Water Heater Brands Compared

Introduction

Let’s face it: few things are as important as having a great water heater. Unless, that is, you don’t mind feeling like you’re taking a shower with just melted arctic ice. Choosing a quality water heater from a trusted brand can go a long way to making sure your household is properly heated.

Still, it can be difficult deciding which water heater is right for your home. Which one will give you those burning showers you love, and which ones will give out halfway through, leaving you to fend for yourself against a torrent of icy daggers?

When it’s time to choose a water heater for your home or business, you need a name you can trust. Don’t take the risk of being left out in the cold. Below, we’ll share our research on popular water heater brands so that you can make the most informed decision when it comes buying time. Keep in mind, that just because the overall brand reputation for a company is positive or negative, it doesn’t mean that all of their products are amazing or defective. 

Throughout our site, you will see recommendations for water heaters that represent all of the brands we have reviewed, based upon the individual product attributes, as opposed to brand.  However, we have been getting a lot of questions about specific brand names (vs. products), so we decided to give an overview of each, for those who are more brand sensitive. These brands include Rinnai, Rheem, Bosch, Takagi, Stiebel Eltron, and EcoSmart.

Brand Reputation & Warranty

Let’s be honest: water heaters aren’t cheap. The value they can bring to your home or business, however, is undeniable.

Picture this: Your old water heater has gone out, and it’s time to get a new one. And fast. Neither you nor your children particularly like washing your hands in icy water in the dead of winter. And let’s not even get started on cold showers.

The truth is that unless you’re Jack Frost, freezing probably isn’t on your bucket list. That’s why it’s important to get a brand you can rely on. There’s nothing worse than buying a new water heater only for your shower to turn artic-level cold in a matter of minutes.

If your water heater has you feeling like an Eskimo, don’t worry. There are several quality brands available.

So how do you know which ones to trust? Let’s take a look at each brand in turn:

Rinnai

There’s perhaps no tankless water heater brand more renowned than Rinnai.

This top-quality brand has earned one of the best reputations in the industry. Perhaps the most-trusted brand in the industry, Rinnai is a favorite of home and business owners everywhere. So what does this mean for you?

Rinnai has earned its reputation as one of the most-trusted names in the industry with a selection of tankless gas water heaters. Rinnai’s most popular options provide optimal heating for both houses and businesses.  If you’re prepping to bring your igloo into the 21st century, Rinnai is a name you can trust, however, these water heaters don’t come cheap

Warranties range by product, but for some, the company warrants six year leak-free service from your commercial heat exchangers and storage tanks. The company warrants five year replacement for all internal parts outside of the heat exchanger and storage tanks.

A couple of Rinnai’s most popular water heaters include:

Rinnai RUC98iN Gas Tankless

Rinnai V75IN 7.5 GPM Gas Tankless Check out our review for this one here.

Rheem

Rheem is one of the most popular water heater providers in the world—but does their reputation hold up? It depends on who you ask. While Rheem’s products do sell well, many consumers have noted troubles when the going gets tough.

In fact, a quick glance at Rheem’s customer reviews reveals a trend. It appears that Rheem water heaters don’t like the cold anymore than you do. So much so, in fact, that they have a tendency to “hibernate” when it gets especially cold outside. In other words, cold temperatures seem to cause Rheem heaters to malfunction—meaning that you may be treated to sudden, icy showers when you least expect it. And trust us: nothing ruins your special in-shower concert like being doused with freezing water.

This isn’t to say that Rheem has bad products as a whole. Despite there being some inconsistency in Rheem’s various water heater models and reviews, we do recommend a handful of them throughout our site that were the best of the best of their models.

Finding warranty information on Rheem’s water heaters was a bit difficult. Customers can access warranty information for their Rheem product by visiting www.rheem.com. Use the site’s warranty search feature or speak to a representative for support.

A couple of Rheem’s most popular water heaters include:

Rheem 240V Heating Chamber RTEX-13 Electric Tankless Check out our review for this one here.

RTGH-95DVLN 9.5 GPM Gas Tankless Check out our review for this one here.

Bosch

127 years of experience have made Bosch one of the most trusted brands in the world. With a full-scale selection of both traditional and tankless water heaters, Bosch offers products for every person and business. Best of all, however, is that Bosch’s water heaters are dependable.

This means no sudden surprises. No cold showers. And great long-lasting durability. Bosch offers both traditional and tankless gas and electric water heaters. These heaters range in price and efficiency, with gas tankless heaters ranging up to nearly $3,000.

For many of their systems, Bosch warrants that your system’s heat exchanger will not leak for either 8,000 operational hours or fifteen years (whichever is shorter) for single family dwellings. For non-single family dwellings, Bosch warrants that your system will not leak for either 8,000 operational hours or eight years. Generally, Bosch warrants that all parts apart from the heat exchanger shall remain defect-free for either 8,000 operational hours or five years (whichever is shorter). This warranty applies to both single dwelling and non-single dwelling options.

A couple of Bosch’s most popular options include:

Bosch Electric Mini-Tank Water Heater Tronic 3000 T 4-Gallon Electric Tankless Check out our product review here.

Bosch 940 ES NG Gas Tankless

Takagi

This Japanese brand has been around since 1952 and they’ve introduced a number of game-changing innovations. The highly-esteemed gas control valve? Takagi can take credit for that. (Okay, maybe you’ve never heard of it—but that doesn’t make it any less revolutionary.) With Tagaki, you can be sure that you’re getting only the best in water heater innovation.

For many of their models, the company warrants fifteen-year replacement for heat exchangers in single family domestic households. They generally also offer a five-year warranty on all internal parts (outside of the heat exchanger).

A couple of Takagi’s most popular options include:

Takagi T-K4-IN-NG Gas Tankless

Takagi T-KJr2-IN-NG Gas Tankless Check out our review for this here.

Stiebel Eltron

Another brand with a stellar reputation, Stiebel Eltron is sure to keep you and your family warm—no matter the temperature. Stiebel Eltron heaters are some of the most cost-effective on the market. With several tankless and traditional options available, Stiebel Eltron offers full-scale quality tanks.

For most of their popular models, Stiebel Eltron warrants that they will not fail as a result of company defects within the first three years of purchase. At the company’s discretion, Stiebel Eltron will send replacement parts and cover labor costs for within the first three years of purchase.

A couple of Stiebel Eltron’s most popular options include:

Stiebel Eltron 36 Plus Tempra Electric Tankless Check out our review for this one here.

Stiebel Eltron Trend 20 Electric Tankless Check out our review for this one here.

EcoSmart

EcoSmart heaters are designed to provide optimal heating in ecofriendly ways. If you’re looking for groundbreaking dependability, EcoSmart may not be the best bet. These less-than-dependable heaters are manufactured by Rheem—and offer much the same quality. Not only do their models provide limited features (no Wi-Fi compatibility for gas models, for instance), they also tend to work only until you need them most. In other words, for certain models, EcoSmart water heater is like entering a bad relationship. It may look good at first, but when push comes to shove, you’ll get nothing but an ice-cold heart of stone.

Although some products have reputation for being less dependable, their excellent warranty and low price point generally makes up for it. To be fair, for the price, you may not be able to find better, which is why we have recommended several of their water heaters throughout our site. Also, for many of their models, the company offers the best warranty we’ve seen: a limited lifetime warranty on exchangers. This warranty is reduced to five years for heaters purchased outside of the United States or Canada. 

A couple of EcoSmart’s most popular options include:

EcoSmart ECO 27 Electric Tankless Check out our review for this one here.

EcoSmart 8 KW Electric Tankless Check out our review for this one here.

Customer Service

Though each company may differ in the quality of products offered, each has stellar customer service options. Those who believe they may be in need of extra assistance may find comprehensive contact information about each service on their online pages.

You may find contact customer support for each company by following the links below:

Each company includes both online and over-the-phone customer support options. In this way, you can be sure that you can talk to someone you need—when you need it. You don’t want to overlook the importance of good customer service. Spending days in a winter wonderland while waiting for customer support is no one’s idea of fun.

The good news is that no matter which brand you choose, you can be sure to get the support you need. Keep the above information in mind as you look to select your next water heater brand. In doing so, you can keep your home or business warm no matter the season.

The Bottom Line

Not all water heaters are created equal.

If your shower has ever made you feel like you were transported to the North Pole, you already know this. Having trouble choosing between major brands? With this guide, you can weigh the pros and cons of each company and their most popular options.

Based on the brand (vs. individual products), we found Rinnai to have the best reputation, with Stiebel Eltron and Takagi being close runner-ups. You can ensure with these brands that your hot water will stay nice and toasty. For those interested in less expensive products with great warranties, however, there’s no beating EcoSmart. Though customer reviews sometimes suggest an icy picture for these water heaters, EcoSmart’s unlimited lifetime warranty combined with their price point blows away the competition.

So how do you find the right water heater for you?

Ultimately, there are many factors to consider when choosing the water heater that’s right for you, such as demand, location, space needs, and price.  If your current shower feels like a Siberian rainstorm, check out the individual product reviews throughout the website to find the best fit for you.  To help make the process easier, we have broken down our picks by type:  electric, gas, point-of-use, and RVs.

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