it will last through the test of time.
The unit itself is very easy to install. There are not any complicated pipes that need to be connected – and considering that it is an electric unit, all you have to do is connect it to the sink and an electricity source. Once you have done that, the unit will do the rest.
- Tank capacity of 2.6 gallons
- 15AMP double pole breaker
- 2.6 GPM
- Thermostop function
- EPS foaming technology
- Electric water heater
If you want to significantly minimize the waiting time for the hot water, then you will certainly appreciate this model from Thermoflow. Featuring a mini tank that can heat up to 2.6 gallons of water, this unit may not be enough to be a home’s entire water heating system – but it will be perfect if you just need a particular sink to get warm water faster.
Featuring a thermostat, you can choose precisely what temperature is more comfortable for you. This way, no matter if you want a lukewarm 45 degrees Fahrenheit temperature or a hotter 167 degrees, you can choose anywhere between the two. Plus, you also have an energy-saving mode, as well as a frost protection one, making this small unit suitable for every season.
Featuring an active protection circuit called Thermostop, this unit is not only easily installed, but safe to operate as well. This circuit will prevent the water from overheating, stopping at a temperature that is just right for your preferences.
- 2.5 gallon water capacity
- Thermostat function
- Freeze protection
- 150 PSI water pressure range
- 50-140 degrees Fahrenheit temperature range
- 12A amp capacity and 120V voltage
- Floor-mounted or wall-mounted
- Electric water heater
With the capacity to store up to 2.5 gallons of water, this unit is perfect if you have a wet bar in the basement, a sink in the garage – or simply a sink in your home that does not get warm water fast enough.
Since the warm water is stored within the tank, this unit will provide it instantly – and therefore, you will not have to waste time waiting for the warm water to come.
The installation of this unit is very quick and straightforward. All you have to do is tap it into the water line and then install it directly into the sink. There will be no need for any costly recirculation, making it a fine investment if you are on a budget.
If you are picky about the water temperature, then you may control it with the external dial. This way, you may choose any temperature you want between 50 degrees and 140 degrees Fahrenheit. Bear in mind that the higher the temperature, the more it can cost you on the monthly utility bill.
This small heater also comes with a freeze-protect feature, as well as a thermostat function. This way, you will be able to control the initial temperature of the water, but it will also remain protected in cold weather. This is a great option if the water heater is installed in cold places, such as a patio or the garage.
Being relatively compact, the Campulux is perfect for small places. Like most units of this type, you may easily install it on the sink or screw it on the wall of your bathroom – for the shower. Its compact size not only allows you to easily transport it from one place to another but also makes it perfect for small places that do not have a lot of room to spare.
- Electric water heater
- Tankless design
- 240V voltage and 8000 watts
- 1-degree increments
- Copper and stainless-steel components
If you are looking for a good tankless water heater to give you a “kick” in the shower or for an extra sink, then you might want to consider this small model. Being very small in size, this is perfect for every modern home that lacks the space. So, you can easily install this model under the sink – but you may also put it in plain view, on a wall. It looks modern enough to blend in with every design, and it’s also small enough to allow you moving space.
Its digital temperature control allows you to choose the desired temperature – with 1-degree increments. This way, you will ensure that the temperature is just right for your preferences and that it is not too hot, nor too cold.
At just a bit under 5 pounds, this unit is quite lightweight – and can be easily carried wherever you wish to take it. Granted, you must connect to the water line again, but at least you will not have to mess with any gas lines. All you have to do is to place it where you want it and plug it in.
Featuring copper and stainless components, the water tank is very efficient and durable. You may also easily replace the components that have malfunctioned. Adding the lifetime warranty in the mix as well will make this heater a lifelong investment for your home.
- Energy-saving mode with auto-modulation
- Heating chambers made from solid copper
- Digital temperature display
- Continuous flow of hot water
- 0.50 GPM minimum flow to activate the unit
- Electric water heater
If you are looking for something that is both small and efficient, then this model is certainly something that you may want to consider. Being designed for reliability and comfort, you can install this unit anywhere – no matter if it is under the sink, on a shelf, or wherever you have space.
This unit is very easy to use, as its digital display is intuitive to control. This way, you should be able to choose exactly how warm you want the water to be – and likewise, prevent it from being too hot.
Considering that this unit is tankless, the water provided is unlimited. You do not have to wait on the water being warmed inside a tank – and this will also allow you to save on space. Its advanced Flow Control will ensure that the temperature stays constant – therefore removing any potential “cold spots.”
Installation is fairly intuitive and easy – and while it might not be the cheapest option out there, it is certainly a quality option. Plus, with its continuous demand for water, you can supply more than one sink or shower and you will yet have to hear about running out of hot water. The only true downfall of this water heater is the price, as it is the by far the most expensive of all of the point-of-use water heaters reviewed here.
Who Needs a Point of Use Tankless Water Heater?
Simply put, anyone who has “cold spots” in the house could get a point of use water heater. For example, if you’ve had two showers and your water heater installed for a while, you probably realized that the second shower takes some time to warm up.
One of them is a heavenly bliss when you step in, and the second feels like hell froze over – or never actually warmed up. As a result, you end up wasting gallons of water just so you don’t freeze yourself to death. Not only is this bad for the environment, but it’s bad for your budget as well.
A point of use water heater will do just that: warm up the water from that specific point in the house. It can instantly warm the water from a sink, or a particular shower that you have installed in a house. It is the perfect thing for those that need a “boost,” and do not want to wait until the warm water travels through the whole system.
How Point-of-Use Tankless Water Heaters Work
With a typical whole-house water heating system, cold water is drawn into the unit once you turn on the tap. That water is heated within the water heater by a gas burner or an electric heating element – and then the water is sent back into the pipes.
In this case, the water itself will not run out. But the actual flow of hot water may be limited. This is why you might have hot water in the kitchen – but if your spouse uses it to wash the dishes, you might be forced into a surprise Ice Bucket Challenge.
A tankless point-of-use water heater should be able to deliver 2-5 gallons of hot water per minute. A model that is fired by gas will generally have a higher flow rate compared to an electric heater.
The Advantages and Disadvantages of Point of Use Water Heaters
There are several perks and drawbacks to point of use water heaters – but let us start with the good things first. For example, if you live in a home that has a particularly distant sink that takes a long time to receive warm water, then you might benefit from such a device.
It takes a lot of energy to warm up that water as well – and by the time it reaches that point of your home, you might have realized that you wasted a lot of energy on just waiting. It might not seem like much at first – but when you calculate in the long run, it is a lot of wasted money on unnecessary bills.
These point of use tankless water heaters can also be installed in places where your tank-type water heater cannot reach. For example, if your main water heater works on gas, the pipes might not always be present in every room. So, if your showers are not warm enough and there is no option to install a gas-based water heater in your bathroom, the electric alternative is the way to go.
These units are also very useful when it comes to larger buildings. Instead of putting one large heater with a tank, contractors might opt for multiple small tankless units placed at the right points. As a result, water delivery time is minimized efficiently, and you have a steady flow of hot water.
The water pressure is also improved when you want steady water pressure. Most of the time, when someone is using the water from the utility closest to the main heater, the pressure drops by the time it reaches you. The temperature might remain the same – but when the pressure is lower, the feeling may not be as satisfying.
If installed correctly, the point of use water heater can save a great deal of money. Also, considering that you can adjust the temperature, you will save on both energy and comfort. Plus, since they are relatively small in size, you will save a lot of space.
The only disadvantage is that these water heaters are not a great choice for applications that have a high demand for water. Moreover, they generally have a smaller heating capacity, so you will not be able to heat water for more than one (or two at the most) units.
To sum it up for you, here is a short table of the pros and cons:
Gas vs. Electric Point-of-Use Tankless Water Heaters
When shopping for point-of-use water heaters, most people will opt for the electric heater for more than one reason. As mentioned, not everyone has gas lines in every room. So, in these circumstances, an electric water heater might prove to be a far more convenient choice compared to a gas one.
Moreover, even if you do have the gas lines, an electric water heater might still be a far more flexible choice. This is because you can move the heater from one place to another, only requiring an electric socket near the unit.
However, if you are still torn between purchasing an electric heater and a gas heater, here is a comparison between these two:
- Initial Cost
When it comes to buying a tankless point of use water heater, the electric model costs much less compared to a gas unit. A gas water heater could cost over $1,000 (without including the installation costs, a tankless water heater will have you paying only around $150-$600.
Installing a gas water heater will require a lot of things, from complex venting to specific combustion air supply requirements. Plus, considering that not all existing venting ducts and gas lines can be used, you may have to make several modifications to your house.
More often than not, a gas water heater will cost more to install compared to an electric model. The only time when a gas point of use water heater is a more suitable option is if you do not have a power socket nearby – which is rarely the case.
- Energy Efficiency
Generally speaking, electric tankless water heaters are more energy efficient compared to their gas counterparts. The only thing that might make this different is if the gas supply in an area is much cheaper compared to electricity – but most of the time, this is not the case.
- Maintenance and Service Life
Generally speaking, an electric heater will require little maintenance compared to a gas water heater – if any maintenance at all. Plus, considering that gas heaters generally need maintenance from a trained professional, they might be more troublesome in the event that they malfunction.
Thanks to its simplicity in design and little maintenance requirements, an electric water heater will also tend to last for a much longer time.
To put it plainly, an electric tankless water heater is the most convenient choice. However, if you need it installed in a place where electricity supply is a problem, then a gas model may be a far more sensible choice.
Finding the best under the sink/point of use tankless water heater may take a little work, but hopefully our recommendations help. You may even decide that getting multiple small ones just for your showers is the way to go. What we do know at this point is that the electric models are much more popular – particularly in the big city.
No matter if you go for a tank or a tankless option, the flow of water should always be at a constant temperature. With this type of water heater, you will no longer have to wait on the main unit to warm up the water and deliver it to you. Now that you have instant hot water, you may want to upgrade your showerhead to fully transform and add to the bliss that a nice, hot shower can provide!