The Best Electric Water Heater Review

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We review and compare Bradford White, AO Smith, Rheem and other manufacturers to find the best electric water heater for your home. Let's see what are the top models and what makes them unique and better than other water heaters.

When selecting the best electric water heater consider features such as the type and quality of the anode rod, dip tube, heating elements, drain valve, thickness of the foam insulation, efficiency, recovery rate, First Hour rating and the warranty. If you buy an expensive water heater, you might get most of the quality elements (such as the aluminum or powered anode), if not you can replace mediocre quality elements that are factory installed with the high quality you choose.

Also, in order to get the water heater that will last for a long time, it is recommended to hire an experienced plumber and have the work properly done.

Bradford White High Efficient Energy Saver

Bradford White M2HE50S6DSBradford White M2HE50S6DS is the 50-gallon electric water heater that comes from the High Efficient Energy Saver series. It offers a decent 0.93 energy factor, mainly thanks to the 2" thick foam insulation and its high R-value of 16. Other factors that contribute to its high thermal efficiency are the factory installed heat traps, used to reduce the heat loss through the pipes.

Model M2HE50S6DS was selected as the best electric water heater because of its beneficial features and recommendation from Bradford White company.

The BW strength comes from the exclusive features the company offers, such as the Hydrojet Total Performance System for reducing the sediment build up and keeping the performance and First Hour Delivery high.

Fully immersed and screw-in type of electric heating elements can operate in Simultaneous or Non-Simultaneous mode, in the range from 120 V to 480 V, for efficient, direct water heating. Their work and the temperature of the hot water they provide are controlled by the surface-mount thermostats.

As other manufacturers, two features are especially important when it comes to metal tank protection and corrosion fight and these are: Vitraglass Lining, an exclusive BW feature, and the magnesium anode rod.

AO Smith Conservationist

ao smith conservationistAO Smith PXHT-52 from Conservationist series is the most efficient electric water heater from this company. When you compare this unit with the Bradford White you will see that Conservationist uses thicker 3" foam insulation, which has better R insulation value of 24, vs. 16.

With the factory installed heat traps and previous features combined, the result is the higher energy efficiency (0.95) and lower heat loss.

As Bradford White, the best electric water heater from AO Smith comes with the exclusive features such as the Blue Diamond Glass Coating for a protection against corrosive water action and DynaClean II, an automatic system against lime and sediment build-up.

Heating elements are made of low-watt density Incoloy steel, which makes them last longer than standard copper elements. They are able to provide 21 gallons per hour Recovery Rate, which is by one gallon more than BW model.

Rheem Marathon

rheem marathonRheem Marathon MR50245, is another 50-gallon electric water heater, the best of Rheem, that is also a high efficient and the most durable model.

MR50245 model is actually all plastic, whose tank is made of the seamless polybutene tank resistant to corrosion and rust. This is an expensive and unique water heater, mainly due to its non-metallic tank, the absence of the anode rod (and no rotten-egg odor) and the lifetime warranty. Plastic material reduces total weight of the heater, so Rheem Marathon is easier to handle.

Also, the tank is designed with the bowl-shaped bottom which allows simpler draining and dealing with the sediment deposits.

Marathon as the best electric water heater from Rheem has a thick 2.5" foam insulation with the high R-value of 20 which results in energy factor of 0.94.

See the reviews and prices on Amazon.com.

Nobody can beat Rheem's warranty on Marathon models, since they have the lifetime warranty on tank, but only 6 on other elements. On the other side, AO Smith offers a 10-year protection on its metal tank and heater's parts, while BW standard warranty is 6 years while you can buy additional 4. Other specs that are the same or almost the same are First Hour Rating which is approximately 61 gallons for all three models and Recovery Rate which is around 20-21 GPH.


Pictures are courtesy of BW, AO Smith and Rheem

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