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 the top models are and what makes them unique and better than other water heaters.
When selecting the best electric water heaters, consider features such as the type and quality of the anode rod, dip tube, heating elements, drain valve, the 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 standard quality elements that are factory installed with the high-quality ones you choose.
Also, to get the water heater that will last for a long time, it is recommended to hire an experienced plumber and have the work correctly done.
Bradford 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 contributing 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 company's exclusive features, 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 THE Simultaneous or Non-Simultaneous mode, ranging from 120 V to 480 V, for efficient, direct water heating. Also, what controls the operation and the water temperature is the surface-mount thermostats.
Like 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 PXHT-52 from the 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 a thicker 3" foam insulation, which has a better R insulation value of 24 vs. 16.
With the factory-installed heat traps and previous features combined, the result is higher energy efficiency (0.95) and lower heat loss.
As the Bradford White manufacturer, the best electric water heater from AO Smith comes with exclusive features such as the Blue Diamond Glass Coating for protection against corrosive water action and DynaClean II, an automatic system against the lime and sediment build-up.
Heating elements are made of low-watt density Incoloy steel, making them last longer than standard copper elements. They can provide a recovery rate of 21 GPH, which is by one gallon more than the BW model.
Rheem Marathon MR50245, is another 50-gallon electric water heater, the best of Rheem, which is also a highly efficient and durable model.
MR50245 model is 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 the total weight of the heater, so the Rheem Marathon is easier to handle.
The tank is also designed with a bowl-shaped bottom that allows simpler draining and dealing with the sediment deposits.
As the best electric water heater from Rheem, Marathon has a thick 2.5" foam insulation with the high R-value of 20 which results in an energy factor of 0.94.
Nobody can beat Rheem's warranty on Marathon models as they offer a lifetime warranty on tanks and 6 on other elements. On the other side, AO Smith offers 10-year protection on its metal tank and heater's parts, while BW standard warranty is six years while you can buy additional 4 years. 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.