Stiebel Eltron
Tankless Water Heaters
Review and Buying Tips

Stiebel Eltron TempraStiebel Eltron Tempra

Find out how the best-selling Stiebel Eltron tankless water heater – Tempra easily beats its competitors offering the most advanced features for water heating.

Tempra water heaters from this well-respected German company are built small but powerful enough to heat and deliver hot water, not only to a single fixture but multiple applications, no matter the climate and weather conditions. While they are mostly installed indoors in the utility room, Stiebel Eltron Tempra models, with its sleek, modern and appealing look, are perfect for bathrooms, even kitchens.

Built as the electric and tankless heaters, they are designed for residential and light commercial water heating, usually at the point of service. Let's review its main features, benefits, and user's pros and cons.

Stiebel Eltron is a German company that designs and manufactures products for heating, which includes electric tankless water heaters and heat pumps. The group, which includes on-demand models, is especially interesting, where the series Tempra is the best-selling and most popular tankless model.

This review is about Stiebel Eltron Tempra, a group of small and wall-mounted electric and tankless heaters, with the power ranging from 12 to 36 kW and providing enough hot water to point-of-use and whole house applications.

Tempra model selection

There are two types of Tempra heaters: Tempra Trend and Tempra Plus.

They look almost the same, but the Tempra Plus is more advanced; it has features such as the Advanced Flow Control, preset temperature memory buttons, and energy monitor showing cost savings.

Tempra water heaters can be found in the following sizes: 12, 15, 20, 24, 29, and 36 kW. Models from 12 to 20 kW are mainly used in one-bath homes, Tempra 24 might be used in homes with 2 to 3 baths, while Tempra Plus 36 in homes with up to 4 bathrooms, but it all depends on the temperature of the groundwater and is the heater installed in homes located in the warm or cold climate (region).

Also, based on the number of heating elements, one heater has more or less power, but the maximum number of elements is 3, engaged in stages for modulating power, such as in Tempra 36. The heater electronically controls the input of the heat transferred to the water.

How to select the right Tempra size?

Which one of the available Stiebel Eltron Tempra models you will choose, depends on the temperature of groundwater and the number of fixtures you are planning to use at the same time. To find out an average temperature of groundwater in North America, use this map.

Main features

Every Stiebel Eltron tankless water heater from Tempra series was designed to provide an unlimited supply of hot water, on demand and where it is needed. The tankless technology and the absence of the storage tank allow small and compact size, delivering hot water continuously with higher efficiency and less waste. Tempra comes with the following features:

  • The advanced microprocessor technology uses information obtained from the water flow and temperature sensors so it can continuously monitor the temperature and adjust parameters if needed, for better comfort and user experience. The Tempra uses self-modulation, which ensures the right amount of energy for the set temperature, so the best performance and energy savings are achieved.
  • A digital temperature control is used for precise temperature control. A digital display on Tempra models allows you to set and check the temperature, which is in the range from 68 to 140 F. It also enables user customization and to view some useful information. While both Tempra models have the digital display built-in, one that is found on the Plus models provides much more data using primary and secondary display area, and that includes water flow, wattage, error codes, saving statistics and more.
  • The advanced flow control automatically adjusts the water flow running through the water heater, ensuring water temperature stability, fewer fluctuation, or "cold water sandwich" effects (Tempra Plus). If the heater's heating capacity is higher than designed and to keep the constant temperature, Tempra Plus uses the computer controlled motorized valve to reduce the water flow.
  • A knob and display are located in the front of the unit and are used conveniently to change and monitor the water temperature and check the operating status. The temperature settings can be shown in Fahrenheit (F) or Celsius (C).
  • Quiet operation as there are no movable mechanical parts.
  • Tempra guarantees quiet operation as there are no movable mechanical parts.

Benefits

  • On-demand supply of hot water, continuously and endlessly.
  • Every Stiebel Eltron tankless water heater heats water instantly, and it turns on only when the hot water tap is open.
  • Energy saving performance. No standby heat loss as found in water tank heaters.
  • Self-diagnostic system makes troubleshooting easier as it informs the user when the problem occurs.
  • Convenient to install and use. It can be installed in the kitchen, bathroom... almost anywhere where it is needed.
  • Tempra can last long, but it depends on the water quality and use.
  • Tankless design reduces the chances of sediment built-up and leaking, which is common in water tank heaters.
  • Great replacement if removing the old water tank heater.
  • When compared to the gas units, Tempra doesn't require venting and gas piping.
  • Sleek and modern design so the heater can be installed even in the living space.
  • The small and compact size ensures space savings.
  • 7/3-year warranty.

Specs

  Tempra 12 Tempra 15 Tempra 20 Tempra 24 Tempra 29 Tempra 36
Wattage* 12 14.4 19.2 24 28.8 36
Maximum water flow (GPM)  (@52 F temperature rise) 1.6 1.9 2.5 3.1 3.7 4.5
# of fixtures 1 1 1 2 3 3
Recommended breaker size 1x50 2x30 2x40 2x50 3x40 3x50

Tempra Plus 24 user review

Stiebel Eltron Tempra Plus 24 is one of the most popular and top selling models. Here is the summary of user's pros and cons found on several websites:

  • Most of the time Tempra 24 provides and maintains the precise temperature of hot water.
  • It is easy to use the heater as the readings are shown on the digital display while the knob in the front of the unit allows an easy adjustment.
  • The installation can be easy, and it requires heavy-duty wire as it has to handle 2x50 amps circuits. The recommendation from the users is to check the electrical panel so that it can handle the recommended Amps.
  • Professional installation can be costly. And if you need a new electric panel, the cost might be in thousands of dollars.
  • Even with the manufacturer's claim that the fluctuation of hot water is minimal, some users complained that the "cold-water sandwich" effect is still present, especially if running two fixtures at the same time.
  • A few complaints were found that the heater cannot provide higher temperatures due to the colder groundwater.
  • According to the manufacturer, every Stiebel Eltron tankless water heater is designed for long service life, and many users in their reviews confirm that.
  • Many users like the idea that Tempra doesn't require any regular maintenance, except periodical cleaning of the filter screen on the incoming water line.

Summary

Stiebel Eltron tankless water heaters from Tempra series are ideal for heating water in small homes, condos, apartments, garage, and offices, for point-of-use or whole-house applications. When compared to the tank-type heaters, Tempra series offers better performance and greater energy efficiency since it does not have standby heat loss and due to shorter pipes. Cold water is heated on demand only and delivered continuously in endless supply. The small and lightweight design allows easy and fast installation, inside the cabinet or on the wall, without occupying any floor space.

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