Stiebel Eltron DHC Water Heaters Review and Buying Tips

If you are looking for a tankless and electric water heater for a single sink, either in the kitchen, bathroom, office or garage, check out the DHC series from a German manufacturer Stiebel Eltron.

Stiebel Eltron DHC electric and tankless water heater

Stiebel Eltron DHC series is ideal for point-of-use applications as it is heating water instantaneously and provides it fast due to the short pipe distance to the fixture. These types are usually called under-sink water heaters. The tankless technology allows an endless and continuous supply of hot water with greater savings. On demand heating and tank-less design eliminates the standby heat loss, which is found on conventional tank-type models, resulting in higher energy efficiency.

Model and feature review

Stiebel Eltron produces several electric models that are equipped with the strong and durable copper-clad heating element (housed in a copper cylinder) for reliable water heating and a maximum power of up to 9.6 kW. The temperature of hot water delivered by the water heater depends on the wattage of the heating element - different sizes can be seen in the table below.

Talking about safety... Stiebel DHC utilizes a high-limit switch with the manual reset to prevent element failure due to the extreme temperatures, and the flow switch, so there will be no dry fire or premature failure. The flow switch and the scald-guard thermostat ensure the outgoing hot water is safe for use among kids and older. Also, due to the hydraulically control, all DHC models are not as noisy as the competitive models.

Specifications

Model Volts kW Amps DHW delivery(GPM)
DHC 3-1 120 3.0 25 0.32
DHC 3-2 240/208 3.3/2.5 14/12 0.32
DHC 4-2 240/208 3.8/2.9 16/14 0.42
DHC 4-3 277 4.5 17 0.42
DHC 5-2 240/208 4.8/3.6 20/18 0.42
DHC 6-2 240/208 6.0/4.5 25/22 0.47
DHC 8-2 240/208 7.2/5.4 30/26 0.69
DHC 9-3 277 9.0 32.5 0.79
DHC 10-2 240/208 9.6/7.2 40/35 0.79

Key features

  • On demand and instantaneous water heating
  • Endless and continuous supply
  • Small and lightweight: approx: 14" x 8" x 4" and up to 5.3 lb
  • Copper sheathed heating element housed in a copper cylinder
  • Never dry fires
  • Easily adjusted water flow with the provided flow adjustment screw
  • High impact polycarbonate plastic cover
  • Warranty of 7 years against leaking and 3 years for parts
  • Easy to handle and quick to install (it requires to be hard wired to a dedicated circuit)
  • Last long but it depends on the usage and water quality

User review

Users were mainly happy as the DHC models are great for small jobs such as hand washing, food preparation, outdoor showers in warm regions, for use in the garage, cottage, workshop, apartments, distant sinks...

According to some users, the DHC model can be used for filling the washing machine, but the water is only lukewarm. Others used it to replace the 40-gal or 50-gal unit for occasional use in the warmer region, but recommend reducing the water flow to achieve a decent temperature. There were complains that water was not warm enough for a shower. On a wish list was to replace the heat adjustment screw, which is hidden behind the front panel, with a more accessible knob.

Keep in mind that the recommendation for using DHC for one fixture only applies in moderate and cold climates while in warm climate zones it can be even used for more than one fixture, due to the higher incoming water temperature.

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