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Question DetailsAsked on 1/6/2016

Who makes the best electric hot water heater?

Who makes a reliable electric, low-cost, water heater with magnesium anode rods? It's difficult to find out what the anodes are made of. Also, does the type of lining matter? Kenmore seems to use glass, vs. Whirlpool's ceramic lined tanks.

Is there any compelling evidence that one brand is superior to another? Or is it all opinion?

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2 Answers


Stainless steel tanks (excluding ones made with Asian low-quality steel which is not really stainless) have definitely been shown to have longer lives - but definitely NOT low-cost. Otherwise, as you say, everyone has their own favorite brand, and some swear by glass-lined, some by ceramic, some by anodic metal poweder-coated linings.

Personally, I have been perfectly happy getting 75-100% more than rated life out of Kenmore 10-15 year rated water heaters. Most Kenmore models are now made by AO Smith (Whirlpool many years ago), but oddly enough what I have heard and seen of AO Smith water heaters under their own brandname has been less than impressive - commonly going out at or even a bit before rated life.

You can find ratings and opinions on different specific brands and models at Consumer Reports, Consumer Search, etc.

Answered 3 years ago by LCD


I think every 50+ gallon electric water heater now is required to be a HPWH (Heat Pump Water Heaters), in order to achieve a better efficency. They use 3 times less electrcity than a regular one.

Now, the issue of compressor failure is real, that's a big problem. Stielbel Eltron makes the best units, much much better than the other makers.

The best location? Either in the garage for a warm climate, or the basement for cold climate (it dries the air).

I live near San Francisco and my HPWH is happy in the laudry room.

Answered 2 years ago by albator

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